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Re: Aimlessness of Thich Nhat Hanh

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  • medit8ionsociety
    ... may hold some interest ... Ways there ... Way ... and one of ... was ... to the ... right in his ... aim-full is any different, is it not? ... which
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2003
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      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Sandeep"
      <sandeepc@b...> wrote:
      > A dialogue elsewhere on "aimlessness" proposed by Thich Nhat Hanh,
      may hold some interest
      >
      > ----------
      >
      >
      >
      > Hi T,
      >
      > This is an interesting post.
      >
      > Some few Iraqi dinars in between...........
      >
      >
      >
      > friends,
      >
      > One subject I would like to discuss is the many different
      Ways there
      > are - actually, there is a different Way for each individual.
      > In this piece, Thich Nhat Hanh discusses the Way of
      > aimlessness. This is very different from, for example, the Fourth
      Way
      > ideas of Gurdjieff, who saw "aimlessness" as purely mechanical,
      and one of
      > the first things to overcome. The 'aim' that Gurdjieff emphasized
      was
      > essentially becoming a real person, an integrated self as opposed
      to the
      > mob of different selves anyone might be, and he was perfectly
      right in his
      > own context, just as TNH is perfectly right in his.
      > -------
      >
      > To see "aimlessness" as purely mechanical, is to assume that
      "aim-full" is any different, is it not?
      >
      > Is any aim, apart from the prevailing "mechanical conditioning",
      which expresses itself as a specific agenda which has that particular aim?
      >
      > Gurdjieff's emphasis (taking from what you state),....of the aim to
      become a real person, defined as opposite to a mob of
      selves,.....assumes that the self is made up of parts which somehow,
      through some technique, some methodology, some means, some
      practice,.......can be integrated.
      >
      > Is such the case?
      >
      > Or is there a prevailing sense of "a" conditioned self in the
      moment, and which changes, transforms..........moment to moment to
      moment, depending on the arriving impacting input from the external
      environ.
      >
      > To these streams of impacting inputs, the
      innate-prevailing-conditioning-in-the moment first creates a "take" of
      the input and to that self-created image of the actual input, it
      fashions a response.
      >
      > In the process of this "fashioning", ..........itself alters,
      amends, changes, re-conditions itself.
      >
      > A dynamic loop, a Yin-Yang dance...
      >
      > Something which modern neuro-science and neuro-biologist in the West
      are confirming, and validating (if this is about East versus West, thingy)
      >
      >
      > The approaches could hardly be more different. Fourth Wayers
      > generally see the individual self as something positive, something
      to be
      > worked on, to create. Buddhists generally see the self as a
      delusion to be
      > overcome.
      >
      > Again, taking your "take" on Fourth Wayers and Buddhists (the
      latter, not quite correct).
      >
      > Taking the self to be something which can be improved or taking the
      self to be a delusion to be overcome, ...in both,.......... the
      existential reality of the self is assumed,...... is it not?
      >
      > Otherwise, why should one ever bother to over come a delusion, if it
      is seen as one.
      >
      > Would you get into a frenzy to locate a stick in order to bang the
      shit out of a snake,....... when you know that which was actually a
      rope lying in a dark corner of the room, ....the shadows made it
      appear to be a snake?
      >
      > Is there an independent, separated, discrete individual "self" in a
      manifest body-mind organism, .......a "self" possessing the
      independent volition to think, to discern, to decide, and to act on
      such a decision?
      >
      > That is the lubista to be danced, is it not?
      >
      > Otherwise it's like debating and defending, ........whether it is
      hot or cold, ...........the waters of the mirage lake in the desert,
      is it not?
      >
      >
      > Gurdjieff takes a very Western, action-oriented approach, while
      > TNH takes a typically Eastern, passive approach, letting the
      body-mind heal
      > itself, so to speak. In my view, the emerging world culture involves
      > integrating these ideas, so that individuals on different paths
      can respect
      > each other and not be confused by their differences.
      >
      > --------
      >
      > T, today neuro-scientists like Dr Libet, Dr Churchland, Dr Illinas,
      Dr Demoso (may be getting the spelling wrong),....with today's
      advances of scanning techniques of how the brain is functioning, while
      it is "live-functioning",............are throwing up some very
      interesting truths.
      >
      > Neuro-biology is validating that the sentient organism, is just a
      responsive mechanism, capable of only responding to the myriad
      arriving impacting inputs from the environ, in the moment,.......
      > ...moment to moment to moment.
      >
      > The responding as per the intrinsic conditioning factored on genetic
      legacy and the nuturing environ in which the organism grew up ...
      >
      >
      > It has no volition to do anything on it's own.
      >
      >
      > Indeed, elements of
      > many different paths may be part of a typical (dare I say it?)
      'New Age'
      > path to the ancient wisdom which is bound up in the dna of every
      cell of
      > every organism. I know many disagree, and feel that people should
      take one
      > path and stick to it. I think metaphors fail us here. We no
      longer live
      > in a world where 99% of the world's population never travel
      further than
      > ten miles from the place they are born. We need to know different
      paths
      > simply in order to communicate, *even here*.
      >
      >
      >
      > The Net has truly made the world, around the "ten miles", in fact
      even less.
      >
      > However, T, it's to do with the architecture of the particular
      manifest sentient object in question, which is essentially the
      prevailing conditioning-in-the-moment, "running" the object.
      >
      > There will that specific conditioning, which despite all evidence to
      the contrary, will continue to believe in the existence of a
      shadow,......... which is then assumed to be the source of all evil,
      all grief, all suffering ......
      >
      > ...and thus look for techniques, methods, paths, Gurus,
      Enlightened Masters,.............. to give him or her that solution
      which will enable him or her stamp the shadow out of it's infernal
      existence.<LOL>
      >
      >
      > And again appropriate conditionings, enable such manifest objects to
      set up schools, sat-sanghs, Cyber Lists, hold discourses, to teach, to
      explain, to offer such stamping-out-the-infernal-shadow, dancing lessons.
      >
      > And then there is another set of conditioning, enabling such
      manifest objects,....... to pause and see the hilarity of it all.
      >
      > Each object, placed exactly in the moment, in that very place,
      situation, circumstances, where it was meant to, in that moment.
      >
      > For all are nuances, ..........making up this Grand Play, this
      Grand Circus, under the noumenal Circus Top.
      >
      >
      > <SNIP>
      >
      > Thich Nhat Hanh, "The Heart of the Teaching of the Buddha," pp152-154:
      >
      > The Third Door of Liberation is aimlessness, *aparanihita*. There is
      > nothing to do, nothing to realize, no program, no agenda.
      >
      >
      > And Mr TNH,...there is no one to even realize that very fact.
      >
      > Otherwise, it's back to the same old hoopla.
      >
      >
      > This is the Buddhist teaching about eschatology. Does a rose have
      *to do* something?
      > No, the purpose of a rose is *to be* a rose. Your purpose is to be
      yourself.
      >
      >
      > There is no "you" to have a purpose to be "yourself".
      > For you cannot become, what you already are.
      >
      >
      > You don't have to run anywhere to become someone else. You are
      > wonderful just as you are. This teaching of the Buddha allows us
      to enjoy
      > ourselves, the blue sky, and everything that is refreshing and
      healing in
      > the present moment.
      > There is no need to put anything in front of us and run after it. We
      > already have everything we are looking for, everything we want to
      become.
      > We are already a Buddha, so why not just take the hand of another
      Buddha
      > and practice walking meditation?
      >
      > LOL
      >
      > If you are already are a Buddha, .......then whether you take the
      hand of another Buddha or not, whether you walk or not, whether you
      are engaged in cutting the throat of somebody on the street, or
      engaged in helping a cripple cross the street,.........your Buddhahood
      is neither lost nor enhanced.
      >
      > What gets done or not get done, THROUGH a manifest sentient
      psycho-somatic apparatus, is hardly of any import to the issue of
      Buddhahood.
      >
      > The manifest psycho-somatic apparatus, being wired only for survival
      and perpetuation, could not give two hoots for Buddhahood.
      >
      > Buddhahood has no relevance to it, holds no significance for it.
      >
      > And since the so called independent self, which is supposed to be
      seeking Buddhahood, through whatever means, is a notion, an
      inference,...........
      >
      > .......who is supposed to be "already a Buddha"?
      >
      > To whom is Buddhahood or any relevance, any significance?
      >
      > To whom is realization, enlightenment, awakening, or any of the
      usual bromides,... of any relevance, of any significance?
      >
      >
      >
      > This is the teaching of the Avatamsaka
      > Sutra. Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements
      for your
      > happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive,
      search, or
      > struggle. Just be. Just being in the moment in this place is the
      deepest
      > practice of meditation. Most people cannot believe that just
      walking as
      > though you have nowhere to go is enough. They think that striving and
      > competing are normal and necessary. Try practicing aimlessness for
      just
      > five minutes, and you will see how happy you are during those five
      minutes.
      >
      > Mr TNH, "try practicing aimlessness",.........is now not the aim.?
      <LOL>
      >
      > Utter baloney.
      >
      > Aimlessness is a consequence of apperception that there is no
      independent self to have a specific independent aim.
      >
      > That the "individual" functioning through an psycho-somatic
      apparatus, is a nuance of the functioning of Totality.
      >
      > That, whether it is the act of scratching your nose, or actualizing
      your highest spiritual idea(whatever that is),........that act could
      not have come to occur, in the moment it did occur, ....
      >
      > .....unless the entirety of the Universe converged to enable that
      happening.
      >
      > Something which the Tao statement, pointed..."Pull a blade of grass
      and you shake the Universe".
      >
      > If every act, simple/complex, lowly/ highly, profound/profane,
      loving/un-loving, .......creative/ destructive,....
      >
      > ... is the act of Universality, is the functioning of
      phenomenality AND there being nothing apart from phenomenality,
      ..........what individual aim can ever have an existential reality?
      >
      > The apperception of this,.........results in the dropping of all
      aims, and an existing in the moment.
      >
      > Moment to moment to moment.
      >
      > Aiming for aimlessness, is an oxymoron, if there was one.
      >
      >
      >
      > The Heart Sutra says that there is "nothing to attain." We
      meditate not
      > to attain enlightenment, because enlightenment is already in us.
      We don't
      > have to search anywhere. We don't need a purpose or a goal. We don't
      > practice in order to obtain some high position. In aimlessness, we
      see that
      > we do not lack anything, that we already are what we want to
      become, and
      > our striving just comes to a halt.
      >
      > Yes
      > And this cannot be achieved.
      >
      > It happens, non-volitionally and acasually.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > We are at peace in the present moment,
      > just seeing the sunlight streaming through our window or hearing
      the sound
      > of the rain. We don't have to run after anything.
      >
      > --------
      >
      > Or more correctly,...... the stationary in any running, taking place
      through the apparatus,.......that stillness..........is apperceived.
      >
      > The advent of apperception in a body-mind organism, may not mean the
      cessation of the organism.
      >
      > If the organism continues to be "alive", functioning will continue
      through that object.
      >
      > To an external conditioned object, it may seem that such an object
      is still running, still doing stuff, still trying to make a living,
      eat, drink, sleep, have relationship.
      >
      > In short , "running" is continuing.
      >
      > Except that,....... in such an object, there is no one to run and
      thus there is no one to whom a goal, any goal for the run, to be of
      any relevance.
      >
      >
      > --------
      >
      >
      > We can enjoy every
      > moment. People talk about entering nirvana, but we are already there.
      > Aimlessness and nirvana are one.
      >
      > *Waking up this morning, I smile.
      > Twenty-four brand new hours are before me.
      > I vow to live fully in each moment
      > and to look at all beings with the eyes of love.*
      >
      > These twenty-four hours are a precious gift, a gift we can
      only receive
      > fully when we have opened the Third Door of Liberation,
      aimlessness. If we
      > think we have twenty-four hours to achieve a certain purpose,
      today will
      > become a means to attain an end. The moment of chopping wood and
      carrying
      > water is the moment of happiness.
      >
      > Even the term "happiness", drops.
      >
      > The isness of the moment, whether it is chopping wood, carrying
      water, making/losing a million bucks at the Nasdaq stock
      market,.......is in completion,....in the moment.
      >
      >
      >
      > We do not need to wait for these chores
      > to be done to be happy. To have happiness in this moment is the
      spirit of
      > aimlessness. Otherwise, we will run in circles for the rest of our
      life. We
      > have everything we need to make the present moment the happiest in
      our
      > life, even if we have a cold or a headache. We don't have to wait
      until we
      > get over our cold to be happy. Having a cold is a part of life.
      > Someone asked me, "Aren't you worried about the state of the
      world?" I
      > allowed myself to breathe and then I said, "What is most important
      is not
      > to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your
      heart.
      > If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick, and you
      will not
      > be able to help." There are wars - big and small - in many places,
      and that
      > can cause us to lose our peace. Anxiety is the illness of our age.
      We worry
      > about ourselves, our family, our friends, our work, and the state
      of the
      > world. If we allow worry to fill our hearts, sooner or later we
      will get sick.
      > Yes, there is tremendous suffering all over the world, but
      knowing this
      > need not paralyze us. If we practice mindful breathing, mindful
      walking,
      > mindful sitting, and working in mindfulness, we try our best to
      help, and
      > we can have peace in our heart. Worrying does not accomplish
      anything. Even
      > if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation
      of the
      > world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though
      > things are not as we would like,
      >
      >
      > :-)
      >
      > Things are exactly as they were to be, in any given moment.
      >
      > They could not have been an iota of difference in what things are
      in the moment, ...........whether it is on an individual scale,
      >
      > or on a familial scale,
      >
      > or on a communal scale,
      >
      > or on a national scale,
      >
      > or on a global scale,
      >
      > or on a galactic scale,
      >
      > or on a universal scale,.....
      >
      > ..or on a phenomenal scale.
      >
      >
      > See how, after all that spiel on 'aimlessness",..........aim comes
      in by the backdoor,....... through a distinction of liking or
      disliking, what is, in a give moment.
      >
      >
      > <SNIP> the rest,....... as your comments T interests more.
      >
      >
      > There are a number of very significant ideas in this piece.
      >
      > "Aimlessness is Nirvana" is a wonderful idea. Nirvana means
      > "extinction," and in nirvana all aims are extinct.
      >
      >
      > Yes.
      > For the self, to whom any aim, is an "aim",.........that notion of
      a self, which is a consequence of a pretence,.......... that pretence,
      mysteriously, has ended, ........in a particular manifest object.
      >
      >
      > The connotation of "aim" is interesting.
      >
      > It can only arise, from a feeling, from a judgment, from an
      assumption, that what is, in the moment, is not what it should have
      been, and hence the aim to...............<whatever>
      >
      > Without this unacceptance of the moment, as it is,..............no
      aim can arise.
      >
      > Now this very unacceptance, this set of
      should-have-happened/should-not-have-happened, .........the
      concretization of this shoulds and should-nots,...............is
      nothing but the notion of the individual self.
      >
      > In the gestalt of Nirvan, ..............who is left,........... to
      either unaccept the moment?
      >
      > Or
      >
      > Accept it either.
      >
      >
      >
      > Happiness is our
      > normal, natural condition when all our needs are satisfied.
      >
      >
      > The natural condition,... having no need, .....is neither
      satisfied nor unsatisfied.
      >
      > I am the hunger, I am the food and I am the satiation.
      >
      > Simultaneously.
      >
      > And simultaneously, I am not the hunger, not the food and not the
      satiation, ............in that very same moment.
      >
      >
      >
      > With nothing
      > to strive for, no aims, we are happy.
      > Another wonderful idea is that happiness is our basic
      responsibility
      > to others. By being happy we become a refuge for people (in Buddhist
      > terms, a 'teacher' - as in, "I take refuge in the Buddha...). We
      owe it to
      > the world to be happy! It is our dharma, our responsibility. I
      know some
      > will deride this as pop philosophy, simplistic "don't worry, be
      > happy." But it is a simple truth.
      >
      >
      > T, in the apperception of there being no "me-self",...........can
      a "you-self" arise for this sentient object?
      >
      > No sage (a term used by the audience and popular media for such an
      object), is ever compassionate, or cognizes a responsibility to others.
      >
      > There is no "other" for the sage.
      >
      > Yes, anybody entering the milieu of such beingness, bathed in that
      milieu..............immediately feels benedicted, ........feels
      compassionated, , and there is no-one being compassionate.
      >
      >
      > That feeling of benedicted, of being compassionated, .......is to
      do with the level of receptivity of the recipient, ......not the milieu.
      >
      > Which spreads, irrespective of whether anybody enters or leaves it.
      >
      > Like the moisture laden cloud,
      .............bursts,...........because it cannot help bursting.
      >
      > And irrespective of whether, as a consequence of the
      bursting,........... thirst is slackened, life renewed,
      ........or......... death and destruction doled out.
      >
      >
      >
      > Dooooo beeee Dooooobeeee Dooooooo

      THank you, thaaaaaaaaaaaaank you, thank you :-)
      Both of the recent dialogues you have recently shared have been
      excellent and greatly appreciated.
      Peace and blessings,
      Bob
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