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[dsg] Re: Love

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  • christine_forsyth <cforsyth@vtown.com.au>
    Hi Herman, and all, I m happy to discuss things with you - only remember that this is my flawed understanding of the way it is. Hopefully others will
    Message 1 of 47 , Jan 31, 2003
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      Hi Herman, and all,

      I'm happy to discuss things with you - only remember that this is my
      flawed understanding of the way it is. Hopefully others will
      contribute their knowledge and correction. I am operating from the
      perspective of 'the whole deal' - anatta, anicca, dukkha, kamma,
      rebirth, beginningless time, paticcasamuppada - the lot. I don't
      think 'designer buddhism' works, that's just a 'self' poking holes in
      the bits it doesn't like. I tend to try to find out for myself as
      much as I can about 'the truth of what really is' from what comes
      through the sense doors in daily life. I take the rest on trust
      until it can be confirmed (or not) in some way. So I guess I'm still
      drifting about on the misty flats, groping my way with only the light
      of the Dhamma as a guide.

      You ask: 'Is the Buddhist path to the end of suffering a path to
      annihilation? " This sounds like a question I once asked about how
      do we know our practice aimed at Nibbana doesn't make us all just
      lemmings running towards the cliff edge. No-one answered. I guess
      it all depends on 'what' it is that you think currently exists that
      is 'annihilated'. To understand the goal of buddhism the cessation of
      suffering, nibbana, I think there has to be a complete
      understanding of what dukkha and anatta are first. I think without
      that understanding one will tend to fall back on either a belief in
      the annihilation of the ego, or some eternal state of existence into
      which an ego or self enters, or with which it merges.

      When you bury your parents you will be sad and bereaved - that is, if
      you don't die first. Our death is certain, only the time of our death
      is uncertain. Working in a hospital, I am made aware daily of the
      seemingly 'unfair' and unexpected calamities that befall very
      surprised people, most of them not in old age. If any dear one of
      mine dies before me, I shall also be full of sorrow (and there is a
      good chance that my mother and my dog are likely candidates,
      realistically speaking). Ananda who spent decades with the Buddha
      and heard all of his teachings was still sad at his death. No need
      to become a zombie or emotionally castrated - and it is impossible
      to 'will' that to happen anyway. We are what we are. We will do
      what we will do as a result of accumulations and conditions. Sadness
      and grief (domanassa) is a mentally painful sensation, and in
      Abhidhamma terms is the cetasika-vedana. It is kammically
      unwholesome, but, for me at this stage, unavoidable.

      A few suttas for your consideration regarding dukkha and the ending
      of dukkha:

      Asu Sutta 'Tears'
      "Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... the
      death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son...
      the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with
      regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease. The tears you have
      shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating &
      wandering this long, long time -- crying & weeping from being joined
      with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing --
      are greater than the water in the four great oceans.
      "Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A
      beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance
      and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have
      you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss,
      swelling the cemeteries -- enough to become disenchanted with all
      fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be

      Kotthita Sutta - Kotthita asks Sariputta "is it the case that there
      is anything else?"

      Nibbama Sutta 'Unbinding' "This Unbinding is pleasant, friends.
      This Unbinding is pleasant." When this was said, Ven. Udayin said
      to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where
      there is nothing felt?"

      Upaya Sutta 'Attached' "One attached is unreleased; one unattached
      is released. "

      There is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a
      not-conditioned. If, bhikkhus, there were no not-born, not-brought-to-
      being, not-made, not-conditioned, no escape would be discerned from
      what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned. But since there is
      a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned,
      therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, brought-to-being,
      made, conditioned.


      --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Egberdina <hhofman@t...>"
      <hhofman@t...> wrote:
      > Hi Christine, Mike and everyone,
      > Welcome back, Mike :-).
      > Christine, I am having some major difficulties with the
      > of non-attachment. Please put me out of my misery. Is the Buddhist
      > path to the end of suffering a path to annihilation?
      > When I bury my parents, I fully intend to be sad and bereaved. When
      > my loved ones are hurt I fully intend to be hurt with them.
      > I do not see a refuge in becoming a Zombie.
      > I see no victory in emotional castration.
      > Help me, Chris (charge it to Medicare :-))
      > All the best
      > Herman
    • Sarah
      Dear Nina (& Christine), ... ..... Yes, a little understanding at any level helps a lot and of course, then there is all the wishing not to be shaken instead
      Message 47 of 47 , Apr 11, 2003
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        Dear Nina (& Christine),

        I also appreciated the reminders about being ‘unshaken in adversties’:

        --- nina van gorkom <nilo@...> wrote:
        > I read in the last verse:
        > Who is energetic and not indolent
        > In misfortune unshaken
        > Flawless in manner and intelligent
        > Such a one to honour may attain.
        > My PTS translates instead of misfortune: unshaken in adversities. Here I
        > think of the eight worldly conditions: and the four which are
        > adversities:
        > loss, blame, dishonour and bodily misery.
        > I am not unshaken by adversities, panna is still poor. But even
        > intellectual
        > understanding can help us.
        Yes, a little understanding at any level helps a lot and of course, then
        there is all the wishing not to be shaken instead of any detachment when
        affected by adversities;-) Also, when affected by the opposites - gain,
        praise, honour and happiness, there is usually little concern.
        > Sarah brought up the issue of cancer, and Lodewijk and I had a heated
        > discussion about it. It is a delicate, sensitive issue. He said, but one
        > has
        > to be treated, you cannot say there is no cancer. I explained that this
        > is
        > quite true, but that it can be helpful to also contemplate different
        > cittas
        > experiencing objects through the six doors. In between going to the
        > hospital
        > or in the waiting room, there can be brief moments of wise attention:
        > thinking of cancer is one moment, seeing is another moment, and all such
        > moments do not last. Also rupas we call cancer are arising and falling
        > away.
        > We do not stay away from doctor and medicines, chemo's, of course not.
        Back to daily life. So often when people hear about paramattha dhammas,
        there is an idea that somehow we will lose all common sense , giving up
        jobs or homes or concern about medical treatment. Even a monk takes care
        when sick, but the understanding of realities and the real cause of mental
        anguish helps a lot. I think it was KKT in a post who gave a quote (which
        I forget ...about a mountain?) referring to the ordinariness of life and
        outer appearances when panna develops.
        > But,
        > considering in between different realities can help us to less identify
        > ourselves with this or that calamity, to have a somewhat more detached,
        > objective attitude. It can to a degree take away the pain and the worry.
        > Even our aversion: it is conditioned and arises for a moment, but it
        > does
        > not stay. Again, even if we have only intellectual understanding,
        > stemming
        > from listening, helps us already.
        Yes. Sometimes there may not even be any physical discomfort or other
        akusala vipaka for all we know. But we hear or read a story from a doctor
        or the newspaper and immediately there are conditions for the ‘identifying
        with the calamity’. I’m very conscious of this at the moment in Hong Kong.
        There hasn’t been anything unpleasant experienced for me during this SARS
        pneumonia outbreak. On the contrary, there is no waiting for lifts,
        queueing anywhere or any crowds out and about or screaming children
        around. No obviously unpleasant sights, sounds or bodily experiences and
        yet so much concern and thinking about the future and unknown.
        In another post you wrote a helpful reminder and quote from A.Sujin:

        “We experience pleasant objects and unpleasant objects and we are inclined
        to think about them for a long time with akusala citta. We think of
        people and we worry about them. Acharn Sujin gave us valuable advice
        about the way to cope with our problems in daily life. She said:
        ‘Whatever happens now, one should remember that it is because of
        conditions. Nobody can do anything, you cannot change a particular
        thought to another one. You cannot change seeing right now to the
        experience of another object. When you understand this, you do not go
        away from the present object. When you understand that it is conditioned
        in this way you do not think, why does this unpleasant event happen to me.
        it is useless to cry over it or continue thinking about it.’”
        As you also just wrote to Selamat:

        “Nobody can change the order of the different cittas arising in the
        processes and this teaches us about the conditionality of cittas. Thus
        the Abhidhamma helps us to have more understanding of the different types
        of conditions, it helps us to see that there is no one behind seeing,
        thinking, kusala or akusala. If we believe that we have to be “in time” to
        catch particular cittas, we are misled as to the truth..........Whena
        kusala citta with forgetfulness, unawareness, or with clinging arises,
        that can be object of awarenes. We do not have to do anything special,
        cittas arise already.”

        Instead of being fatalistic or scary as some people suggest, it’s truly
        liberating to just begin to appreciate that we don’t have to do anything
        special and that these phenomena are conditioned at each moment.

        Many thanks as always for the helpful reminders.



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