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The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

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The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:52 pm

As we in the West are discovering the teachings of Buddha Dharma about mind and consciousness, we are confronted with the necessity of rediscovering our own repressed traditions of the study of the psyche, consciousness, and the unconscious.

Western explorers of the psyche discovered the unconscious in the 19th century. The Buddhist explorers of mind, through their deep meditation, discovered the unconscious over two thousand years ago. Since then, the Buddhist admonition to “turn the light around and shine it on yourselves,” as stated by Linji in the 9th century (or “take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward on your self,” as Dogen restated it in the 12th century, or “to personally turn around to face inward” as Hakuin restated it in the 18th century) is the direction to study the unconscious by introspection. In Buddhism, the unconscious is called the storehouse- or treasury-consciousness (Skt. alayavijnana) and the fruit of this introspective study was the Mahayana Sutras.

In the 20th century Carl G. Jung explored the unconscious more than any other psychologist. He identified two layers or poles of the unconscious, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious (the later he also called the impersonal, transpersonal, or universal features of the unconscious). [CW 7, §§ 102, 103, 445, & 452. See note.] The first layer consists of those elements, features, or aspects of the unconscious that are acquired during one’s own lifetime and experience. Jung emphasized that the deeper layer of the collective psyche is inherited, and he called this the region of the archetypal contents where these “primordial images are the most ancient and the most universal ‘thought-forms’ of humanity.” [CW 7, §§ 104.] In Buddhist terminology (using agricultural metaphors of the time, as we would use computer metaphors for the mind today), the personal features are those seeds (Skt. bija) of the storehouse consciousness that are “planted” (continuing the cultivation metaphor) during one’s lifetime, and the impersonal features in the storehouse are the seeds placed there “from past lives” as immeasurable in number as the grains of sands of the Ganges river.

Jung found that the personal unconscious contains all the material that was once conscious, e.g., memories, repressed material, subliminal sense perceptions, etc., while the collective unconscious contains “all the material which has not yet reached the threshold of consciousness.” [CW 7, §§204 & 441.] These structural elements of the deepest unconscious are the archetypes. They are psychic structures that are just as inherited, as impersonal, and as collective as the physical structures of our bodies, e.g., our bilateral symmetry, our circulatory, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems, etc.. As our individual bodies are unique expressions of these universal forms, so to are our individual consciousnesses unique expressions of the universal forms of mind.

In the Five Skandhas, one of the Buddhist's schematic representations of mind, the structures of the unconscious are called the first four skandhas with consciousness designated the Fifth Skandha. Early Buddhism through the such schematics of mind as the Five Skandhas and the Eighteen Dhatus tacitly recognized that there is an unconscious dimension to mind, but it was the later Ekayana/Mahayana development of the schematic representation of the Eight Consciousnesses that made the unconscious explicit in Buddhism with the storehouse consciousness as the storehouse of all the seeds that are present in mind but not yet conscious. Jung’s reference to inherited primordial “universal thought-forms” corresponds directly with samskara, the Fourth Skandha, which is often translated as “mental formations.”

A primary problem we have to face directly in Western culture, as we meet, accommodate, appropriate, and acculturate the Buddha Dharma, is this question of the unconscious, because in Western culture, as it is dominated by the scientism dogma stating that only the physical exists, the mind does not exist, and “the psychic” has had its relation to mind stripped away and is considered as nothing more than superstitious supernaturalism or hallucinatory imagination.

The fact is that the study of the psyche is the study of mind “from the inside” while the study of neurophysiology is the study of mind “from the outside” as a brain. The West is deeply confused about this distinction. The two approaches to mind are not the same, and while there is value in correlating the discoveries made from each perspective in this field of study, the study from the outside can never and will never replace the need or importance of the study from the inside. This study “from the inside” is exactly what Buddhism calls “turning the light around and shining it inward on ourselves” and points directly to the appeal that Buddhism has in the West for those who long to escape the domination of the field of the study of mind by the physicalist dogmas of physicists and other practitioners of the physical sciences.

[Note: Jung quotes from The Collected Works of Carl G. Jung, Vol. 7. Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. ]

From my blog.
Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Guo Gu on Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:15 am

gregory,

good topic! hopefully we get some good traction on this topic. personally, i see neuroscience (not to reify it as a homogeneous field; there are some very useful studies, and some not so useful from dharma practitioners' point of view) as complimentary to yogacara. this complimentarity is a necessary process of transmitting buddhadharma in the modern world because science is our current paradigm, whether we like it or not.
be well,
guo gu
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby organizational on Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:02 pm

Unconscious : means Lacking Awareness

I think we all have lacking awareness.

May Real peace will arise,

/\

:heya:
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby TigerDuck on Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:41 am

This 8th consciousness (alayavinaya) concept is the main debate between Madyamika and Yogacara.

Yogacara has a stand that this alaya is something truly exist, and because of this alaya, you are not a rock or tree.

When we see a lady, whether she is pretty or ugly, this value of prettiness or ugliness is a projection of mind. So, they are just labels imposed by mind. They don't exist on the lady herself, but only exist as our projection.

So, when buddha said everything is mind, it can be understood that everything is indeed coming or been projecting from our mind.

However, there are groups of practitioners who go beyond that. They not only accept everything is a projection of mind, but it is indeed mind itself. This mind (the alayavinaya) is something real (not just a concept).

And this is where Madyamika proponents do not accept it, because it just doesn't make sense if everything is mind. There are many odd consequences if everything is mind.

As Shantideva said if everything is mind, why don't you eat your shit rather than rice since both are equally mind!

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Caodemarte on Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:58 pm

TigerDuck wrote:...
Yogacara has a stand that this alaya is something truly exist, and because of this alaya, you are not a rock or tree...So, when buddha said everything is mind, it can be understood that everything is indeed coming or been projecting from our mind...

However, there are groups of practitioners who go beyond that... This mind (the alayavinaya) is something real....


If not too inconvenient, could you please give some references for the statement that Yogacara believes something "really" exists or that the Buddha said "everything is mind?" It is my limited understanding that the first question is a criticism of Yogacara thought vigorously rejected by Yogacara proponents as obviously false and leveled by them against others.
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby TigerDuck on Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:48 pm

In the Dhasabhumika Sutra you can find "Oh bodhisattvas, the three realms are just mind."

There is also another Yogacara called Yogacara Madyamika, where the way they explain thing is everything comes from mind, but this mind itself doesn't truly exist. There is no issue for this.

Historically, the debate between mind only school and madyamika has occured intensively in Nalanda. There are texts coming from Nalanda masters who described this debate. You can Google it.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Caodemarte on Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:38 pm

TigerDuck wrote:In the Dhasabhumika Sutra you can find "Oh bodhisattvas, the three realms are just mind."
...


Thanks for your response. :Namaste:
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Nothing on Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:05 pm

Guo Gu wrote:personally, i see neuroscience (not to reify it as a homogeneous field; there are some very useful studies, and some not so useful from dharma practitioners' point of view) as complimentary to yogacara. this complimentarity is a necessary process of transmitting buddhadharma in the modern world because science is our current paradigm, whether we like it or not.
be well,
guo gu


Hi Guo Gu

I am familiar with one guy named Sam Harris, who is both neuroscientist and practitioner of Dzogchen and in his book, besides the other things, he is arguing that Advaita Vedanta and Dzogchen contain empirical insights about the nature of consciousness that do not depend upon faith.

I read the book cause I was curious about his view of the nature of consciousness as a scientist and long time practitioner and he is making a solid case in showing the complementarity of some concepts, findings in the field of neuroscience with the spiritual teachings in general (mostly buddhist and other) while at the same time he is aware of the limit of the scientific approach when explaining, understading the dharma and the need for practice.

Here is a quote from his book - "The conventional sense of self is an illusion [and] spirituality largely consists in realizing this, moment to moment. There are logical and scientific reasons to accept this claim, but recognizing it to be true is not a matter of understanding these reasons. Like many illusions, the sense of self disappears when closely examined, and this is done through the practice of meditation."

While the book is not practical for those who are already dharma practitioners , it can be a good starting point for the scientific/atheistic folks ,and may get them curious so they explore the dharma further.

Victor
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:30 am

Just as there's perfectly dreamless-sleep for the awakened practitioner, I doubt there's any sort of "unconscious" or "subconscious" for that person. All's open and clear, and all is our full human inheritance, then. There's nothing "sub-" anything. :lol2:

"Subconscious" is a theory made by (unawakened) psychologists in samsara. Naturally... .

Don't confuse that with the Alaya vijñana theory, the Eighth-Consciousness of Yogacara (-theory). The Alaya was invented by the Yogacara philosophers -- in accord with one motivation -- as a help to their overall theory, a capstone or tombstone, but especially to help to explain some technical aspects of presumed-"reincarnation". It got them out of a "jam".

Folks can read about it,

--Joe
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby bokki on Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:52 am

excellent post Mr. Gregory, excellent question!(if there is any..)
now that you have exposed the heart of unknown spontaneity
it must be well expounded, decisively explained..
Rarely does 1 see such questions, its just the basic power that people do not talk about..
The Roots of Zen.
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby partofit22 on Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:26 am

Gregory, if everything is interconnected how can mind be separate from the brain?
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:29 am

hi, p., T.,

partofit22 wrote:Gregory, if everything is interconnected how can mind be separate from the brain?

Well, if "brain" is just one of many illusions and delusions, then there is no connection, in Reality, capital "R". :heya:

Just sayin' .

--Joe

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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Caodemarte on Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:00 pm

partofit22 wrote:Gregory, if everything is interconnected how can mind be separate from the brain?


Although not Gregory, I would say that is entirely the point. From that perspective (or the scientific perspective), the mind is not separate from the brain, the brain from the mind, the floor from the mind, etc. This is an imposed, artificial separation for convience (so from that perspective there is separation). Neither perspective is higher or lower, more or less valid (from my perspective).
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:16 pm

Guo Gu wrote:gregory,

good topic! hopefully we get some good traction on this topic. personally, i see neuroscience (not to reify it as a homogeneous field; there are some very useful studies, and some not so useful from dharma practitioners' point of view) as complimentary to yogacara. this complimentarity is a necessary process of transmitting buddhadharma in the modern world because science is our current paradigm, whether we like it or not.
be well,
guo gu



Yes, I don't mean to denigrate neuroscience at all. I only come on stridently against the conflation of neurophysiology and psychology that comes from the label "neuropsychology" which to me is a misnomer. To me it is vitally important to be clear about the distinction that neuroscience and neurophysiology are the science of biology not the science of psychology.

The problem has practical consequences and becomes important in the university because of the funding of departments and studies. Psychology departments have been taken over by neuroscience biologists instead of having their own departments, while "mind" and "psyche" have been driving out of psychology departments in witch hunts against "mysticism" and "metaphysics."

I totally agree that the complimentary of neuroscience and Buddha "science" is necessary for the transplantation of Buddha Dharma to the West. This is why I emphasize the two approaches are not the same while saying both approaches have their value.

I see the point of integrating Buddhist psychology as not only requiring the study of the complementarity with neuroscience, but also the study of the complementarity with Western psychology. And we can't even find Western psychology until we see how it has been usurped by neuroscience elbowing it aside.

To rediscover our own tradition of Western psychology and to understand how it arose we need to go back to Carl Jung. If we don't, then I fear the Buddha Dharma will be treated in the West in the same way that Jungian Dharma has been treated. In fact we see this already in the attempts of people like Stephen Batchelor and others to secularize, naturalize, and normalize Buddha Dharma as merely an ethical teaching having nothing to do with karma and rebirth, in the way that Thomas Jefferson secularized Jesus as merely an ethical teacher. I don't object to pointing out the deep and tremendous importance of the ethical aspect of Buddha Dharma, but I strenuously objet to saying that is all there is to Buddha Dharma. As Buddha said in the Simsapa Sutta, as he holds a handful of leaves but the leaves of the forest are far more numerous, likewise "those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous."

Carl Jung developed his Analytical Psychology in the first two decades of the Twentieth Century. During the next four decades he learned about Buddhism and Zen and realized how the same territory of mind was being explored.

For example, when Jung was on his deathbed in 1961 he was reading Chan Master Hsu Yun's Discourses and Dharma Words in Charles Luk's Chan and Zen Teachings, First Series and remarked "he sometimes felt as if he himself could have said exactly this! It was just 'it'!" [From the letter of Dr. Marie-Louis von Franz to Charles Luk directed to be written by Jung.] The section of Master Hsu Yun's words included talks given over two Chan Weeks [First Week and Second Week] with instructions on huatou practice, discussion of koans, the transformation of the eight consciousnesses to the four wisdoms, the practice of sitting in meditation, and many other essential points of cultivation.

Jung was in the midst of his most intense personal exploration of the psyche beginning in 1914 at the age of 39. He kept journals of his personal encounters with the unconscious which over the next 16 years became what is known as The Red Book and not published until nearly 50 years after his death in 2009. During the early period of this exploration in 1916 he wrote a paper titled "The Transcendent Function" but never published it. Students of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich, found the paper and published a private edition. This convinced Jung to edit and prepare it for wider publication which he did in 1959 two years before his death. Included in the 1959 Prefatory Note, Jung wrote
In order to prepare it for publication, I have worked over the manuscript, while preserving the main trend of thought and the unavoidable limitedness of its horizon. After forty-two years, the problem has lost nothing of its topicality, though its presentation is still in need of extensive improvement, as anyone can see who knows the material. The essay may therefore stand, with all its imperfections, as an historical document. It may give the reader some idea of the efforts of understanding which were needed for the first attempts at a synthetic view of the psychic process in analytical treatment. As its basic argument is still valid today, it may stimulate the reader to a broader and deeper understanding of the problem. This problem is identical with the universal question: How does one come to terms in practice with the unconscious?

This is the question posed by the philosophy of India, and particularly by Buddhism and Zen. Indirectly, it is the fundamental question, in practice, of all religions and all philosophies. For the unconscious is not this thing or that, it is the Unknown as it immediately affects us.

Jung's psychological approach to this question was to focus on how "the Unknown" of our own mind, I.e., the unconscious, affects us psychically. He did not take the biological approach of asking how the Unknown affects us physiologically. He did not take the approach that our physiology is the source of our psychology. He acknowledged, of course, as Buddha Dharma also acknowledges, that our body's physiology is the necessary container, vehicle or basis for mind to manifest, i.e, the skin bag, but he did not reduce the psyche to the physical. Reducing mind to the physical is what I call the physicalist perspective. On the other hand if we understand that the physical structures of the body's cells, as their inter-cellular communications flow into the main streams of the peripheral to central nervous system, and the emergent patterns of those inter-cellular communications do have some correlation with our emotional, perceptual, conceptual aspects of the consciousness of mind we are not fooled into thinking that mind and body are separate.

Jung called his method "active imagination" and noted that it held several kinds of dangers and such methods should not be used without supervision because they stimulate the production of unconscious contents which lie immediately below the threshold of consciousness that erupt spontaneously into the conscious mind. This is the area with what Jung called the shadow features. These same dangers are similarly noted as dangers of mediation practice in both sutras and treatises, such as Zhiyi's treatise Mohe Zhiguan in which is described the dangers of “demons which appear in one's mind as one's practice increases,” and in various instructive talks by Zen teachers.

In his prefatory note, Jung outlined three dangers that I see as also applying directly to zazen.
First, is the danger that the procedure does not lead to any positive result and easily passes over into a free association whereupon the person "gets caught in the sterile circle of his own complexes, from which he is in any case unable to escape."

Second, is that though authentic contents may arise in consciousness, the person has "an exclusively aesthetic interest in them and consequently remains stuck in an all-enveloping phantasmagoria, so that once more nothing is gained." Jung points out the problem of this aesthetic relationship is that the meaning and value of the image content is lost because their meaning and value "are revealed only through their integration into the personality as a whole--that is to say, at the moment when one is confronted not only with what they mean but also with their moral demands." This is the danger that I take Batchelor to be addressing with his emphasis that the moral demands of Buddha Dharma cannot be ignored by an exclusively idealistic or "supernatural" approach. Jung's pointing to "their integration into the personality as a whole" is what we mean by Zen in daily life.

The third danger noted, one that Jung felt "may in certain circumstances be a very serious matter," is when subliminal contents already possessing a high energy charge "may overpower the conscious mind and take possession of the personality." This "taking possession" has different forms that most Zen teachers know about, with some called makyo in Japanese. The above mentioned "appearance of demons" is one of them and we see that in the story of Buddha's confrontation with Mara under the Bodhi Tree. Other forms of possession by unconscious contents show up as obsessions, mania, paranoia, etc. Fortunately these are rare in their extreme forms and are usually of short duration They also have what might be called positive side-effects such as being possessed by euphoria and joy, but these too the practitioner must learn to integrate and not think of them as ends in themselves. Jung noted that the undervaluation of the unconscious adds considerably to the dangers. Our ignorance about the unconscious and belief in our rational control of our mind means we don't see it coming when these dangers arise from the unconscious.

_/|\_
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:02 am

desert_woodworker wrote:Just as there's perfectly dreamless-sleep for the awakened practitioner, I doubt there's any sort of "unconscious" or "subconscious" for that person. All's open and clear, and all is our full human inheritance, then. There's nothing "sub-" anything. :lol2:

"Subconscious" is a theory made by (unawakened) psychologists in samsara. Naturally... .

Don't confuse that with the Alaya vijñana theory, the Eighth-Consciousness of Yogacara (-theory). The Alaya was invented by the Yogacara philosophers -- in accord with one motivation -- as a help to their overall theory, a capstone or tombstone, but especially to help to explain some technical aspects of presumed-"reincarnation". It got them out of a "jam".

Folks can read about it,

--Joe

Actually that's all wrong. But who am I to say?
The alaya was not "invented" except in the way that dirt is invented. Alaya and dirt are both invented word-concepts, but we stand on them, body on dirt and mind on alaya, and that which we stand on is not invented, only the name is.

To believe that memory arises out of nothing is a theory outside the Buddha Dharma. After dropping body and mind, an awakened practitioner still eats and shits with a digestive system of the body, and in the same way they still have a consciousness system of the mind which includes sensory consciousness, subconscious, and unconscious. Subconsciousness is just that dimly conscious transition zone between the conscious and the unconscious. Pretending the subconscious and unconscious don't exist is just one delusion of intellectualization.

Like the mountain, first there is the unconscious, then here is no unconscious, then there is.
_/|\_
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Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby TigerDuck on Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:29 am

Deep inside us, we still believe there is mind.
This is a problem.

If we don't have mind, how can memory work?
The problem is we still regard that as memory.

Chandrakirti said accept relative truth, but don't analyse it, because basically all relative truth is faulty.

When our eyes see a collection of wood with certain formation, we see that as a table.
Do we realise when we say a table, at that instant there is no table there?

How can memory arise?
This is a problem for those who loves mind.

If you have a horse, you will have a horse problem, you will have a horse consequence.

If you have a mind, you will have a consequence.

When we see a mirage, don't try to get close, because the water-look will disappear.
When we see water, don't try to analyze in detail, because that water cannot be found.
When we see mind, don't try to analyse in detail, because it cannot be found anywhere.

No point to think who is Mickey Mouse's parents.
If Disney said they are Mickey Rat, accept that. No point to you are wrong or right.

Accept mind as daily conversation, but no point to think where it come from, what is mind, how many layers it has, and so on. Doing so is like thinking who is Mickey Mouse's parents? Where did they born, etc.?

Shantideva was asked by Mind School only.

If you don't have mind, how can you remember?

He replied in verse 23, wisdom chapter.

Verse 23
Mind school only:
“But if,” you ask, “the mind is not self-knowing,
How does it remember what it knew?”
Shantideva's replied:
We say that like the poison of the water rat,
It’s from the link with outer things that memory occurs.


Memory only come due to dependent arising.
Just like sprout can only come when seed, water, soil, sun light is there.

There is no sprout in the seed.
There is no sprout in water.
There is no sprout in soil.
There is no sprout in sun light.

When condition gather together, a new phenomena will occur. It is then up to us want to label that as what. As sprout? Ok.
As car? Ok.
Whatever we agree, don't analyse.
Even as sprout, if we then insist it must be sprout, you then fail not to see there is no sprout in that condition.

Mind school only said alaya can function as the store house, and that is how karma can continue.

Look, you cannot store sun ray for it to continue tomorrow.

Whether tomorrow it has sun ray or not, it is a question of there is sun or blue sky tomorrow.

Whether we can experience pain or not in the future, it depends on someone going to hit us or not tomorrow.
It has nothing to do with the act has to be stored somewhere.

Even a computer file, we think we store the file in the CD, but actually it is just a gathering of condition that we think of as saving a file.

Whether it can play or not tomorrow, it depends on other factor as well.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

[Nagarjuna]
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:57 am

Caodemarte wrote:
TigerDuck wrote:...
Yogacara has a stand that this alaya is something truly exist, and because of this alaya, you are not a rock or tree...So, when buddha said everything is mind, it can be understood that everything is indeed coming or been projecting from our mind...

However, there are groups of practitioners who go beyond that... This mind (the alayavinaya) is something real....


If not too inconvenient, could you please give some references for the statement that Yogacara believes something "really" exists or that the Buddha said "everything is mind?" It is my limited understanding that the first question is a criticism of Yogacara thought vigorously rejected by Yogacara proponents as obviously false and leveled by them against others.


I know it is convenient to refer to Yogacara as the source of the teaching of the 8 consciousnesses, but I personally feel it is unhelpful and basically a misdirection to use Yogacara as the touchstone. The teaching of the 8 consciousnesses and their transformation into the 4 wisdoms/knowings/jnanas is not the sole property of what became known as ‘the Yogacara school.” That teaching appears before Vasubandhu and is more appropriately called a One Vehicle teaching as it appears in the One Vehicle sutras such as the Lankavatara Sutra and Samdhinirmocana Sutra. Unfortunately in Buddhist history, Asanga and Vasubandhu did such a good job of popularizing the teaching of the 8 consciousnesses and calling it the Yogacara teaching that after them it became a school appropriating to itself what is rightfully the teaching of the One Vehicle.

In China, there were two Yogacara “schools.” The first was primarily expounded by Paramartha 眞諦 and his translations in the sixth century which still retained some of the connection to the One Vehicle, as Paramartha treated the Yogacara and Tathagatagarbha teachings “as part of a single broad tradition”, i.e., the One Vehicle. This earlier version emphasized the mind only framing that is preferred in the Lankavatara Sutra. The second line was the version expounded by Xuanzang 玄奘 and his translations in the seventh century, and this version emphasized the consciousness only framing that is preferred in the Samdhinirmocana Sutra and focused on by Asanga and Vasubandhu. Xuanzang claimed to have a purer form of Yogacara, but in my perspective he brought back a more eroded and separatist form of Yogacara.

Because Yogacara became extracted from the One Vehicle it appeared to be separate from the teachings of sunyata, so a combined form of Yogacara Madhyamika was created to try to reconnect the two streams.

In China, there were two streams of teaching about the Lankavatara Sutra. One was the teaching of Chan Master Ke the Second Ancestor who taught the Lankavatara according to Bodhidharma’s teaching. In his Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks Daoxuan 道宣 writes an entry on his near contemporary Fachong 法沖 who was a master of the Lankavatara. Daoxuan says that Fachong was not satisfied with how the Lankavatara was being taught until he “came across those who had been intimately taught by Master Ke relying on the One Vehicle (Ekayana) lineage of Southern India to lecture on it.” This One Vehicle lineage of Southern India is of course the Bodhidharma lineage. of the Second Ancestor Huike.

Daoxuan talls us the other stream of teaching about the Lankavatara consisted of “those who did not succeed to Master Ke personally and relied on the Collected Treatises,” i.e., the Yogacara Treatises. Thus we see that the Yogacara interpretation of the Lankavatara was a rival interpretation that was an appropriation that extracted their view of the 8 consciousnesses from the Lankavatara without the interpretation of the One Vehicle lineage of Southern India of Bodhidharma, i.e., the Zen interpretation of the Lankavatara.

In his Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra D.T. Suzuki wrote,
“The line of Hui-k'e belonged to the Ekayana school (一乘宗) of Southern India which was also the one resorted to by Dharma himself when he wanted to discourse on the philosophy of Zen Buddhism. To this Ekayana school belong the Avatamsaka and the Sraddhotpanna [the Arousing of Faith] as well as the Lankavatara properly interpreted. But as the latter makes mention of the system of the eight Vijnanas whose central principle is designated as Alayavijnana, it has been used by the Yogacara followers as one of their important authorities.”

Suzuki follows this with a story about how Xuanzang apparently came back from his travels to India full of himself. He brought back many sutras and treatises and must have been a formidable figure as he was venerated at the highest levels of society.
Suzuki continues,
“He [Xuanzang] was perhaps a little too self-confident and somewhat too presumptive when he declared that all the Chinese translations of the Buddhist sutras and sastras prior to him were not exact and reliable, and no discourses or lectures ought to be given on the older texts. When Fa-ch'ung [i.e., Fachong] heard of this, he retorted sharply, saying, "You are a Buddhist priest ordained according to the older texts; if you do not allow any further propagation of them, you should first take off the priestly robe and be reordained according to the newer texts. It is only when you listen to this advice of mine that you can go so far as to prohibit the spread of the older translations."”
Fachong as a teacher of the Lankavatara in the earlier translation of Gunabhadhra according to the interpretations of the One Vehicle lineage was having nothing to do with this pompous Yogacara teacher claiming that only his new translations were reliable or usable.

So I see the teaching of the 8 consciousnesses from the perspective of the One Vehicle and the Lankavatara and Samdhinirmocana Sutras and take the Yogacara version with a grain of salt as a narrower interpretation. The Zen lineage specifically includes Vasubandhu, so I do not deny his importance or relevance as a Zen ancestor, but I also acknowledge that the Yogacara school that developed after Vasubandhu distinctly veered in a direction different than the One Vehicle lineage that came down to Bodhidharma and which he brought to China.

Historically, Zen's veneration of Vasubandhu has confused people into thinking that Zen incorporated Yogacara teaching, when Zen's teaching of the 8 consciousnesses was parallel and independent of the Yogacara school of China and Zen derived its teaching of the 8 consciousnesses directly from the Lankavatara as taught by Huike who received it from Bodhidharma.
_/|\_
Gregory
Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby partofit22 on Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:58 am

Caodemarte wrote:
partofit22 wrote:Gregory, if everything is interconnected how can mind be separate from the brain?


Although not Gregory, I would say that is entirely the point. From that perspective (or the scientific perspective), the mind is not separate from the brain, the brain from the mind, the floor from the mind, etc. This is an imposed, artificial separation for convience (so from that perspective there is separation). Neither perspective is higher or lower, more or less valid (from my perspective).


Thats ok. :) And thank you for presenting a gentle explanation.
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:30 am

TigerDuck wrote:Deep inside us, we still believe there is mind.
This is a problem.

Belief is the problem, not mind. Have faith in mind, not belief. Without faith in mind one can never get beyond the belief in dharmas as self existent things.
TigerDuck wrote:If we don't have mind, how can memory work?
The problem is we still regard that as memory.

Chandrakirti said accept relative truth, but don't analyse it, because basically all relative truth is faulty.

When our eyes see a collection of wood with certain formation, we see that as a table.
Do we realise when we say a table, at that instant there is no table there?
Do we realize that when we say table, it is mind saying table? Outside of or separate from mind there is no "we", no "saying", no "table." no "instant."
TigerDuck wrote:How can memory arise?
This is a problem for those who loves mind.
No it is no problem at all for those who know mind.
TigerDuck wrote:If you have a horse, you will have a horse problem, you will have a horse consequence.

If you have a mind, you will have a consequence.
The problem is thinking that you can "have" "a" "mind." Having a mind is putting a head on top of our head. You are mind, you don't have a mind.
TigerDuck wrote:When we see a mirage, don't try to get close, because the water-look will disappear.
When we see water, don't try to analyze in detail, because that water cannot be found.
When we see mind, don't try to analyse in detail, because it cannot be found anywhere.
That is partially correct. We can not find mind as an objective event or separate thing. However, that does not mean anything. We can't see the eye with the eye, but we don't then say there is no eye. We can't grasp mind with mind, but that does not mean there is no mind. Water has three natures: the nature that is a mirage, the nature that can be analyzed, and the nature that tastes 'yum' and quenches thirst.
TigerDuck wrote:No point to think who is Mickey Mouse's parents.
If Disney said they are Mickey Rat, accept that. No point to you are wrong or right.
This is a non sequitur logical fallacy. Just silly talk about Disney's fantasy contrivances parikalpita and not to be confused with the relatively dependent nature view paratantra svabhava or the fully complete nature parinispanna svabhava.
TigerDuck wrote:Accept mind as daily conversation, but no point to think where it come from, what is mind, how many layers it has, and so on. Doing so is like thinking who is Mickey Mouse's parents? Where did they born, etc.?
Again the misdirected logic. To investigate what your own original face is before your parents were born is real inquiry and is not the same category of method as thinking about the fictional Mickey Mouse's parents. Your mind is not a fictional figure, even if what you think about you mind is mostly fiction.
TigerDuck wrote:Shantideva was asked by Mind School only.

If you don't have mind, how can you remember?
I guess the Indian monk Shantideva (c.685-763) is a big deal with some followers of Tibetan Buddhism. In Chinese Buddhism he was not known because by the Eighth century only the very few Indian monks who personally travelled to China and became translators were well known, and at the time he lived the Buddhism in China had matured to a level that he would not be seen as anything special, for he was after Huineng and a contemporary of the likes of Daixiao Lingtao, Heze Shenhui, Nanyue Huairang, Qingyuan Xingsi and National Teacher Nanyang Huizhong, all disciples of the 6th Ancestor, and their disciples like Mazu Daoyi and Shitou Xiqian, among others in the Zen arena. In the Huayan School there was Xianshou Fazang (643-712) who died the same year as Huineng and Qingliang Chengguan (d. 806). Also, Tiantai master Jingqi Zhanran (711–782 or 784) was a contemporary of Shantideva.
Shantideva's writings never seemed to make much of an impression in China if they even got there, but they were influential in Tibet where they were taken by monks later. I guess the Tibetans were really impressed by his ability levitate accompanied by an apparition of Manjusri. Tibetan Buddhists tend to divide Mahayana into three main schools of Chittamatra, Svatantrika-Madhyamika, and Prasangika-Madhyamika and consider Shantideva to be within the Prasangika-Madhyamika. I am confused by the Tibetan terminology of "Chittamatra" or mind-only because sometimes it seems to rightly convey the teaching of the One Vehicle, but usually it seems to wrongly mean the teachings of Yogacara founded by Asanga and Vasubandhu which are more correctly called consciousness-only vijnanamatra or representations-only vijnaptimatra.
Personally I find Prasangika-Madhyamika teachings to be too intellectualized and philosophically metaphysical as a linguistically nihilistic attack on language.
TigerDuck wrote:
He replied in verse 23, wisdom chapter.

Verse 23
Mind school only:
“But if,” you ask, “the mind is not self-knowing,
How does it remember what it knew?”
Shantideva's replied:
We say that like the poison of the water rat,
It’s from the link with outer things that memory occurs.

I find this a little difficult to understand the language. I'm not sure if the difficulty is in your translation or in Shantideva's language.
I'm not familiar with Shantideva's works, which of the three Is this from?
But whatever, this verse does not contradict anything about mind. This verse says something about mind as not self-knowing, and this is correct. The mind does not know a self in any literal sense. The emptiness of self is a standard Buddhist teaching. I don't get the symbol of "poison to a water rat" as something to do with memory.
TigerDuck wrote:Memory only come due to dependent arising.
Just like sprout can only come when seed, water, soil, sun light is there.
Of course memory like every other dharma is co-dependently arising. There is nothing new about that. But the idea that the link with "outer things" is the only condition for memory would be wrong as that is insufficient. Also "outer things" are empty of self nature too, so outer things are not separate from mind, therefore a reference to "outer things" does not refute that memory is an activity of mind. The very concept of "outer" is a manifestation of mind. There is no "outer" that is not co-dependently originating mind. If Shantideva is asserting the literal existence of outer things, then that is a far cry from Madhayamika.
TigerDuck wrote:
There is no sprout in the seed.
There is no sprout in water.
There is no sprout in soil.
There is no sprout in sun light.

When condition gather together, a new phenomena will occur. It is then up to us want to label that as what. As sprout? Ok.
As car? Ok.
Whatever we agree, don't analyse.
Even as sprout, if we then insist it must be sprout, you then fail not to see there is no sprout in that condition.

This is the mind-game of extreme Madhyamika sport. It is a cul-de-sac of rhetoric.
Sometimes analyzing is good and necessary to grow sprouts. Then of course the important question is do you eat the sprout or not? Then what eats the sprout is mind.
TigerDuck wrote:
Mind school only said alaya can function as the store house, and that is how karma can continue.
That is not mind-only school. That is consciousness-only school Mind-only school says alaya appears to function as storehouse when the metaphor of seeds is used to explain dependent origination that becomes the metaphor of the sprout. But mind-only also says that the alaya is exactly the Tathagatagarbha and he Dharmakaya when seen from other perspectives.
TigerDuck wrote:
Look, you cannot store sun ray for it to continue tomorrow.

Who says you can't? Why can't you? Solar panels collect the sun's rays and store them for tomorrow.
TigerDuck wrote:
Whether tomorrow it has sun ray or not, it is a question of there is sun or blue sky tomorrow.

Tomorrow will always have the sun's rays, regardless of clouds or blue sky. In fact, there is no need to wait for tomorrow because the sun still shines in the depth of midnight. Just because we are in the shadow does not mean there are no sun rays.
TigerDuck wrote:
Whether we can experience pain or not in the future, it depends on someone going to hit us or not tomorrow.
No, it does not depend on getting hit. There are many other ways to feel pain.
TigerDuck wrote:
It has nothing to do with the act has to be stored somewhere.
Pain from hitting is not stored, but pain from memory is stored.
TigerDuck wrote:
Even a computer file, we think we store the file in the CD, but actually it is just a gathering of condition that we think of as saving a file.

Whether it can play or not tomorrow, it depends on other factor as well.

Mind is not a computer, even if a computer metaphor seems fitting. Two thousand years ago Buddhists used the metaphor of "seeds" to talk about how the unconscious stores memories. Today, we use computers as the metaphor for storing memories in the unconscious. The limitations of the metaphor have no direct bearing on the fact of the unconscious storehouse.
All the factors of codependent arising are not separate from mind and there is no mind separate from all the factors. Each and every factor is a factor of mind.

The mind is the play; the play is the thing to capture the attention of the king.
_/|\_
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Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: The Unconscious in Buddha Dharma

Postby organizational on Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:05 am

Here i recommend to read the Two Entrances and Four Practices by Bodhidharma

The Treatise on the Two Entrances and Four Practices (Chinese: 二入四行; Pinyin: èrrú sìxíng; Wade-Giles: Erh-ju ssu-hsing; Japanese: Ninyū shigyō ron) is a Buddhist text attributed to Bodhidharma,

The two entrances referred to in the title are the entrance of principle (理入 lǐrù) and the entrance of practice(行入 xíngrù).

"Entrance of principle" refers to enlightenment through understanding and meditation;

"Entrance of practice" deals with enlightenment through different daily practices. In the section on the latter, the four practices are listed as being at the core of Bodhidharma's teaching. These are;
-The "practice of retribution of enmity",
-The "practice of acceptance of circumstances",
-The "practice of the absence of craving",
-The "practice of accordance with the Dharma".

In other words, the text list two different ways of achieving enlightenment, one based on inward reflection (the entrance of principle) and one based on outward action (the entrance of practice).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Sc ... _Practices
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