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Buddha Mind?

 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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21 September 2011 13:42
 

I have been heavily into Buddhism lately.  In terms of basic psychological principles, I find it very helpful. In my youth, I was quite interested in Buddhism, but veered off into Christian philosophy with its emphasis on love, perfection, and service.  In retrospect, I wish I would have explored Buddhism more deeply before approaching Christianity because I think I may have been less susceptible to certain questionable assumptions that underlay Christian doctrine.

Anyway, the term Buddha-mind comes up frequently when I listen or read Buddhist discourses and I think it means that once we get rid of all the “poisons”, our minds are naturally peaceful, joyous and loving.

Isn’t this a lot of bunk…or woo?  Aren’t our minds naturally self-centered and we either cooperate or fight dependent upon what serves us individually or our species.best?  Buddha-mind strikes me as almost identical with Christ-mind and it seems like an unsubstantiated premise to me.  Of course, being about to observe and not be driven by our instincts is desirable, but is there such a thing as Buddha-mind and is it folly to assume there is?

 
burt
 
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burt
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21 September 2011 14:13
 
saralynn - 21 September 2011 11:42 AM

I have been heavily into Buddhism lately.  In terms of basic psychological principles, I find it very helpful. In my youth, I was quite interested in Buddhism, but veered off into Christian philosophy with its emphasis on love, perfection, and service.  In retrospect, I wish I would have explored Buddhism more deeply before approaching Christianity because I think I may have been less susceptible to certain questionable assumptions that underlay Christian doctrine.

Anyway, the term Buddha-mind comes up frequently when I listen or read Buddhist discourses and I think it means that once we get rid of all the “poisons”, our minds are naturally peaceful, joyous and loving.

Isn’t this a lot of bunk…or woo?  Aren’t our minds naturally self-centered and we either cooperate or fight dependent upon what serves us individually or our species.best?  Buddha-mind strikes me as almost identical with Christ-mind and it seems like an unsubstantiated premise to me.  Of course, being about to observe and not be driven by our instincts is desirable, but is there such a thing as Buddha-mind and is it folly to assume there is?

But getting rid of all the poisons means getting rid of the self-centered part of things, or more accurately detaching from them so they don’t have any control over behavior.  The Buddha-Mind arises as a return to the original mind prior to the development of self-structures and such, but with the wisdom acquired by having to have gone through life as a self.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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21 September 2011 16:17
 

Sounds like woo bullshit to me. Your mind is sick and here is the cure. Christianity calls it sin Buddha calls it poison either way a sickness of the mind that needs to be cured to be “happy”.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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21 September 2011 16:30
 

Sounds a lot like most of our attitudes regarding fundamentalism, actually.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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21 September 2011 22:08
 

Religiostupidification vs Spiritualstupidification.

What ever makes you ‘feel ’ better I suppose.

So chant in your closet and empty your mind and see where that takes you.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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21 September 2011 22:18
 
eudemonia - 21 September 2011 08:08 PM

Religiostupidification vs Spiritualstupidification.

Nice! I’ll have to see what I can come with on that.

So far there’s religiostupidification (of course) and the umbrella term, ideostupidification.

I’m all for derivatives.

 

eudemonia - 21 September 2011 08:08 PM

So chant in your closet and empty your mind and see where that takes you.

You might be surprised about the latter half of that suggestion.

 
 
Gia Cát L??ng
 
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Gia Cát L??ng
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21 September 2011 22:52
 
saralynn - 21 September 2011 11:42 AM

Anyway, the term Buddha-mind comes up frequently when I listen or read Buddhist discourses and I think it means that once we get rid of all the “poisons”, our minds are naturally peaceful, joyous and loving.

Isn’t this a lot of bunk…or woo?  Aren’t our minds naturally self-centered and we either cooperate or fight dependent upon what serves us individually or our species.best?  Buddha-mind strikes me as almost identical with Christ-mind and it seems like an unsubstantiated premise to me.  Of course, being about to observe and not be driven by our instincts is desirable, but is there such a thing as Buddha-mind and is it folly to assume there is?

The term “Buddha Mind” (Sanskrit: Tathagata-garbha) (aka. Buddha Heart, Buddha Principle, Buddha Element and a synonymous concept to Buddha Nature or Sanskrit: Buddha-dhatu) is the conception from the Mahayana and Tantric monastic traditions and used quite often within the Ch’an (Sanskrit: Dhyana, Pali: Jhana, Japanese: Zen) teachings. You will probably not hear this term use in Theravada teachings, if any at all since most of its teachings are based primarily from the pali cannons and thus uses the pali scripts exclusively.

“Buddha Mind” may be coin synonymous to a liberated state of an awakened mind (Bodhi). So basically, a Buddha Mind is a mind that is awakened or a mind that is free from all mental agitations (including the 3 poisons). Do keep in mind that some of these English translated terms are used metaphorically and not definitively from their original intended usage. So, if you don’t understand metaphors and its intended usage from a Buddhist world view, then don’t quickly assume or even imply that it is “Woo”, which is an unconventional and expressive term in itself. The irony!

The Three Poisons are as follows:

Ignorance or Delusion readily gives rise to Attraction or Desire (greed, wanting, clinging, attachment) and its opposite, Repulsion or Aversion (hatred, rejection, aggression). The Three Poisons are commonly known as Ignorance, Greed and Hatred, for short.

To get rid of the Three Poisons, this can only and eventually be achieve from higher states of meditation ideally with a proper guide or teacher in combination with other pre-meditative developmental practices from The Noble Eightfold Paths (The Middle Way or Middle Path) or categorically, its simplified version, the Threefold Practice: Morality, ethical or virtuous conduct (Sila), mental discipline or concentration (Samadhi) and insight or wisdom (Panna).

Note that the practice of Samadhi and Panna are developmental stages to prepares a practitioner for both Samatha and Vipassana meditation respectively. Sila developmental practices are essentially behaviour modifications and is a preparatory stage for Samadhi and Panna practices. All of these practices, while presented in a linear order or steps for better comprehension, the actual practices are not linear and should overlap simultaneously as each steps are linked to cultivate the other areas and also depending the capacity of each individual. This non linear method is also presented in the other Buddhist tenets like The Five Aggregates of Clinging (Sanskrit: Skandhas or Pali: Khandhas) and Dependent Arising (Co-Arising proper) (Pratitya Samutpada).

Edited for minor grammar 9-21-11.

[ Edited: 22 September 2011 03:07 by Gia Cát L??ng]
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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21 September 2011 23:07
 

I wonder about the “getting rid of all the poisons” part.  Now I haven’t meditated for thousands of hours, so I’m just extrapolating here.  But I think that I could never completely “get rid of” my bad thoughts and reactions and turn continuously calm and saintly.  When I’m stressed, out pop my poisons! 

Like yesterday while my husband and I were walking our little wimp dog (on a leash) past our neighbor’s house, and their big mean dog comes charging out from behind their car, growling and barking, and bites onto our dog.  And my husband scoops up our dog, and then their mean dog is snapping and jumping up on my husband.  The owner is saying “No, no!” but their dog is not listening.  So OK, I lost all sense of neighborliness and all my years’ training (as a school teacher) not to swear, and I yelled, “Blankety blank blank!”... you fill in the blanks.  I mean I could have just shouted, “Stop, stop” or yanked at the dog’s collar, but I turned into a bit of a wild woman instead.

I think meditation could help us be more calm more of the time.  But the idea of a total elimination of “poisons” would be improbable.

 
EN
 
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EN
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21 September 2011 23:36
 
hannahfriend - 21 September 2011 09:07 PM

I wonder about the “getting rid of all the poisons” part.  Now I haven’t meditated for thousands of hours, so I’m just extrapolating here.  But I think that I could never completely “get rid of” my bad thoughts and reactions and turn continuously calm and saintly.  When I’m stressed, out pop my poisons! 

Like yesterday while my husband and I were walking our little wimp dog (on a leash) past our neighbor’s house, and their big mean dog comes charging out from behind their car, growling and barking, and bites onto our dog.  And my husband scoops up our dog, and then their mean dog is snapping and jumping up on my husband.  The owner is saying “No, no!” but their dog is not listening.  So OK, I lost all sense of neighborliness and all my years’ training (as a school teacher) not to swear, and I yelled, “Blankety blank blank!”... you fill in the blanks.  I mean I could have just shouted, “Stop, stop” or yanked at the dog’s collar, but I turned into a bit of a wild woman instead.

I think meditation could help us be more calm more of the time.  But the idea of a total elimination of “poisons” would be improbable.

That’s the problem. Even if you could rid your own mind of the poisons, the minute you encountered someone who hadn’t or some event brought about by the poisons working in someone else, you would be infected again. They are like a contagion, and there is no inoculation. That’s one reason why mystics of many traditions ended up living as hermits or cloistered away somewhere. What good is it then, as you lose all interaction with people and have no opportunity to do anything that benefits others?  Much better to have a reasonable degree of poison-free life, and still interact. Occasionally, you will encounter the mean dog, but the good in your life will still outweigh the bad.

 
SkepticX
 
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22 September 2011 00:05
 
hannahfriend - 21 September 2011 09:07 PM

I wonder about the “getting rid of all the poisons” part.  Now I haven’t meditated for thousands of hours, so I’m just extrapolating here.  But I think that I could never completely “get rid of” my bad thoughts and reactions and turn continuously calm and saintly.


Do you have to arrive at a particular destination in order to go on a journey?

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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22 September 2011 00:56
 
SkepticX - 21 September 2011 10:05 PM
hannahfriend - 21 September 2011 09:07 PM

I wonder about the “getting rid of all the poisons” part.  Now I haven’t meditated for thousands of hours, so I’m just extrapolating here.  But I think that I could never completely “get rid of” my bad thoughts and reactions and turn continuously calm and saintly.


Do you have to arrive at a particular destination in order to go on a journey?

No, I agree the journey is important.  But I thought Saralynn was asking how realistic the goals of Buddhism are.  Is Buddha-mind obtainable…for more than a few minutes or maybe hours?  I doubt it.  But maybe even brief periods are worth it for the individual.

I am way too hyper for meditation.  I am most at peace in activity, walking/hiking, or listening to music.  Sitting quietly has no appeal to me.  My husband on the other hand is the type who would be content sitting in a space capsule seat for days at a time.

 
Gia Cát L??ng
 
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Gia Cát L??ng
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22 September 2011 03:31
 
hannahfriend - 21 September 2011 09:07 PM

I wonder about the “getting rid of all the poisons” part.  Now I haven’t meditated for thousands of hours, so I’m just extrapolating here.  But I think that I could never completely “get rid of” my bad thoughts and reactions and turn continuously calm and saintly.  When I’m stressed, out pop my poisons!

All your practices are actions or experiences that will be compounded and “stored” so nothing is loss. The practices are outlined in the Noble Eightfold Path. For some people who maybe extraordinary, it may takes several years, and if so, quite rare. For most, perhaps decades or even life times that may span for aeons. So don’t expect any quick fix. It really depends on one’s effort, the ability to sustain such practice and eventually progress from it.

Imagine a blacksmith who forges a blade for a warrior. During the forging process, the more he folds he puts into the metal slab, the higher the level of hardness the eventual blade will become.

Imagine a martial arts practitioner, he may spend, by some older tradition of training, at least a decade or more just on stance and conditioning (cardio) training alone so that it will prepare him/her for latter exercises that demands a strong foundation from the fundamentals of previous trainings.

Imagine a six month child learning how to crawl before that child can begin to walk in order to prepare for running, then sprinting at latter stages in his/her life.

Whether one is using a physical oriented or a mental practice, the concept are similarly the same, but the methods are obviously different, applicable only within each phenomena state or “universe”. The key here is repetition of actions until it is refined to a certain natural state of instinctiveness for the mind since the mind is the key author to all actions that follows (i.e. volition > speech and or body actions). When one’s mind progressively arise from one mental state to another, there lies better awareness of objects and events and sense organs becomes more keen and acute and much more sensitive. These are some measurable factors that can only be determined by the practitioner him/her self over the course of their training.

Like yesterday while my husband and I were walking our little wimp dog (on a leash) past our neighbor’s house, and their big mean dog comes charging out from behind their car, growling and barking, and bites onto our dog.  And my husband scoops up our dog, and then their mean dog is snapping and jumping up on my husband.  The owner is saying “No, no!” but their dog is not listening.  So OK, I lost all sense of neighborliness and all my years’ training (as a school teacher) not to swear, and I yelled, “Blankety blank blank!”... you fill in the blanks.  I mean I could have just shouted, “Stop, stop” or yanked at the dog’s collar, but I turned into a bit of a wild woman instead.

I think meditation could help us be more calm more of the time.  But the idea of a total elimination of “poisons” would be improbable.

Samatha (calm or tranquil) mediation is intended to help the mind to be concentrated or extremely focus with the ability to achieve a natural ultra senstivity states during higher stages of mediation. This type of mediation is the most comprehensive, complex and can be very difficult to learn, in a nut shell.

Vipassana (clear or direct seeing) meditation is intended for observation, identification and investigation of surroundings be it external physical material objects or from the latter higher meditative stages, immaterial objects like mental objects within the mind including mental processes such as the 4 mental aggregates of clinging.

Samatha meditation is intended to be use first, then following, Vipassana meditation and finally both simultaneously at the same time.

If one’s mind is agitated and not calm, then how can one be aware of his/her current surroundings to investigate for possible actions to be taken following? This is why Samantha and Vipassana meditations are formed. The concept in itself can be applicable in everyday life. One do not need to meditate in order to understand these two concepts and still be able develop such a skill prior to meditation.

[ Edited: 22 September 2011 03:34 by Gia Cát L??ng]
 
GAD
 
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22 September 2011 03:53
 
Khổng Minh - 22 September 2011 01:31 AM

All your practices are actions or experiences that will be compounded and “stored” so nothing is loss. The practices are outlined in the Noble Eightfold Path. For some people who maybe extraordinary, it may takes several years, and if so, quite rare. For most, perhaps decades or even life times that may span for aeons. So don’t expect any quick fix. It really depends on one’s effort, the ability to sustain such practice and eventually progress from it.

chugga chugga woo woo

 
 
SkepticX
 
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22 September 2011 10:19
 
hannahfriend - 21 September 2011 10:56 PM
SkepticX - 21 September 2011 10:05 PM
hannahfriend - 21 September 2011 09:07 PM

I wonder about the “getting rid of all the poisons” part.  Now I haven’t meditated for thousands of hours, so I’m just extrapolating here.  But I think that I could never completely “get rid of” my bad thoughts and reactions and turn continuously calm and saintly.


Do you have to arrive at a particular destination in order to go on a journey?

No, I agree the journey is important.  But I thought Saralynn was asking how realistic the goals of Buddhism are.


goal = destination

Buddhism (the practice thereof) = journey

 
 
Cymro
 
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23 September 2011 21:44
 
eudemonia - 21 September 2011 08:08 PM

Religiostupidification vs Spiritualstupidification.

What ever makes you ‘feel ’ better I suppose.

So chant in your closet and empty your mind and see where that takes you.

How about mystilio-fixation - or a mystilio-fixation elaboration situation without certification?

 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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24 September 2011 12:07
 

Hey, I appreciated Khổng Minh’s posts.  The guy seems to know what he is talking about and his explanations make sense to me.  I think the terms used in Buddhism are what are turning you guys off, not the basic premises.

I personally don’t believe in “enlightenment” as a permanent state, but Buddhism certainly can help people become more aware of their own conditioning and respond to life in a more rational manner.  It may not prevent you from screaming at a neighbor’s dog who has bitten your puppy, but it can prevent you from retaliating by setting the guy’s house on fire.

I was also failing to appreciate that “Buddha-mind” is a metaphor, not a defintion.


Thanks, Khổng Minh!

 
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