Apech

Non dual Buddhism

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In an empty, interdependent universe, definitions are slippery things. 

 

6 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

 

Indulge me , I wanted to talk about non-dual Buddhism and everyone is bringing their arhats to the table.

 

Sandals, cloaks and hats at the door please!

 

Here, I'm like "do you mean a complete idiot like Jigme Lingpa, or a complete idiot like certain unnamed political figures?" 

 

It reminds me of an old joke: one time, there was a hunting camp in a place where brigands and outlaws dwelled. On of the hunters was coming back from an evening hunt. He had a little knowledge of spirituality. When the camp guard heard the approach, the guard yelled: "Who goes there?" And the hunter, being clever said, "No one!" 

 

The guard, being a little more knowledgeable, yelled back "Not yet you're not!"

 

Better to leave the pot on the stove, lest one gets burned. 

 

1 hour ago, Apech said:

Sandals at the door, guys, this is a vajrayana thread.

 

Here is a quote from (I think) the Hevajra Tantra:

 

"If a superior practitioner only needs to say a mantra once to be awakened, and a middling practitioner takes 100,000 repetitions to awaken, and an inferior person 1,000,000 - then how many mantras must a complete idiot say?"

 

Your answers please :)

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

 

Indulge me , I wanted to talk about non-dual Buddhism and everyone is bringing their arhats to the table.

 

Sandals, cloaks and hats at the door please!

 

Being a first responder, I thought your approach towards the subject of Buddhist non-duality began with examining the trikaya, and I replied accordingly. Since you are the host, its only polite that we wait patiently for the body of the discussion to develop. 

 

Lead the way please. :) 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, C T said:

 

Being a first responder, I thought your approach towards the subject of Buddhist non-duality began with examining the trikaya, and I replied accordingly. Since you are the host, its only polite that we wait patiently for the body of the discussion to develop. 

 

Lead the way please. :) 

 

 

 

 

Thank you - I wasn't trying to overly control the conversation - I suddenly felt the danger of becoming lost either in a sutra maze or in a dark Zen passageway muttering short poetic musings to pass the time while nervously looking for the way out.

 

What I want to consider is that if reality is a continuum of buddha-nature (buddha-field or whatever) then where is the path?  What is the path? And what does this mean for understanding method and goals, for instance.

 

How many mantras does a complete idiot (like Trump or Jigme Linpa as forest suggested above) have to chant to realise Buddha Nature?   What does this say about method itself?  Why do we engage in methods (like 8 fold path)?

 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

 

Indulge me , I wanted to talk about non-dual Buddhism and everyone is bringing their arhats to the table.

 

Sandals, cloaks and hats at the door please!

 

:starts a fire and joyfully tosses sandals and cloak upon it:

 

Seems our effortless feline wishes a dance of “naked awareness.”

:lol:

 

 

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:strips down enthusiastically, except for the mask...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Apech said:

Thank you - I wasn't trying to overly control the conversation - I suddenly felt the danger of becoming lost either in a sutra maze or in a dark Zen passageway muttering short poetic musings to pass the time while nervously looking for the way out.

:lol: 

Being lost is fine I guess.... tripping over sandals in the dark is not so fine. 

56 minutes ago, Apech said:

What I want to consider is that if reality is a continuum of buddha-nature (buddha-field or whatever) then where is the path?  What is the path? And what does this mean for understanding method and goals, for instance.

Good questions for contemplation. 

 

For me, the path is to be found in the practice of perfecting stability of/in the View (View being the union of emptiness and cognizance), and the way towards this perfection involves the assimilation and integration of what is knowledgeably acquired thru the outer preliminaries and also thru meditative absorption (samadhi); integration is the process of distilling the glimpses of experiential insights into the absolute inseparability of our buddha nature and the buddha nature of enlightened beings, and with each glimpse, get a little better at mastering the mindfulness needed to fuse the odd profound experience with inner awareness ~ in other words, to learn how to draw in such experiences as and when they arise so as to gain greater confidence over time. With dedication to this practice, ultimately, the aspiration of unwavering equipoise will hopefully be captured. In theory, this should end the discursiveness (sems) often plaguing those on the path. In between those initial glimpses and eventual dawning of equipoise is a lifetime's investment in virtuous merit accumulation. 

Edited by C T
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2 hours ago, Apech said:

Sandals at the door, guys, this is a vajrayana thread.

 

Here is a quote from (I think) the Hevajra Tantra:

 

"If a superior practitioner only needs to say a mantra once to be awakened, and a middling practitioner takes 100,000 repetitions to awaken, and an inferior person 1,000,000 - then how many mantras must a complete idiot say?"

 

Your answers please :)

 

 

*mutters from the dark Zen passageway*   my answer is dual in nature... *points to empty sandals. :P

 

1 hour ago, C T said:

This is starting to smell like zen slippers. 

Ah... guessin' that'd be me... *receeds back into dark Zen passageway

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Apech said:

What I want to consider is that if reality is a continuum of buddha-nature (buddha-field or whatever) then where is the path?  What is the path? And what does this mean for understanding method and goals, for instance.

 

How many mantras does a complete idiot (like Trump or Jigme Linpa as forest suggested above) have to chant to realise Buddha Nature?   What does this say about method itself?  Why do we engage in methods (like 8 fold path)?

 

While the ultimate nature of reality is non-dual, the nature of human experience is rooted in duality. While the base is Buddha-nature and none of us are ever other than that, still we as sentient beings are trapped in samsara until liberation. This is why we engage in our chosen path.

 

The number of mantras or lifetimes one may need to achieve liberation is not something anyone can predict, IMO, not even the great masters.

 

Edit - one might even say that we, as sentient beings, are the path 

Edited by steve
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Buddhism is very befuddling to the intellect. That is why Nagarjuna spent so much time dismantling the intellect and showing its limitations (although not negating it completely). Consider emptiness. Things are empty, yet they appear. That doesn't make any sense. But why does it have to make sense? The universe feels no need to fit itself into our human made concepts. We should adjust to what happens rather than expecting what happens to adjust to us. 

 

When that doesn't work, I see it as a process of removal. Buddha nature is inherent, like gold crusted in rock, or a white cloth dyed blue, or [insert preferred example]. The gold may be in that rock, but until you clean it, polish it, and recognize its value, it might as well be a rock. Those positive acts don't change the nature of the gold, but without them the gold won't come through. 

 

1 hour ago, Apech said:

 

 

Thank you - I wasn't trying to overly control the conversation - I suddenly felt the danger of becoming lost either in a sutra maze or in a dark Zen passageway muttering short poetic musings to pass the time while nervously looking for the way out.

 

What I want to consider is that if reality is a continuum of buddha-nature (buddha-field or whatever) then where is the path?  What is the path? And what does this mean for understanding method and goals, for instance.

 

How many mantras does a complete idiot (like Trump or Jigme Linpa as forest suggested above) have to chant to realise Buddha Nature?   What does this say about method itself?  Why do we engage in methods (like 8 fold path)?

 

 

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, steve said:

 

While the ultimate nature of reality is non-dual, the nature of human experience is rooted in duality. While the base is Buddha-nature and none of us are ever other than that, still we as sentient beings are trapped in samsara until liberation. This is why we engage in our chosen path.

 

The number of mantras or lifetimes one may need to achieve liberation is not something anyone can predict, IMO, not even the great masters.

 

Edit - one might even say that we, as sentient beings, are the path 

 

'we as sentient beings are the path' - very nice Steve.

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1 hour ago, ilumairen said:

 

:starts a fire and joyfully tosses sandals and cloak upon it:

 

Seems our effortless feline wishes a dance of “naked awareness.”

:lol:

 

 

 

Yes but Ilu I didn't say to remove undergarments - some people always go one step too far!

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5 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

Buddhism is very befuddling to the intellect. That is why Nagarjuna spent so much time dismantling the intellect and showing its limitations (although not negating it completely). Consider emptiness. Things are empty, yet they appear. That doesn't make any sense. But why does it have to make sense? The universe feels no need to fit itself into our human made concepts. We should adjust to what happens rather than expecting what happens to adjust to us. 

 

When that doesn't work, I see it as a process of removal. Buddha nature is inherent, like gold crusted in rock, or a white cloth dyed blue, or [insert preferred example]. The gold may be in that rock, but until you clean it, polish it, and recognize its value, it might as well be a rock. Those positive acts don't change the nature of the gold, but without them the gold won't come through. 

 

 

 

I would like to suggest that 'process of removal' - is a letting go of what isn't actually there.

 

Now I don't mean to go all fuzzy and say - well we're all buddhas already so there's nothing to do (and all that shit) because that is actually unhelpful.  For me its more about readdressing the process we are undertaking as Buddhists (or probably Bon and Daoist for that matter) to see it in a light which actually makes it work a little better(?) , easier (?) - or even kinder ...

 

I'm trying to be more Zhentong and less Prasangika less skeptical.  But I realise at the same time I am struggling to make sense.

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A Zhentong refuge prayer:

 

"The self-luminous mind,

The blissful buddha-nature,

The causal basis of beings,

Is free of both limit and limitlessness.

 

Just as the colour of gold

And the gold colour in bronze

Can be revealed by polishing them,

So too the buddha-nature exists within the skandhas,

And all sentient beings.

 

The buddha is without self and without skandhas.

Is unending wisdom

And eternal peace.

I take refuge in it."

 

- from the Lankavatara Sutra.

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What do you mean when you say "isn't actually there?" 

 

17 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

I would like to suggest that 'process of removal' - is a letting go of what isn't actually there.

 

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1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

What do you mean when you say "isn't actually there?" 

 

 

 

Samsara the cyclic world of suffering is the product of looking at the world through deluded eyes and seeing phenomena which are empty of self as being fundamentally real and developing craving for them.

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Another way of saying the three kayas are inseparable is to say that the view, path, and result are all precisely the same. 

Resting in the Nature of Mind is the view, resting in the Nature of Mind is the meditation and conduct, resting in the Nature of Mind is the result. 

 

In our tradition the basic teaching is look to the thought. Leave it as it is and it self-liberates. What is next is an unspeakable state. In that instant is the opportunity to connect to the Nature of our Mind. It is nothing special, perfectly pure and un-elaborated, un-contrived. It is clear and vivid. It is always there. Full of infinite potential, giving rise to all without bias. No identification with a constrained subject is there so it is non-dual.

 

When the experience of non-duality arises,  the dropping of the identification of awareness with a finite self, that is the 3 kayas, it is the view and the result. Because it is unbounded and unimputable it is called empty or Dharmakaya (we say Bön ku). All enlightened qualities are perfected there so it is Sambhogakaya (we say dzog ku). All is accomplished and manifests in response to what is needed without effort whatsoever so it is Nirmanakaya (trul ku). 

 

This is quite literally present in every moment and yet we experience the grasping and aversion of ignorance. Both are equally real and valid, neither is better or worse. If one is preferred that is already duality. That I find an interesting quandary. The lesson is don’t try to understand or explain, just rest....

 

There are a number of refuge prayers in Bön and all have some “religious” references or connotations. TWR wrote a set of 3 for his secular teachings that I find are beautiful and instructive.  They point to the 3 kayas. With time we penetrate the meaning more deeply as we connect to the states being pointed to...

 

Inner Refuge Prayers

 

 Body

The center of the victorious mandala, one’s own body

The source of all positive qualities without exception

Is the expanse within the three channels and five chakras

I take refuge in this body of emptiness 

 

Speech

All the gathered clouds of suffering and misery

Are complete cleared by the wisdom wind

Revealing the unelaborated, primordially pure expanse of the  sky

I take refuge in this body of light

 

Mind

From the pavilion of the five wisdom lights

Rays from non-dual spheres of light emanate

Clearing the webs of the darkness of ignorance

I take refuge in this body of great bliss

 

 

 

 

 

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There are also practices associated with each of these 3 poems which point to the characteristics associated with each of the 3 kayas.

 

 Body - connecting to the experience of stillness in the body. With time the experience of stillness transcends the physical body and the potential is there to connect with the unbounded or empty aspect of the basic Nature.

 

Speech - connecting to the experience of inner silence, the resting of the narrator and judge. This facilitates connection to the present moment and in this un-fabricated experience all is perfected. Nothing to be added or taken away,  the body of enjoyment or perfection.

 

Mind - connecting to the spaciousness of the heart/mind, the openness that allows anything in the heart or mind to arise and depart without interference of grasping or aversion. All that arises is free and liberates in unbounded space. Whatever was blocking us is gone so in our meditative experience we feel the opposite - un-bounded, pure, powerful, whatever...  That’s why different people describe the experience differently or why we have different experiences of the Refuge at different times. In that liberation is bliss.The four immeasurables arise and manifest in our lives.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you a thousand times. Steve for this.

Edited by Apech
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Emptiness, not nothingness. Nothingness would be nihilism. What appears is expressions of the dharmakaya (however you define it). However, lacking any unitary, independent, permanent substance to them, they are empty. 

 

Last night, I dreamed I was in a house. It was very detailed, ornate, elaborate. There were these old lamps that didn't work well. They would sputter before coming on. The house had old wall paper, and many rooms with moody yellow lighting. It was an old house, probably from the early 20th century. Something entered into the house, very loudly and aggressively, coming for me. I forgot I was dreaming (connate ignorance). I took the expressions of my mind (the house, the lamps, my dream body, the monster) as real (co-emergent ignorance). Because of this, I had fear arise (emotional obscuration). What if instead, I recognized that I was dreaming and relaxed? Even though there was nothing to grasp or let go of?

 

Well, then I would have been able to walk through walls. But there are degrees of lucidity in a dream. From a little lucid, to completely awake. Even when completely awake in the dream, the dream rules still apply. It takes some time to undo the mental habit that prevents you from walking through a wall. Last night, I didn't. I woke myself up. In so doing, the dream world dissolved, and the waking world emerged much the same way, with the same level of detail. 

 

2 hours ago, Apech said:

 

Samsara the cyclic world of suffering is the product of looking at the world through deluded eyes and seeing phenomena which are empty of self as being fundamentally real and developing craving for them.

 

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1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

Emptiness, not nothingness. Nothingness would be nihilism. What appears is expressions of the dharmakaya (however you define it). However, lacking any unitary, independent, permanent substance to them, they are empty. 

 

Last night, I dreamed I was in a house. It was very detailed, ornate, elaborate. There were these old lamps that didn't work well. They would sputter before coming on. The house had old wall paper, and many rooms with moody yellow lighting. It was an old house, probably from the early 20th century. Something entered into the house, very loudly and aggressively, coming for me. I forgot I was dreaming (connate ignorance). I took the expressions of my mind (the house, the lamps, my dream body, the monster) as real (co-emergent ignorance). Because of this, I had fear arise (emotional obscuration). What if instead, I recognized that I was dreaming and relaxed? Even though there was nothing to grasp or let go of?

 

Well, then I would have been able to walk through walls. But there are degrees of lucidity in a dream. From a little lucid, to completely awake. Even when completely awake in the dream, the dream rules still apply. It takes some time to undo the mental habit that prevents you from walking through a wall. Last night, I didn't. I woke myself up. In so doing, the dream world dissolved, and the waking world emerged much the same way, with the same level of detail. 

 

 

 

I didn't say it was nothingness.  I agree it is expressions of the dharmakaya - but we don't see it as that, we see it as separate objects in space.  So we see it as what it is not. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Apech said:

Thank you a thousand times. Steve for this.

 

Wow!

Sweet!

🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

 

So we would do some preparatory breathing and tsa lung. Then say a poem and practice. Or all 3 poems and don’t interrupt the sitting. One at a time, 3 in a row, any order or permutation. Most people connect to the body easiest. 

 

When you can connect with confidence and facility, rest in daily activity. Apply whichever of the doors is needed for the circumstances. Be playful and inventive.

 

Do it in lucid dream or sleep, that’s a party!!!

 

I pray I will be doing it as I die. I’ve been connecting to the Bön bardo prayers lately...

 

 

I can send the phonetic Tibetan if you like. No special permission needed.

 

Edited by steve
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Oh the Bardos. I've been getting a lot of Bardo teachings over the past year, before COVID. It is funny because initially they seem like a death teaching, but the bardo experience is everywhere. 

 

One of my favorite practices these days is yogic napping, sometimes in the West called liminal dreaming. You lay down to take a nap, and let your mind drift in and out of the hypnogogia. You can literally watch the body dissolve and reform, and the waking and non-waking states arise and pass. It is how I like to do bardo prayers. With a little experience in liminal and regular dream yoga, it is amazing how the bardo teachings really come to life. 

 

12 hours ago, steve said:

I pray I will be doing it as I die. I’ve been connecting to the Bön bardo prayers lately...

 

Yes, I agree. Sometimes these posts just spill out in contact with, and not necessarily in response to, other's posts. 

 

14 hours ago, Apech said:

 

I didn't say it was nothingness.  I agree it is expressions of the dharmakaya - but we don't see it as that, we see it as separate objects in space.  So we see it as what it is not. 

 

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