Rock And Roll And The Bodhisattva Vow

190211_rock-sThis weekend, the movie Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen will play in Boulder (Sat. Jan. 18 at 7:00pm at Muenziger Auditorium at the University of Colorado) and Denver (Sunday Jan. 19 at 1:00pm at Sie Film Center). We’re still several tickets short of our necessary minimum for the Denver screening. So please buy some tickets, Denver people!

My next event after that is a retreat with Kazuaki Tanahashi at Upaya Zen Center Feb 18-23. It’ll be a groovy time, for sure!

I spent a couple hours writing a blog post today that I realized halfway through was a piece of crap. So I deleted it. I still want to post something, but I’ve got stuff to do and have run out of time. So I dug up an article I wrote years ago and never (as far as I remember) put up on the blog. It’s not fantastic. But it’s OK. Here you go!

•   •   •

A couple weeks ago, the place where I do my regular Zen talks had a fund raising event. Because of my background as a musician, the folks who organized the event asked me to do some kind of a performance there. So I put together a new version of my old band and got together a set. There was another group on the bill that night, a politically concerned all-female ethnic music ensemble. Being the more popular act, they went on first and we were the mop-up act. They didn’t have a P.A. system, so we let ‘em use ours. They didn’t have a set of drums with ‘em, so our drummer let ‘em use his. No biggie. In the old punk rock days we had no choice but to share equipment. It was part of the group ethic that you did not refuse to share.

Between songs, the other band kept talking about big important issues. Awareness was the key word. We all needed to be aware of social problems, aware of injustice, aware of war, aware of poverty, aware of discrimination because of race, gender and sexual orientation. If only we were aware of these things we could begin to make a difference!

Minutes after their set was finished, the members of the first band were nowhere to be found and neither were a single one of their fans. Where was their commitment to social awareness, I wondered, when they weren’t even aware they were breaching one of the cardinal rules of band etiquette? When you play with another group, whether you like them or not, you stay for at least part of their set — especially if you’ve borrowed some of their equipment.

I’m taking this band to task not because I want to hold myself up as an example of good in opposition to their evil. In fact, I know only too well exactly where they’re coming from because I spent so much time there myself. And I fear that much of American Buddhism is also following the same path.

I spoke at Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul, Minnesota a little while ago and someone in the audience asked me about the Bodhisattva Vow — you know, that whole deal about, “Living beings are numberless, I vow to save them all.” Everyone loves that one, and everyone wants you to talk about it. But I wonder how we in America understand the Bodhisattva Vow.

It seems to me that a lot of folks worry that Buddhism is too selfish, it isn’t doing enough to deal with the major issues. How does sitting in one spot solve the problems of global warming and war? How does it end racism, starvation, suicide bombings? These are urgent problems that demand immediate action. I understand that feeling very well. I gave up on Buddhist practice more than once because I felt like it was taking time away that could be spent dealing with more important issues.

We feel guilty about sitting there, doing all this work on ourselves instead of going out in the world and alleviating the suffering of other living beings out there. But I wonder if we can really help anyone else effectively unless we help ourselves first. It’s like what they tell you when you’re on an airplane, put your own oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs. Cuz if you suffocate you won’t be able to do anyone any good.

Sitting in one spot, working on yourself is really the only way to deal with the big issues facing human kind. Remember that idea you always read in Buddhist books about how subject and object are one and the same, how there is no real difference between yourself and the outside world? This wasn’t invented as a clever metaphor. It’s actually a truer and better description of our real situation than the so-called common sense view.

When we, ourselves, become calmer, more rational, more centered, everything we do naturally becomes a fulfillment of the Bodhisattva Vow. When we make efforts to center ourselves, the rest of the world participates in that effort. It sounds weird, I know. But it happens to be true. The real fulfillment of the Bodhisattva Vow rarely manifests itself in big, sweeping acts of heroic service to all mankind. It’s usually something very small.

Smiling at your boss even though he is a smug, self-serving royal pain in the ass is the fulfillment of the Bodhisattva Vow. Shutting up when you spontaneously think of the perfect sarcastic come-back to a rude clerk at the DMV is the fulfillment of the Bodhisattva Vow. Putting the toilet seat down after you’re done so your sister won’t fall in is the fulfillment of the Bodhisattva Vow. Staying behind and watching some of the set by the band who lent you their stuff is the fulfillment of the Bodhisattva Vow.

Your real day-to-day, minute-to-minute activity right here and right now has immeasurable impact upon the entire Universe. Your real action right here and now creates the Universe.

•   •   •

Your donations are very important to me. Thank you!

84 Responses

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  1. minkfoot
    minkfoot January 16, 2014 at 3:44 pm | |

    If I post first, have I saved all beings?

  2. Mumbles
    Mumbles January 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm | |

    minkfoot, you have saved all of us other beings from posting first, for what that’s worth. But I’m a little fuzzy on the Bodhisattva thing, so indulge me… since You posted first with the intent of saving All beings, does that include you, too? Does that mean that thanks to you we have all essentially posted first?

    Another thought: Saved from what exactly? Saved from posting first if we had beat you to it? Is there danger in posting first? Does it have anything to do with posting first? This “saving” part, I mean… So many questions?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7uC5m-IRns

    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot January 16, 2014 at 7:34 pm | |

      https://groups.google.com/forum/m/?hl=en#!search/%22bodhisattva$20gridlock%22

      If there are too many first posters, we run the danger of “bodhisattva gridlock”!

      I took it on myself to be the only one.

  3. Jonathan
    Jonathan January 16, 2014 at 7:50 pm | |

    There may be a koan in this somewhere.

    If you stay and listen to the punk band, then the whole world will be filled with punk music…

  4. Mumbles
    Mumbles January 16, 2014 at 7:53 pm | |

    Taking one for the team, huh?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiKcd7yPLdU

    Oh, and staying on topic:

    The band that sucks usually plays first.

  5. Alan Sailer
    Alan Sailer January 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm | |

    When I chant or read the vow “Living beings are numberless, I vow to save them all.” my “honest to real” reaction is “what a pretentious, impossible vow”.

    I’m so caught up in my own internal dramas and fears that even the thought of other unknown and numberless being that I could hypothetically save is basically laughable.

    It a job way above my zen pay grade.

    Cheers.

  6. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 16, 2014 at 8:29 pm | |

    The bodhisattva vow as I understand it is something like this, attributed to Albert Low:

    The vow of the Bodhisattva is that she will not go into Nirvana until every single suffering being has entered Nirvana.”

    She will not go first…

    Ah, the Humans!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ8JNq56TYU

  7. Mumbles
    Mumbles January 17, 2014 at 4:50 am | |

    Thanks Mark, It would seem Low is implying that only a woman (Bodhisattva) possesses the requisite compassion to fulfill such a vow, and that makes sense to me.

    The historical Buddha “saved” himself/him-no-self, I believe (or was enlightened or whatever you want to call it), ie; & is not considered a “Bodhisattva?”

    This business always reminds me how a ship’s captain is supposed to selflessly get everybody off the sinking boat and go down with the ship, but we know that isn’t always the case…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxygqSTO1lQ

  8. blake
    blake January 17, 2014 at 7:28 am | |

    You ARE saving all beings… saving them from YOU! And then maybe you can help people save beings from themselves and they can help others and so on and so on…

  9. Andy
    Andy January 17, 2014 at 8:40 am | |

    Strawmen

    (for catsarebothfiniteandinfinite)

    nictitate at
    dark-speed against bricked up
    windows. From the outside
    an indvidual may intuit
    this as a crystal wilderness

    have heaving doors.
    No-one tallied such collective
    embezzlement of cold
    in winter, for that would eat
    away at it, and then crumble

    shawl themselves
    in a single gothic corridor,
    the way shadows are the mass
    of unopened tin cans. Where
    is your daughter tonight?

    have an open day.
    All the day of their
    homecoming forestalled,
    just for you, behind the well,
    in a clutch of bindweed.

  10. senorchupacabra
    senorchupacabra January 17, 2014 at 9:50 am | |

    I would add that “sitting” instead of “doing something” also means you’re not out there doing terrible shit.

    If more people just “sat around” instead of constantly trying to gain more power or money, the world would probably be a better place.

  11. Mumbles
    Mumbles January 17, 2014 at 10:00 am | |

    LOL senorchupacabra glad to know I am “doing my part” in the sitting around doing mostly nothing dept. This also fits nicely with your comment, Blake.

    Now everyone sit quietly and sip the grape Kool-Aid.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDw6fpdPbSI

  12. Harlan
    Harlan January 17, 2014 at 11:15 am | |

    It’s a little like the physician’s vow that before doing anything, do no harm. Things are bad enough already..

    Mumbles, The band that sucks doesn’t get to play at all. They stay in the garage and bitch to each other about all the shitty music being made..

    The best bands usually plays last, the good bands plays first. Even the sucky bands need to be saved, they are numberless.

  13. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon January 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm | |

    “I spent a couple hours writing a blog post today that I realized halfway through was a piece of crap. So I deleted it.”

    Was it another silly post about “GOD”? If so, you did the right thing; for yourself, for your readers, and for humanity. I just wish I could delete all the other ones from my memory. Bodhisattva of the Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, please, hear my prayer…

  14. boubi
    boubi January 17, 2014 at 3:34 pm | |

    So for lacking of doing a punk-good deed (as tought in sunday school) they will go to some punk-buddhist hell or, in case they have accumulated enough punk-merit/punk-point, they will stay some kalpas in a no better defined shady limbo without sun nor fun.

    WOW !

    Maybe saying some hail Mary and pater noster would have helped.

  15. Fred
    Fred January 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm | |

    Hey Sepehr

    feeding at the trough
    of the 7th patriarch
    the septic seeping
    word spewing blindness
    of “a clutch of bindweed”
    your pearls not nuggets
    of direct insight nor
    penetrating infinity’s shadow

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=def3ob2h-1s

  16. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm | |

    Now what is the difference, between enlightenment and entering nirvana?

    Paranirvana- that, the long sayings record Gautama entered at his death, from the fourth meditative state.

    I’m thinking nirvana and enlightenment are the same. Logically, we’re all mad here, but apart from that the implication for Mahayanists taking the bodhisattva vow would be “no enlightenment before dinner (with the family)”.

    Do not save everyone from yourself, do not enjoy forestalling homecoming in the well among the bindweeds, cease and desist proclaiming undigested bits of gravy to be the holy grail of enlightenment until everyone has undigested the same gravy; at midnight, then!

  17. Fred
    Fred January 17, 2014 at 7:51 pm | |

    Do you think that someone could hold off the extinguishing of the flame when
    the bottom of the bucket falls through.

    Or that a human personality’s vow has any relevance to It unfolding.

    It is like a tidal bore rushing through the crab flats, washing over the self.

    Shock and awe.

  18. Mumbles
    Mumbles January 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm | |

    Very nice, Mark, so now tell me, exactly what IS a Bodhisattva supposed to be saving everyone from before they do what? And, then the Bodhisattva enters what? er, pass the gravy…

    1. boubi
      boubi January 18, 2014 at 2:49 am | |

      Interresting etymology

  19. boubi
    boubi January 18, 2014 at 2:39 am | |

    Bodhisattva should be one who having lighted the match holds it for others to (????), holding it till it burns down (finger tips included), having thus to light another match, supposedly in another time.

  20. Andy
    Andy January 18, 2014 at 6:21 am | |

    “Was it another silly post about “GOD”? If so, you did the right thing; for yourself, for your readers, and for humanity. I just wish I could delete all the other ones from my memory. Bodhisattva of the Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, please, hear my prayer…”

    asymmetrical
    finger-smudged ethics are here
    again to square things

    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon January 18, 2014 at 8:28 am | |

      crispy carrot lawn
      for a prison architect
      of horn-shaped judo

      1. boubi
        boubi January 18, 2014 at 10:03 am | |
        1. boubi
          boubi January 18, 2014 at 10:07 am | |

          THE BEAT !

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9BIX9akkh4

          no spik spaniss ?

          1. boubi
            boubi January 18, 2014 at 10:12 am |

            What is wrong with you?

            It’s a thief in the night to come and grab you
            It can creep up inside you and consume you
            A disease of the mind, it can control you
            It’s too close for comfort

            Your minds in disturbia, it’s like the darkness is light
            Disturbia, am I scaring you tonight?
            Disturbia, aint used to what you like
            Disturbia, disturbia …

            …..

            Faded pictures on the wall, it’s like they talking to me
            ….
            I gotta get out or figure this sh** out
            It’s too close for comfort, oh

            It’s a thief in the night to come and grab you
            It can creep up inside you and consume you
            A disease of the mind it can control you
            I feel like a monster, oh

            http://mythologica.fr/tibet/pic/nick_dudka_milarepa.jpg

          2. Fred
            Fred January 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm |

            “He should produce a thought which is unsupported by forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, or mind-objects, unsupported by dharma, unsupported by no-dharma, unsupported by anything”

          3. Fred
            Fred January 18, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
          4. Fred
            Fred January 18, 2014 at 2:35 pm |

            ” In his translation of this section, Kumarajiva leaves out the Sanskrit “…apratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam yan na kvacit-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam,” translated as above by Conze and by Red Pine as “[fearless bodhisattvas] should thus give birth to a thought that is not attached and not give birth to a thought attached to anything.” Kumarjiva glosses this as “…[Bodhisattvas] should in this way give rise[=生, birth] to a pure, lucid [淸淨] mind…” (“…應如是生淸淨心…”) He then goes on to enumerate what such a mind is not attached to and does not abide in, namely the six sense-objects.”

          5. Fred
            Fred January 18, 2014 at 2:46 pm |

            A thought that is not supported, is the non-discriminative, non-conceptual
            thought that experiences what is without the cognitive ” overlay ” generated by
            previous conditioning.

            A fearless Bodhisattva cannot forgo illumination in order to save others,
            because that is a supported thought

          6. Fred
            Fred January 18, 2014 at 3:13 pm |

            Anon 108′s translation on Nov 8:

            “‘Therefore then, O Subhuti, non-dependant thought will thus be produced by a bodhisattva, by a great being.
            Thought that is nowhere-dependant will be produced; whatever thought that is form/appearance-dependant will not be produced; whatever thought that is sound, smell, taste, touch or object-dependant will not be produced.’”

          7. Fred
            Fred January 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm |

            And now back to the future.

          8. minkfoot
            minkfoot January 19, 2014 at 6:41 am |

            The future has been canceled due to lack of support.

          9. Fred
            Fred January 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm |

            Posted 3 times. Voynich for 3Andrew.

            The re-emergence of enlightenment obscured within the travels of the self.

            Zazen gets up and walks around or zazen does zazen is the completed truth.

            This self composed of layers of conditioning is the vessel where the completed
            truth shines forth.

            That someone holds back, or waits for others to become enlightened is deludedness.

            The truth founded on evidence is evident to enlightenment itself.

            The self is blind.

          10. anon 108
            anon 108 January 20, 2014 at 8:55 am |

            ‘…dependent’ not ‘dependant’. How embarrassing.

  21. boubi
    boubi January 18, 2014 at 10:14 am | |

    What do you think this song is all about?

    Who grabs you?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTKY5GTQ1HQ

  22. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 18, 2014 at 11:39 am | |

    smudged-finger ethics
    of the crispy horned square things
    beating slight wings on a box
    made of corn flakes

    I gotta get out or figure this sh** out

    “what IS a Bodhisattva supposed to be saving everyone from before they do what? And, then the Bodhisattva enters what?”

    Ignorance. Deliverance from thought without grasping (not to be confused with thoughtlessness).

    Now let us give thanks, for the great ones and their teachings.

    http://www.dakinirosegardens.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Padma-dakini.jpg

    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot January 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm | |

      I feel like the little red figure she’s dancing on. Not a bad feeling.

  23. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 18, 2014 at 11:41 am | |

    Sorry my response ended up out of order. How could that happen, WordPress! It’s up a couple of notches from here.

  24. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 18, 2014 at 11:45 am | |

    Wow. wasn’t a fluke. The index on this comment thread is toast. Hey stonemirror, thanks for the new color on the auth screen, and check this out- looks like boubi will always have the last word on this thread, through no fault of her own! Ha ha! (or maybe this one will land right?- doubtful)

  25. Fred
    Fred January 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm | |

    “what IS a Bodhisattva supposed to be saving everyone from before they do what? And, then the Bodhisattva enters what?”

    “Ignorance. Deliverance from thought without grasping (not to be confused with thoughtlessness).”

    “Therefore then, Subhuti, the Bodhi-being, the great being, after he has got rid of all perceptions (samjñâ), should raise his thought (cittam utpada) to the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment (samyaksambodhau). He should produce a thought which is unsupported by forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, or mind-objects, unsupported by dharma, unsupported by no-dharma, unsupported by anything”

  26. AnneMH
    AnneMH January 18, 2014 at 2:25 pm | |

    I have been actually thinking about this in a fashion lately. I was working with some compassion practices recommended by my teacher and it felt odd. When I changed my focus to compassion that was about the connection between us all instead of me separately sending or receiving compassion it worked a lot better. I would like to think I have saved a lot of grief by having some of my personal stuff managed better. You never really know how it could have gone. I think if you can identify something it is basically using all the stuff like Wise Speech, Wise Action etc, to not make things worse.

    And I got tickets for Boulder! thank you for coming to Colorado.

  27. Fred
    Fred January 18, 2014 at 2:34 pm | |

    ” In his translation of this section, Kumarajiva leaves out the Sanskrit “…apratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam yan na kvacit-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam,” translated as above by Conze and by Red Pine as “[fearless bodhisattvas] should thus give birth to a thought that is not attached and not give birth to a thought attached to anything.” Kumarjiva glosses this as “…[Bodhisattvas] should in this way give rise[=生, birth] to a pure, lucid [淸淨] mind…” (“…應如是生淸淨心…”) He then goes on to enumerate what such a mind is not attached to and does not abide in, namely the six sense-objects.”

  28. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm | |

    Not keen on this passage from the Diamond Sutra, owing to “thought (of whatever description) will be produced by a bodhisattva”.

    The Pali Canon notes that Gautama’s claim to fame as an adept was in surpassing the non-material states of “the plane of no-thing” and “neither-perception-and-sensation-nor-yet-not-perception-and-sensation” to attain “cessation of (activity in) perception and sensation”. He studied and attained to the two prior states under noted teachers of his day, both of whom had deceased by the time of Gautama’s enlightenment.

    If you ask me, I would say that his enlightenment concerned the nature of suffering and the cessation of (volitive activity in) perception and sensation. The bodhisattva vow, for me is perhaps the recognition that I together with all sentient beings can do nothing about his reconciliation, and are doing nothing even as I speak.

  29. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 18, 2014 at 4:42 pm | |

    How’d you get the last word, Fred!

  30. Mumbles
    Mumbles January 18, 2014 at 5:33 pm | |

    Mark, what do you mean by “ignorance?” Isn’t ignorance generally considered bliss? Doesn’t this quote translated by Anon 108 Fred comments with on “non dependent thought” in some (albeit conceptual) way define an ultimate, or desirable “ignorance?”

    1. Fred
      Fred January 18, 2014 at 7:06 pm | |

      Ignorance is defined as identifying with the contents of the conditioned self in
      comparison to enlightenment.

      Although you could say that the subjectless, “non-dependent thought” of
      primordial awareness is a welcome ignorance.

  31. boubi
    boubi January 18, 2014 at 5:37 pm | |

    Yes but his Highness Sri Raja Kumare gives slightly different scent to “cittam” and to the “insupported to one’s lingam”, which, to many scholars seems to be a, if not the, central point of all this.

    gasho

  32. senorchupacabra
    senorchupacabra January 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm | |

    @Mumbles:

    Kool-aid is delicious. You sure you don’t want to try it?

    The point is we don’t actually know what is “good” and what is “bad.” Human beings have a limited view.

    Does Dick Cheney know he’s an asshole? Who knows, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought he was doing the “right” thing.

    The fact remains, however, that if Dick Cheney had “sat around” instead of warmonging and making millions, the world would be a better place. Hell, if he had spent his life writing spy novels instead of the shit he was doing, the world would be a better place.

    A lot of bad shit is done in the name of “good.”

  33. Mumbles
    Mumbles January 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm | |

    senorchupacabra, gee, ya think?

    My avatar drank the poison, it didn’t do anything.

  34. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 18, 2014 at 8:57 pm | |

    You are a flawless devil’s advocate, John- got us all going.

    Ah, the yoni, the lingham… reminds me of something. Where was I? Oh, yes! :)

    This has taken me a lifetime so far to reveal to myself, the experience of action out of stretch in the absence of volition, the experience of action in the distinction of sense without volition. It’s all remembering how to breathe, as I never have before.

  35. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm | |

    dated Dec 6 2013:

    ‘Something big is about to happen on the sun. According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun’s vast magnetic field is about to flip.
    “It looks like we’re no more than three to four months away from a complete field reversal,” said solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. “This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system.”‘

    (from nasa.gov)

    Dated Dec. 29 2013:

    The sun has “flipped upside down”, with its north and south poles reversed to reach the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24, Nasa has said.

    (here)

  36. Brent
    Brent January 19, 2014 at 10:24 pm | |

    The future was yesterday!

  37. boubi
    boubi January 20, 2014 at 2:57 am | |

    Was there any mention of boddhisatvas in the early suytras or is it a mahayana thing?

    Did Siddharta Gautama talked about any?

  38. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm | |

    boubi, it’s a Mahayana thing, the bodhisattva and the bodhisattva vow. Moreover, we have this:

    ‘The Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra contains a simple and brief definition for the term bodhisattva, which is also the earliest known Mahāyāna definition. This definition is given as the following.

    “Because he has enlightenment as his aim, a bodhisattva-mahāsattva is so called.”

    (Wikipedia “Bodhisattva”)

    And this:

    ‘An important development in the Mahayana [was] that it came to separate nirvana from bodhi (‘awakening’ to the truth, Enlightenment), and to put a lower value on the former (Gombrich, 1992d). Originally nirvana and bodhi refer to the same thing; they merely use different metaphors for the experience. But the Mahayana tradition separated them and considered that nirvana referred only to the extinction of craving (passion and hatred), with the resultant escape from the cycle of rebirth. This interpretation ignores the third fire, delusion: the extinction of delusion is of course in the early texts identical with what can be positively expressed as gnosis, Enlightenment.’

    (Richard F. Gombrich, “How Buddhism Began”)

    1. boubi
      boubi January 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm | |

      Hi Fred
      “Because he has enlightenment as his aim, a bodhisattva-mahāsattva is so called.”

      It doesn’t sound as the bodhisatva meaning we use now, i thought that “he has enlightenment as his aim” was some kind of bikkhu/monk/yogi etc

      “nirvana from bodhi (‘awakening’ to the truth, Enlightenment) … the extinction of delusion ”
      Looks to me as same-same, maybe viewed from different starting points, “the extinction of delusion ” gets now a new attractiveness to me, sounds as in mahaparanirvana sutra “extinction of extinction” (or similar)

      You the one with the dog avatar?
      Still busy with your cranial-sacral alignment thing?

      Don’t miss the great beauty
      http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTQ0ODg1OTQ2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTc2MDY1MDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_.jpg

      1. boubi
        boubi January 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm | |

        Vacuity, awareness of vacuity, sublime movie.

  39. boubi
    boubi January 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm | |

    How happy ligam compares to second “non-dependent thought” of
    primordial awareness as contrary to unwelcome un-ignorance as in unconditioned a-vidyasness?

    Which commentary is more adherent to which is below mulhadhara chakra, as in jAmitA (जामिता) but distinct from gaganaromantha (गगनरोमन्थ).

    But in the end isn’t it all about मदीय चूषति पुंजति cUSati madIya puMjati of yore, the real root of being? So so near to the origin of the world (as we can conceive it in our very own limitation)

    http://cdn.blog.dwbuk.org/wp-content/uploads/Drukpa-Kunley-statue-from-the-Rubin-Museum-of-Art-New-York.jpg

  40. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm | |

    I’ve been working on collecting my thoughts, some of which have appeared on this thread. Hopefully y’all are interested:

    I’m drawn to the bodhisattva vow, and I think I’m beginning to understand why.

    The bodhisattva vow as I understand it is something like this, attributed to Albert Low:

    “The vow of the Bodhisattva is that she will not go into Nirvana until every single suffering being has entered Nirvana.”

    Now originally, nirvana and enlightenment were considered the same thing, but the Mahayana tradition which gives us the bodhisattva vow eventually separated the two, identifying nirvana as the extinction of sensual desire and hatred, while enlightenment included the further extinction of delusion (per Gombrich, “How Buddhism Began”).

    I will make the case here that the essential premise of the bodhisattva vow is a fundamental change in the approach to Gautama’s attainment, and the word I will use to describe that attainment is enlightenment.

    I’m currently reading “Introduction to Metamathematics”, by Stephen Kleene. There, I discover that most of the proofs of higher mathematics rely on the concept of infinity as a completed whole, and yet the acceptance of infinity as a completed whole opens the door to paradox and contradiction. I find a parallel to this in the concept of enlightenment and the bodhisattva vow: the word enlightenment as commonly used refers to a transcendence of ignorance in human affairs as “actual or completed”, whereas the bodhisattva vow treats a transcendence of ignorance in human affairs “only as potential or becoming or constructive” (quoted material “Introduction to Metamathematics”, by S. C. Kleene, in the description of non-intuitionism versus intuitionism in mathematics, pg 48). Here’s a favorite quote:

    “(The mathematician) Brouwer opened our eyes and made us see how far classical mathematics, nourished by the belief in the ‘absolute’ that transcends all human possibilities of realization, goes beyond such statements as can claim real meaning and truth founded on evidence.” (Ibid pg 49, attributed to Weyl 1946)

    Gautama the Buddha’s assumption that enlightenment exists as “actual or completed” has led “beyond such statements as can claim real meaning and truth founded on evidence”- this in spite of his own advice to his followers to “be lamps unto yourselves… look not for refuge to any one besides yourselves” (Digha Nikaya Paranibbbana Suttanta Second Portion).

    The means by which to be “a lamp onto oneself” for Gautama was mindfulness of the body, the feelings, the mind, and the state of mind (see Digha Nikaya as above), a practice which he described as his own in the particular instance where the aspects of mindfulness are coupled with a particular in-breath or out-breath (SN V Book X Chapter II, Pali Text Society pg 289).

    I’m drawn to the bodhisattva vow because it values “the potential or becoming or constructive” over the “actual or completed”, and I feel that just as in mathematics, such an orientation may avoid the paradox and contradiction that has arisen over the centuries in the transmission of the teachings.

    Perhaps also as in mathematics, a great deal of what Gautama taught cannot be expected to make sense without the assumption that an enlightenment exists that is “actual or completed”; the point is that the assumption of such an enlightenment will give rise to contradiction and paradox as the logic of the “actual or completed” enlightenment is extended. I believe such an assumption also encourages people to go “beyond such statements as can claim real meaning and truth founded on evidence” in their practice of Gautama’s teachings, even though “truth founded on evidence” was the approach Gautama the Buddha advised in the end.

    I’m drawn to the bodhisattva vow because I find the “actual or completed” enlightenment suspect, even from Gautama the Buddha, and the “truth founded on evidence” to be the only one I can relate to.

    1. Fred
      Fred January 20, 2014 at 6:29 pm | |

      Zazen gets up and walks around or zazen does zazen is the completed truth.

      This self composed of layers of conditioning is the vessel where the completed
      truth shines forth.

      That someone holds back, or waits for others to become enlightened is deludedness.

      The truth founded on evidence is evident to enlightenment itself.

      The self is blind.

  41. Fred
    Fred January 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm | |

    The re-emergence of enlightenment obscured within the travels of the self.

    Zazen gets up and walks around or zazen does zazen is the completed truth.

    This self composed of layers of conditioning is the vessel where the completed
    truth shines forth.

    That someone holds back, or waits for others to become enlightened is deludedness.

    The truth founded on evidence is evident to enlightenment itself.

    The self is blind.

  42. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm | |

    Fred’s avatar, emptiness in a frame?- Mark’s, used to be Mark & Sonia the chocolate lab, thanks boubi. RIP Sonia.

  43. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm | |

    Blind, blind!

    and now, Not Blind Lemon!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFknuUUMnnc#t=34

  44. boubi
    boubi January 21, 2014 at 1:23 am | |

    Hi MARK

    I made a mistake and refered to you as “Fred”.

    So i was asking you about boddhisatvas, cranio-sacral thing and the dog’s avatar

    :)

  45. boubi
    boubi January 21, 2014 at 10:06 am | |

    To further discussion

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