[dsg] Re: Love
- 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
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,
--- In email@example.com, "Egberdina <hhofman@t...>"
> Hi Christine, Mike and everyone,implications
> 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
- 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
> loss, blame, dishonour and bodily misery.
> I am not unshaken by adversities, panna is still poor. But even.....
> 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
> to be treated, you cannot say there is no cancer. I explained that this
> quite true, but that it can be helpful to also contemplate different
> experiencing objects through the six doors. In between going to the
> 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
> 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.
> 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
> not stay. Again, even if we have only intellectual understanding,
> 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. Im very conscious of this at the moment in Hong Kong.
There hasnt 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, its truly
liberating to just begin to appreciate that we dont 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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