Slandering All Three Refuges

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Great Sage EofH
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Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Great Sage EofH » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:25 pm

Just for clarifications’ sake: how do you parse the difference between the “Dangerous and Grievous Error of eternalism” and what in the spoken words of Lord Buddha he called the Deathless? This is posted in the Ask a Teacher Forum on Zen Space because I’m seeking what Zen/Chan/etc. teachers know about it, but I’m sure everyone will want to chime in. The topic header is tongue-in-cheek since it’s become fashionable to turn every fine and grand distinction into quarrel - LOL

__( )__
--- Eric H., also know as Sun Wu Kong, "an authentic genuine human being"
Birth is thus
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Verse or no verse
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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by fuki » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:38 pm

When you realize the unborn, how would any concept of extinction or eternity apply?

sorry perhaps not what you're asking, I dropped out of school at age 10 so I don't know what "parsing the difference" means.
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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:38 pm

It'a a contentious question and indeed cause of many quarrels. But for what it's worth, my answer is as follows.

The wrong view of 'eternalism' was something quite specific to the time and place that the Buddha taught. It was associated with the idea that, as there are ascetics who are able to recall their previous lives, then, by pursuing the right spiritual practices and correct understanding, the ascetic can continue to be reborn again and again, in perpetuity - forever, in fact. Hence, 'eternalism'. Such an ascetic is not really seeking 'liberation from samsara', but ongoing rebirth in favourable circumstances. (But it's complicated, because in later Buddhism, there are traditions within which incarnations of individuals are identified from one generation to the next. So how this is not also a form of 'eternalism' is something that I wouldn't dare to comment on.)

This is the kind of interpretation that Theravada scholar Bhikkhu Bodhi suggests in his commentary on the (Pali) Brahmajala Sutta . I have put it in extremely brief terms above, but in his commentary he develops the argument on the basis of the historical texts and in detail. (As you probably know, the Pali Brahmajala Sutta describes all of the possible wrong views in detail, half of which are forms of eternalism, and the other half forms of nihilism. There is also a Mahayana text called the Brahmajala Sutra, but it's a completely different text.)

I think one of the reasons this question is the cause of so many quarrels, might be related to the difficulty of differentiating the Buddhist idea of the 'mind-stream' (citta santana) from that of the 'eternally-existing self'. The customary explanation is that the mind-stream is not something that exists eternal and unchangeable while all else changes, but is a dynamic process. But it's a difficult idea to fathom, and also culturally alien to the West, so is often controversial. It's one of those questions which might be good to contemplate whilst also keeping in mind the fact that it is dealing with questions that are deep, profound and difficult to fathom. In terms of practical application of the teachings, the following of the principles can be understood to have beneficial consequences, whatever the facts turn out to be in the long run.

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:20 pm

If this is open to all, let me add: In Buddhism, especially Mahayana Buddhism, I believe that Eternalism usually refers to the belief that something really exists (to really exist something must be unchanging, eternal). The worse error is Nihilism, the belief that nothing exists. Nihilism is often accused of leading to other errors, including moral nihilism (the belief that there is no morality).

ADDITION: So then the Buddhists would then say that it is incorrect to say that something definitely exists or definitely does not exist or any position in between. Nibbana or Nirvana cannot cease to exist because it never did. It is Deathless. Nor can it be born for the same reason. It is the Unborn. Same as you and me as we read this thread. As the Heart Sutra summarizes, “There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no end to suffering, no path to follow.
There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.”
END ADDITION

In reference to reincarnation, Westerners often think that reincarnation is kind of cool, seeing it as eternal life and eternally bring born or as a climb up the ladder to a final point, perfection or Heaven (I am looking at you, Joseph Smith!). However, almost all Indian religions see it as an eternal painful cycle of dying and suffering, The fundamental purpose of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism is often described as liberation from the wheel of birth/death. It would be very unusual to actively try to be born again and again, although in the wild world of Indian religions anything is possible.

BTW, it is a controversial academic question as to how widespread the belief in reincarnation or the Vedic traditions were in the Buddha’s religiously pluralistic region. This makes the Buddha’s apparent teachings on reincarnation a personal conviction, and not something uncritically absorbed from childhood as it seems to be later on. After Buddha dies, the idea of reincarnation as described in the Vedic religions and Buddhism gradually takes over and the assumption is made by early scholars, rediscovering Buddhism, that the then dominating belief in reincarnation must have always existed in “unchanging Asia,” an example of Eternalism!
Last edited by Caodemarte on Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:17 am, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by bokki » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:14 am

Gentleman and Ladies.
!!!

ETERNAL???

u do not know?


or, may i ask, are u temporal, momentary, are u 4 some time, no time, dont want 2 b reborn...cant recall all chit..

so, being a zennie..

u dont know what
ETERNAL
means?

lolol,
how about ..lets see what our teachers say.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????
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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:42 am

I didn't notice till after I posted that this was in the section called 'ask a teacher', hope I didn't breach any etiquette by responding. :oops:
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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Dan74 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:06 am

The way this "Teacher's Space" forum has been run so far has not been strict, ie everybody has the same privileges to post. This can change, however, if the stricter way it was run at ZFI is something we want to reproduce here.

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Great Sage EofH » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:27 am

I have a very flexible concept of “teacher” based on the hundreds of meetings sitting in circles taking turns talking. Instinctively reacting to cross talk, spamming, meta conversation, not listening; teachers are those that speak forth, mostly they are heard. Some even listen to them. This is the process by which they emerge. Then some go on to further learning and experience.
--- Eric H., also know as Sun Wu Kong, "an authentic genuine human being"
Birth is thus
Death is thus
Verse or no verse
What’s the fuss?

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by jundocohen » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:59 am

how do you parse the difference between the “Dangerous and Grievous Error of eternalism” and what in the spoken words of Lord Buddha he called the Deathless?
I don't "parse," and thus immediately embody such which is neither time nor timeless, both yet neither and whatever more. Thus, no birth and death in a world of birth and death. Thus, no time yet the clocks keep ticking.

By the way, Stephen Hawking is reported as saying something about timeless time this week:

"
The latest season of Star Talk ended with a big bang, with host Neil deGrasse Tyson quizzing physics heavyweight Stephen Hawking on a little matter called the origins of the universe. While even top physicists are completely stumped as to what happened before the Big Bang, the cataclysmic event that set our universe in motion 13.8 billion years ago, there are multiple proposals floating around and Hawking has one of his own.

So, what came before the Big Bang according to Hawking?

Hawking proposes something called the "No Boundary" condition, which he worked on with his collaborator Jim Hartle, a professor of physics at the University of California in Santa Barbara. The proposal is based on Einstein's theory of relativity, which supposes that space and time form a curved space-time continuum, and a Euclidean approach to quantum gravity, which rejects the existence of a singularity.

The proposal involves replacing real time with a concept called imaginary time. Imaginary time is not imaginary in the sense that it is made up, but in the sense that it is expressed in imaginary numbers. To calculate imaginary time, real time undergoes a Wick rotation, meaning that its coordinates are multiplied by the imaginary root. Imaginary time operates like the fourth dimension of space.

Sounds complicated? Hawking uses the shape of the Earth as a metaphor.

“In the Euclidean approach, the history of the universe in imaginary time is a four-dimensional curved surface like the surface of the Earth, but with two more dimensions,” Hawking explained.

“In order terms, the Euclidean space-time is a closed surface without end, like the surface of the Earth.”

Meaning, essentially, there are no boundaries or sharp points of singularity from which space-time and all the matter of the universe erupted. There is no Big Bang as such. Rather, time slows down as it reaches the South Pole or singularity, getting slower and slower so that there isn't a clear beginning. Or, as the Tech Times puts it, "Time was distorted along another dimension, it was always reaching closer to nothing but didn't become nothing."

“One can regard imaginary and real time as beginning at the South Pole, which is a smooth point of space-time where the normal laws of physics hold," said Hawking. "There is nothing south of the South Pole, so there was nothing around before the Big Bang.”

That’s it. In a nutshell, it is impossible to measure events before the Big Bang because time in the way we recognize it simply didn’t exist.

As of right now, this is just pure speculation and one of several hypotheses attempting to explain what triggered the universe into being, including the multiverse model, the collision model, and the bouncing universe model.

http://www.iflscience.com/space/stephen ... -big-bang/


Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:34 am

fuki wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:38 pm
When you realize the unborn, how would any concept of extinction or eternity apply?

sorry perhaps not what you're asking, I dropped out of school at age 10 so I don't know what "parsing the difference" means.
But you did it anyway
--- Eric H., also know as Sun Wu Kong, "an authentic genuine human being"
Birth is thus
Death is thus
Verse or no verse
What’s the fuss?

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:55 am

Might it be possible to state correctly: that which arises, ceases. That which does not arise, neither does it cease. Arising and ceasing, not arising and not ceasing, are mutually the defined, essential nature of all things. Therefore, what is not knowable may be known, and what is known may become unknowable.? Bokki ??
--- Eric H., also know as Sun Wu Kong, "an authentic genuine human being"
Birth is thus
Death is thus
Verse or no verse
What’s the fuss?

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bokki
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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by bokki » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:33 am

Sun, Sir,
Might it be possible to state correctly: that which arises, ceases. That which does not arise, neither does it cease. Arising and ceasing, not arising and not ceasing, are mutually the defined, essential nature of all things. Therefore, what is not knowable may be known, and what is known may become unknowable.? Bokki ??
after reading this a few times, i really would not object much to the above.
no.
but im not the person to ask bout such, there are teachers that could address that.
good question!

tho, lol, i do remember some1 writing
"i dont have anything clever to write"..twice.

i really enjoy your posts, Sun.
b
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10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by guo gu » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:58 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:25 pm
Just for clarifications’ sake: how do you parse the difference between the “Dangerous and Grievous Error of eternalism” and what in the spoken words of Lord Buddha he called the Deathless? This is posted in the Ask a Teacher Forum on Zen Space because I’m seeking what Zen/Chan/etc. teachers know about it, but I’m sure everyone will want to chime in. The topic header is tongue-in-cheek since it’s become fashionable to turn every fine and grand distinction into quarrel - LOL

__( )__
:115:

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by fuki » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:25 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:55 am
Might it be possible to state correctly: that which arises, ceases. That which does not arise, neither does it cease. Arising and ceasing, not arising and not ceasing, are mutually the defined, essential nature of all things. Therefore, what is not knowable may be known, and what is known may become unknowable.? Bokki ??
Yes but what arises is empty of an independent existence hence it has no such basis or attribute as arising/remaining/ceasing. hence arising and non-arising are identical, just as emptiness and form.
But you did it anyway
?
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:14 pm

guo gu wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:58 am


:115:
Where is Mahākāśyapa?

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:28 pm

fuki wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:25 am
SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:55 am
Might it be possible to state correctly: that which arises, ceases. That which does not arise, neither does it cease. Arising and ceasing, not arising and not ceasing, are mutually the defined, essential nature of all things. Therefore, what is not knowable may be known, and what is known may become unknowable.? Bokki ??
Yes but what arises is empty of an independent existence hence it has no such basis or attribute as arising/remaining/ceasing. hence arising and non-arising are identical, just as emptiness and form.
But you did it anyway
?
Meaning you correctly parsed the similar wording, even/although saying you’re unsure what parse means
--- Eric H., also know as Sun Wu Kong, "an authentic genuine human being"
Birth is thus
Death is thus
Verse or no verse
What’s the fuss?

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:33 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:14 pm
guo gu wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:58 am


:115:
Where is Mahākāśyapa?
In the firery lotus
--- Eric H., also know as Sun Wu Kong, "an authentic genuine human being"
Birth is thus
Death is thus
Verse or no verse
What’s the fuss?

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fuki
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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by fuki » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:35 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Meaning you correctly parsed the similar wording, even/although saying you’re unsure what parse means
Ah! claro que si, gracias señor Eric. :)
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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:18 am

I'd say "the Deathless" is something very like "the Unborn", and more like the Unborn than anything else.

Now, "Eternalism" is something else again (it's a shame to say more, but here I go... ). In the first place, no one can know if anything is Eternal because they haven't been watching it for an eternity, yet. So, a premature claim about it would be unjustified, even if "after an eternity" it turned out not to be false.

(A couple of red cents, just minted, and worth every penny). :|

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Re: Slandering All Three Refuges

Post by Crystal » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:06 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:18 am
I'd say "the Deathless" is something very like "the Unborn", and more like the Unborn than anything else.
I saw a Bankei quote somewhere and apparently he said: "Abide as the Unborn. Don't get born"

On page 45 of his book "Small Boat, Great Mountain" Ajahn Amaro says:

When grasping ceases, the ultimate truth appears. It’s that simple.

Ananda and another monk had been debating about the nature of the deathless state and they decided to consult the
Buddha. They wanted to know: “What is the nature of deathlessness?” They prepared themselves for a long, expansive explanation. But the Buddha’s response was brief and succinct. He replied, “The cessation of grasping is deathlessness.” That’s it.

On this point, the Dzogchen and Theravadan teachings are identical. When grasping stops, there is rigpa, there is deathlessness, the ending of suffering, dukkha-nirodha.

https://www.abhayagiri.org/books/423-sm ... t-mountain
(The book is about Theravada Thai Forest Tradition teachings and Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen teachings shared at a retreat led by Theravada Abbot Ajahn Amaro and Tibetan Dzogchen teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche.)

Note....Meanings for the Tibetan word "rigpa" mentioned by Ajahn Amaro = authentic recognition of mind essence/ non-dual awarensss.


_/|\_

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