Re: Aimlessness of Thich Nhat Hanh
- --- In email@example.com, "Sandeep"
> 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...........
> One subject I would like to discuss is the many different
> are - actually, there is a different Way for each individual.Way
> In this piece, Thich Nhat Hanh discusses the Way of
> aimlessness. This is very different from, for example, the Fourth
> ideas of Gurdjieff, who saw "aimlessness" as purely mechanical,and one of
> the first things to overcome. The 'aim' that Gurdjieff emphasizedwas
> essentially becoming a real person, an integrated self as opposedto the
> mob of different selves anyone might be, and he was perfectlyright in his
> own context, just as TNH is perfectly right in his."aim-full" is any different, is it not?
> To see "aimlessness" as purely mechanical, is to assume that
>which expresses itself as a specific agenda which has that particular aim?
> Is any aim, apart from the prevailing "mechanical conditioning",
>become a real person, defined as opposite to a mob of
> Gurdjieff's emphasis (taking from what you state),....of the aim to
selves,.....assumes that the self is made up of parts which somehow,
through some technique, some methodology, some means, some
practice,.......can be integrated.
>moment, and which changes, transforms..........moment to moment to
> Is such the case?
> Or is there a prevailing sense of "a" conditioned self in the
moment, depending on the arriving impacting input from the external
>innate-prevailing-conditioning-in-the moment first creates a "take" of
> To these streams of impacting inputs, the
the input and to that self-created image of the actual input, it
fashions a response.
>amends, changes, re-conditions itself.
> In the process of this "fashioning", ..........itself alters,
>are confirming, and validating (if this is about East versus West, thingy)
> A dynamic loop, a Yin-Yang dance...
> Something which modern neuro-science and neuro-biologist in the West
> The approaches could hardly be more different. Fourth Wayers
> generally see the individual self as something positive, something
> worked on, to create. Buddhists generally see the self as adelusion to be
> overcome.latter, not quite correct).
> Again, taking your "take" on Fourth Wayers and Buddhists (the
>self to be a delusion to be overcome, ...in both,.......... the
> Taking the self to be something which can be improved or taking the
existential reality of the self is assumed,...... is it not?
>is seen as one.
> Otherwise, why should one ever bother to over come a delusion, if it
>shit out of a snake,....... when you know that which was actually a
> Would you get into a frenzy to locate a stick in order to bang the
rope lying in a dark corner of the room, ....the shadows made it
appear to be a snake?
>manifest body-mind organism, .......a "self" possessing the
> Is there an independent, separated, discrete individual "self" in a
independent volition to think, to discern, to decide, and to act on
such a decision?
>hot or cold, ...........the waters of the mirage lake in the desert,
> That is the lubista to be danced, is it not?
> Otherwise it's like debating and defending, ........whether it is
is it not?
> Gurdjieff takes a very Western, action-oriented approach, while
> TNH takes a typically Eastern, passive approach, letting the
> itself, so to speak. In my view, the emerging world culture involvescan respect
> integrating these ideas, so that individuals on different paths
> each other and not be confused by their differences.Dr Demoso (may be getting the spelling wrong),....with today's
> T, today neuro-scientists like Dr Libet, Dr Churchland, Dr Illinas,
advances of scanning techniques of how the brain is functioning, while
it is "live-functioning",............are throwing up some very
>responsive mechanism, capable of only responding to the myriad
> Neuro-biology is validating that the sentient organism, is just a
arriving impacting inputs from the environ, in the moment,.......
> ...moment to moment to moment.legacy and the nuturing environ in which the organism grew up ...
> The responding as per the intrinsic conditioning factored on genetic
> 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?)
> path to the ancient wisdom which is bound up in the dna of everycell of
> every organism. I know many disagree, and feel that people shouldtake one
> path and stick to it. I think metaphors fail us here. We nolonger live
> in a world where 99% of the world's population never travelfurther than
> ten miles from the place they are born. We need to know differentpaths
> simply in order to communicate, *even here*.even less.
> The Net has truly made the world, around the "ten miles", in fact
>manifest sentient object in question, which is essentially the
> However, T, it's to do with the architecture of the particular
prevailing conditioning-in-the-moment, "running" the object.
>the contrary, will continue to believe in the existence of a
> There will that specific conditioning, which despite all evidence to
shadow,......... which is then assumed to be the source of all evil,
all grief, all suffering ......
>Enlightened Masters,.............. to give him or her that solution
> ...and thus look for techniques, methods, paths, Gurus,
which will enable him or her stamp the shadow out of it's infernal
>set up schools, sat-sanghs, Cyber Lists, hold discourses, to teach, to
> And again appropriate conditionings, enable such manifest objects to
explain, to offer such stamping-out-the-infernal-shadow, dancing lessons.
>manifest objects,....... to pause and see the hilarity of it all.
> And then there is another set of conditioning, enabling such
>situation, circumstances, where it was meant to, in that moment.
> Each object, placed exactly in the moment, in that very place,
>Grand Circus, under the noumenal Circus Top.
> For all are nuances, ..........making up this Grand Play, this
>*to do* something?
> 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
> No, the purpose of a rose is *to be* a rose. Your purpose is to beyourself.
> 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
> ourselves, the blue sky, and everything that is refreshing andhealing in
> the present moment.become.
> 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
> We are already a Buddha, so why not just take the hand of anotherBuddha
> and practice walking meditation?hand of another Buddha or not, whether you walk or not, whether you
> If you are already are a Buddha, .......then whether you take the
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.
>psycho-somatic apparatus, is hardly of any import to the issue of
> What gets done or not get done, THROUGH a manifest sentient
>and perpetuation, could not give two hoots for Buddhahood.
> The manifest psycho-somatic apparatus, being wired only for survival
>seeking Buddhahood, through whatever means, is a notion, an
> Buddhahood has no relevance to it, holds no significance for it.
> And since the so called independent self, which is supposed to be
>usual bromides,... of any relevance, of any significance?
> .......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
> This is the teaching of the Avatamsaka
> Sutra. Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements
> 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 thedeepest
> practice of meditation. Most people cannot believe that justwalking as
> though you have nowhere to go is enough. They think that striving andjust
> competing are normal and necessary. Try practicing aimlessness for
> five minutes, and you will see how happy you are during those fiveminutes.
> Mr TNH, "try practicing aimlessness",.........is now not the aim.?
>independent self to have a specific independent aim.
> Utter baloney.
> Aimlessness is a consequence of apperception that there is no
>apparatus, is a nuance of the functioning of Totality.
> That the "individual" functioning through an psycho-somatic
>your highest spiritual idea(whatever that is),........that act could
> That, whether it is the act of scratching your nose, or actualizing
not have come to occur, in the moment it did occur, ....
> .....unless the entirety of the Universe converged to enable that
>and you shake the Universe".
> Something which the Tao statement, pointed..."Pull a blade of grass
>loving/un-loving, .......creative/ destructive,....
> If every act, simple/complex, lowly/ highly, profound/profane,
>phenomenality AND there being nothing apart from phenomenality,
> ... is the act of Universality, is the functioning of
..........what individual aim can ever have an existential reality?
>aims, and an existing in the moment.
> The apperception of this,.........results in the dropping of all
> 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
> 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'tsee that
> practice in order to obtain some high position. In aimlessness, we
> we do not lack anything, that we already are what we want tobecome, and
> our striving just comes to a halt.the sound
> 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
> of the rain. We don't have to run after anything.through the apparatus,.......that stillness..........is apperceived.
> Or more correctly,...... the stationary in any running, taking place
>cessation of the organism.
> The advent of apperception in a body-mind organism, may not mean the
>through that object.
> If the organism continues to be "alive", functioning will continue
>is still running, still doing stuff, still trying to make a living,
> To an external conditioned object, it may seem that such an object
eat, drink, sleep, have relationship.
>thus there is no one to whom a goal, any goal for the run, to be of
> In short , "running" is continuing.
> Except that,....... in such an object, there is no one to run and
> 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
> 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 andcarrying
> water is the moment of happiness.water, making/losing a million bucks at the Nasdaq stock
> Even the term "happiness", drops.
> The isness of the moment, whether it is chopping wood, carrying
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
> aimlessness. Otherwise, we will run in circles for the rest of ourlife. We
> have everything we need to make the present moment the happiest inour
> life, even if we have a cold or a headache. We don't have to waituntil we
> get over our cold to be happy. Having a cold is a part of life.world?" I
> Someone asked me, "Aren't you worried about the state of the
> allowed myself to breathe and then I said, "What is most importantis not
> to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill yourheart.
> If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick, and youwill 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 stateof the
> world. If we allow worry to fill our hearts, sooner or later wewill get sick.
> Yes, there is tremendous suffering all over the world, butknowing this
> need not paralyze us. If we practice mindful breathing, mindfulwalking,
> mindful sitting, and working in mindfulness, we try our best tohelp, and
> we can have peace in our heart. Worrying does not accomplishanything. Even
> if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situationof the
> world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even thoughin the moment, ...........whether it is on an individual scale,
> 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 by the backdoor,....... through a distinction of liking or
> 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
disliking, what is, in a give moment.
>a self, which is a consequence of a pretence,.......... that pretence,
> <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.
> For the self, to whom any aim, is an "aim",.........that notion of
mysteriously, has ended, ........in a particular manifest object.
>assumption, that what is, in the moment, is not what it should have
> The connotation of "aim" is interesting.
> It can only arise, from a feeling, from a judgment, from an
been, and hence the aim to...............<whatever>
>aim can arise.
> Without this unacceptance of the moment, as it is,..............no
> Now this very unacceptance, this set of
concretization of this shoulds and should-nots,...............is
nothing but the notion of the individual self.
>either unaccept the moment?
> In the gestalt of Nirvan, ..............who is left,........... to
>satisfied nor unsatisfied.
> Accept it either.
> Happiness is our
> normal, natural condition when all our needs are satisfied.
> The natural condition,... having no need, .....is neither
>satiation, ............in that very same moment.
> I am the hunger, I am the food and I am the satiation.
> And simultaneously, I am not the hunger, not the food and not the
> With nothing
> to strive for, no aims, we are happy.
> Another wonderful idea is that happiness is our basic
> to others. By being happy we become a refuge for people (in Buddhistowe it to
> terms, a 'teacher' - as in, "I take refuge in the Buddha...). We
> the world to be happy! It is our dharma, our responsibility. Iknow some
> will deride this as pop philosophy, simplistic "don't worry, bea "you-self" arise for this sentient object?
> happy." But it is a simple truth.
> T, in the apperception of there being no "me-self",...........can
>object), is ever compassionate, or cognizes a responsibility to others.
> No sage (a term used by the audience and popular media for such an
>milieu..............immediately feels benedicted, ........feels
> There is no "other" for the sage.
> Yes, anybody entering the milieu of such beingness, bathed in that
compassionated, , and there is no-one being compassionate.
>do with the level of receptivity of the recipient, ......not the milieu.
> That feeling of benedicted, of being compassionated, .......is to
>.............bursts,...........because it cannot help bursting.
> Which spreads, irrespective of whether anybody enters or leaves it.
> Like the moisture laden cloud,
>bursting,........... thirst is slackened, life renewed,
> And irrespective of whether, as a consequence of the
........or......... death and destruction doled out.
>THank you, thaaaaaaaaaaaaank you, thank you :-)
> Dooooo beeee Dooooobeeee Dooooooo
Both of the recent dialogues you have recently shared have been
excellent and greatly appreciated.
Peace and blessings,