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Re: Afterlife

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Re: Afterlife

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:58 am

I cannot accept the Westernized Zen assertion that either nothing happens after we die or that the Buddha didn't have a specific teaching about the afterlife.

As a Buddhist, I try not to fear death, or fixate on it, because the Buddha already explained the transcendent reality beyond it:

O bhikkhus, there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned. Were there not the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, there would be no escape from the born, grown, and conditioned. Since there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, so there is escape from the born, grown, and conditioned.
https://sites.google.com/site/rahulawha ... oble-truth


I'm okay with people who believe nothing happens after we die, but that doesn't mean the Buddha taught it.
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

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Re: Afterlife

Postby [james] on Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:22 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:I cannot accept the Westernized Zen assertion that either nothing happens after we die or that the Buddha didn't have a specific teaching about the afterlife.

Please clarify re. the westernized Zen assertion and re. the Buddha's specific teaching about the afterlife

As a Buddhist, I try not to fear death, or fixate on it, because the Buddha already explained the transcendent reality beyond it:

O bhikkhus, there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned. Were there not the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, there would be no escape from the born, grown, and conditioned. Since there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, so there is escape from the born, grown, and conditioned.
https://sites.google.com/site/rahulawha ... oble-truth

Your citation makes no reference to a reality after death.
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Re: Afterlife

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:44 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:I cannot accept


Hold your mooring rope sailor.

Right, due to grasping at the Dharma (which has no nature...check the "non-arising" thread) these superimpositions of accepting and not accepting appear, when you understand that your thoughts only grasp at things which are mind, you'll observe that everything which appears is but a manifestation of mind, and thus your view as well as your attachment to the dharma (and non-dharma) is liberated.

But even without understanding the above (which cannot be understood through conceptual efforts) one might still say ask him/herself what's the merit of dwelling what others think of the Buddha's teaching? The teaching is there for you is it not?
What you call others might be just a figment of your imagination, so why fixate on what others think,
again the one you are fascinated with (thus your fascination with others and their denial or acceptance) is a pure product of that mind.

All the Buddha's teachings are in the very opening sentence "I do not accept..." those are for more interesting then uncountable Buddha-words which compile a "sutra" Words are knowledge, not understanding. Whether we understand words does not depend on collection and cherishing gained knowledge. "Independent (not relying) on words and letters"


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Re: Afterlife

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:01 pm

It's important to die in this life, and to be reborn in this life.

This is "The Great Death, Followed By A Resurrection."

This can be enabled to happen (some people say "accomplished", but ughh-h), given correct guidance and practice (as in a Zen Buddhist sangha, e.g.).

It's for good reason(s) that the Buddha reportedly "kept a Noble silence" when asked the famous 4 questions (resolving to 14 questions) that he refused to answer. That set of questions is SO famous that it has received a name, and the questions are thus referred to in the collective. It is -- they are -- the Avyakrita.

Die and be reborn in THIS life, and then if there's anything doing after biological death, "you" may have even a better time of it than if you hadn't practiced, died, and been reborn in this life.

But as far as we certainly know, THIS is the only life in which we have to practice. "Do not squander" it, as Master Dogen cautions.

And hence, we practice. "As if our hair were aflame"... .

best, All,

--Joe

ps Is it clear to anyone else that holding-out for some kind of rebirth in another body after the death of the present one is a kind of "spiritual materialism", the term devised by Tibetan Lama Chogyam Trungpa? It's an attachment that I think badly flavors and disables this present life. Granted, "rebirth" may be an accretion from earlier Hinduism into "Buddhism", and that's understandable and forgivable. But does the awakened person have any intimation of an afterlife? No; I'd say absolutely no. Not that it doesn't make for some nicely creative stories, through Hinduism, and through some Buddhism. Hail!, human creativity and imagination! :Namaste: :tongueincheek:
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Re: Afterlife

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:27 pm

Thanks Joe, in full attention there is no room for a conceptual center,
when no conceptual center, no... you know who. :daisy:

I sometimes do dharma play (or tea play) with (non-buddhist) friends it goes something like this;

"if you do not use your thoughts, memory, association, perception etc
are you a man, a woman?
"if you do not use..."
are you born, not born, or neither.
do you exist, not exist, or neither.
are you a Buddhist, not a Buddhist
etc etc

Or taking the Hau Tou "what am I?"
and changing it into "but what if I never heared of (enter subject) Buddhism?

it's good play to enter "pre-practise" so to speak, or samatha.
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Re: Afterlife

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:36 pm

g'day, Marcel,

fukasetsu wrote:it's good play to enter "pre-practise" so to speak, or samatha.

Excellent "game"!

Yes, samatha is "stopping" (allowing to stop). :)

--Joe
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:22 pm

jundo wrote:I don't know or give a damn about future lives...


As a Buddhist, I try not to fear or fixate on death, because the Buddha already explained the higher reality beyond it:

O bhikkhus, there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned. Were there not the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, there would be no escape from the born, grown, and conditioned. Since there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, so there is escape from the born, grown, and conditioned.
https://sites.google.com/site/rahulawha ... oble-truth

The idea that nothing happens after we die is not what the Buddha taught. Otherwise, “there would be no escape from the born, grown, and conditioned.”
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

"Reciting the name of the Buddha constantly... His own body is the limitless body of Amida, the treasure trees of seven precious gems, the pond of the eight virtues." - Hakuin Ekaku

https://matthewsatori.tumblr.com/
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Nothing on Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:59 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote: As a Buddhist, I try not to fear or fixate on death, because the Buddha already explained the higher reality beyond it:

There is no such thing as higher reality

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote: O bhikkhus, there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned. Were there not the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, there would be no escape from the born, grown, and conditioned. Since there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, so there is escape from the born, grown, and conditioned.
https://sites.google.com/site/rahulawha ... oble-truth


The use of the word escape is not the most fortunate translation. Unborn, ungrown, unconditioned are just expedients, they are not the truth, so if one wants to escape from the born, grown and conditioned his/her practice is flawed from the start.


-Viktor
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:00 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:The idea that nothing happens after we die is not what the Buddha taught. Otherwise, “there would be no escape from the born, grown, and conditioned.”


BB, for Zen Buddhists it is not so important what the scriptures say about the Buddha's teachings,
for the simple fact that it is grasping which binds one to the "wheel of birth and death"

We have no notion of that either something happens or nothing happens for that would be that "dwelling mind" again,
neither assertion, negation, embracing or grasping, accepting or not accepting or "allowing things to be as they are"
such superimpositions appear and are a by-product on the level of "mind" only and not in our practise. (realisation)

Philosophy is fine but not the "zen way" the Buddha's words are medicine, not absolutes.
The world your speaking of is a conceptual universe only applicable to the "sick" it's silly to tell the "healthy" ones to take a conceptual pill.
Like a flame from a cigarette lighter, it appears and disappears, it has no concept whatsoever, so what's to assert or negate?

"The task of philosophy is to show that reality conceived within the relativity-field is conceptual, and hence it has no essence of its own, i.e., it is not what it would be in itself"
~Nagarjuna
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:05 pm

Nothing wrote:The use of the word escape is not the most fortunate translation. Unborn, ungrown, unconditioned are just expedients, they are not the truth, so if one wants to escape from the born, grown and conditioned his/her practice is flawed from the start.
-Viktor


Well said Victor, trying to escape the dream is part of the dream, there is no need of a "way out" (you know who said that)
again the one who we are fascinated with is a pure product of that mind. (samsara/nirvana the same)

We just need to not mistake our personal stories and adventures for an identity.
Happy deaths, happy "rebirths" we'll never run out of frames of experience. :heya:
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Re: Afterlife

Postby [james] on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:07 pm

fukasetsu wrote:... when you understand that your thoughts only grasp at things which are mind, you'll observe that everything which appears is but a manifestation of mind, and thus your view as well as your attachment to the dharma (and non-dharma) is liberated.
....


There is no way of knowing what "life" or "afterlife" is.
Is this experience life or afterlife or something of both or neither?
Some grasp at life, some at afterlife, some grasp at non-grasping.
Life, however that may be ... before, after or something else, there is not much that needs saying.
Live and die. Repeat as needed.
Bon courage!
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Re: Afterlife

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:20 pm

[james] wrote:There is no way of knowing what "life" or "afterlife" is.


What does knowing have to do with it!
life is not a concept.
Differences are never in opposition.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Nothing on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:32 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Nothing wrote:The use of the word escape is not the most fortunate translation. Unborn, ungrown, unconditioned are just expedients, they are not the truth, so if one wants to escape from the born, grown and conditioned his/her practice is flawed from the start.
-Viktor


Well said Victor, trying to escape the dream is part of the dream, there is no need of a "way out" (you know who said that)
again the one who we are fascinated with is a pure product of that mind. (samsara/nirvana the same)

We just need to not mistake our personal stories and adventures for an identity.
Happy deaths, happy "rebirths" we'll never run out of frames of experience. :heya:


Thank you Fuki, I agree :heya:

In addition and related to your post a beautiful verse by Hsing Shang -

"Buddha said there is permanence
Because of the mentality clinging to impermanence.
Those who do not know expedient technique
Are like picking up pebbles in a springtime pond.
Now the Buddha nature has appeared
without my expending any effort:
It is not bequeathed by the master
And neither I have obtained anything."

:Namaste:
"There is no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end" - James Hutton
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Re: Afterlife

Postby [james] on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:46 pm

fukasetsu wrote:What does knowing have to do with it!
life is not a concept.


Life is not a concept. Considerations of life and afterlife are concepts. Life cannot be contained in knowing. So, knowing has nothing to do with it or, as I said ... there is no knowing what life or afterlife is.
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Re: Afterlife

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:52 pm

[james] wrote:Life is not a concept. Considerations of life and afterlife are concepts. Life cannot be contained in knowing. So, knowing has nothing to do with it or, as I said ... there is no knowing what life or afterlife is.


The part you quote in my first post (regarding manifestations of mind) had nothing to do with me saying anything about knowing life or afterlife, rather on the contrary, that such efforts are but a product of the transient fantasy called "mind" which include knowing and not knowing. You gave birth to it.
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Re: Afterlife

Postby [james] on Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:21 pm

fukasetsu wrote: You gave birth to it.

Life and afterlife...
Grasping...
Knowing and not knowing
Manifestations of mind...
Knowing and not knowing...
Life and afterlife...
Grasping
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Re: Afterlife

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:41 am

James,

[james] wrote:... there is no knowing what life or afterlife is.

The reason that that sounds too certain is that it is incorrect.

A prefix or preface is necessary, there. Let me apply a provisional one, in italics, with your phrase appended:

    "With the unawakened mind of the unawakened person, there is no knowing what life or afterlife is."
In Zen Buddhist practice, the practitioner is encouraged (through correct practice[s]) to realize one's true nature. In doing that, one knows what life is. And it's a knowing which may be different from what the unawakened mind and unawakened person might define as "knowing", or could believe, and is different even from what the unawakened person can imagine.

It's certainly different from what the unawakened person can realize, otherwise the unawakened person would realize it. Realization requires effective practice, it's been discovered, and shown.

"Afterlife" is a different story. The awakened person knows that there is no place to go, and that the thing which is Life will do what it will, depending on causes and conditions. Thus, there is no knowing what comes next, until what comes next comes.

And so, Dogen admonishes us, "do not squander this life". It's the ONE opportunity to practice, say, as "James", or as "Joe"; and you too, "Marcel"!

--Joe
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Re: Afterlife

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:12 am

Goodmorning Sir,

I welcome your astute observations on a sunday morning.

:Namaste:
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Re: Afterlife

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:19 pm

[james] wrote:Please clarify re. the westernized Zen assertion

Based on several dictionary definitions, the transcendent refers to that which is beyond ordinary experience and scientific explanation. In Buddhism, the transcendent would be independent and separate from the psychophysical body…

The transcendent is almost always ignored by the most popular and modern forms of Buddhism especially secular Buddhism which views the transcendent as having indirect reference to deity or a religious absolute…

One can only defend such a position by ignoring most of what the Buddha taught with regard to the transcendent, for example, that nirvana is eternally beyond the pale of causes and conditions (Pande, Origins of Buddhism, 451). Or nirvana is understood to be also eternal, changeless, immortal, transphenomenal, beyond thought, etc. (Pande, Origins of Buddhism, 473–74).

What the modern Buddhist is left with, sans the transcendent, is really nothing in the way of true Buddhism…

Such Buddhism is sham Buddhism taught by teachers who need to actually read what the Buddha taught; not making assumptions. The big loser in all of this is the beginner who is learning the wrong stuff that, sooner or later, will have to be dropped if he or she wishes to realize the right stuff.

Failure to see and to teach the transcendent underscores Western culture’s current love affair with materialism. Materialism also serves to ground Western culture in evil in which there is a decisive loss of the individual’s sense of spirit which opens to the transcendent.
http://zennist.typepad.com/zenfiles/201 ... o-i-m.html


[james] wrote:Your citation makes no reference to a reality after death.

“… There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned. If, monks, there were no unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned, no escape would be discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned. But because there is an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned.” (Ud 8:3;80-81) [Note that the Buddha never taught Nibanna to be nothingness, for if it were so, he would simply define it as so. Instead, he defines Nibbana in an elaborate manner, to emphasise that it transcends the limitations of mind and matter.]
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/0 ... nd-matter/


Nothing wrote:The use of the word escape is not the most fortunate translation. Unborn, ungrown, unconditioned are just expedients, they are not the truth, so if one wants to escape from the born, grown and conditioned his/her practice is flawed from the start.

One of the most basic elements of the Buddha's teachings is the transcendent nature of Nirvana, transcending birth and death. I am not going to, on a Buddhist forum of all places, justify the Buddha's teachings.
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

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Re: Afterlife

Postby Caodemarte on Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:33 am

Be advised that many people will just dismiss an argument or explanation that cities sources such as the well known [i]Zennist[i]. This is especially true when both the citation and the "citer" fail to define terms. What is this Westernized Zen refered to? Who specifically says what and what are your criticisms? What makes that "Westernized?" Why is this "Westernized" Zen bad or wrong or inauthentic compared to what? If these questions were answered it would make a more productive discussion possible.

Similarly, raising one's idiosyncratic interpretations of Buddhist thought and refusing to explain or defend them because that would be "defense of what the Buddha taught" is not helpful. Why invite discussion by posting on a forum for discussion if you are unwilling to engage in meaningful discussion?
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