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Re: Question about Mahayana.

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  • upasaka_howard
    Hi, Ken - ... HCW: No, they are not different. A fixed, unchanging identity/core in a so-called being is exactly what a soul would be. No matter how one
    Message 1 of 158 , Feb 24, 2013
      Hi, Ken -

      --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Ken H" <kenhowardau@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Howard,
      >
      > ----
      > >> KH: We occasionally see people on DSG trying to tell us that anatta does not mean there is no eternal soul.
      > >>
      >
      > > HCW: Who says that?
      > ----
      >
      > KH: What do *you* mean when you say something is not self? Do you mean it lacks an eternal soul? Or do you mean it lacks its own identity (that it does not exist in and of itself)?
      >
      > Those are two very different meanings aren't they?
      ---------------------------------
      HCW:
      No, they are not different. A fixed, unchanging identity/core in a so-called being is exactly what a "soul" would be. No matter how one looks, there is none to be found, but only arising, changing, and ceasing phenomena.
      -------------------------------
      >
      > I have no doubt that Tony, for one, adopts the former meaning. And I suspect you do too.
      >
      > ---------
      > >> KH: They say it means everything lacks its "own being" or there is nothing that exists "in and of itself."
      > >>
      >
      > > HCW: What do you think "the soul" is thought of as being defined other than as a permanent core of identity within the ever-changing stream of phenomena that is thought of as a person?
      > ----------
      >
      > KH: I think the word "permanent" is the key there. I agree every conditioned dhamma lacks permanence. But I don't agree that a dhamma's trillionth-of-a-second, absolute existence constitutes permanence.
      >
      > ----------------
      > > HCW: Even in Mahayana, the notion of "no self" pertains primarily to the alleged soul, but it also applies to all dhammas.
      > -----------------
      >
      > KH: That is what I suspected: in Mahayana the eternal soul is regarded in the same way everything else is regarded. It is no less real than (for example) consciousness.
      ------------------------------
      HCW:
      You have an interesting way of putting it. I, OTOH, would say that there is no soul/core of identity to be found in any being, and ALSO not in any of the phenomena you like to call "realities". The Buddha only refers to nibbana as a "reality," rejecting such usage for anything else.
      -----------------------------
      >
      > ----------
      > >> KH: I assume they are saying the Buddha did not deny the existence of an eternal soul, he only denied the eternal soul had its own being.
      > >>
      >
      > > HCW: You assume incorrectly. And why *assume* when you can directly check? But you have to actually take a look-see.
      > ----------
      >
      > KH: I was hoping someone would tell me rather than expect me to look for myself.
      ------------------------------
      HCW:
      Yeah, we all prefer that! ;-))
      -------------------------------
      >
      > What does the Mahayana school mean by anatta? Does it mean all dhammas are devoid of a permanent soul. Or does it mean there are ultimately no conditioned dhammas?
      ------------------------------
      HCW:
      Asked and answered. (BTW, there is no "Mahayana school," but a number of Mahayana schools.
      -----------------------------
      >
      > Ken H
      >
      ==========================
      With metta,
      Howard


      /See how the world together with the devas has self-conceit for what is not-self. Enclosed by mind-and-body it imagines, 'This is real.' Whatever they imagine it to be, it is quite different from that. It is unreal, of a false nature and perishable.
      Nibbana, not false in nature, that the Noble Ones know as true. Indeed, by the penetration of the true, they are completely stilled and realize final deliverance./

      (From the Dvayatanupassana Sutta)
      ___________
      /Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick — this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they're empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately./

      (From the Phena Sutta)
      ___________
      /He who does not find core or substance in any of the realms of being, like flowers which are vainly sought in fig trees that bear none — such a seeker gives up the here and the beyond, just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin. ... He who neither goes too far nor lags behind and knows about the world: "This is all unreal," — such a monk gives up the here and the beyond, just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin./

      (From the Uraga Sutta )
    • Robert E
      Hi Sarah. ... I continue to think this is a very zen approach to Dhamma - I think if you called it zen you d probably convert a bunch of Mahayanists, as it
      Message 158 of 158 , Apr 27, 2013
        Hi Sarah.

        --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "sarah" <sarahprocterabbott@...> wrote:

        > S: Better to just talk about realities, paramattha dhammas that can be understood now. I think this is more productive than discussions about formal meditation.
        >
        > This morning at breakfast, another swimmer started asking me about retreats and meditation because of stress issues. I just started talking about 'now', about seeing now, hearing now, 'meditation' now, even in the noisy cafe. Otherwise, there's always a thinking about another time, another place, never any understanding or awareness now. She appreciated it!

        I continue to think this is a very "zen" approach to Dhamma - I think if you called it "zen" you'd probably convert a bunch of Mahayanists, as it is very appealing, and I agree really is the heart of becoming aware, which can only happen at this moment now.

        A favorite quote of mine is sort of analogous in its simplicity, from the avant-garde saxaphonist/bass clarinetist Eric Dolphy, now deceased: "Music, after it's over, it's gone in the air - you can never capture it again."

        Best,
        Rob E.

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