Dharma Talks

Use this topic to discuss themes not related to martial arts. Everyone needs to chat sometimes, discuss some personal ideas, maybe talk about movies or music, please use this topic for that, so we can keep all other themes on the Martial Arts topic.

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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Monsoon » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:54 pm

It's a discussion, there's nothing to forgive and only you can do that for yourself anyway!

Fantastic thought, Josh. A question arises: is there a moment where 'you' are clearly not the last 'you' nor the next 'you'?

Or to put it another way, the gradations occur at the ksana level of time - there is no perceptible interval. Although in that case there will also be no discernible difference in mind states between one ksana and the next.

There are similarities with what you said here

There is also the problem of progression, or lack of it. In the constant micro-reincarnation each successive incarnation appears to begin at the same developmental point as the last one ended. This would suggest that reincarnation is not a birth because it does not begin again at the beginning. Which is how I understand your statements (assuming that I have actually understood them!). I think I just rewrote part of what you said but in a slightly different way - but that may be my way of trying to make some sense of it.

Overall, I think that is a very neat interpretation, and will require much musing.

Thank you for sharing this insight.
peace and harmony

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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Josh Young » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:09 am

A question arises: is there a moment where 'you' are clearly not the last 'you' nor the next 'you'?

For all I know (very very little), when I read that question, it is like looking at the stars, my mind goes blank and I lack an answer.
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby brer_momonga » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:54 am

Josh Young wrote:
A question arises: is there a moment where 'you' are clearly not the last 'you' nor the next 'you'?

For all I know (very very little), when I read that question, it is like looking at the stars, my mind goes blank and I lack an answer.


Josh, when I first read that passage - I thought something along the lines of: We aren't who we think we were or who we think we will be but who we are now. or rather, we shouldn't reply too heavily on our idea of our past or our future to determine our present identity, i.e. thought, action in the present. The more I read it, the more I thought that, but didn't post it. It also addresses fallacy of class, rank.

But if that's an aspect of it, what a difficult/easy thought to keep in balance! - and so fundamental that it is the very first teaching of the Dhammapadda.
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Greg Jah » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:34 am

Hi everyone,

Great insights, Monsoon, Josh, and Brer! Josh, your post reads like a sutra...there is much truth there. The idea that we are context is very consistent with the Buddhist notion that we are the result of past circumstances/ causes (and that our future self / world will be the result of our present actions).

I don't know why, but it reminded me of something a teacher once said (I can't remember who), that in the moment of stillness between outbreath & inbreath the universe is reborn.

I re-read part of the Diamond Sutra last night...and will read some more tonight. But ultimately, where is truth of the Sutra to be found? Right here. No need to get hung up on words...which is difficult, because the language of the Sutras can be so arcane. I have to remind myself of this...that the Sutras point the way - they are not the truth. Same as a book about Tai Chi...

Have a great day. I hope you are enjoying the discussion as much as I am!

Best,

Greg
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Monsoon » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:46 pm

I have thought of a better question: Josh, how is what you posted different to what the Diamond Sutra says?

Additionally, is your thought independent of the Diamond Sutra (this is an important distinction)?

However you slice your intervals there has to be a way for information to be retained. As such a flavour of the past self is always here in the present, and the flavour of the present will move forward into the future. That we cannot maintain a sense of past self is perhaps not that important, because the echo of that past is with us always.

I used to think that language is simply too coarse for such discussions, then, sadly, I realised that this is coupled with my poor use of said language. And the problem is compounded! :D
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Josh Young » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:54 pm

Monsoon wrote:I have thought of a better question: Josh, how is what you posted different to what the Diamond Sutra says?


As an interpretation, it can be regarded as not different, or different, depending on interpretation. Consider that many believe that Tathagata refers to past lives and future lives and thus interpret a literal aspect of incarnation and reincarnation to various teachings, this is not an interpretation I tend to agree with, and so it depends upon view i suppose.

is there a moment where 'you' are clearly not the last 'you' nor the next 'you'?

If this rephrasing is unacceptable please let me know:
Q: Is there an increment of time, where my identity is clearly not that which was previous nor that which shall follow?

A: No...
I will share my belief on this:
Time does not take place in increments, there is only now. Measurements of time have contextual validity but are artifacts of perception, time is multidimensional in terms of manifestation having properties of a singularity, division and functional relation.
Identity, self, me, I, "you" in the context of your question etc is a non-thing and so the question is to me a koan.

Keep in mind something I should let you all know. I am incredibly simple minded and much of this topic is way over my head. This is why I asked for help understanding the Sutra, having read it many times and thought about it a great deal I do have my own view upon it, but that means very little to me.

Additionally, is your thought independent of the Diamond Sutra (this is an important distinction)?

I don't know.

I can say that I had thoughts that were similar when reading various archaic texts, The Vedas, The Mahabharata, the DaoDeJing, various sutras, occult study of Kabbalah etc. I did not have such thoughts before being exposed to these texts, or rather seeking them out because I am a curious person and enjoy reading about such topics.
However you slice your intervals there has to be a way for information to be retained. As such a flavour of the past self is always here in the present, and the flavour of the present will move forward into the future. That we cannot maintain a sense of past self is perhaps not that important, because the echo of that past is with us always.

Agreed. I think that this is why Buddhism and so many other doctrines focus on practical function more than abstract principals. Right mindedness for example is practical, and i feel that it takes into consideration that which you observe/state in the above quoted paragraph.
I used to think that language is simply too coarse for such discussions, then, sadly, I realised that this is coupled with my poor use of said language. And the problem is compounded!


I find the use of language incredibly challenging myself and only employ one, for the most part... it has all these problems to my simple mind, like the form of statements such as I am hungry, my mind tends to use language in a very specific manner and thus that reads as a statement saying that the self has become or is hunger itself, I prefer the statement I am feeling hungry, which does not confuse me, but the way most people use language does confuse me, a great deal.

I am also very simple minded and lacking in intellect when it comes to language, which is ironic considering my love of reading and writing. So while I have learned to use the same expressions, like "I am hungry" they still confuse me deep down and I feel like my use of language hinders my ability to understand myself and the world around me.

I wish I were smart enough to answer your questions well, but i am not, all I end up having is more questions and very few answers. Which is why I love the concept of chop wood carry water, I am smart enough to do those things, but I cannot really do well in discussions such as this one because they are over my head.

I will share that i like reading spiritual texts because they make me feel funny when i do...
I have had profound and unexpected (Spiritual?) experiences that felt like they were life changing, complete with tears of joy, just for having read simple passages in ancient texts. (though, i have never had a spiritual experience reading a Christian or Abrahamic text and have read the Bible and other Christian works including the Apocrypha)

This is why I like the subject, not because I understand it, but because it affects me in a way i cannot explain, like looking at the stars and being overwhelmed with awe. It humbles me.

I was raised in the LDS church by the way, A Mormon. I rejected this very very early (the Bible and the Book of Mormon never felt right to me) and began looking to other religious truths about the time I hit puberty and have not stopped looking since, though i have found a lot, I have not stopped looking because I have found so much, not because I haven't)
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Monsoon » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:53 pm

Ah, the Mormons! God's insurance salesmen (apologies for those who are LDS, but... :P )

Josh, I am not sure I understand how your view of constant reincarnation fits in with your statement about the multidimensional nature of time. If we ignore the term 'time' from the question and rep-rephrase(!) it as: what exist between one incarnation and the next?

That's a toughie.

Additionally, is your thought independent of the Diamond Sutra (this is an important distinction)?
(quoting myself :D )

The distinction I had in mind is twofold: one, where your thoughts are shaped directly by having read the Sutra, and two, where your thoughts are shaped by your interdependence. It may well be that because we are parts of a whole that we are predisposed to arrive at similar conclusions.

Regarding language, if I may ask a personal question (please do not answer if it is straying out of acceptable bounds), is your perceived issue with language interpretation a connected part of your autism? The reason I ask is that such a condition might lead you into some unusual areas of abstract thought based on referents that are not common to the average person.

Also, can someone else, anyone, join in, because I am treading deep water here and Idon't know how long I can do this.
peace and harmony

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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Josh Young » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:33 pm

what exist between one incarnation and the next?

Original mind exist, not between, just as.

Sort of the point to me. Recognizing this and escaping the "incarnations"
or so I think.
I don't know.

It is over my head.
where your thoughts are shaped directly by having read the Sutra, and two, where your thoughts are shaped by your interdependence.

I really don't know. Could be both.

When i know something is going to happen, and sometimes I do, do I know it because it is going to happen or is it going to happen because I know it?

Have you ever had 'memories' of the future? (maybe best to not answer that, it is an entirely different topic and not one very fitting for this board.)

is your perceived issue with language interpretation a connected part of your autism? The reason I ask is that such a condition might lead you into some unusual areas of abstract thought based on referents that are not common to the average person.

I think so...
Others have made such observations or claims about me as well.
Key word: unusual....
Also, can someone else, anyone, join in, because I am treading deep water here and Idon't know how long I can do this.

I already drowned.
I am blue and cold now.
;)
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Monsoon » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:50 pm

Hey Josh, I've been thinking on your original post and the follow-up - just been away from a PC for the last few days too!

There is no beginning and there is no end. There is only 'now'. However, there is also 'change'. When one considers the difference between one state and another, one has to also consider the potential existence of a boundary. Unless the gradations between one state and another are infinitesimally small, in which case (mathematically) no boundary can said to occur. Under these conditions - that may well be the true conditions of our manifestation - Once-to-be-reborn makes perfect sense in the interpretation that you have given.

Regarding identity/self/me/I and you: given that the overwhelming majority of people consider these distinctions as being real in some fashion - or at least they function in life as if they are real - it could be that such rationalisation was at some point an evolutionary imperative for survival. I don't understand why that should be the case, just putting it out there, but the seeming lack of people who truly and fully live in the 'now' is a little unsettling.
peace and harmony

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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Monsoon » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:08 am

Hey Josh, you might want to check this version of the diamond sutra.

A slight difference in translation offering a subtle reinterpretation beyond what is commonly found in most other translations.

Enjoy!
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Greg Jah » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:53 pm

Monsoon wrote:Hi Inga,

I too was drawn in by the Heart Sutra. It is a beautiful, deep and yet clear Sutra that repays much on study. I can recommend Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra by Thich Nhat Hanh. Here's a link to a cheap copy! Although there are other commentaries out there, and Red Pine leaps to mind, this one is (in my humble opinion) by far the clearest in expression. Your mileage may vary, as the the saying goes, but worth a look.


Hi Monsoon,

I just finished reading Thich Nhat Hanh's commentary you recommended, and all I can say is...wow! What a beautiful, insightful, readable book. BTW, I found (and purchased) a very cheap (as in $4 cheap) copy of the book here: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... a&x=45&y=7

I have been spending the last few minutes of my sitting meditation contemplating one of Thich Nhat Hanh's insights: "form is the wave, emptiness is the water."

Thus the wave has nothing to fear when its life as wave ends, and it returns to being the water it always was.

I wish everyone the best in their meditative and martial practices.

Greg
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby brer_momonga » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:29 pm

two lines I've been thinking about lately, however, forgot the first one yesterday so it was nice to be reminded of it:

"like a thin veil barely seen"
- embellishment of a line from lao tzu VI

"the mind is like a bright pearl that rolls smoothly with no obstruction"
attributed to Ni, Hua Ching from http://baharna.com/chant/nihuaching.htm
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Monsoon » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:28 pm

As pretty as those lines are they speak to me of incipient separation (dualism) - that there is an observer as well as that which is observed (for example).

Anyway, something to think about from Huángbò (黄檗希運) as written in the Chun Chou record penned by P'ei Hsiu.

If an ordinary man, when he is about to die, could only see the five elements of consciousness as void; the four physical elements as not constituting an 'I'; the real Mind as formless and neither coming nor going; his nature as something neither commencing at his birth nor perishing at his death, but as whole and motionless in its very depths; his Mind and environmental objects as one -- if he could really accomplish this, he would receive Enlightenment in a flash. He would no longer be entangled by the Triple World; he would be a World-Transcendor. He would be without even the faintest tendency towards rebirth. If he should behold the glorious sight of all the Buddhas coming to welcome him, surrounded by every kind of gorgeous manifestation, he would feel no desire to approach them. If he should behold all sorts of horrific forms surrounding him, he would experience no terror. He would just be himself, oblivious of conceptual thought and one with the Absolute. He would have attained the state of unconditioned being. This, then is the fundamental principle.
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Dvivid » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:47 am

The Diamond Cutter of all Doubts!

The intention of this talk, which luckily for us was transcribed and passed down to us (!), is to help us experience faith, if only for a moment. Faith - meaning true awareness in the present moment (the "now") without distraction, and without discrimination (concepts, definitions, words).

Imagine sitting in the presence of an omnipotent being! Allow yourself if only for a moment to BE in the "now", and trust (without thinking) that the Buddha is in the moment with you.

Buddha is is omnipresent; everywhere, always, forever.

"As for those who, when the words of such discourses as these are being spoken, will experience the serenity of faith, even if it is for no more than a single thought, the Tathagata knows them, Subhuti, the Tathagata sees them, Subhuti. They will all generate and come to be endowed with an immeasurable quantity of merit. Why is that? Because, Subhuti, the idea of a self will not occur to those bodhisattvas, nor will the idea of a living being, or the idea of a soul, or the idea of a person occur to them. Not even the idea of a dharma will occur to those bodhisattvas, Subhuti, nor the idea of a nondharma; not even an idea or a non-idea will occur to them. Why is that? If, Subhuti, the idea of a dharma should occur to those bodhisattvas, for them that would constitute seizing upon a self, it would constitute seizing upon a living being, seizing upon a soul, seizing upon a person. If the idea of a non-dharma should occur, for them that would constitute seizing upon a self, seizing upon a living being, seizing upon a soul, seizing upon a person. Why is that? One should moreover not take up any dharma, Subhuti, or any nondharma. It was therefore with this in mind that the Tathagata said that those who understand the round of teachings of the Simile of the Raft should let go of the dharmas themselves, to say nothing of the nondharmas.”
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby brer_momonga » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:32 am

Thanks Monsoon and Dvivid for the new writings (to me). not to get too off topic because I enjoy reading posts on Dharma Talks and I mainly posted something or another just to get the topic rolling again... because there's been no new activity since March.

but Monsoon, I disagree that the lines are dualistic in nature in the sense of there being an observer as well as that which is observed. one could easily look it initially from that perspective, but it is certainly not limited to that interpretation after exploring the thought for a long moment.

and, just for fun - how is it lao tzu's lines can be so bland? we wouldn't pour wine into an oak barrel and expect the wine to be instantly develop a perfectly rich and balanced woody flavor.

plus, the lines were presented out of context anyway ... and on the wrong topic!

yes the lines use pretty imagery - though I think they mean to point us to our mind's true nature - actually one's true self and everything else, inside and out - and, I suppose, the buddha -
one could say.

too often we simply don't realize it because we are too seldom in the moment?

The lines - to me - are primarily a means of trying to help us understand what it means to be in the moment - to cast aside, as Blake would put it, our "mind forg'd manacles."

I think I see why those lines are not dharma though. Is it because - though they intend to improve the self, they focus on the self? meaning: it's not the same means to an (infinite) end? or is it something else? your commentary - as well as the quotes - help me understand Dharma.
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby Monsoon » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:55 pm

Hi brer, I don't think LaoZi's lines are bland, but they are often subject to the vagaries of translation and interpretation, as are the contents of the Pali canon and everything that springs from Mahayana.

Consider LaoZi's,

A dao that may be spoken is not the enduring Dao.
A name that may be named is not an enduring name.
No names–this is the beginning of heaven and earth.
Having names–this is the mother of the things of the world.

Make freedom from desire your constant norm; thereby you will see what is subtle.
Make having desires your constant norm; thereby you will see what is manifest.
These two arise from the same source but have different names.
Together they may be termed ‘the mysterious’.
Mystery and more mystery: the gate of all that is subtle


And compare this with import of the Diamond that cuts through all illusion (vajracchedika) wherein nothing has an inherent self. ie. What is called the highest teaching is not the highest teaching, that is why it is called the highest teaching.

This is echoed throught the Heart Sutra when it explains that:

Emptiness is form, form is emptiness.
Emptiness is nothing but form, form is nothing but emptiness


Contemplation of interdependent co-arising is crucial to Buddhism.

Furthermore, LaoZi talks about 'freedom from desire' which is a perfect parallel with the Buddhist striving for no attachment to desire.

It is clear from even a cursory examination that Daoism and Buddhism share many ideas. How much they influence each other is a debate for scholars. Although I will say that after studying both, and desptie being a taijiquan practitioner, I find myself drawn to the Buddhist canon and not the Daoist (interesting though it is).
peace and harmony

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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby joeblast » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:07 am

havent gotten to reading this thread yet, but wanted to share...go check out Expedient Means with sifu Lin Ai Wei on time monk radio

www.timemonkradio.com
Even in mildly complex systems, any outcome is the wrong thing to target, with the process being where the focus should be.
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Re: Dharma Talks

Postby sub_human » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:32 am

Hermitude has it's rewards..

It is very difficult to "live in the now", when you are in society. Near impossible.
Doing so requires One to remove their mask.. Thus, leaving One vulnerable to the "mind grit", due to social distortions, etc.



The "I" of "Me" quandary, is relative to when..?
(consciousness, has quantum mechanics/duplicity) As your conscience only records moments in time, not time itself. How you weigh each moment, makes up the "Me". (With the duality of) while.. the "I", is your Shen.


"Me" grows very little... & typically gets the most nurtured.
"I" , or Shen is always growing... & often left unnurtured.


Sigmund Freud wrote about this, as he understood it. But, He didn't delve into meditation, as One can pick apart their own Id, Ego & Super-Ego when they go threw the difficult times of removing and placing their mask on.

Living in the now, for great lengths of time, is rare. And can often leave One's self, too despondent &/or cynical, etc. Thus, wrapping the mind back into an emotional state, as One cannot, not-see the truth in things. Even the unspeakable ones.


~"Regret hinders breathing" , > direct the "Me" into the now, alongside the "Shen".
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