'Mind' in Mahayana Buddhism

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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'Mind' in Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:12 pm

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: 'Mind' in Mahayana Buddhism

Postby dyanaprajna2011 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:36 pm

"If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing." -Dogen

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Re: 'Mind' in Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Astus » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:21 pm

As for the early sciptures, states it clearly that only uninstructed people believe that there is something lasting in mind. As for nibbana not being mind: Also check out Maha Boowa's teaching: .

For Mahayana, the best source on what mind is is Yogacara, as they produced a substantial amount of generally recognised treatises on the subject. Within the eight consciousnesses there is nothing lasting, even the karmic seeds have only a momentary existence.

In chapter 14 of Xuanzang's Cheng Weishi Lun (tr. Cook), it explains eternity regarding the dharmakaya:

"This [result] is also ETERNAL, because it is endless. The pure realm of the Dharma is said to be ETERNAL, because it is devoid of origination, devoid of cessation, and by nature unchanging. Because the support of classes of mind of the four knowledges is eternal, they are endless and therefore said to be eternal, but not that they are eternal by nature, because they originate from causes, because of the categorical declaration that that which is born ends with cessation, and because we do not see form or mind that is not impermanent. However, as a result of the power of original vows and the inexhaustible number of sentient beings to be converted, the four classes of knowledge last forever, uninterrupted and endless."

In the same chapter:

"It is also said that the Dharma body is devoid of generation and cessation, only acquired through causes for its realization, neither form nor mind, etc."

Candrakirti in the Madhyamakavatara (11:17; tr. Leschly) says practically the same:

"When the dry firewood of everything knowable,
Is [consumed by the fire of wisdom], the peace of the victorious one's dharmakaya [is all there remains]
At that moment, there is no creation and no cessation;
When mind ceases, its [enjoyment]-body manifests in actuality."

However, the above only applies to a buddha's dharmakaya and not to the usual 6/8 consciousnesses. This is what later schools like Zen and Vajrayana call the (true) nature of the mind. The quoted "luminous mind" section doesn't fit the description of the dharmakaya as it cannot be defiled.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.

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Re: 'Mind' in Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Grigoris » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:32 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: 'Mind' in Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Practice » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:47 pm

Does Buddhism make a distinction between consciousness and awareness?
Consciousness, on the side of duality (con-sciousness, together with-sciousness, i.e. 2) and awareness on the side of unity.

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