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Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

For beginners there is no such thing as a bad question. Feel free to ask any and all questions here. Member's responses should be made within the "beginner's mind" perspective.

Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby Avisitor on Tue May 27, 2014 12:33 pm

This is all very useful information ... the finger pointing to the moon
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby Guo Gu on Wed May 28, 2014 2:38 am

hmm... didn't even know this translation is floating around on the internet. did that many moons ago. there's an updated version that will be published in next year or so.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby Linda Anderson on Wed May 28, 2014 4:08 am

Hi Guo Gu,

A bit of history here... hrtbeat7 posted this 2 days after PZI was born! He is still missed by some of us!.... also know from time to time as Sir Bob.

all the best
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby Guo Gu on Sat May 31, 2014 12:24 am

thanks linda.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby fukasetsu on Sat May 31, 2014 6:54 am

Linda Anderson wrote:.... also know from time to time as Sir Bob.


Pet name Image

It's time for an additional one, Sir "one in a billion" Bob

For that's the truth. :daisy:
Everyone for President!
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby TTT on Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:18 am

Yet, all Buddhas and ancestral masters have appeared in the world using countless words and expedient means to expound on Chan and to clarify the doctrine. Following and meeting different dispositions [of sentient being], all of these expedient means are like tools to crush our mind of clinging and realize that originally there is no real substantiality to "dharmas" or [the sense of] "self."


Hello and thanks for the text posts.

I have read some of an other (tibetan) text. By a meditator Godrakpa (1200 or so)

It goes somthing like: Form is like spring mist, Mind like empty sky and thoughts unestablished like breezes in space. Somtimes karma is like foom, too under this, in the text.
And in the end it goes on...Think of this points over and over agen.

I think this and the text by the Chan master and the comentery, etc is sort of similier, but this is deling with the conventional world of flux.
How does it fit in with the description of reality, like God or emptiness etc. The text is a maual to thet and finding oneself, here and now. Big words. I am also thinking of the two famus mandalas in a museu in Japan. Named the wombe world and the mother world. Two, but not put togather.
This is a problem, maybe i make a big distiktion betwen conventional and ultimat.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby chang zhao on Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:05 pm

TTT wrote:
Yet, all Buddhas and ancestral masters have appeared in the world using countless words and expedient means to expound on Chan and to clarify the doctrine. Following and meeting different dispositions [of sentient being], all of these expedient means are like tools to crush our mind of clinging and realize that originally there is no real substantiality to "dharmas" or [the sense of] "self."


Hello and thanks for the text posts.

I have read some of an other (tibetan) text. By a meditator Godrakpa (1200 or so)

It goes somthing like: Form is like spring mist, Mind like empty sky and thoughts unestablished like breezes in space. Somtimes karma is like foom, too under this, in the text.
And in the end it goes on...Think of this points over and over agen.

I think this and the text by the Chan master and the comentery, etc is sort of similier, but this is deling with the conventional world of flux.
How does it fit in with the description of reality, like God or emptiness etc. The text is a maual to thet and finding oneself, here and now. Big words. I am also thinking of the two famus mandalas in a museu in Japan. Named the wombe world and the mother world. Two, but not put togather.
This is a problem, maybe i make a big distiktion betwen conventional and ultimat.


I think that:

"Everything" is changing,
but some things repeat.

The Ultimate is not some constant reality, where The Conventional would live.
No, the ultimate is what appears.
There we find something "constant" and something "changing" - all that we find is conventional.

So Ultimate is "the reality" - changing, and constant, and so on, before we define it as something.
Finger pointing at the moon is ultimate (when we perceive them), but "moon", "finger" and "pointing" are conventional.

"Reality" is the ultimate (before it is called reality), all the interpretations are conventional.

Buddha Dharma is said to be the unity of ultimate and conventional.
It points at the "reality beyond words" with words, symbols and so on.
Words are in accord with phenomena, that is the unity of conventional and ultimate.

Though when we say "ultimate" it is a notion - which is not the "ultimate", it is conventional.
We can't "touch" the ultimate with words, as all that is selected is conventional.
Words can be in accord with what appears: conventional in accord with ultimate.
Words and everything else that appears now, together, is ultimate.

God, the notion of emptiness, Two Great Mandalas are conventional pointing at something general.
They are not ultimate.
They point at something that we can find in the ultimate.

Just like pointing at the moon can point at something that we can find in the ultimate, when the moon is apparent in the sky.


The mandala of the heavenly world (Vajra world, Kongokai) points at the structure of our mind (or "world").
The mandala of the earthly world (the womb) points at how processes develop in the mind (or "world").

They are pointing at something general, like the laws of physics point at general laws of physical world.
But they are conventional, not "the ultimate".
They correspond to something that appears, "repeatedly".

Things like physical laws, God, mind, emptiness, Vajra world etc. - do not exist.
They just correspond to something that we see sometimes, when we look what appears.

That is why we distinguish the ultimate and the conventional.
The conventional does not exist, though we can find its correspondences in the reality now and then.

The reality and the ultimate do not exist, therefore, because these are conventional notions.
We just find sometimes correspondences to "reality" and "ultimate" in what appears to us.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby TTT on Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:26 am

Whats your point?

Buddha Dharma is said to be the unity of ultimate and conventional.
It points at the "reality beyond words" with words, symbols and so on.
Words are in accord with phenomena, that is the unity of conventional and ultimate.


Just words?


The mandala of the heavenly world (Vajra world, Kongokai) points at the structure of our mind (or "world").
The mandala of the earthly world (the womb) points at how processes develop in the mind (or "world").


Yeah.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby chang zhao on Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:05 pm

TTT wrote:Whats your point?


My point is that "The Ultimate" is phenomena,
"The Conditional" is interpretations.

TTT wrote:
Buddha Dharma is said to be the unity of ultimate and conventional.
It points at the "reality beyond words" with words, symbols and so on.
Words are in accord with phenomena, that is the unity of conventional and ultimate.


Just words?


Not only words.
Models.
Sometimes they are called "words" or "speech" because speech is the most common tool for interpretations.


The distinction between ultimate and conditional teaches us to see what really happens (appears).
Not relying on symbols that create illusion of existence of something that actually doesn't exist.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby TTT on Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:17 am

My point is that "The Ultimate" is phenomena,
"The Conditional" is interpretations.


I dont think thet my keybord is interpratations. From mind´s side it may be soo. And thet ther is a conection between what one thinks and what happens/ appears, it can be strong or it can be weak.
Now you and i are posting this and thet on this forum. We have computers, keybords, we have hands and bodys, we have speech, thet we can see in letters. This does not have so much to do with ultimat and conventional.


Not relying on symbols that create illusion of existence of something that actually doesn't exist.


The keybord exists, until its done for. And exist is just a word.


Thanks.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby chang zhao on Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:57 am

TTT, you don't know what really is the keyboard that you use.
You press its keys and you see reactions on the screen,
you call it "keyboard",
but you probably don't see which details are inside, how they work.

Usually, we think we know something,
when we know only the name, the outlook, and how we interact with it.
We know "the surface".

That is conventional knowledge:
we learned our interaction with the surface,
and then we created the image of that thing.

But, ultimately, that thing can be something different from what we imagine.
For example, "the keyboard" can be some extraterrestrial organism that imitates the keyboard.

Ultimately, we don't know things;
ultimately, we know only our experience of interactions.

Then, is it "plastic keyboard", or "extraterrestrial spy", or "just my dream" - it's our interpretation.
Making the model, we create the conventional knowledge.

Ultimate = the experience;
conventional = the model.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby TTT on Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:50 am

conventional reality is sometimes soft. Sometimes hard. But it exists as meare designation.
When
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby chang zhao on Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:45 pm

TTT wrote:conventional reality is sometimes soft. Sometimes hard. But it exists as meare designation.

"exists" is a conventional model.

It reflects the fact that some phenomena (appearances) seem to repeat.

"the fact", "phenomena", "repeats" are conventional models.
Ultimately, there is no existence, no facts, no phenomena, no reality, no repetitions.
No designations.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby TTT on Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:52 am

You can think that.

thanks.
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Re: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

Postby chang zhao on Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:19 am

TTT wrote:You can think that.

thanks.

I said "I think" because different people can have different concepts. (I hope that my words conform to those of Buddha, Nagarjuna etc., but I can't guarantee this completely, as my knowledge is limited).

Of course, only thinking is not the way to understand the two truths.
The understanding comes from the examination of how we perceive.

For example, we can see someting in a dark room and recognize it as a snake. The next moment we can recognize it as a rope. Then maybe we think: "No, it's really a snake... Oh no, it's a rope"...
We think what seems to be correct.
We don't really have the conventional truth until we examine that thing well enough.

All the conventional knowledge that we gather is, by nature, a set of conjectures which look likely.
When we learned about that, we can examine our views and watch what was the ultmate truth behind all these.
We saw the ultimate truth from the very beginning: is there rope or snake, we see there something exactly the way we see.

Thus the conventional truth can be more correct or less correct, shallow or deep, but the ultimate truth is always there in full.


I believe some people explain the two truths not correctly, because they tried to rely on thinking, constructing likely conjectures, without proper examination.
For example,
http://buddhism.about.com/od/mahayanabuddhism/a/The-Two-Truths.htm
we were given a notion:

"The ultimate truth is that there are no distinctive things or beings".

which is correct, as I explained before. And then we could try to explain that notion this way:

"To say there are no distinctive things or beings is not to say that nothing exists; it is saying that there are no distinctions. The absolute is the dharmakaya, the unity of all things and beings, unmanifested."

which seems not correct.
"Something exists, but there are no distinctions" is wrong.
When exists, then why without distinctions?

"Absolute", or "ultimate", is not some "reality of non-distinctive sameness".
It is not Unity (or anything else Global).
"Unity" or "diversity" are just different conventional views.
And there is nothing "unmanifested" in the ultimate.
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