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About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

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About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby jundo on Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:52 am

This week, someone at Treeleaf asked me more or less, "Isn't Buddha Nature something we always have, but which gets clouded by thoughts, desires, greed, anger and ignorance? And when we realize this Buddha Nature, doesn't our selflessness, charity and goodness become automatic? In my experience, only good things can come from the no-mind state because we are all good when the mind is still."

I responded that it truly is just so simple, yet I really wish things were only that simple! (A Koan) :PP:

Here is my feeling on this ...
... (and, please,do Sit and Practice yourself and find for yourself "Buddha Nature". Do not be tied up or limited by my words if you disagree) ...

Buddha Nature reveals a truth about us and all things, always present, whereby there is no anger or killing or other violence possible (because no you and no me separate, so no doer and no done), nothing to steal or crave (for no separate things, thus no need or lack) . This is a Peaceful and Whole realm that, while right here, is often hidden by our divided thinking and the resulting selfishness, anger and frustration that we feel when our brains only see this samsaric world of separation.

In our Bodhisattva Vows, we "save the sentient beings" by letting the separate beings also experience such Fact. That is why it is sometimes said by Zen and other Mahayana Teachers that "we 'save the sentient beings' ultimately by showing them that, from the startless start, there were never truly any 'sentient beings' in need of saving, nor any lack to fill).

However, when you and I day to day must live in this samsaric world of "me and you", mine and yours, lack and need, win and lose etc. etc., things are a bit complicated. I do not feel that realizing the above Truth, even profoundly, means that we are necessarily going to live in this world free of the selfishness of our "little self." Until we are dead (and become what the Buddhists called "pari-nirvana' which is only the realm of "no me and you"), we are still people with human bodies, brains wired for selfish drives and instincts, fears, thoughts of past and future, judgments and divided ideas we need to survive, jealousies and all the rest of the human condition. Samsara.

Thus, Dogen (although most Zen teachers actually said about the same if you look carefully at their words and recommendations) spoke of "Practice-Enlightenment." The above realization of "no me-ness" helps avoid the selfishness and all the rest, but it is far from "automatic" by that alone in this world of "me-ness". No, such realization frees the heart of much of the selfishness, and the excess desire, anger and frustration, fears and judgments, divided thinking ... but it is not automatic and, moreover, is not really helpful when we have to get up and live in this complicated world. (Small example: If your loved one dies or is injured in a terrible accident or crime ... realizing Buddha Nature may help one see beyond mere loss or death, it may help you forgive in one aspect, it may help free one of anger, it may allow one a sense Peace and no Loss ... but the human side may still cry in grief and ask why and feel some resentment and great loss. The two ways of seeing together produce great Wisdom and Compassion, but I would never want to give up either way of experiencing such an event. I want to live by Buddha Nature, but I also cherish my humanity. I want Peace, yet I want to cry ... I want to know Peace and yet cry with my broken heart at once.)
Realization will tend to make us more loving, more generous, more forgiving, more accepting, less fearful, less frustrated or angry and all the rest ... but, so long as we are in this world of Samsara, we are still humans who sometimes feel not like that.

So, Practice-Enlightenment is not an "automatic," but a realization (meaning, "to feel and understand in the bones") and a realization (meaning, "to make it real in each choice by our words, thoughts and acts") of Buddha Nature living in this complicated world. It does not make us saints or robots (perhaps somewhere down the road, 100000 lives from now when we are all perfect golden Buddhas, but not here in this life, in the muddy trenches of the front lines of this life for now). Now, we must simply realize-realize Buddha Nature and do our best.

I would like to say that, in 30 years of walking this Path, I had come to believe so. I believe it is a story told in many old books making a rather romantic or idealized presentation of Zen and related traditions (D.T. Sukuzi, not be be confused with Shunryu Suzuki, is now sometimes criticized for painting such a romantic and idealized image in many of his books), but I have seen no living evidence of this nor does it makes sense to me. I believe that such claims are found in our legends and religious tenets, but not in actuality. We take our long dead ancestors and, once dead, make hagiographical claims for their perfection in mind and behavior. We make theoretical or fantastic descriptions in Sutra Books about the working of Buddha Mind, but such is largely the product of author imagination.

Human beings, while alive, are creatures of flesh and brain, and that brain contains tendencies to act with excess desire, anger and divisive thinking that we must always be on alert for. We can never escape the brain while alive. We we access "no-mind", however, I do not believe that it alone automatically results in the opposites such as generosity, love and harmony. What is does, in my experience, is point us in the direction where such can be nurtured precisely because we are freer ... although never completely free ... of the brain's drives toward excess desire, anger and division. I have seen too many cases where meditation alone, without the Precepts to guide and form its shape and direction, can result in amorality or (even with the Precepts sometimes) all manner of covers for bad behavior. The many "enlightened" gurus and Buddhist Teachers ... from Trungpa to Eido Shimano to Yasutani to Maezumi to many others ... who sometimes acted very badly show what can happen if one relies too much only on one's experience of "no mind" and faith in "Buddha Nature." (See my recent post of "Perfectly Imperfect Zen Masters" for more on that (https://www.facebook.com/groups/SotoZen ... 309140692/))

We must always be on guard because, no matter how long or how advanced in this Practice, we always remain frail human beings.

That is just my view. Please find your own Buddha Nature.

Gassho, Jundo

SatToday
Last edited by jundo on Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ABOUT 'AUTOMATIC GOODNESS' & BUDDHA NATURE

Postby bokki on Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:00 am

Thank You very much, Reverend Jundo for these very true words, and in my eyes, touching post. Since i have nothing to add to it, except appreciation, allow me to repost a part of it..

Small example: If your loved one dies or is injured in a terrible accident or crime ... realizing Buddha Nature may help one see beyond mere loss or death, it may help you forgive in one aspect, it may help free one of anger, it may allow one a sense Peace and no Loss ... but the human side may still cry in grief and ask why and feel some resentment and great loss. The two ways of seeing together produce great Wisdom and Compassion, but I would never want to give up either way of experiencing such an event. I want to live by Buddha Nature, but I also cherish my humanity. I want Peace, yet I want to cry ... I want to know Peace and yet cry with my broken heart at once.

Thank you, b

(ps on an absolute side note, i have not heard of Yasutani Roshis scandalous behaviour, im aware of his militaristic ideas in his early days...do u have any link, not to derail this post)
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Re: ABOUT 'AUTOMATIC GOODNESS' & BUDDHA NATURE

Postby bokki on Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:27 am

Sir, may i maybe, if possible, anyway, add something i thought not to bring up within this exceptional post, just my own opinion, so to say. Not to reply to particular parts of the post, let me just express my main thoughts and opinions.

When seeing Buddha nature and on the other side loss , grief, desire, joy or any other life circumstance, we are basically having three objects/subjects. The seer, Buddha nature, and samsaric suffering.

May I express my opinion... Buddha nature is grief, tears, joy and sorrow, and the seer is grief, tears, joy and sorrow. Buddha nature is samsara, so seeing samsara is seeing Buddha nature. To further go on, grief, tears, joy and sorrow are the seer and the Buddha nature.
That way grief, tears, joy and sorrow are the only "existent" thing, no need for a seer or Buddha nature. Only one way of seeing, which itself is grief, tears, joy and sorrow. all imho.

Yours truly, b
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby Jok_Hae on Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:38 pm

Important topic. When folks think that a particular person is "enlightened", and therefore always acting in an upright manner, all sorts of mayhem can follow.

One day a man approached Ikkyu and asked: “Master, will please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?” Ikkyu took his brush and wrote: “Attention.” “Is that all?” asked the man. Ikkyu then wrote: “Attention, Attention.” “Well,” said the man, “I really don’t see much depth in what you have written.” The Ikkyu wrote the same word three times: “Attention, Attention, Attention.” Half-angered, the man demanded: “What does that word ‘Attention’ mean, anyway?” Ikkyu gently responded, Attention means attention.”


Please pay attention.

Having said that, there is no reason to assume it isn't possible, especially when based on the small sample size of one lifetime's experience.

Buddha nature? No Buddha nature? Then what?
Practice and see what happens.

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby bokki on Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:15 pm

lol, Keith, thank you very much, you are tickling my zen nerve, i love it!!! :lol2:
can we chuck out our ego minds and attend to your questions freely? please!
Please pay attention.

how much would u pay 4 attention? 10$?? how much is 10$???
Having said that, there is no reason to assume it isn't possible, especially when based on the small sample size of one lifetime's experience.

i dont really get what u saying here...or maybe how small the sample is?
Buddha nature? No Buddha nature? Then what?

yes, exactly Keith, but NOW what???
Practice and see what happens.

so u will practice to see what happens? y not see it NOW???
sry if this seems a bit rushed, but i love this sort of banter, and express my thoughts directly.
again, sorry
your friend always, b :heya:
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby Jok_Hae on Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:21 pm

bokki wrote:lol, Keith, thank you very much, you are tickling my zen nerve, i love it!!! :lol2:
can we chuck out our ego minds and attend to your questions freely? please!


Sure, I'll play!

Please pay attention.

how much would u pay 4 attention? 10$?? how much is 10$???

The Dharma is too expensive!

Having said that, there is no reason to assume it isn't possible, especially when based on the small sample size of one lifetime's experience.

i dont really get what u saying here...or maybe how small the sample is?

The OP presents an opinion based on the experiences of a life only partially lived. This is a narrow view. When we put down our ideas and opinions, the world becomes very wide. The OP may be spot on. Or not. We certainly won't get to the heart of the matter here! But I do think it's a very important topic.

Buddha nature? No Buddha nature? Then what?

yes, exactly Keith, but NOW what???

I don't know. That's up to you.

Practice and see what happens.

so u will practice to see what happens? y not see it NOW???

Thanks for the reminder. :lol2:

sry if this seems a bit rushed, but i love this sort of banter, and express my thoughts directly.
again, sorry

no worries and certainly no need to apologize.

your friend always, b :heya:

:peace:
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby bokki on Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:53 pm

LOL LOL LOL KEITH, u made ny day LOL!! lol :lol2:
lets leave d op, the joke u linked is hilarious
but how about
how much is 10 $? seems uv skipped d question. no matter
and u r leaving me to decide what now? ill type some more words, but i did ask first about now, could u plz play a bit more? if not, this is more than enough, zfi rocks! bcs of d likes of u!!
LOL
b :peace:
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:18 pm

Friends,

jundo wrote:This week, someone at Treeleaf asked me more or less, "Isn't Buddha Nature something we always have, but which gets clouded by thoughts, desires, greed, anger and ignorance? And when we realize this Buddha Nature, doesn't our selflessness, charity and goodness become automatic? In my experience, only good things can come from the no-mind state because we are all good when the mind is still."

Good question(s) by the original questioner, I'd say.

"Stillness" of mind, though, reported by the questioner (or etc.), may be just a momentary hiatus from customary chatter. Closer questioning is needed, there.

It's for a teacher -- and student -- to be clear on what is Awakening, and what is not.

This is why "Face-to-Face", is still the State-of-the-Art, I'd say. Despite "technology". Despite guessing, by anybody here. And despite anything else.

good weekend,

--Joe
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby jundo on Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:28 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
This is why "Face-to-Face", is still the State-of-the-Art, I'd say. Despite "technology". Despite guessing, by anybody here. And despite anything else.

good weekend,

--Joe


Yes, perhaps you communicate better with people, all to can come across as a bit wiser, in person. :Namaste:

Gassho, J

SatToday
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby Jok_Hae on Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:05 pm

bokki wrote:LOL LOL LOL KEITH, u made ny day LOL!! lol :lol2:
lets leave d op, the joke u linked is hilarious
but how about
how much is 10 $? seems uv skipped d question. no matter
and u r leaving me to decide what now? ill type some more words, but i did ask first about now, could u plz play a bit more? if not, this is more than enough, zfi rocks! bcs of d likes of u!!
LOL
b :peace:


haha! No, I didn't skip the question at all, friend!!

But, now you changed the question:

"how much is 10 $?"


Not enough, for sure!!
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby bokki on Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:36 pm

Keith, when I c ur posts, I go all soft and warm inside..
But when questioning within dharma ill hold no quarter

And yes u r avoiding d question
"how much is 10 $?"
Not enough, for sure!!

Keith, you can say say say, im sure its just enough, express ur self 4 10 $!

But it does not matter, seeing ur existence makes me rest
c u later, 2 tired now
ur friend b
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby Jok_Hae on Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:32 am

bokki wrote:Keith, when I c ur posts, I go all soft and warm inside..
But when questioning within dharma ill hold no quarter

Keep that mind!!

And yes u r avoiding d question
"how much is 10 $?"
Not enough, for sure!!

Keith, you can say say say, im sure its just enough, express ur self 4 10 $!

The arrow has already passed downtown

But it does not matter, seeing ur existence makes me rest
c u later, 2 tired now
ur friend b


Ah well, we are very much off topic and should leave it there.

Rest well.

_/|\_
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:46 pm

Jundo,

Something is garbled below. Can you fix?:

jundo wrote:Yes, perhaps you communicate better with people, all to can come across as a bit wiser, in person.

tnx,

--Joe
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Re: About 'Automatic Goodness' & Buddha Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:23 pm

J.,

desert_woodworker wrote:
jundo wrote:Jundo,

Something is garbled below. Can you fix?:

Yes, perhaps you communicate better with people, all to can come across as a bit wiser, in person.

Still unfixed, Jundo (something garbled in your wording). Got a moment? Can you fix?

tnx,

--Joe
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