Inherent deja vu all over again

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:30 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Karma_Yeshe wrote:
conebeckham wrote:The "Non-Geluk" approach via Madhyamaka is also a step-by-step approach, using the various analytical methods and "proofs" or techniques. The "Non-Geluk" approach also works with conceptual consciousness.


There is a much more direct approach to realise emptiness in Ati-Yoga. (But since the 5th Dalai Lama was a great Dzogchen Master, I am not sure, if you count Ati-Yoga as "Non-Geluk" :mrgreen:)

Lol. It's not part of the standard Geluk curriculum, of that we can be sure. And our Mahamudra traditions also have a much more direct approach, which I've hinted at, but it's tangential to this topic


You know that Gelugpas practise Mahamudra as well, right? But you still can't attain a direct realisation of emptiness without a generic image of emptiness.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby conebeckham » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:59 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
Karma_Yeshe wrote:
There is a much more direct approach to realise emptiness in Ati-Yoga. (But since the 5th Dalai Lama was a great Dzogchen Master, I am not sure, if you count Ati-Yoga as "Non-Geluk" :mrgreen:)

Lol. It's not part of the standard Geluk curriculum, of that we can be sure. And our Mahamudra traditions also have a much more direct approach, which I've hinted at, but it's tangential to this topic


You know that Gelugpas practise Mahamudra as well, right? But you still can't attain a direct realisation of emptiness without a generic image of emptiness.


The term "Mahamudra" has many meanings. In the Geluk lineage, you have your "Geluk/Kagyu Mahamudra" which stems from the First Panchen Lama's text, based on TsongKhapa's interpretations of the teachings of his Kagyu Gurus. You also have a "Tantric Mahamudra" tradition which is really a presentation from HYT completion stage, based especially on HevajraTantra and CakrasamvaraTantra.

These approaches differ from the various Dakpo Kagyu presentations of Mahamudra--Karma Kagyu's Sutra/Mantra/Essence Mahamudra traditions, Drikung's FiveFold Path of Mahamudra, The Drukpa's Six Spheres. There's also the Shangpa Tradition of the Amulet Box. And the term itself is used in Sakya, and is found in Tantras, where it takes on various meanings.

These traditions of Mahamudra do not require, feature, or suggest a "generic image" of emptiness.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."

May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby DGA » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:12 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote: you still can't attain a direct realisation of emptiness without a generic image of emptiness.


You keep claiming this, but you haven't demonstrated it yet.

If you are right, then the various Zen schools are nonsense.

The traditions of Tibetan Buddhism that do not follow your interpretation of Lama Tsongkhapa are nonsense too, if your claim is correct.

Do you accept that the only viable Buddhist tradition available is the one with which you identify?

For myself: I think Lama Tsongkhapa's approach is excellent, and I rejoice in the attainment of his followers. But I don't accept the premise that only this school or that school has the only legitimate and workable method around. That is small minded and does not square with historical experience or contemporary observation: There are practitioners in all Buddhist traditions who have real attainment, and have been for a long time.
DGA's dissertation, a cultural history of mindfulness, here:
https://www.academia.edu/25482900/WHAT_ ... _OF_STRESS

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby conebeckham » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:59 pm

cloudburst wrote:my point is that resting in the nonfinding is exactly what we do, but that resting is not a direct realization of the ultimate, If it were, you would be on the path of seeing. There's no getting around the fact that if you are on the 'Highest Dharma' stage of the path of application or below, you are meditating on the ultimate indirectly.

We call that object a 'generic image. It is a conceptual insight. If it were not, you would be an arya.
IF you are meditating on the ultimate AND you are not an arya, there is conceptuality.

I sometimes fear that when you all hear us saying 'meditate conceptually,' you understand us to be talking about 'thinking.' Generic image may sound like we are picturing emptiness or somesuch.

What we are actually doing is resting in non-finding.

To my understanding, the "notfinding" is a state of awareness which has no conceptual object.
Further, I would contend that we all have moments of nonconceptual awareness, very brief moments. My understanding of the "generic image" is that it is a discursive mentation, and this is not equivalent to this awareness of "notfinding." As for whether it is a "direct perception of emptiness," and therefore a sign of being an Arya on the Path of Seeing, that is not my understanding.

Cloudburst wrote:
conebeckham wrote:When neither entities nor nonentities are present before the mind,
since at that time there is no other aspect, it is without an object, totally peaceful.



This is an aryas meditation, is it not? If you are meditating without an object, totally peaceful... you are not on the path of accumulation meditating on emptiness... you are not on the path of application meditating on emptiness...... so either you are an arya, or you are meditating incorrectly.

I would say it would certainly experientially feel for a sincere practitioner meditating on emptiness that they were 'without an object, totally peaceful,' but in fact there would still be subtle conceptuality functioning.


Conceptuality arises after experience, I would say, even in meditation, to say nothing of post meditation, and therefore this is not the state of an Arya, but I do continue to contend that a glimpse of "nonfinding" is available to sentient beings on the path, prior to the Bhumis.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."

May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby BuddhaFollower » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:06 am

DGA wrote:For myself: I think Lama Tsongkhapa's approach is excellent, and I rejoice in the attainment of his followers.


What attainment?

According to Tsongkhapa himself, you need to practice physical karmamudra with a physical consort for Buddhahood during life.

https://books.google.com/books?id=dahS9 ... dra&f=true

And 99% of Gelugs, being monks, cannot practice karmamudra.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Kenneth Chan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:35 am

conebeckham wrote:
Kenneth Chan wrote:It also means that the really effective way to realize emptiness is to actually transform our mind into the state of bodhicitta. If we do not develop this great compassion, our mind will have all sorts of impediments to actually realising that the self is empty of inherent existence. Things like pride, jealousy, greed, hatred, etc. all strengthen this sense of a real self. So we need to get rid of these attitudes as much as possible. As long as we keep reinforcing this sense of an inherently existing “I” (because of these negative attitudes) we are really reinforcing barriers to an actual realization that all things are empty of inherent existence.

The need to combine wisdom and compassion is also the main reason why conventional truth is so crucial in Madhyamika philosophy. Let me quote from the book “Relative Truth, Ultimate Truth” by Geshe Tashi Tsering:

“Understanding conventional truth enables the practitioner to develop the method side—compassion, concentration, and ethics—whereas understanding the ultimate truth leads to the wisdom side—emptiness. These realizations will, in turn, result in the two Buddha bodies, the truth body and the form body.

People who want to be free from suffering need to cultivate an understanding of reality, the wisdom of ultimate truth, while developing the method side of the practice, which entails a thorough understanding of conventional truth. There is no other way.”

When emptiness and lack of self are seen at a deep conceptual level, it is said that true compassion naturally arises. When one eventually has direct nonconceptual experience of emptiness, and is an Arya,the ultimate true compassion, "Compassion Free From Reference Points," is naturally present. Practicing compassion, cultivating the mind of compassion, and performing acts of compassion, are fine things, and primary sources of accumulating merit. As you point out, these practices can also help mitigate self-attachment, to some degree. But they can also, paradoxically, increase a subtle sense of self-importance.

If one is practising with a true motivation of bodhicitta, an increase in self-importance cannot occur. What we have to do is to actually transform ourselves, step by step, progressively, into a better and better person, based on compassion. We do this by taking every next step that we know we have to take to become a better person.

As we achieve each next step that we know we have to take to become a better person, we will realise what the next step is, that we have to take. It is like climbing a mountain, where the view gets clearer with every higher level that we reach. If we do that, there is no way that we can "increase a subtle sense of self-importance" because, somewhere along the line of progression, we will come to realise that negating this sense of self-importance is the next step that we have to take.

conebeckham wrote:But Perfect Compassion is said to arise spontaneously with realization. In the traditions of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, compassion is the very nature of awareness, when realized. But that's another tangent. Here's a song from Milarepa:

An Authentic Portrait of the Middle Way

From the standpoint of the truth that’s ultimate
Besides no blocks, there are not even buddhas
No meditator and no meditated
No paths and levels travelled and no signs
And no fruition bodies and no wisdom
And, therefore, there is no nirvana there
Just designations using names and statements
All animate, inanimate—the three realms
Unborn and nonexistent from the outset
No base to rest on, do not coexist2
There is no karmic act, no maturation
So, even the name,”samsara,” does not exist

That’s the way these are in the final picture
But, oh, if sentient beings did not exist
What would the buddhas of three times all come from
Since fruition with no cause—impossible!

So, the standpoint of the truth that’s relative
Is samsara’s wheel, nirvana past all grief
It all exists, that is the Sage’s teaching
Then, what exists appearing to be things
And their non-existence, pure being, emptiness
Are essentially inseparable, one taste
And, therefore, there is neither self-awareness
Nor awareness of what’s other anywhere
All of this, a union vast and spacious
And all those skilled in realizing this
Do not see consciousness, they see the wisdom
Do not see sentient beings, they see buddhas
Don’t see phenomena, they see pure being
And out of this compassion just emerges
Retention, powers, fearlessness and all
The qualities embodied by a buddha
Just come as if you had a wishing jewel
This is what I, the yogi, have realized.

Under the guidance of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, translated and arranged by Jim Scott, Binowo, Poland, October 4, 1997, Tibetan page 482. Translation copyright 2012, Jim Scott

from http://www.ktgrinpoche.org/songs/authen ... middle-way

The first part of the song from Milarepa talks about why conventional truth is important, and also about realising the union of conventional truth and ultimate truth. The conventional truth is crucial for the development of bodhicitta. That is what this line refers to: "if sentient beings did not exist, What would the buddhas of three times all come from, Since fruition with no cause—impossible!"

Also, please note this part of the song from Milarepa:
And all those skilled in realizing this
Do not see consciousness, they see the wisdom
Do not see sentient beings, they see buddhas
Don’t see phenomena, they see pure being
And out of this compassion just emerges
Retention, powers, fearlessness and all
The qualities embodied by a buddha
Just come as if you had a wishing jewel
This is what I, the yogi, have realized.

Note that the line "And all those skilled in realising this" refers to those who have already attained the wisdom realising emptiness. Does this not mean that Milarepa is talking about what happens in the mind of those who are already enlightened? That is how I read it. Again, words need to be interpreted correctly.

Here, I am talking, instead, about trying to get to that level, not about what our state of mind would be like when we have already arrived. In trying to get there, I believe it is absolutely essential to directly strive towards developing a mind of bodhicitta. in a teaching I attended, His Holiness, the Sakya Trizin, said that the wisdom realising emptiness and bodhicitta are like the two wings of a bird. We cannot fly with only one wing.

In any case, just consider this. Attitudes like pride, jealousy, hatred, concern over reputation, and so on, are all dependent on us taking the self to be inherently existing. While these kinds of mind are present, our mind would thus not be receptive to the realisation that the self is empty of inherent existence. Then it would be like trying to push a square peg into a round hole.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:54 am

BuddhaFollower wrote:
DGA wrote:For myself: I think Lama Tsongkhapa's approach is excellent, and I rejoice in the attainment of his followers.


What attainment?

According to Tsongkhapa himself, you need to practice physical karmamudra with a physical consort for Buddhahood during life.

https://books.google.com/books?id=dahS9 ... dra&f=true

And 99% of Gelugs, being monks, cannot practice karmamudra.


There are some misunderstandings about the Gelugpa lineage of Mahamudra. Firstly, it comes from Buddha Vajradhara to Manjushri and then to Je Tsongkhapa directly. Secondly, it is an uncommon practice that contains methods which do not require the practice of karmamudra in order to attain enlightenment, so thousands of Je Tsongkhapa's disciples attained enlightenment in three years and three months.

DGA is right to rejoice in the attainments of Je Tsongkhapa's followers.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:02 am

DGA wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote: you still can't attain a direct realisation of emptiness without a generic image of emptiness.


You keep claiming this, but you haven't demonstrated it yet.

If you are right, then the various Zen schools are nonsense.

The traditions of Tibetan Buddhism that do not follow your interpretation of Lama Tsongkhapa are nonsense too, if your claim is correct.

Do you accept that the only viable Buddhist tradition available is the one with which you identify?

For myself: I think Lama Tsongkhapa's approach is excellent, and I rejoice in the attainment of his followers. But I don't accept the premise that only this school or that school has the only legitimate and workable method around. That is small minded and does not square with historical experience or contemporary observation: There are practitioners in all Buddhist traditions who have real attainment, and have been for a long time.


It's not my intention to disrespect other traditions and I haven't studied or practised them. Obviously, the object of meditation of emptiness is crucial and I don't see how, just by stilling conceptuality, it can be correctly realised. People are saying that it's possible to attain a direct realisation of emptiness without generating it conceptually first but our wrong views are conceptual: self-grasping is a conceptual wrong awareness, so how can a conceptual wrong awareness be opposed by anything other than a conceptual correct view? There's a lot of intellectual debating about the meaning of emptiness because we need to get the meaning of emptiness clear. This meaning is conceptual. If you could just realise emptiness without this conceptual understanding, what would be the point of study and debate of the Madhyamaka?

Clearly the realisation of emptiness requires a conceptually correct view, a conceptual mind.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Vasana » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:29 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
DGA wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote: you still can't attain a direct realisation of emptiness without a generic image of emptiness.


You keep claiming this, but you haven't demonstrated it yet.

If you are right, then the various Zen schools are nonsense.

The traditions of Tibetan Buddhism that do not follow your interpretation of Lama Tsongkhapa are nonsense too, if your claim is correct.

Do you accept that the only viable Buddhist tradition available is the one with which you identify?

For myself: I think Lama Tsongkhapa's approach is excellent, and I rejoice in the attainment of his followers. But I don't accept the premise that only this school or that school has the only legitimate and workable method around. That is small minded and does not square with historical experience or contemporary observation: There are practitioners in all Buddhist traditions who have real attainment, and have been for a long time.


It's not my intention to disrespect other traditions and I haven't studied or practised them. Obviously, the object of meditation of emptiness is crucial and I don't see how, just by stilling conceptuality, it can be correctly realised. People are saying that it's possible to attain a direct realisation of emptiness without generating it conceptually first but our wrong views are conceptual: Self-grasping is a conceptual wrong awareness, so how can a conceptual wrong awareness be opposed by anything other than a conceptual correct view? There's a lot of intellectual debating about the meaning of emptiness because we need to get the meaning of emptiness clear.


Conceptual analysis is for discovering the correct view and nothing more and meditation is simply resting undistracted from that view, perhaps initially with deliberate mindfulness of distraction until non-distraction becomes effortless. If you have discovered the correct view yet still turn the wheel of conceptual analysis it is described as searching for the elephant in the forest when it's relaxing in the open field you're already standing in. If you havn't found the correct view and aren't familiar with any 'path of method', then analysis is fine - but only until it's served it's function of discovering or remembering the view.

No one has any problems with the notion of applying increasingly refined and subtle analysis as a precursor to actually resting in non-conceptuality but grasping on to mere mind and mental events when the idea is to go beyond mind and mental events is where the trouble is found,

In Naragjuna's Entrance into the Middle way, he states:

'The dry firewood of knowable objects having been totally incinerated,
This peace is the Dharma Body of the Victors.
At this point, there is neither arising nor ceasing.
The cessation of mind is revealed through this Body.'


Candrakırti’s commentary explains:

'In this Body that has the nature of wisdom and [in which] the dry firewood of knowable objects has been totally burned away, there is no arising of knowable objects. Therefore, that which entails such nonarising is the Dharma Body of the Buddhas. Thus, the object of wisdom—true reality—is in no case engaged by the [corresponding] subjects of such [knowable objects], that is, mind and mental events. Hence, on the seeming level, this is expressed as [true reality] being revealed through this very Body'

The point is that mind and mental events are 'sems' but the nature of the mind that you're looking for is 'sems-nyid'. Thoughts arise as an expression or reflection of the mind and not the other way around just as the small russian doll fits in the larger one and not the other way around. If you search for the mind with the concepts you will only ever discover concepts.

Tsongkhapafan wrote: "This meaning is conceptual. If you could just realise emptiness without this conceptual understanding, what would be the point of study and debate of the Madhyamaka?


The meaning of emptiness is certainly not conceptual since concepts refer only to the conventional truth of which even the ultimate can only be conventionally labeled. Emptiness is really the anti-thesis of conceptuality. In the Bodhicittavivarana Nagarjuna states;

"So-called entities are conceptions.
Lack of conceptions is emptiness.
Wherever conceptions appear, How could there be emptiness?
The emptiness that is called
“nonarising,” “Emptiness,” and “identitylessness”
Is what inferior beings meditate on.
It is not the meditation on the [actual emptiness].
What has the characteristic of the stream
Of positive and negative thoughts being cut off
The Buddhas taught to be emptiness.

The other [emptinesses] they did not declare to be emptiness."



Tsongkhapafan wrote: Clearly the realisation of emptiness requires a conceptually correct view, a conceptual mind.


As DGA mentioned, this isn't strictly true across the board. Mahamudra and Dzogchen don't really require any intellectual view whats-so-ever, perhaps beyond an adequate understanding of the basis. Recognition is not something restricted by intellect since it isn't an object of intellect. Naturally, an understanding of the view helps in most cases but it need not be elaborate. Not everyone has the mental capacity to perform mental-gymnastics with middle-way dialectics which is why the 'path of method' exists alongside with the 'path of wisdom'.
"If you think that buddhas and sentient beings are indivisible, you should honor and serve sentient beings to the same degree as you would the buddhas. Do you do that?" ~ Shri Singha

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:42 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:There's a lot of intellectual debating about the meaning of emptiness because we need to get the meaning of emptiness clear. This meaning is conceptual. If you could just realise emptiness without this conceptual understanding, what would be the point of study and debate of the Madhyamaka?


I think 'meaning of emptiness' is existential, not conceptual. It is a truth about about the nature of existence, not about something specifically conceptual. The Western intellectual tradition is a tradition of conceptual thought and analysis. Emptniness is beyond conceptual analysis. The point of Nagarjuna's 'deconstrucive analysis' is generally to show the limitations of the categories of conceptual thought.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Ayu » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:30 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:There's a lot of intellectual debating about the meaning of emptiness because we need to get the meaning of emptiness clear. This meaning is conceptual. If you could just realise emptiness without this conceptual understanding, what would be the point of study and debate of the Madhyamaka?


I think 'meaning of emptiness' is existential, not conceptual. It is a truth about about the nature of existence, not about something specifically conceptual. The Western intellectual tradition is a tradition of conceptual thought and analysis. Emptniness is beyond conceptual analysis. The point of Nagarjuna's 'deconstrucive analysis' is generally to show the limitations of the categories of conceptual thought.

I agree with wayfarer here.

What Tsongkhapa tauhgt is just a tool for his students to reach insight. At the end of the practice is an insight, which has to be free from concepts. There is no difference between this realised emtiness and the emptiness Nagarjuna discribed. There are just different methods of reaching it.
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Jeff H » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:00 pm

Kenneth Chan wrote:In any case, just consider this. Attitudes like pride, jealousy, hatred, concern over reputation, and so on, are all dependent on us taking the self to be inherently existing. While these kinds of mind are present, our mind would thus not be receptive to the realisation that the self is empty of inherent existence. Then it would be like trying to push a square peg into a round hole.

While I agree with you here, Kenneth, and this is also my present practice, Malcolm said something at his book event on Wednesday that has made me think about it. I’m not certain I am repeating it exactly right (though I’m quite confident Malcolm will correct me!).

It was something to the effect that, when one has realized that all arisings are impossible, one is able to train in seeing all appearances, including our own worldly concerns, as reflections of one’s own mind. That training can lead us right past inherent existence, inward and deeper to the primordial, peaceful mind observing it all. Sort of like, “It’s the mind, stupid!”

It strikes me rather like reversing one of your statements: Taking the self to be inherently existent is dependent on the eight worldly concerns. That realization dissipates both the worldly dharmas and the inherent self.

Don't know. Just thinkin'. :shrug:
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby conebeckham » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:57 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
It's not my intention to disrespect other traditions and I haven't studied or practised them. Obviously, the object of meditation of emptiness is crucial and I don't see how, just by stilling conceptuality, it can be correctly realised. People are saying that it's possible to attain a direct realisation of emptiness without generating it conceptually first but our wrong views are conceptual: self-grasping is a conceptual wrong awareness, so how can a conceptual wrong awareness be opposed by anything other than a conceptual correct view? There's a lot of intellectual debating about the meaning of emptiness because we need to get the meaning of emptiness clear. This meaning is conceptual. If you could just realise emptiness without this conceptual understanding, what would be the point of study and debate of the Madhyamaka?

Clearly the realisation of emptiness requires a conceptually correct view, a conceptual mind.


Again, conceptuality is necessary, and even unavoidable, in the process. But the technique is not "just stilling conceptuality."

It is exhausting conceptual assertions through analysis, and then resting in that exhaustion. This is repeated, over and over again, because, of course, concepts arise unbidden. But you are misunderstanding the method if you think that it is a mere "attempt at stilling conceptual thinking." Analysis is undertaken, again and again, and resting in the state of conceptual exhaustion is done, again and again. There is no need to "create" an image, or make some sort of positive "assertion" even about emptiness, in this tradition.

Also, self-grasping is not merely conceptual. But that's another tangent.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
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DGA
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby DGA » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:00 pm

back to first principles for a moment:

is emptiness a thing? a category? a characteristic? a descriptor?
DGA's dissertation, a cultural history of mindfulness, here:
https://www.academia.edu/25482900/WHAT_ ... _OF_STRESS

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Bakmoon » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:05 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:It's not my intention to disrespect other traditions and I haven't studied or practised them. Obviously, the object of meditation of emptiness is crucial and I don't see how, just by stilling conceptuality, it can be correctly realised. People are saying that it's possible to attain a direct realisation of emptiness without generating it conceptually first but our wrong views are conceptual: self-grasping is a conceptual wrong awareness, so how can a conceptual wrong awareness be opposed by anything other than a conceptual correct view? There's a lot of intellectual debating about the meaning of emptiness because we need to get the meaning of emptiness clear. This meaning is conceptual. If you could just realise emptiness without this conceptual understanding, what would be the point of study and debate of the Madhyamaka?

Clearly the realisation of emptiness requires a conceptually correct view, a conceptual mind.

No one here is saying that you can understand emptiness by just suppressing all conceptual understanding. The difference is this. In the Gelug approach, one alternates between rational analysis and meditating on a conceptual image of emptiness. In non-Gelug Madhyamaka, one alternates between rational analysis and resting meditation in which one remains in the state produced by analysis. That's the difference. It's not a question of whether anaysis is needed (everyone agrees it is needed) but whether one uses a conceptual image after analysis as opposed to resting meditation.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby BuddhaFollower » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:06 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:Secondly, it is an uncommon practice that contains methods which do not require the practice of karmamudra in order to attain enlightenment, so thousands of Je Tsongkhapa's disciples attained enlightenment in three years and three months.


Where are you getting this from? :shrug:

Other schools, like Sakya, say you can use tummo and jnanamudra. But this isn't the position of Tsongkhapa.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Lukeinaz » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:15 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:It's not my intention to disrespect other traditions and I haven't studied or practised them. Obviously, the object of meditation of emptiness is crucial and I don't see how, just by stilling conceptuality, it can be correctly realised. People are saying that it's possible to attain a direct realisation of emptiness without generating it conceptually first but our wrong views are conceptual: self-grasping is a conceptual wrong awareness, so how can a conceptual wrong awareness be opposed by anything other than a conceptual correct view? There's a lot of intellectual debating about the meaning of emptiness because we need to get the meaning of emptiness clear. This meaning is conceptual. If you could just realise emptiness without this conceptual understanding, what would be the point of study and debate of the Madhyamaka?

Clearly the realisation of emptiness requires a conceptually correct view, a conceptual mind.

No one here is saying that you can understand emptiness by just suppressing all conceptual understanding. The difference is this. In the Gelug approach, one alternates between rational analysis and meditating on a conceptual image of emptiness. In non-Gelug Madhyamaka, one alternates between rational analysis and resting meditation in which one remains in the state produced by analysis. That's the difference. It's not a question of whether anaysis is needed (everyone agrees it is needed) but whether one uses a conceptual image after analysis as opposed to resting meditation.


I am a bit confused about this conceptual image. The way I understand it is that we use analysis to come to a conclusion which produces a feeling. So when I am shocked at not finding my car exactly where I parked it I rest in this feeling. Where does the conceptual image fit in here?
What a joy when the gentle rain comes on time.
What a joy when the crops ripen in the fields.
What a joy if bodhicitta were to be produced
in the minds of living beings equal to space.
-Khunu Rinpoche

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Bakmoon » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:29 pm

Lukeinaz wrote:I am a bit confused about this conceptual image. The way I understand it is that we use analysis to come to a conclusion which produces a feeling. So when I am shocked at not finding my car exactly where I parked it I rest in this feeling. Where does the conceptual image fit in here?

I'm not sure. That would be a really good example of a question to ask your teachers.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:21 pm

Lukeinaz wrote:
I am a bit confused about this conceptual image. The way I understand it is that we use analysis to come to a conclusion which produces a feeling. So when I am shocked at not finding my car exactly where I parked it I rest in this feeling. Where does the conceptual image fit in here?


It is a conceptual image. The empty space that your car occupied has no meaning from it's own side; your eye consciousness just sees a vacuity. You conceptually impute 'no car' on this space so now you have a generic image of no car, not just an empty space.

This emptiness has meaning - the object of negation is car, and what is realised conceptually is 'no car'. Your mind is resting in the generic image of an absence of car.
Last edited by Tsongkhapafan on Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Malcolm
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:25 pm

Lukeinaz wrote:
I am a bit confused about this conceptual image. The way I understand it is that we use analysis to come to a conclusion which produces a feeling. So when I am shocked at not finding my car exactly where I parked it I rest in this feeling. Where does the conceptual image fit in here?


The problem here is the notion of "the generic image of emptiness." Emptiness cannot have a generic image since emptiness is not a thing, like a vase and its blueness. Meditating on the concept, "this is empty" is also unworkable. Of course, when we are learning about emptiness, of course we have to come to confidence in emptiness rationally, through reasonings. But when it comes to applying confidence in meditation, it is the position of the Sakya and Nyingma schools that focusing on a concept of emptiness is not a correct vipaśyāna, and in fact can lead to rebirth in the formless realms.

Correct vipaśyāna meditation on emptiness is resting the mind in an objectless equipoise discovered through exhausting all possible conceptual proliferation concerning entities in terms of all modes of their existence, as Śantideva notes. It is not resting the mind on the concept that results from conceptual analysis, rather, the mind that deconstructs even the notion., "this is ultimate" and rests in that state, free of proliferation.
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