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'A last shred of affliction'

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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby Dan74 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:31 am

I hope Nonin and others address this question, but I don't think it is quite so obvious.

I guess some would argue that by virtue of being human and continuing to exist, there is some clinging. And by virtue of a Bodhisattva intention, there will be some affliction/clinging for as long as the Vows are not fulfilled.

At any rate, there is clinging and there is clinging. I mean coarse and subtle. There is clinging to money and to the original mind, for example. To devouring that scrumptious chocolate cake and to helping assist all sentient beings to liberation.
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby Huifeng on Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:07 am

Dan74 wrote:I hope Nonin and others address this question, but I don't think it is quite so obvious.

I guess some would argue that by virtue of being human and continuing to exist, there is some clinging. And by virtue of a Bodhisattva intention, there will be some affliction/clinging for as long as the Vows are not fulfilled.

At any rate, there is clinging and there is clinging. I mean coarse and subtle. There is clinging to money and to the original mind, for example. To devouring that scrumptious chocolate cake and to helping assist all sentient beings to liberation.


Ordinary living beings perceive a "chocolate cake", which has a "nice taste" when "I" eat it. Because they perceive the "taste" to be an attribute of the "cake", ie. that the cake has a definite nature of tasting nice, they arise craving towards the "cake".

They also perceive "sentient beings", which "I" shall "liberate". Because they still perceive the various qualities as being attributes of the so-called "beings", they may thus arise craving or so on towards this task and the "beings" themselves.

These views, the view of a being (self, person, individual, etc.) and the view of dharmas (be they cakes or whatever), are the root causes for arising afflictions, such as anger, craving and so on. These views, and the associated perceptions and mental states, are ignorance.

One who has awakened to the fact that the "nice taste" is not a quality of the "cake", but that it is a dependent arising based on subject, object and other factors; as well as awakening to the fact that even the "cake" itself is a designation, a mere name, given to a concurrence of visual, olfactory and gustatory perceptions, each of which are themselves dependent originations; has cut off the root.

One who has awakened to the fact that the "living beings" to be "liberated" are a complex of phenomena, they move from "love and compassion for living beings" to "love and compassion for dharmas" will decrease the potential for arising afflictions due to these perceptions and views; and when they have further awakened to the fact that even these "phenomena" are dependent originations, mere names, they they enter into "love and compassion without object". This is the love and compassion of the Buddhas and latter stage bodhisattvas.

When one still perceives "living beings", then those vows to "liberate them" are in fact a form of clinging. Once the perception of the "living being" is gone, and no object is taken in mind, then there is no basis for craving.

The aggregates of the Buddhas are the result of past karma. Their massive positive karma propels them into their last rebirth, with its various meritorious results. When they attain awakening, and ignorance is removed, the root of karma is also removed. This means, as above, that the aggregate of volitions (samskara) no longer has the afflictions. (Though positive qualities which do not have ignorant views of a "person", etc. remain.) The remainder of their aggregates, their physical body, sensations, perceptions, purified emotions, and cognitions, are still there, however. This is "nirvana with remainder" (as explained in other thread from which the OP linked into here). When even the causes for the aggregates in this last life end, eg. old age, etc. then this is "nirvana without remainder".

Thus, to argue that simply to be alive one has afflictions, doesn't tally with the basic explanation of the Dharma. In fact, it would be more like the Jainas who argued that one has to die to be liberated. These such sramana views came to influence certain forms of the Mahayana, though. But anyone who is paying attention can spot them.
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby Huifeng on Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:16 am

So-on Mann wrote:I dunno, I might be with Huifeng on this one. The dude was the Buddha after all! Depends on what you mean by suffering. When the Buddha ate the tainted pork, I am sure his body suffered. But was it dukkha?


The title of this thread uses the word "affliction", and not the word "dissatisfaction" or "suffering". In general English language Buddhism, the word "affliction", along with "defilement" etc. translates "kilesa", rather than "duhkha".

Apparently the Buddha experienced eight forms of physical pain (ie. one type of duhkha) in his life as the Buddha. Various schools had different explanations. The most common was simply that this was a case of physical pain, but that he did not arise any mental anguish over it as a result. This physical pain was the result of actions in lives long past, eg. the back pain from a past life as a wrestler. Other schools said that his physical pains were merely apparent, simply acts, in order to encourage his own disciples to properly deal with such physical ailments.

But whatever the case, this issue is rather irrelevant here, because the topic is "affliction" (kilesa) and not "pain" (duhkha).

* By the way, So-on, there are various explanations for the story of what the Buddha ate. The Pali word is "boars' delight", which is variously as pork, or a type of truffle / mushroom (even by Buddhaghosa). The argument that the Chinese changed the text to suit their vegetarian program is baseless, because the translation was made before the Chinese Buddhists became vegetarian, and that even Buddhaghosa raises the "truffle" theory, too.
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby Dan74 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:49 am

Huifeng wrote:
Ordinary living beings perceive a "chocolate cake", which has a "nice taste" when "I" eat it. Because they perceive the "taste" to be an attribute of the "cake", ie. that the cake has a definite nature of tasting nice, they arise craving towards the "cake".

[...]


Nice and to the point - thank you!

:Namaste:
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:57 am

just wrote:Hi, fukasetsu, its nice to see you.

and nobody is enlightened or ever has been in this 3-dimension -- that's not what it's for.


of course i dont agree with you.

It's for much more basic endeavors, like learning how to live without greed, hatred, and envy,


yes

despite the fact that we're deaf dumb and blind, sentenced to this prison planet, manipulated and fucked with relentlessly, and then subjected to memory wipes to keep us stupid.


no my friend, we are a wonder beyond understanding. if within this tradition why not show some faith and push to reslove?



Greetings friend,
The only thing that needs resolving, is the one who pushes to resolve. And since resolving is still in consciousness, and one cannot resolve consciousness with consciousness, one can only realize consciousness itself as a fraud.
I'm a big fan of faith though, it sure can be a temporary necessity it seems. Still, even the pinnacle of conduct, faith and morality, is nothing but a product of mind, an obsession with a dream character, otherwise such notions would have never arisen. But if one wants to be afflicted with enlightenment or ignorance, carry on, for this dream world needs its saints and sinners. Then again, one could just sit in a pile of ash staying with open awareness without catergorisation. As an eminent teacher once said; "the death of mind is the birth of wisdom"
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:01 am

Jok_Hae wrote:Ah, fukky's back...a blast from the past!

Welcome back and I hope all is well. :)

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith


Virtuous greenkeeper! :)
thanks for the warm welcome as always, all's well, hope the same applies to you!
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby Dan74 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:20 am

Greatings, O Incommunicable One!

:dance:
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:29 am

:lol2:

I bestow my obsolescence unto thee!
Such is the sign of my appearance :PP:
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby So-on Mann on Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:04 am

Yes greetings and salutations, Fukasetsu!

Huifeng wrote:
So-on Mann wrote:I dunno, I might be with Huifeng on this one. The dude was the Buddha after all! Depends on what you mean by suffering. When the Buddha ate the tainted pork, I am sure his body suffered. But was it dukkha?


The title of this thread uses the word "affliction", and not the word "dissatisfaction" or "suffering". In general English language Buddhism, the word "affliction", along with "defilement" etc. translates "kilesa", rather than "duhkha".



Thanks, it's good to pay attention to the original post, I was veering off. I have little scholarly grasp of many of these terms, although now I am thinking the kleshas of greed hate and delusion are what transform pain into suffering... and these are the roots that had been pulled out in the Buddha's case.
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby zenophile on Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:50 pm

So-on Mann wrote:I dunno, I might be with Huifeng on this one. The dude was the Buddha after all! Depends on what you mean by suffering. When the Buddha ate the tainted pork, I am sure his body suffered. But was it dukkha?


Exactly. It's all semantics, it's all conventional means. As Nagarjuna put it, to say that things exist is not exactly right, nor is to say that they do not exist, nor both, nor neither. I take a lot from that, including that any position is going to be imperfect. Complete destruction of dukkha: not quite true, not quite false. Depends on the defintions of each individual (and at a given time--they may change), so there is no "correct" position.

Ven. Nonin said awakened beings cannot stop suffering from arising, but they transcend it. So are they affected or not? Doesn't matter. It's all words. I enjoyed his response because it, in my opinion, adequately embodied a middle way that didn't explicitly subscribe to any view and had more potential for (pardon the double meaning) enlightening people than a concept like the complete destruction of dukkha.
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby Kojip on Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:07 pm

Dan74 raises a point that is danced around but not addressed here, unless I missed it. If greed hatred and delusion are uprooted, one is no longer born into the the world. The wheel coasts a bit and then that's that. The view in Theravada is that the Buddha delayed full enlightenment until becoming the Buddha, and therefore engaged the world for ages, but on reaching Buddhahood realized Parinibbana at death. So this raises one (maybe meaningless ) question for me. Is the Bodhisattva path endless or just reeeeeal long? The view in Zen as I understand it, is that it is as endless as suffering in the world. Endlessly approaching Parinirvana. To engage the world is to be subject to an ever diminishing shred of greed hatred and delusion. It makes no sense surely but it chimes with the gut.

Still, regardless of the answer, sitting is just sitting .
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby christopher::: on Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:03 pm

Isn't it the Mahayana view that bodhisattvas continue to be born into the world in order to be of service, to help reduce suffering, to help "liberate" us all, teach the path of dharma? The motivation there is of compassion... its not due to affliction, but rather wisdom. Enlightenment is not delayed, rather the wheel of life is engaged, for the sake of assisting others.

Knowing of course that there is in fact no self, no "others"...
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby ed blanco on Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:52 pm

So-on Mann wrote:
Kojip wrote:
So-on Mann wrote:
zenophile wrote:
Nonin wrote:All human beings suffer. An awakened being (buddha) knows the sources of suffering and how to transcend it, but no human being can permanently keep it from arising.


Finally, a coherent description. Thank you, Venerable.


I dunno, I might be with Huifeng on this one. The dude was the Buddha after all! Depends on what you mean by suffering. When the Buddha ate the tainted pork, I am sure his body suffered. But was it dukkha?
This is the thing. Dukkha IME is not pain, it is a rift between how it is and how I want it to be, it is wanting this moment to be, feel, different than it is. The most appalling conditions are not, in and of themselves, Dukkha . Last year my partner was in bed with radiation burns. She could not move and had skin dropping off. Her attitude was... "I am a bug pinned to the wall, no point in wiggling, just be the wall" She was in pain but frequently without Dukkha. It was a very powerful lesson. Maybe it is a matter of definitions.



Yep, now that's what I'm talking about. Everything I have ever been taught about the Buddha is that he attained enlightenment, end of story, that he attained nirvana and had that attitude your poor dear partner had, but permanent and bone-deep. He no longer burned from the three fires. Maybe no human being can permanently keep it from arising, but I still like to think of the Buddha in the way he is described in the scriptures... as not an ordinary human being.


There is a dichotomy here: as the dude and as the Buddha. As the dude "you abide" in samsara to the last drop of pain. You "become the wall," be on the Path for ever or longer.
As the Buddha you are sheer compassion so you know the affliciton as nescessary, as the nature of samsara, both on at once, even the last shred.


My reaction is, who cares? The NOT KNOWING is the blessing.

NOT-KNOWING IS THE GROUND OF MYSTERY;
THE LAND OF WONDER, A HAVEN TO BE VISITED DAILY
IT IS THE SOURCE OF CREATIVITY, INVENTIVENESS
AND TRANQUILITY, ALL IN ONE.

in gassho, Seido..... :achoo:


ps there is no way to go off topic on this one....
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IN SPEECH YOU HEAR ITS SILENCE

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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby ed blanco on Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:03 pm

Dan74 wrote:I hope Nonin and others address this question, but I don't think it is quite so obvious.

I guess some would argue that by virtue of being human and continuing to exist, there is some clinging. And by virtue of a Bodhisattva intention, there will be some affliction/clinging for as long as the Vows are not fulfilled.

At any rate, there is clinging and there is clinging. I mean coarse and subtle. There is clinging to money and to the original mind, for example. To devouring that scrumptious chocolate cake and to helping assist all sentient beings to liberation.



....when I perceive my clingings, they begin to diminish...once perception objectifies a craving it loses its bite...both coars and subtle...this is a direct consequence of daily zazen...everything else is hoing in the ocean....now I have to have some tea with that cake, thank you very much...use money next time.... :achoo:
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby Kojip on Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:45 pm

christopher::: wrote: The motivation there is of compassion... its not due to affliction, but rather wisdom. Enlightenment is not delayed, rather the wheel of life is engaged, for the sake of assisting others.

Attachment is attachment no matter how sublime.
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby So-on Mann on Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:36 am

But is the bodhisattva necessarily attached to the view of a being? Not so, according to the Diamond Sutra...

"Those who would now set forth on the bodhisattva path should thus give birth to this thought: 'However many beings there are... etc etc... in the realm of complete Nirvana I shall liberate them all. And though I thus liberate countless beings, not a single being is liberated.'"

"Subhuti, no one can be called a bodhisattva who creates the perception of a self or who creates the perception of a being, a life or a soul..."


I haven't personally seen any literature that supports the idea that Bodhisattvas are corrupted by affliction, specifically the aforementioned affliction of there being "beings" to save. In fact, the opposite is expounded repeatedly in the wisdom scriptures.

The bodhisattva Dude Abides, unafflicted I say! As to Dan's point, the scriptures tell me that the bodhisattva chooses to abide in the world, and yet are unafflicted. As one of our offertories says, "Just as the lotus is not wetted by the water that surround it, the Mind is pure and beyond the dust."
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby Nonin on Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:52 am

So-on Mann wrote:The bodhisattva Dude Abides, unafflicted I say![/i]

So-on,

Three questions:

Are there any bodhisattvas practicing at Dharma Rain? This includes everyone who sits there, teaches there or is connected there.

If the answer is yes, are they totally free from suffering, or un-afflicted?

If the answer is no, then who are all those people?

Hands palm-to-palm,

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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby Kojip on Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:05 am

So-on Mann wrote:
I haven't personally seen any literature that supports the idea that Bodhisattvas are corrupted by affliction,
I don't think they are corrupted, "true nature" is stainless regardless.

So-on Mann wrote: specifically the aforementioned affliction of there being "beings" to save
Not beings, but suffering. There is suffering. Com-passion... suffer-with.

Maybe it is being a two headed Zen-avadin cross-breed but all I know is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you seek com-passion and engagement then you must be human. If you seek final cessation of suffering then kiss the world goodbye. There is a choice, either way it's fine.

Really I cannot defend this view , and don't need to, not because it is unassailable, but because it is what it is. Maybe it will change.
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby hungryghost on Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:42 am

Nonin wrote:
So-on Mann wrote:The bodhisattva Dude Abides, unafflicted I say![/i]

So-on,

Three questions:

Are there any bodhisattvas practicing at Dharma Rain? This includes everyone who sits there, teaches there, or is connected there.

If the answer is yes, are they totally free from suffering, or un-afflicted?

If the answer is no, then who are all those people?

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin

I'm not sure what I would say to this myself, but for some reason I love the direction its pointing in..
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Re: 'A last shred of affliction'

Postby So-on Mann on Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:04 am

I guess, Nonin, that I am referring to the Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas as described in the literature... celestial beings who live in Buddha realms, etc. The bodhisattvas at DRZC who practice medicine in rural Africa, or care for children, or teach the Dharma, are ordinary beings who undertake bodhisattva action.
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