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(Suda Sutta/The Cook): On becoming a meditation maestro or a meditation master chef

September 1, 2015 - 11:38pm

From http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn47/sn47.008.than.html

Now suppose that there is a wise, experienced, skillful cook who has presented a king or a king's minister with various kinds of curry: mainly sour, mainly bitter, mainly peppery, mainly sweet, alkaline or non-alkaline, salty or non-salty.

He takes note of his master, thinking,

'Today my master likes this curry, or he reaches out for that curry, or he takes a lot of this curry or he praises that curry.

Today my master likes mainly sour curry...

Today my master likes mainly bitter curry... mainly peppery curry... mainly sweet curry... alkaline curry... non-alkaline curry... salty curry...

Today my master likes non-salty curry, or he reaches out for non-salty curry, or he takes a lot of non-salty curry, or he praises non-salty curry.'

As a result, he is rewarded with clothing, wages, & gifts.

Why is that?

Because the wise, experienced, skillful cook picks up on the theme of his own master.

In the same way, there are cases where a wise, experienced, skillful monk remains focused on the body in & of itself... feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

As he remains thus focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, his mind becomes concentrated, his defilements are abandoned. He takes note of that fact.

As a result, he is rewarded with a pleasant abiding here & now, together with mindfulness & alertness.

Why is that?

Because the wise, experienced, skillful monk picks up on the theme of his own mind.

Note: This sutta reminds me of my mother when she serves me food. After she has served me food, she keeps her gaze intently fixed on (reactions in) my face to decide on the next "course" of action.

submitted by C-xC-s
[link] [9 comments]

Questions on Emptiness

September 1, 2015 - 10:14pm
  • How is the existence of things arising from the mind when the mind needs a valid base in order to label things? Isn't that valid base not originating from the mind? If it is originating from the mind, how is this to be discerned?

I understand that the labels, ideas, and other stuff piled on top of a valid base have their source as the mind. How does the valid base originate from the mind then?

  • On what level does labeling occur? Is it on the level of discursive thoughts, habituated reactions, emotions, or is it somewhere else?
submitted by obliviron
[link] [14 comments]

I'll be saying Goodbye.

September 1, 2015 - 9:34pm

I'm going to commit suicide. I mean this humbly and truly.

I live with my grandma right now, and she's very concerned about me. "When are you going to go to college?" "You can't keep eating and sleeping, and sitting." I love my grandmother. I love her a lot. She's very Catholic but accepts my Buddhist ways. But she always tells me; "You have to be your best, and show everyone else." etc.. Those sort of comments that come from a one-up-man-ship sort of view. And I keep telling her that I don't have an aspiration for that. It's come to the point to where my grandfather and grandmother are yelling at me, calling me an non-aspiring piece of shit.

I just told my grandmother I was going to commit suicide soon. She flipped out, told me that me saying that is a "spoof" to keep on living for free without working. I tried explaining to her my thoughts, that I don't believe in this sort of industrial life-style. It hurts me. I struggle. I don't want stress. She said if I commit suicide, she would never forgive me.

This is where I'm conflicted. I told her that I believe I am as much you as you are me. In other words, we are not separate, but the same person. And I believe that I am the world, and therefore the universe, what more could I ever want? But she just kept telling me in the middle "get a job, go to college, you have so much to show the world," etc etc.. I can't find the words to explain to her what I'm thinking.. And I don't want to 'leave' on bad terms. I just can't find the words.. She's very loving and understanding, but not on this.

I'm committing suicide because I can't go on living between my mother's house, and grandparents'. I get yelled at constantly, even when I'm meditating. I can't find peace. I'm finding a lot of sadness. And it's got to the point to where I really should just up and 'leave'.

Moving to Asia seems unrealistic, if I wanted to move to a Monastery.

Any help in finding the right words, or guidance is most appreciated.

submitted by ohegabe
[link] [6 comments]

Buddhism & Gun Rights

September 1, 2015 - 8:18pm

Since we had a discussion on Buddhism and Capitalism earlier, how about a discussion on Buddhists owning guns. I'm personally in favor of everyone owning guns. I would like to see some opinions.

submitted by -kenji
[link] [41 comments]

Emptiness

September 1, 2015 - 7:30pm

Firstly off, thank you for all the wonderful insight the community here has given me in my past posts. Everyone is appreciated, much metta.

I was talking with a friend about the Buddhist concept of emptiness and how I saw it, and he couldn't seem to accept any of it for one reason.

He claimed that lack of inherent existence and impermanence doesn't mean that there isn't identity or that things are empty. His rational was that , sure, things are impermanent and changing and coming from many different sources, but that a self or entity still exists behind a person or object.

He said that a house is a perfect example. Even though it is dependently originated and birthless it still is a house in the same way that a car is still a car and has a purpose, like to go places or to house families.

In short, he claimed that entities, selves, and egos exist behind objects, places, and people, but that they are temporary..and even though they are temporary, the ego and self nature still exist. His reasoning is that a river contains self, ego, self nature, and purpose...but then all that changes when it's frozen into ice. He said that simply what is changing is the self and self nature and purpose, being that it is in a different state.

Naturally as a Buddhist, I disagreed with him, but at the moment I couldn't think of any direct way or teaching to point out the flaws in his reasoning. Thoughts? Thank you~.

submitted by InfiniteWaters108
[link] [7 comments]

Were pre-Buddhist people ever able to achieve Nirvana?

September 1, 2015 - 7:30pm

I had a very cordial conversation with a friend. I told him that people prior to Buddhism and people who are not familiar with Buddhism could achieve Enlightenment and Nirvana. For example, I honestly believe that Gandhi and even Muhammad Ali, the world-class boxer, were both selfless freedom fighters. Yet, they weren't Buddhists.

submitted by iamtheeggman91
[link] [16 comments]

Forgot I existed during meditation

September 1, 2015 - 6:17pm

I had an unusual experience during meditation. I was doing a breathe and body awareness meditation. As is typical, my mind would drift and then I would bring it back to my breathe or body sensations. Then at a certain point, I realized I was not focused on my breathe/body. However, I also wasn't drifting in thought or desire. Instead, I was blank. It was like I had stopped existing. It was like being in a deep dreamless sleep, but I was awake. Realizing I wasn't paying attention to my body/breathe, I resumed my attention on them. I entered this state of unawareness of existence three times.

What was this blankness? Could this blankness be one of the five hindrances?

submitted by sooneday
[link] [16 comments]

Anyone heard of Pyung Hwa Sa?

September 1, 2015 - 6:08pm

Does anyone ever attended their service before? If so did you like It? Do they charge for mediation classes? This is there full name Korean Buddhist Chontae Order Pyung Hwa Sa Thanks

submitted by Swedenborgian88
[link] [comment]

Why are there no forms of Buddhism that unite all of Buddhism?

September 1, 2015 - 5:46pm

I'm curious as to why there hasn't been a tradition that utilizes all of the forms of Buddhism instead of locking itself down into one form of Buddhism such as Theravada or Tibetan Buddhism.

If the Buddha were alive today he would probably call for all forms of Buddhism and all Buddhists to unite. Heck, he might even say that the religion "Buddhism" should be disbanded as a whole since it locks itself down into a label where one should categorize oneself based on the beliefs of a set tradition such as Theravada or Zen.

The fact that we have some forms of Buddhism that claim that reincarnation is real, another claims that enlightenment is possible in this life time, another that claims it does not, another that claims past lives are not true, and so on and so on makes Buddhism look somewhat like a joke.

It''s also important to remember that even the Buddha himself was not a Buddhist. Maybe the different Buddhist sects should stop locking themselves in as a set religion and be more open minded towards all of the different meditation techniques beyond the scope of Buddhism. Not to mention the different practices that could be beneficial to some people that lay outside of the realm of Buddhism.

submitted by Zen_Dharma
[link] [62 comments]

Not really happy studying physics: should I change my career or my mind?

September 1, 2015 - 4:56pm

Hello everyone, I'm a physics student and I'm not the typical nerd student who pass every exam with a 10, quite the opposite, I've decided that I'm going to finish my career because all the efforts and money that I put here and because I'll need just 2 years (one as Erasmus in Poland) but I'd like to know your opinion about it:

If I would need 3 years more, even when I'm been studying physics for other 3 years, what would you suggest me: to change my career because this is not a good way to be happy (even knowing that a physicist usually gets good jobs) or changing my mind about how I see physics and keep fighting?

Sorry if I didn't explain myself correctly.

submitted by AlbertoAru
[link] [19 comments]

"Dark" Buddhism?

September 1, 2015 - 3:11pm

Is there any concept within Buddhism that describes someone who understands Buddhist truths, but knowingly defies Buddhist principles? Someone who understands karma, but deliberately behaves selfishly? Someone who suffers from his evil acts, but for whom the suffering only encourages even greater evil? Someone who understands the ego to be an illusion, but obeys the ego in spite of this? Someone who literally seeks and does not fear a negative outcome for himself or the world? What I'm referring to is a person who is enlightened, but who has reached the opposite conclusion as to how to respond to his knowledge that a Buddhist has, and has formed goals and values diametrically opposed to those of conventional Buddhists.

Is this a thing?

submitted by GenericBrandDoom
[link] [36 comments]

Buddhism, life and goals

September 1, 2015 - 2:04pm

I've been reading about Buddhism and starting to practice meditation for a while. While I took my time, I got to the inevitable point where I have to start making some decisions.

I'm engaged to a sweet, sweet girl. She's christian and says she doesn't care, but I sense some discomfort on her part when Buddhism is mentioned. She turned christian at the same time we started to be together and she tried to drag me along to church with her, but I was never really interested.

I have a bit of fear that this might undermine our relationship futurally - not by me. Christians where I live tend to shun other religions, she might get influenced by that. I'm also reluctant about "coming out of the closet" as a self-proclaim Buddhist. I know labels are dumb but people don't see it that way. I'll have to hold a lot of ground once I do this, and especially before her.

Besides, there is the point of accepting some lifestyle changes. Right Speech for example. I've never been into hateful or divisive speech but I swear often, offend my friends (we offend each other mockingly, so it's not really offensive) and I do sarcasm A LOT.

There's also the point of Right Action. I drink occasionally, and not much (anymore). I know it makes one heedless and I should at some point drop it, but my close circle of friends meets to drink. Some of them are really dependant on these drinking moments to cultivate some kind of joy in their lives. One of them especially so, since he has struggled with depression, and he will feel almost offended if I refuse to drink a bit with him.

And last but not least, I fear going "too deep" and suffer from depersonalization. I hope you know what I'm talking about; it's when realizing no-self makes your life worse instead of better. I also fear losing interest in marriage and hurt my future wife.

Just some life-long questions that I hope some of you have made yourselves at some point. You gave me some wonderful advice in the past, I know you'll give me your most well thought answers.

Thank you.

-EDIT: I'm not a native English speaker, so if something above doesn't make sense, just let me know.

submitted by prinzrhaegar
[link] [3 comments]

Buddhist Catholics?

September 1, 2015 - 1:34pm

I'm Catholic, and just moved to the West Coast from the East Coast for a job, which I don't start for about 2 months. I just got finished with a 1 month long trip where among other things, I visited some Catholic monasteries and convents and am a bit confused about some things I saw that I've never seen in a monastery on the East coast.

Three of the monasteries I went to had incorporated quite a lot of things associated with Buddhism and Hinduism into their spiritual practices. One Trappist monastery had a whole room that was a Buddhist-style meditation room. They all had books, lectures (by the monks or nuns) on things like yoga, and Buddhist/Hindu prayer beads and even statues of the Buddha.

The main problem I see with this is that it is cultural appropriation. None of these monks or nuns can possibly believe in the metaphysical underpinnings of any of these Eastern practices. They cannot, as Catholics believe in Nirvana, reincarnation, etc. So when they pray the Catholic rosary, for instance, on mala beads rather than on a rosary, then they are treating those mala beads as if they have no deeper meaning in Buddhism and can be appropriated for Catholic use.

My definition of cultural appropriation is one group using symbols and practices of another group outside the purposes for which those symbols and practices were developed. I don't like seeing people wearing rosaries around their necks, as if the rosary were just some empty prop or fashion statement. I don't like seeing pop stars like Keisha dancing around drunk on stage with a Native American headdress on, as if it had no deeper meaning to Native Americans. And I don't like seeing Catholics rip off the mala beads, statues, meditative methods, etc from Eastern religions ass if those things were just empty vessels to be used for whatever one wants to use them for.

And here's another thing-I've been to Buddhist monasteries both here and abroad. I don't recall ever seeing Catholic statues or rosaries anywhere on the grounds of those monasteries. I never once saw a room in a Buddhist monastery filled with Catholic kneelers where Buddhists could pray in the way Catholics traditionally pray. So while Catholics have adopted all kinds of Buddhist practices, it doesn't seem that Buddhists have adopted any Catholic practices. So it doesn't seem that what I saw in these monasteries I visited was the product of some "cultural exchange" but was Catholics unilaterally taking it upon themselves to use things that don't belong to them outside their original intentions

And the other thing that bothers me is that these monasteries have not only supplemented their own traditional spiritual practices with these things, they have in fact replaced many of their spiritual practices with these things. For example, Catholics have a devotion called Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction. It starts with and ends with Latin hymns that are about 1,000 years old, and includes incensations and blessings of the Blessed sacrament in a monstrance by the priest who wears vestments particular to this devotion. But one of the monasteries had Adoration (which they euphemistically called 'meditation') where everyone sat around the altar on Buddhist prayer cushions and benches on the floor and the 'meditation' began and concluded with the sound from striking a Tibetan singing bowl. So they replaced our hymns and vestments and incense for this service with Buddhist practices that don't even have anything to do with this devotion.

I think one can be a perfectly good Catholic and practice yoga and meditation. So my concern is not that "pagan" practices are creeping into Catholicism. My concern is that taking these cultural and spiritual symbols out of the context in which they developed not only waters down their meaning and significance regarding the spiritual tradition from which they come, but also our own spiritual traditions.

Am I being too uptight about this? What do Buddhists think about this?

submitted by mverobeach1
[link] [24 comments]

What is rebirth like for a bug?

September 1, 2015 - 1:25pm

A question that pops in my mind sometimes when I see bugs is - what's it like for them? If all sentient beings have Buddha Nature in them, even a spider can become enlightened after X number of life times. If a spider dies, does it yearn to come back into the form it once had? The form in which it feels most comfortable? To desire eating other bugs?

I sometimes wonder if instincts come from memories of a bugs former life, which can perhaps explain how a spider knows how to weave his web. They must have some volition just like us to build the web, and they do it without being taught. It's completely natural. Maybe no-thought is the key?

submitted by Sculptorman
[link] [8 comments]

Some Thoughts/Questions on the ReBirth Issue

September 1, 2015 - 12:57pm

a recent post I'd like some feedback on: (from this recent thread) https://www.reddit.com/r/Buddhism/comments/3j3t3a/distorted_visions_of_buddhism_b_allan_wallace_on/

As a "Westerner", one who has grown up with Christianity and science (and the secularism that was inherited by the United States from the European Age of Enlightenment/Reason), I have to say I share in the uneasiness Batchelor (and his ilk) seem to experience around this issue.

At the same time I love the Dhamma, feel a sense of dedication and veneration for it, and consider myself a Buddhist. So this creates a cognitive dissonance.

I think it can be helpful/skillful to hold a rebirth view. It makes the scale/importance of the task much larger than our current life. Also perhaps certain visions that seem like memories may arise in periods of solitary retreat, and it may be useful to have a conceptual framework for them (same with devas, maara, and other non-human beings... voices and visions). At the same time, I see potential pitfalls: that the beings in future births aren't "me", or that events are all caused by previous kamma (hard-determinism), or that we can take the long road on the way to realization (pamada - heedlessness)."

You could say that morality is dependent on rebirth (and not just kamma), but this strikes me as kind of irresponsible akin to the attitudes some theists can have: "if God didn't exist, I would..." "if rebirth didn't exist, I would..."

Is it really necessary to accept rebirth unquestioningly to be considered truly Buddhist? What is gained by acceptance, what is lost by non-acceptance? So that could be the quetsion of how the view informs the practice. Then there is also the question of practice, how can you practice rebirth like how we investigate other phenomena? If you don't believe in rebirth and accept the 4 Noble Truths/Realities the problem is dukkha, if you believe in rebirth the problem is still dukkha (over countless lifetimes). The cause is tanhaa (thirst/craving/desire) - which apparently comes in 3 varieties: kama (sensuality/pleasure), bhava (existence/being/becoming), and vibhava (non-existence/annihilation). This tanhaa is the cause for birth and further birth, and thus for death (and aging, and dukkha). Or you could say the problem is the 3 poisons - ignorance/delusion (regarding the 4 Noble Realities, and the nature of the 5 khandas), and greed/craving/passion/lust, and aversion/hatred/ill-will. I think these problems exist and can be seen whether you believe in rebirth or not, and we can practice towards their cessation/uprooting (which is to say towards peace/liberation/freedom in this very life). If not the ultimate goal, then at least progress, at least some lessening of dukkha, some increase in happiness/equanimity/peace.

As a side note - "But if one is determined to progress from a state of agnosticism – not knowing what happens at death – to direct knowledge of the deeper dimensions of consciousness, then Buddhism provides multiple avenues of experiential discovery." I'm not sure what Wallace is talking about here, maybe reference to some tantric practice?

submitted by buddhistmindmap
[link] [19 comments]

The Basis, Path and Fruit in relation to Original Enlightenment

September 1, 2015 - 12:41pm

https://www.reddit.com/r/nirvanaschool/

Initial outline

  • Basis The Basis is the unmanifested Original Enlightenment which is the Dharmakaya/Buddha Nature which is latent,already present, but is obscured by adventious defilements. i.e original Bodhi that resides in sentient beings that has not yet been manifested through the proper cordinating causes and conditions(Practice).

  • Path The Path is composed of numerous practices that are taught in order to remove the impurities that obscure your already present Dharmakaya

  • Fruit is the Dharmakaya/Buddha Nature that has had the defilements that obscured it removed thus allowing the already present Dharmakaya to manifest itself.

Example from Dolpopa:

Dolpopa cites an example found in many sutras and treatises that aptly makes the point that the basis and fruit are the same and yet spiritual development is required (50, 185). An unknown treasure (basis) exists under the home of a poor person that must be uncovered (path) through removing obstructive dirt (defilements), yielding the treasure (fruit) that always was there. Just as the treasure already exists and thus requires no further fashioning, so the matrix of the thus come one endowed with ultimate buddha qualities, already dwells within each sentient being and needs only to be freed from defilements.

Quotes from the Awakening of Faith in Mahayana text

  • BASIS: a. The Aspect of Enlightenment (1) Original Enlightenment The essence of Mind is free from thoughts. The characteristic of that which is free from thoughts is analogous to that of the sphere of empty space that pervades everywhere. The one without any second, i.e. the absolute aspect of the World of Reality (dharmadhatu) is none other than the undifferentiated Dharmakaya, the "Essence-body" of the Tathagata. Since the essence of Mind is grounded on the Dharmakaya, it is to be called the original enlightenment. Why? Because "original enlightenment" indicates the essence of Mind (a priori) in contradistinction to the essence of Mind in the process of actualization of enlightenment; the process of actualization of enlightenment is none other than the process of integrating the identity with the original enlightenment.

The state of enlightenment is not something that is to be acquired by practice or to be created. In the end, it is unobtainable [for it is given from the beginning]." Also it has no corporeal aspect that can be perceived as such. Any corporeal aspects [such as the marks of the Buddha] that are visible are magic-like products of Suchness manifested in accordance with the mentality of men in defilement.

(1) Permeation through Manifestation of the Essence of Suchness The essence of Suchness is, from the beginningless beginning, endowed with the "perfect state of purity". It is provided with suprarational functions and the nature of manifesting itself (literally, the nature of making the world of object). Because of these two reasons it permeates perpetually into ignorance. Through the force of this permeation it induces a man to loathe the suffering of samsara, to seek bliss in nirvana, and, believing that he has the principle of Suchness within himself, to make up his mind to exert himself.

B. The Greatness of the Attributes of Suchness From the beginning, Suchness in its nature is fully provided with all excellent qualities; namely, it is endowed with the light of great wisdom, the qualities of illuminating the entire universe, of true cognition and mind pure in its self-nature; of eternity, bliss, Self, and purity; of refreshing coolness, immutability, and freedom. It is endowed with these excellent qualities which outnumber the sands of the Ganges, which are not independent of, disjointed from, or different from the essence of Suchness, and which are suprarational attributes of Buddhahood. Since it is endowed completely with all these, and is not lacking anything, it is called the Tathagata-garbha when latent and also the Dharmakaya of the Tathagata.

it should be understood that the Tathagata-garbha, from the beginning, contains only pure excellent qualities which, outnumbering the sands of the Ganges, are not independent of, severed from, or different from Suchness; that the soiled states of defilement which, outnumbering the sands of the Ganges, are not independent of, severed from, or different from Suchness; that the soiled states of defilement which, outnumbering the sands of the Ganges, merely exist in illusion; are, from the beginning, nonexistent; and from the beginningless beginning have never been united with the Tathagata-garbha. It has never happened that the Tathagata-garbha contained deluded states in its essence and that it induced itself to realize Suchness in order to extinguish forever its deluded states.

Question: It was explained before that the essence of Suchness is undifferentiated and devoid of all characteristics. Why is it, then, that you have described its essence as having these various excellent qualities? Answer: Though it has, in reality, all these excellent qualities, it does not have any characteristics of differentiation; it retains its identity and is of one flavor; Suchness is solely one.

Those Bodhisattvas who, having advanced from the first stage of correct faith by setting the mind upon enlightenment through practicing contemplation, have come to realize the Dharmakaya, can partially comprehend this. Yet even those who have reached the final stage of Bodhisattvahood cannot fully comprehend this; only the Enlightened Ones have thorough comprehension of it. Why? The Mind, though pure in its self-nature from the beginning, is accompanied by ignorance. Being defiled by ignorance, a defiled state of Mind comes into being. But, though defiled, the Mind itself is eternal and immutable. Only the Enlightened Ones are able to understand what this means. What is called the essential nature of Mind is always beyond thoughts. It is, therefore, defined as "immutable". When the one World of Reality is yet to be realized, the Mind is mutable and is not in perfect unity with Suchness. Suddenly, a deluded thought arises; this state is called ignorance.

  • PATH a. Permeation of Ignorance How does the permeation of ignorance give rise to the defiled state and continue uninterrupted? It may be said that, on the ground of Suchness [i.e., the original enlightenment], ignorance [i.e., nonenlightenment] appears. Ignorance, the primary cause of the defiled state, permeates into Suchness. Because of this permeation a deluded mind results. Because of the deluded mind, deluded thoughts further permeate into ignorance. While the principle of Suchness is yet to be realized, the deluded mind, developing thoughts fashioned in the state of nonenlightenment, predicates erroneously conceived objects of the senses and the mind. These erroneously conceived objects of the senses and the mind, the coordinating causes in bringing about the defiled state, permeate into the deluded mind and cause the deluded mind to attach itself to its thoughts, to create various evil karma, and to undergo all kinds of physical and mental suffering. The permeation of the erroneously conceived objects of the senses and the mind is of two kinds. One is the basic permeation by the "activating mind", which causes Arhats, Pratyeka-buddhas, and all Bodhisattvas to undergo the suffering of samsara, and the other is the permeation which accelerates the activities of the "object-discriminating consciousness" and which makes ordinary men suffer from the bondage of their karma. The permeations of ignorance are of two kinds. One is the basic permeation, since it can put into operation the "activating mind", and the other is the permeation that develops perverse views and attachments, since it can put into operation the "object-discriminating consciousness".

b. Permeation of Suchness How does the permeation of Suchness give rise to the pure state and continue uninterrupted? It may be said that there is the principle of Suchness, and it can permeate into ignorance. Through the force of this permeation, Suchness causes the deluded mind to loathe the suffering of samsara and to aspire for nirvana. Because this mind, though still deluded, is now possessed with loathing and aspiration, it permeates into Suchness in that it induces Suchness to manifest itself. Thus a man comes to believe in his essential nature, to know that what exists is the erroneous activity of the mind and that the world of objects in front of him is nonexistent, and to practice teachings to free himself from the erroneously conceived world of objects. He knows what is really so — that there is no world of objects in front of him — and therefore with various devices he practices courses by which to conform himself to Suchness. He will not attach himself to anything nor give rise to any deluded thoughts. Through the force of this permeation of Suchness over a long period of time, his ignorance ceases. Because of the cessation of ignorance, there will be no more rising of the deluded activities of mind. Because of the nonrising of the deluded activities of mind, the world of objects as previously conceived ceases to be; because of the cessation of both the primary cause (ignorance) and the coordinating causes (objects), the marks of the defiled mind will all be nullified. This is called "gaining nirvana and accomplishing spontaneous acts". The permeation of Suchness into the deluded mind is of two kinds. The first is the permeation into the "object-discriminating consciousness". Because of this permeation, ordinary men and the Hinayanists come to loathe the suffering of samsara, and thereupon each, according to his capacity, gradually advances toward the highest enlightenment. The second is the permeation into mind. Because of this permeation, Bodhisattvas advance to nirvana rapidly and with aspiration and fortitude. Two kinds of permeation of Suchness into ignorance can be identified. The first is the "permeation through manifestation of the essence of Suchness", and the second is "the permeation through external influences".

Question: Earlier it has been explained that the World of Reality is one, and that the essence of the Buddhas has no duality. Why is it that people do not meditate of their own accord on Suchness alone, but must learn to practice good deeds? Answer: Just as a precious gem is bright and pure in its essence but is marred by impurities, so is a man. Even if he meditates on his precious nature, unless he polishes it in various ways by expedient means, he will never be able to purify it. The principle of Suchness in men is absolutely pure in its essential nature, but is filled with immeasurable impurity of defilements. Even if a man meditates on Suchness, unless he makes an effort to be permeated by it in various ways by applying expedient means, he certainly cannot become pure. Since the state of impurity is limitless, pervading throughout all states of being, it is necessary to counteract and purify it by means of the practice of all kinds of good deeds. If a man does so, he will naturally return to the principle of Suchness.

  • FRUIT

(b) The General Coordinating Causes The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas all desire to liberate all men, spontaneously permeating them with their spiritual influences and never forsaking them. Through the power of the wisdom which is one with Suchness, they manifest activities in response to the needs of men as they see and hear them. Because of this indiscriminately permeating cause, men are all equally able, by means of concentration (samadhi), to see the Buddhas. This permeation through the influence of the wisdom whose essence is one with Suchness is also divided into two categories according to the types of recipients. The one is yet to be united with Suchness. Ordinary men, the Hinayanists, and those Bodhisattvas who have just been initiated devote themselves to religious practices on the strength of their faith, being permeated by Suchness through their mind and consciousness. Not having obtained the indiscriminate mind, however, they are yet to be united with the essence of Suchness, and not having obtained the perfection of the discipline of free acts, they are yet to be united with the influence of Suchness. The other is the already united with Suchness: Bodhisattvas who realize Dharmakaya have obtained undiscriminating mind and are united with the essence of the Buddhas; they, having obtained free acts, are united with the influence of the wisdom of the Buddhas. They singly devote themselves with spontaneity to their religious disciplines, on the strength of Suchness within; permeating into Suchness so that Suchness will reclaim itself, they destroy ignorance. Again, the defiled principle (dharma), from the beginningless beginning, continues perpetually to permeate until it perishes by the attainment of Buddhahood. But the permeation of the pure principle has no interruption and no ending. The reason is that the principle of Suchness is always permeating; therefore, when the deluded mind ceases to be, the Dharmakaya [i.e., Suchness, original enlightenment] will be manifest and will give rise to the permeation of the influence of Suchness, and thus there will be no ending to it.

Those Bodhisattvas who have completed the stages of a Bodhisattva and who have fulfilled the expedient means needed to bring forth the original enlightenment to the fullest extent will experience the oneness with Suchness in an instant; they will become aware of how the inceptions of the deluded thoughts of the mind arise (jati), and will be free from the rise of any deluded thought.

(b) Suprarational Functions He who has fully uncovered the original enlightenment is capable of creating all manner of excellent conditions because his wisdom is pure. The manifestation of his numberless excellent qualities is incessant; accommodating himself to the capacity of other men he responds spontaneously, reveals himself in manifold ways, and benefits them.

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