buddha nature

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by te jen, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. te jen Registered Senior Member

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    It occurred to me today that the perfect expression of the buddha nature, the perfect expression of a being at one with the dao, whatever you want to call it - is the baby on the day she is born. From there on it's spirals of increasing complexity. Many of the seekers I meet seem to think that they need to acquire something, some sort of wisdom, when instead they need to divest themselves of the intellectual trappings (good word, that) of the culture. They need to simply return to what they knew on the day they were born.

    Naturally, you can't go through life as a newborn baby, but if you can divest yourself at will, as needed, and remember that the tools and baggage we need to traverse our lives are fictions, then you have enlightenment and the ability to live in the world.
     
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  3. exsto_human Transitional Registered Senior Member

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    The Hindus claim that before 3 months of age a child is at one with the universal conciousness...

    So what is it that we lack that the child does not? Perhaps we should reverse the question, what is it that the child lacks that we have?
    I'd say it's the ego. So, if the baby were to die during birth would it be free of the eternal cycle of suffering? I beleive it's not that simple. Namely the child lacks understanding of the self.
    So to reach enlightenment we have to be like a newborn in one sense, but we must also understand the inherent nature of ourselves and the universe. Now Buddha described it as 'empty of inherent existence', now if you were to look in the Tao Te Ching. I'm pretty sure you might find something in this accord.

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    Asks some profound questions doesn't it?
     
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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    everyone...

    ...is the perfect expression of buddha nature. We never left it, and thus can never return to it.
     
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  7. airavata portentous Registered Senior Member

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    te jen -

    A state of perfect equanimity and 'buddha nature' can be reached not so much by divesting yourself of all intellectual trappings, but by freeing yourself from the persuasive burden of emotions. When emotions no longer exert any strong influence over you then you may be even minded. In such a case, an individual is not perturbed either in victory or defeat, joy or sorrow - all things are alike to him. Excesses of emotions must be curtailed to reach this state.

    I don't think intellectual trappings need to be discarded so much as do emotional attachments.

    As far as i understand, to achieve enlightenment, we must be able to achieve a state where we are indifferent to pleasure or pain. Apart from this the path of dharma must always be followed.

    Obviously following all this and achieving it is bloody tough or i would've done it by now

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  8. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

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    i like this. i would have asked this question to you had you not typed this line.

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  9. river-wind Valued Senior Member

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    I am hitting a confusion point in this.

    If being indifferent to pleasure or pain is close to enlightenment (as was my understanding for many years), then why does Buddha delight in the joy of children? Why does the Dahli Lama suggest that we "Approch life and cooking with reckless abandon"?

    I'm begining to think that reaching the place where joy and pain is not reaching enlightenment, but is reaching a freedom from where enlightenment can be found. where your own death or suffering means nothing if you don't want it to, but the joy of life can be just as amazing, if not even more so. A place where the stress of the everyday is nonexsistant, but the physical and emotional sensations are completely alive (just not controlling).
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2003
  10. airavata portentous Registered Senior Member

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    riverwind -

    I don't think it's as much total non - emotion, as it is curbing excessive emotion. Buddha advocated the middle-path. Curtailing excesses of emotions which may cloud your judgement seems to be the aim here.
     
  11. SpyMoose Secret double agent deer Registered Senior Member

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    A zen master once asked his student to answer the question "Do dogs have the buddah nature?" each day the student proposed an answer, and each day the master replyed by striking him in the head with his walking stick. One day, after hours of fasting and meditation the student sprung to his feet and appeared exhulted as if he had the answer! and promptly burned the temple to the ground.

    I think a lot of folks who make koans and write about enlightenment dont have a fucking clue either. Spiritual leaders included. Thats how I interpret that little koan above. Thats what the student realized.

    *Bows respectfuly as a gong is struck, and backs up out of the room*
     
  12. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    SpyMoose - It doesn't follow that because you don't understand Buddhist thinking Buddhists don't understand it either, although I suppose it's tempting to think so.

    My understanding is that emotions can be just as they are, and revelled in as you see fit. It's how you respond to them that is the issue, and gaining some control, some intentionality in ones use of emotions. As far as I'm aware there is no suggestion that one should lose ones emotions, quite the opposite in fact. The goal is rather to lose ones ego atttachment to them, to put them in a greater context and see them for what they are (whatever it is they happen to be at the time), and to cultivate the positive rather than negative.

    Canute
     
  13. SpyMoose Secret double agent deer Registered Senior Member

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    I dont know, maybe its flipant for me to say so, but I think my assertion was that I do understand bhuddist philosophy, so your rebuttal didn't really help me out at all.
     
  14. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    Sorry - I thought you were saying that you didn't understand it, and that therefore nobody else did. That's what you seemed to say.
     
  15. exsto_human Transitional Registered Senior Member

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    spidergoat

    True, Buddha nature is an inherent presence in every living thing. Everything else is impermanent, and such is the illusion of the world.

    Spymoose

    I heard a koan with a similar question and which was just as ambiguous.

    A student was walking in a village with his master, he shortly saw a dog in the street and asked his master 'Does the dog have a buddha nature?' and almost before he had finnished the question the master exclaimed 'Mu!'.

    :bugeye:
     
  16. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    That's not ambiguous. What would you answer if someone asked you if you had stopped beating your wife? 'Mu' is a reply to questions that embody dualistic assumptions and which therefore cannot be truthfully answered. ('Yes and no' would have been an alternative answer, as would 'neither and both').
     
  17. exsto_human Transitional Registered Senior Member

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    I see what you are saying, but the real question is WHY can't the question of wether the dog has a buddha nature be truthfully answered.

    But, I think I get it now. If there is such a thing as a right answere, probably is aswell as a'perfectly right' answere that is superior to any answere I might be able to give.

    I think I'll go start a koans thread, this was kindof fun.

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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2003
  18. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    It isn't that there is no right answer. But there isn't a right answer that can be put into words. In words there are two right answers (or two equally right and wrong answers).

    Does a dog have Buddha nature? Is a quantum entity a particle or a wave?
     
  19. Imago Registered Member

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    A baby is the perfect image of Tathagatagarbha!

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  20. certified psycho Beware of the Shockie Monkey Registered Senior Member

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    how does one achive perfect enlightrnment or nirvana
     
  21. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    certified psycho,

    ...just click your heels together three times and say, "there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home...
     
  22. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

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    I always thought that "Mu" should be replaced with "woof" in that story...

    Here's a koan I always liked.

    A young man wants to become a Zen Buddhist monk. He goes to the Zen Buddhist temple and asks to join them in their studies.

    The old teacher looks him up and down. He says, "You will be given a room, where you will meditate on the Buddha nature. Every five years, you will be permitted to say two words. Go."

    Five years pass; the leaves fall and regrow, flowers blossom and wither, birds and beast are born and live their lives.

    After five years the young man comes out of his room.

    "Bed... hard," he says. The master wordlessly points, and back he goes to his room.

    Another five years pass. Tiny seeds have grown into saplings, and saplings into young trees. The young man is young no longer, having spent ten years in quiet contemplation. He emerges from his room.

    "Floor... cold," he says. And away he goes back to his room.

    The years go by, and when five summers have passed, each with its own golden memories, the man comes to speak to the master a third time.

    "Food... sucks," he says. The master shakes his head.

    Five more years pass. Animals that were born when the young man came have all passed away, except for one old tiger who limps her way through the forest to find such small game as her tired eyes can spot. Finally the man, now twenty years older, comes out of his tiny room.

    "I... quit," he says.

    "Good riddance," says the master. "You've done nothing but complain since you got here."
     
  23. TheERK Registered Senior Member

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    Once someone frees themselves of emotions, they are no longer human. When emotions no longer exert any strong influence over you, you are dead. Literally. Anybody who claims they are no longer affected by / experience emotions, is singling out particular passions frowned upon by society. However, they are still experiencing strong emotions.

    The kind of enlightenment that is attained by forgoing 'worldly pleasures' is complete BS.
     

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