Re: Question about Mahayana.
- Hi Ken H,
-" ... there are only dhammas, and no self."
I think according to SN 22.90 (the Channa Sutta), to say "there are only dhammas", this is one extreme. The SN sutta records the Buddha as saying thus:
" ... "Everything exists" (sabbam atthiiti), this is one extreme. ..."
The middle way insight in the text "means to be devoid (empty) of the two extremes: the self-based view of existence and the self-based view of non-existence"(Choong MK, The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism(1999), pp. 33-4; The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism (2000), pp. 61-2).
--- In email@example.com, "Ken H" <kenhowardau@...> wrote:
> Hi Thomas,
> > T: About the middle way of emptiness (such as neither existence/arising/eternalism nor non-xistence/ceasing/annihilationism, neither sameness nor difference, neither coming nor going) found in Samyutta suttas/Samyukta sutras, you may first read SN 22.90 = SA 262 (See also Choong MK, The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism (2000), pp. 60-66, 91-97, 192-199, 239; and The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism (1999), pp. 32-40).
> > I hope this helps.
> KH: Thanks for trying but, no, it doesn't help. Rather than read books I would prefer to discuss the "middle way of emptiness."
> In Theravada `emptiness' (sunnatta) "refers exclusively to the anatta doctrine:" "Void is the world because it is devoid of a self or anything belonging to a self" (Buddhist Dictionary, Nyanatiloka).
> I am willing to accept that the Mahayana schools may have different meanings for emptiness, but in Theravada it definitely means `devoid of a permanent self, or soul.'
> So paramattha dhammas exist, and they are soulless.
> The Channa Sutta (SN 22.90) you referred me to bears this out. "By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, "non-existence" with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, "existence" with reference to the world does not occur to one."
> By and large, the world is seen as a place where the self lives eternally or where the self is annihilated. Only the Buddha has taught a middle way, in which there are only dhammas, and no self.
> Ken H
- 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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