Re: [dsg] Re: Question about Mahayana.
- Hi Rob E,
> I think that's an excellent question, but the answer might not beDo you agree that for example, feeling has a characteristic, function,
> quite so pat as one would hope. I really think it would be worthwhile
> to discuss what "real" means. What I have in mind is that dhammas are
> "real" in the sense that they really do arise and fall away, but
> whether there is a "dhamma per se" that exists as a frozen entity in a
> moment of time, I would say 'no,' and I think the Abhidhamma -- as far
> as I have seen -- bears this out. The dhamma is an activity in a
> sense, not an object. It is never an x or a y per se, because it is
> always in a process of change. When it is arising, it is forming up,
> when it is functioning, it is doing what it was conditioned to do, and
> when it is falling away, it is dissolving until it no longer exists.
> Therefore there is never a moment that it is definable as an absolute
> this or that, it is changing continuously. It is this understanding of
> anicca on the most microscopic level that would lead one to say that
> there is never a moment when you can put your finger on a dhamma and
> say "it is exactly that." Therefore I would say it is not "real as a
> definable object," it is real "as an active formation and dissolution
> in process" that never stops to be defined. We can talk about the
> cetasikas that are involved and the processes involved - contact, or
> vitakkha, et al, but not at any moment say that the dhamma is frozen
> as "this." So I think we mistakenly think of dhammas as static objects
> like a table or chair that we can stop and look at, and it is not
> that. In that sense, "own-being" does not make sense to me, because
> the dhamma is not just one thing, but a changing process. Of what
> could its "being" consist of, other than constant transformation?
manifestation and proximate cause different from say, perception?
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- Hi Sarah.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "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."
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