Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

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Queequeg
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Queequeg » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:27 pm

Minobu wrote:It's the Buddha , right?


That's my take. For now anyway.
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Coëmgenu » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:40 pm

Minobu wrote:
Queequeg wrote:he took that as a sign that the Mind of the Lotus Sutra was established in the world and spreading and taking on a life of its own.

This is also the idea underlying the whole hokkegyoja - practitioner of the Lotus Sutra - the person who enters the tathagata's room, puts on the tathagata's robes, sits on the tathagata's throne. Even if they share only a few lines of the sutra, they are said to be the Buddha's envoys, carrying on the Buddha's work, carrying on the Buddha's intention to make all beings equal to him.


you have given me so many things Queequeg.

this is one.

The concept that Lotus Sutra is so much more than just a Sutra or teaching.
you gave it a life of it's own for me.

something I can embrace like it's so much more a real Thing , than it was before.
It's the Buddha , right?

Every aspect of my relationship with the Lotus Sutra has changed with your words of wisdom which throws me into the concept of "IT" as an entity.
I've taken it a step further and gave it that term.
maybe i should back off a little. ????

or embrace it freely in this paradigm of thought ?????
do you grok that.
d
Isn't the true nature of reality itself as we experience it believed to be impure contact with the expounding of the Lotus sermon, or in Nichiren terms, the Myōhō Renge Kyō? When contact is purified:
those who practice meritorious ways,
who are gentle, peaceful, honest, and upright,
all of them will see me
here in person, preaching the Law.
(LS 16)


I don't know if that is kosher. The notion of purifying sparśa. That is my own reading of Tiantai.
"My pure land is not destroyed,
yet the multitude sees it as consumed in fire,
with anxiety, fear, and other sufferings
filling it everywhere."
(Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra XVI)

All these dharmāḥ are the status of dharma, the standing of dharma, the suchness of dharma; the dharma neither departs from things-as-they-are, nor differs from things-as-they-are; it is the truth, reality, without distortion.(SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶(Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasya Mantra)

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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Queequeg » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:15 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:Isn't the true nature of reality itself as we experience it believed to be impure contact with the expounding of the Lotus sermon, or in Nichiren terms, the Myōhō Renge Kyō? When contact is purified:
those who practice meritorious ways,
who are gentle, peaceful, honest, and upright,
all of them will see me
here in person, preaching the Law.
(LS 16)


I don't know if that is kosher. The notion of purifying sparśa. That is my own reading of Tiantai.

:good:
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Coëmgenu » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:21 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Isn't the true nature of reality itself as we experience it believed to be impure contact with the expounding of the Lotus sermon, or in Nichiren terms, the Myōhō Renge Kyō? When contact is purified:
those who practice meritorious ways,
who are gentle, peaceful, honest, and upright,
all of them will see me
here in person, preaching the Law.
(LS 16)


I don't know if that is kosher. The notion of purifying sparśa. That is my own reading of Tiantai.

:good:
At the same time I think some people take that too far. If reality is contact with the Dharma, under one name or another, than it stands to reason that if reality is mutually interpenetrational between all realms, than the reality we experience is not completely arbitrary, inasmuch as the Dharma is not utterly arbitrary, and our contact is contact with Dharma, fundamentally. In a different thread someone was arguing that the earth "was" flat to certain people with certain perceptions, and that this was a valid reading of reality because reality is completely arbitrary to any given human being. That viewpoint lacks interpenetration.
"My pure land is not destroyed,
yet the multitude sees it as consumed in fire,
with anxiety, fear, and other sufferings
filling it everywhere."
(Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra XVI)

All these dharmāḥ are the status of dharma, the standing of dharma, the suchness of dharma; the dharma neither departs from things-as-they-are, nor differs from things-as-they-are; it is the truth, reality, without distortion.(SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶(Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasya Mantra)

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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:45 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:In a different thread someone was arguing that the earth "was" flat to certain people with certain perceptions, and that this was a valid reading of reality because reality is completely arbitrary to any given human being. That viewpoint lacks interpenetration.


Reality is not arbitrary any more than it's arbitrary that you get an apple tree when you plant an apple seed.

For those who perceive the world (I won't say Earth as that's not an appearance that everyone shares) as flat, they have the karma to see it as such, so for them a flat earth is a valid cognition, just as it is valid for a hungry ghost to see a moist, liquid substance as pus and blood. Thus appearance is not arbitrary but depends upon an individual's karma.

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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Coëmgenu » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:49 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:In a different thread someone was arguing that the earth "was" flat to certain people with certain perceptions, and that this was a valid reading of reality because reality is completely arbitrary to any given human being. That viewpoint lacks interpenetration.


Reality is not arbitrary any more than it's arbitrary that you get an apple tree when you plant an apple seed.

For those who perceive the world (I won't say Earth as that's not an appearance that everyone shares) as flat, they have the karma to see it as such, so for them a flat earth is a valid cognition, just as it is valid for a hungry ghost to see a moist, liquid substance as pus and blood. Thus appearance is not arbitrary but depends upon an individual's karma.
This makes sense for beings born in different realms. Beings in hell. Beings in heaven. The Buddha realm. But it doesn't make sense from person-to-person, at least not the same level of difference being described. But we can continue this in a PM, or a seperate thread, I would hate to hijack Minobu's Muse musings.
"My pure land is not destroyed,
yet the multitude sees it as consumed in fire,
with anxiety, fear, and other sufferings
filling it everywhere."
(Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra XVI)

All these dharmāḥ are the status of dharma, the standing of dharma, the suchness of dharma; the dharma neither departs from things-as-they-are, nor differs from things-as-they-are; it is the truth, reality, without distortion.(SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶(Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasya Mantra)

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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Minobu » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:19 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Minobu wrote:It's the Buddha , right?


That's my take. For now anyway.


for now !!!!

yer hanging out wid da guy from Canada too much....
lol
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Minobu » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:25 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:In a different thread someone was arguing that the earth "was" flat to certain people with certain perceptions, and that this was a valid reading of reality because reality is completely arbitrary to any given human being. That viewpoint lacks interpenetration.


Reality is not arbitrary any more than it's arbitrary that you get an apple tree when you plant an apple seed.

For those who perceive the world (I won't say Earth as that's not an appearance that everyone shares) as flat, they have the karma to see it as such, so for them a flat earth is a valid cognition, just as it is valid for a hungry ghost to see a moist, liquid substance as pus and blood. Thus appearance is not arbitrary but depends upon an individual's karma.
This makes sense for beings born in different realms. Beings in hell. Beings in heaven. The Buddha realm. But it doesn't make sense from person-to-person, at least not the same level of difference being described. But we can continue this in a PM, or a seperate thread, I would hate to hijack Minobu's Muse musings.


ah man don;t do that..

the whole point of this thread is to let things fly ...so i can further my understanding.

let good fortune bring me to a higher place with a little help from me friends.

it's you people who are my muse...and if it gets restricted i suffer a great loss.

hopefully this thread will grow forever into many different thoughts.
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Minobu » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:29 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:ust as it is valid for a hungry ghost to see a moist, liquid substance as pus and blood. Thus appearance is not arbitrary but depends upon an individual's karma.

i thought a hungry ghost would see our puss and urine as a delicacy .

when ever i pee outdoors i visualize a blessing transforming it to nectar and all these weird beings coming to it to drink it and be nourished.
cause i thought they can only get attracted to this sort of stuff...the pussier the better.
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:32 pm

Minobu wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:ust as it is valid for a hungry ghost to see a moist, liquid substance as pus and blood. Thus appearance is not arbitrary but depends upon an individual's karma.

i thought a hungry ghost would see our puss and urine as a delicacy .

when ever i pee outdoors i visualize a blessing transforming it to nectar and all these weird beings coming to it to drink it and be nourished.
cause i thought they can only get attracted to this sort of stuff...the pussier the better.


My understanding is that they find it unpleasant, just as we do, but it's all the sustenance they have. It's good that you are offering them nectar!

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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Queequeg » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:34 pm

Minobu wrote:i thought a hungry ghost would see our puss and urine as a delicacy .

when ever i pee outdoors i visualize a blessing transforming it to nectar and all these weird beings coming to it to drink it and be nourished.
cause i thought they can only get attracted to this sort of stuff...the pussier the better.


this thought might give me stage fright...
:rolling:
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Minobu » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:41 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Minobu wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:ust as it is valid for a hungry ghost to see a moist, liquid substance as pus and blood. Thus appearance is not arbitrary but depends upon an individual's karma.

i thought a hungry ghost would see our puss and urine as a delicacy .

when ever i pee outdoors i visualize a blessing transforming it to nectar and all these weird beings coming to it to drink it and be nourished.
cause i thought they can only get attracted to this sort of stuff...the pussier the better.


My understanding is that they find it unpleasant, just as we do, but it's all the sustenance they have. It's good that you are offering them nectar!


only here could anyone actually understand what you just wrote...lol
that being said;
Yeah well pee is so Gourmand .
i like to turn it into Gourmet ..
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Minobu » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:06 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:In a different thread someone was arguing that the earth "was" flat to certain people with certain perceptions, and that this was a valid reading of reality because reality is completely arbitrary to any given human being. That viewpoint lacks interpenetration.


Reality is not arbitrary any more than it's arbitrary that you get an apple tree when you plant an apple seed.

For those who perceive the world (I won't say Earth as that's not an appearance that everyone shares) as flat, they have the karma to see it as such, so for them a flat earth is a valid cognition, just as it is valid for a hungry ghost to see a moist, liquid substance as pus and blood. Thus appearance is not arbitrary but depends upon an individual's karma.
This makes sense for beings born in different realms. Beings in hell. Beings in heaven. The Buddha realm. But it doesn't make sense from person-to-person, at least not the same level of difference being described. But we can continue this in a PM, or a seperate thread, I would hate to hijack Minobu's Muse musings.

I think my Nichiren Shonin's point of view that all these aspects of different realm beings are contained in every sentient in every realm.

for example.
A human could be living like a god in Beverly hills , or living in hell in a beverly hills .

A human could be living like an animal in business or even in medicine . Dr. Mengale comes to mind.
i think you can get the gist of what i am saying.

this is the concept of the ten worlds.

By purifying ourselves with the daily practice we migrate to a higher life condition, not necessarily monetary.
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby narhwal90 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:55 pm

The first of the 3 realms (being the 3 factor in the equation) includes the 5 components; form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness

I think perception/cognition is as applicable for the "flat earth perceiver" as the "round earth perceiver", likewise the hungry ghost.

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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Coëmgenu » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:39 pm

Minobu wrote:I think my Nichiren Shonin's point of view that all these aspects of different realm beings are contained in every sentient in every realm.

for example.
A human could be living like a god in Beverly hills , or living in hell in a beverly hills .
How similar is Nichiren's 10 realms and Tiāntái's?

Is Nichiren Buddhism moreso an Interpenetrative School of East Asian Madhyamika or a Non-Dual School of Yogācāra persuasion? Tiāntái Buddhism, in its modern forms, is a sort-of fusionary school between these two positions, because while Zhìyǐ himself was not a Yogācārin, Zhànrán and Zhili (can't find the diacritics for the pīnyīn there) almost definitely were, methinks at least. But there is a layer of Interpenetrationality-theory that is not Yogācārin, and it presented in the writings of Zhìyǐ.

Unfortunately I am still an amateur at reading classical Chinese, so Śramaṇa Zhìyǐ's works, in their source text, are unavailable to me, so I have to rely on translations and academic scholars' (hopefully informed) investigations. Based on what I know from this admittedly poor window into East Asian Madhyamika, Tiāntái's interpenetrationality does not compromise the mutual conventional identities of interpenetrating elements/realms (dhātu, jiè/界). So while the Buddha/nirvāṇa-dhātu interpenetrates Hell, Heaven, everything in-between, etc, that does not mean their mutual identities are compromised on a conventional level.

Similarly, this interpenetration allows all realms to manifest in any given way, but their mutual conventional identities are still in-tact:
"Always desiring to be superior to others, having no patience for inferiors and belittling strangers; like a hawk, flying high above and looking down on others, and yet outwardly displaying justice, worship, wisdom, and faith -- this is raising up the lowest order of good and walking the way of the Asuras."
(this quote is allegedly from the Mahāśamathavipaśyanā/摩訶止観, by Zhìyǐ)


So while the asura-dhātu can manifest at any moment in any being, via the mutual interpenetration of dhātu, that does not mean that only human beings can manifest asura nature here in this world. Consider this:
Furthermore, a single moment of thought in the mind of a common being possesses the ten realms. They completely possess the nature and characteristics of evil karma, yet the nature and characteristics of evil are the nature and characteristics of virtue. It is due to evil that there is virtue. Apart from evil there is no virtue. Turning over evils, there is virtue supporting them, like inside bamboo there being the nature of fire. It is not yet the object of fire, which is why it exists but does not burn. When meeting with conditions the phenomenon comes to exist, and then it can burn things. Evil as the nature of virtue is not yet an existent phenomenon. When it meets with conditions it become an existent phenomenon, and then there can be a turn to evil. It is like bamboo. Fire is emitted and returns, burning the bamboo. In evil there is virtue. When virtue comes to exist it returns, destroying the evil. This is why that which are the nature and characteristics of evil are the nature and characteristics of virtue. A single moment of thought of an ordinary being always possesses the consciousnesses, names and forms of the ten realms. The nature and characteristics of the path of suffering – they misunderstand this path of suffering, and saṃsāra remains expansive. This is misunderstanding the dharmakāya as the path of suffering. There is no separate dharmakāya apart from the path of suffering, like mistaking south as north, there is no separate south. If one realizes saṃsāra, then it is the dharmakāya. Thus it is said the nature and characteristics of the path of suffering are the nature and characteristics of the dharmakāya.
(Zhìyǐ, commentary on the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra, I think its title is Făhuáxuányì/法华玄义, CBETA, T33, no. 1716, p. 743, c25-p. 744, a3-7)


The mutual conventional identities of the wood element and the fire element in the bamboo do not compromise the conventional identity of the bamboo itself via their interpenetration. Similarly, in the commentary above, although "the nature and characteristics of the path of suffering are the nature and characteristics of the dharmakāya" the mutual conventional identities of saṃsāra and dharmakāya is not compromised: there is, after all, saṃsāra, even if it is ultimately false.

When we look at the interpenetration of the 10 realms, and apply the metric that interpenetration does not compromise mutual conventional identity, we see that part of the mutual conventional identities of the 10 realms is their mutual seperateness as much as their mutual interpenetration. There is still a asura realm, conventionally extant, even if it is in a fully interpenetrative relationship with 9 other dhātu in any given dharma. That is my understanding at least.

In the conventionally extant asura realm, probably I guess, asura nature is much more commonly and potently manifest than among humans.

I am not a Dharma Doctor though. Take everything I say with a hefty cup of salt.
"My pure land is not destroyed,
yet the multitude sees it as consumed in fire,
with anxiety, fear, and other sufferings
filling it everywhere."
(Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra XVI)

All these dharmāḥ are the status of dharma, the standing of dharma, the suchness of dharma; the dharma neither departs from things-as-they-are, nor differs from things-as-they-are; it is the truth, reality, without distortion.(SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶(Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasya Mantra)

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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Minobu » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:07 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:Is Nichiren Buddhism moreso an Interpenetrative School of East Asian Madhyamika or a Non-Dual School of Yogācāra persuasion? .


Well, i am not celebrating mediocrity but i take what i learn from Buddhism and Buddhists and make it my own.

I practice , so I feel i'm in touch with the Dharma Kaya bodies of the Buddhas.
It serves me well , until i try to express myself.

The ten worlds for me is a view, once again.
It is a sort of psychology of such, mixed with Karma and the enviroment. Then it's how I interact in situations in my daily life.
It's like a convoluted menagerie of emotional head spaces and physical human experiences one can experience here in samsara.

All the while the primordial buddha is present. One's bodhicitta nature is the key for me. Developing it through practice and bringing it to the fore front for me is vital in developing a happier experience for myself and others.

Furthermore, a single moment of thought in the mind of a common being possesses the ten realms. They completely possess the nature and characteristics of evil karma, yet the nature and characteristics of evil are the nature and characteristics of virtue. It is due to evil that there is virtue. Apart from evil there is no virtue. Turning over evils, there is virtue supporting them, like inside bamboo there being the nature of fire. It is not yet the object of fire, which is why it exists but does not burn. When meeting with conditions the phenomenon comes to exist, and then it can burn things. Evil as the nature of virtue is not yet an existent phenomenon. When it meets with conditions it become an existent phenomenon, and then there can be a turn to evil. It is like bamboo. Fire is emitted and returns, burning the bamboo. In evil there is virtue. When virtue comes to exist it returns, destroying the evil. This is why that which are the nature and characteristics of evil are the nature and characteristics of virtue. A single moment of thought of an ordinary being always possesses the consciousnesses, names and forms of the ten realms. The nature and characteristics of the path of suffering – they misunderstand this path of suffering, and saṃsāra remains expansive. This is misunderstanding the dharmakāya as the path of suffering. There is no separate dharmakāya apart from the path of suffering, like mistaking south as north, there is no separate south. If one realizes saṃsāra, then it is the dharmakāya. Thus it is said the nature and characteristics of the path of suffering are the nature and characteristics of the dharmakāya.
(Zhìyǐ, commentary on the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra, I think its title is Făhuáxuányì/法华玄义, CBETA, T33, no. 1716, p. 743, c25-p. 744, a3-7)


the above I get and can appreciate. i think for any practitioner of Nichiren Shonin's Dharma should read it.

thank you Coëmgenu for this.

The bamboo reminds me an elder German Mystic in my youth trying to explain to me potential energy and kinetic energy.

He held a pencil and explained it could only burn due to the sun's energy contained in it.
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Queequeg » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:46 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:Is Nichiren Buddhism moreso an Interpenetrative School of East Asian Madhyamika or a Non-Dual School of Yogācāra persuasion? Tiāntái Buddhism, in its modern forms, is a sort-of fusionary school between these two positions, because while Zhìyǐ himself was not a Yogācārin, Zhànrán and Zhili (can't find the diacritics for the pīnyīn there) almost definitely were, methinks at least. But there is a layer of Interpenetrationality-theory that is not Yogācārin, and it presented in the writings of Zhìyǐ.


You gotta define those distinctions.

I've read passages where Zhiyi critiqued Vasubandhu - it went something like, if you say all is mind, you can also say mind is all. ie. To emphasize one or the other is a mistaken bias. The Green Cup is really only the mind. Equally, the mind is only Green Cup. That's the mutuality of the mind and objects.

So while the Buddha/nirvāṇa-dhātu interpenetrates Hell, Heaven, everything in-between, etc, that does not mean their mutual identities are compromised on a conventional level.


On a conventional level, Buddha cannot be distinguished from hell dweller as they are always in an inseparable mutual conditon, the Buddha always appearing in perfect symmetry with the need of the hell dweller - no Buddha, no hell dweller. No hell dweller, no Buddha. In the absolute sense, there is no Buddha, no hell dweller - just quiescence. To complete the Tiantai analysis, The Middle is the complete identity of the relative and absolute.

Even more critically, though, the Buddha Nature is in the hell dweller, and therefore, the hell dweller actually is, in a sense, Buddha. Similarly, you get the Tiantai controversial position that Buddha includes hell being.

There is something a little formalistic in the way you characterize - something Separate Teaching. The Non-Inclusive Threefold Truth, as opposed to the Inclusive Threefold Truth.

Check out Ng's Tiantai and Early Madhyamika. He goes into detail regarding the permutations of two truth and three truth formulations. Ziporyn also.


The mutual conventional identities of the wood element and the fire element in the bamboo do not compromise the conventional identity of the bamboo itself via their interpenetration. Similarly, in the commentary above, although "the nature and characteristics of the path of suffering are the nature and characteristics of the dharmakāya" the mutual conventional identities of saṃsāra and dharmakāya is not compromised: there is, after all, saṃsāra, even if it is ultimately false.


Your're discounting the the meaning of the latent cause. When Zhiyi says there is fire in the bamboo, he literally means there is fire in the bamboo. not through some dependent origination relationship. The circumstances just have not occurred to bring about the manifestation of the effect (fire).

Samsara is not false. Its totally true. Every aspect of it is real. At the same time, it is dharmakaya. The poor man shoveling poop is actually shoveling poop. He's also getting paid out of his own bank account.

Zhiyi is about walking and chewing gum at the same time. Cause simultaneous to effect. That crazy Chinese yinyang sensibility.
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Coëmgenu » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:34 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Is Nichiren Buddhism moreso an Interpenetrative School of East Asian Madhyamika or a Non-Dual School of Yogācāra persuasion? Tiāntái Buddhism, in its modern forms, is a sort-of fusionary school between these two positions, because while Zhìyǐ himself was not a Yogācārin, Zhànrán and Zhili (can't find the diacritics for the pīnyīn there) almost definitely were, methinks at least. But there is a layer of Interpenetrationality-theory that is not Yogācārin, and it presented in the writings of Zhìyǐ.


You gotta define those distinctions.

I've read passages where Zhiyi critiqued Vasubandhu - it went something like, if you say all is mind, you can also say mind is all. ie. To emphasize one or the other is a mistaken bias. The Green Cup is really only the mind. Equally, the mind is only Green Cup. That's the mutuality of the mind and objects.
Well keep in mind that I am limited to academic chatter in my critical exposure to early Tiāntái thought. For instance, I've read before that Zhìyǐ never encountered Yogācāra discourse in his lifetime because the textual and intellectual traditions of Yogācāra had not yet arrived in China. So that he was in dialogue with Vasubandhu is already something of a surprise given that Brook Ziporyn presents a narrative of early proto-Tiāntái Buddhism, via the writings of Zhìyǐ, being rather ambivalent to Yogācāra-discourse concerning reality because it was form in neither agreement with Yogācāra-discourse nor in refutation of Yogācāra-discourse. Such is the danger in only having access to academic resources. Academics need to make money, need to get published, so sometimes they need to make questionable assertions to sell their academic credentials. Publish or perish.

Queequeg wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:So while the Buddha/nirvāṇa-dhātu interpenetrates Hell, Heaven, everything in-between, etc, that does not mean their mutual identities are compromised on a conventional level.


On a conventional level, Buddha cannot be distinguished from hell dweller as they are always in an inseparable mutual conditon, the Buddha always appearing in perfect symmetry with the need of the hell dweller - no Buddha, no hell dweller. No hell dweller, no Buddha. In the absolute sense, there is no Buddha, no hell dweller - just quiescence. To complete the Tiantai analysis, The Middle is the complete identity of the relative and absolute.
My statement that you are disagreeing with is not my thought, it is, once again, Brook Ziporyn:
Zhanran was instrumental in elevating the doctrine of the "evil inherent in the Buddha-nature" to the status of the highest teaching [...]. This is often merely a matter of emphasis. Zhiyi maintains both the identity and the difference between good and evil. The metaphor of a dialogue must necessarily allow for differences in emphasis and focus to coexist with the assertion of the identity of the contents of the dialogue for the two sides- the devil version of the devil-Buddha dialogue differs from the Buddha version, although both sides are completely permeated by both deviltry and buddhahood. (Brook Ziporyn, Evil and/or/as the Good)


Brook Ziporyn's narrative of Tiāntái Buddhism is something of a mild "the revolution betrayed". I only say that as a bit of a joke, he doesn't argue anything nearly that harsh, but he definitely draws a line between Zhiyi and his later interpreters. He does not outrightly call Zhanran and Zhili dishonest to the teaching they inherited, but he does argue that they fundamentally transformed Tiāntái Buddhism from an interpenetrative East Asian Madhyamika tradition into a Non-Dual tradition. His text Evil and/or/as the Good: Omnicentrism, Intersubjectivity, and Value Paradox in Tiantai Buddhist Thought is predicated on the notion that Zhìyǐ wasn't a teacher of non-duality, but that later thinkers, chiefly Zhanran and Zhili, reframed his teaching in their interpretations so that he was seen to argue from the same non-dual perspective they themselves were more well-exposed to in the contemporary Buddhisms of their times.

Brook Ziporyn's text argues that the interpenetration of mutual elements does not compromise their conventional mutual identities in Zhìyǐ's writing, its from him that most of my critical exposure to Zhìyǐ comes through. Perhaps he is a bad source though. He needs to sell books like anyone else and needs to sell a narrative. Narratives that overturn past conceptions are also particularly juicy in academia, which puts unnecessary onus on academics to allegedly "disprove" past conceptions for the sake of "disproving something", regardless of if there is any merit to it. After all, academics are usually delivering their paper to others who are not as well informed on the subject matter.

Queequeg wrote:Even more critically, though, the Buddha Nature is in the hell dweller, and therefore, the hell dweller actually is, in a sense, Buddha. Similarly, you get the Tiantai controversial position that Buddha includes hell being.
This is true, just as a human can "be"/manifest an asura dhātu despite not generally considered as "being" an asura. But Zhìyǐ, or at least Brook Ziporyn's characterization of Zhìyǐ, argues that this does not compromise the notion that there exists a Buddha-dhātu and a Hell-dhātu, and that being in Hell are still different from Buddhas, even if they have the same potentiality for Buddhahood or devilry. The Dharmakāya is only Saṃsāra when it is misunderstood. The Buddha is only in hell when Buddhahood (and Hell?) is misunderstood. The misunderstanding is the "latent cause" that you bring up later in the post I am in responce to.

Queequeg wrote:There is something a little formalistic in the way you characterize - something Separate Teaching. The Non-Inclusive Threefold Truth, as opposed to the Inclusive Threefold Truth.

Check out Ng's Tiantai and Early Madhyamika. He goes into detail regarding the permutations of two truth and three truth formulations. Ziporyn also.
This could be a misconception I am inheriting through my sources definitely. Once my Chinese improves I'll be able to read the source text and I imagine my beliefs in regard to this subject matter will become more informed as a result of that.


Queequeg wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:The mutual conventional identities of the wood element and the fire element in the bamboo do not compromise the conventional identity of the bamboo itself via their interpenetration. Similarly, in the commentary above, although "the nature and characteristics of the path of suffering are the nature and characteristics of the dharmakāya" the mutual conventional identities of saṃsāra and dharmakāya is not compromised: there is, after all, saṃsāra, even if it is ultimately false.


Your're discounting the the meaning of the latent cause. When Zhiyi says there is fire in the bamboo, he literally means there is fire in the bamboo. not through some dependent origination relationship. The circumstances just have not occurred to bring about the manifestation of the effect (fire).

Samsara is not false. Its totally true. Every aspect of it is real. At the same time, it is dharmakaya. The poor man shoveling poop is actually shoveling poop. He's also getting paid out of his own bank account.
Saṃsāra is arisen through misunderstanding (which would be the 'latent cause' for saṃsāra) in the Zhìyǐ quote, thats why I called it "false", not because reality doesn't exist. When there is no misunderstanding there is no saṃsāra, however. The man shoveling poop still shovels regardless of if he shovels in saṃsāra or he shovels in dharmakāya. The difference is if that shoveling is a cause for suffering or not, yes?
"My pure land is not destroyed,
yet the multitude sees it as consumed in fire,
with anxiety, fear, and other sufferings
filling it everywhere."
(Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra XVI)

All these dharmāḥ are the status of dharma, the standing of dharma, the suchness of dharma; the dharma neither departs from things-as-they-are, nor differs from things-as-they-are; it is the truth, reality, without distortion.(SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶(Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasya Mantra)

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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Queequeg » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:54 pm

First, I probably don't understand any of this, and I'm not as articulate as you, so please pardon me. I'm not couching my comments in hedging language, so... anyway... keep that in mind. Read as though its all hedged. I'll try to be more articulate this time 'round.

Coëmgenu wrote:Well keep in mind that I am limited to academic chatter in my critical exposure to early Tiāntái thought. For instance, I've read before that Zhìyǐ never encountered Yogācāra discourse in his lifetime because the textual and intellectual traditions of Yogācāra had not yet arrived in China. So that he was in dialogue with Vasubandhu is already something of a surprise given that Brook Ziporyn presents a narrative of early proto-Tiāntái Buddhism, via the writings of Zhìyǐ, being rather ambivalent to Yogācāra-discourse concerning reality because it was form in neither agreement with Yogācāra-discourse nor in refutation of Yogācāra-discourse.


Zhiyi from Ziporyn's Good and/or/as... p. 164.

“In Vasubandhu’s theory of consciousness-only, there is the one consciousness, but it is divided into the discriminating and the undiscriminating forms of consciousness; the discriminating consciousness is what we usually call consciousness, whereas the undiscriminating consciousness is “consciousness appearing to be an object”. All the physical objects in the universe – vases, clothing, carts, and carriages – are all this undiscriminating form of consciousness… But since they are all one nature, we can equally say that there are two forms of matter, the discriminating and the undiscriminating… It is in this sense that mind and matter are non-dual. Since he [Vasubandhu] is able to say there are these two different forms of consciousness, we can equally say they are two different forms of matter… In the Integrated Teaching, we can also say that all things are matter only, or sound only, or scent only, or flavor only, or tactile sensation only, or consciousness only. In sum, every dharma inherently includes all the dharmas throughout the dharma-realm.”


My mind is Green Cup. Green Cup is my mind.

IIRC, the Yogacara stuff started coming to China at the end of Zhiyi's life, and he started to respond to it.

Such is the danger in only having access to academic resources. Academics need to make money, need to get published, so sometimes they need to make questionable assertions to sell their academic credentials. Publish or perish.


If academics need to make money, they made a bad career choice. :smile:

I don't think Ziporyn went out of his way to make questionable assertions... His style is to make big, provoking statements, and then explain. I highly doubt he thought Evil as/and/or Good was going to be a best seller. Being and Ambiguity is directed at a broader audience, and Emptiness and Omnipresence might be directed to the Buddhist crowd.

I don't read Chinese so, ultimately, I can't say if he's right or not. I suspect Swanson disagrees with him on some points. :shrug:

Coëmgenu wrote:My statement that you are disagreeing with is not my thought, it is, once again, Brook Ziporyn:
Zhiyi maintains both the identity and the difference between good and evil. The metaphor of a dialogue must necessarily allow for differences in emphasis and focus to coexist with the assertion of the identity of the contents of the dialogue for the two sides- the devil version of the devil-Buddha dialogue differs from the Buddha version, although both sides are completely permeated by both deviltry and buddhahood. (Brook Ziporyn, Evil and/or/as the Good)


I don't think I'm disagreeing with you in the way you think I am.

Let's use Ziporyn's language. What we're talking about here is omnicentric holism. The way the Buddha sees the world and the way the hell dweller sees it are vastly different; both views fully encompass the other. Both views in fact encompass both views in an infinite regression. It is all utterly real.

Each and every dharma in the dharmadhatu is likewise participating in this omnicentric holism, each encompassing all the others, constantly, in some quantum equation nightmare, the answer to it all being 42. Local Coherence, Global Incoherence, etc. Each, the center of the universe to which all else can be reduced, without in the least altering the same quality in all other dharmas.

Brook Ziporyn's narrative of Tiāntái Buddhism is something of a mild "the revolution betrayed". He does not outrightly call Zhanran and Zhili dishonest to the teaching they inherited, but he does argue that they fundamentally transformed Tiāntái Buddhism from an interpenetrative East Asian Madhyamika tradition into a Non-Dual tradition. His text Evil and/or/as the Good: Omnicentrism, Intersubjectivity, and Value Paradox in Tiantai Buddhist Thought is predicated on the notion that Zhìyǐ wasn't a teacher of non-duality, but that later thinkers, chiefly Zhanran and Zhili, reframed his teaching in their interpretations so that he was seen to argue from the same non-dual perspective they themselves were more well-exposed to in the contemporary Buddhisms of their times.


I'm not sure what you mean about Zhiyi being interpentrative and Zhanran and Zhili being non-dual. Please break that down in simple words that this slow layman can understand.

Brook Ziporyn's text argues that the interpenetration of mutual elements does not compromise their conventional mutual identities in Zhìyǐ's writing, its from him that most of my critical exposure to Zhìyǐ comes through.


IIRC, Zhanran ran with the "every scent is the middle way" to expand sentience to rocks and trees (I believe that's in his Diamond Scalpel treatise). Zhili took it to what I'd describe as the "Original Enlightenment" heterodoxy extreme justifying his threatened suicide as Buddha Nature.

Its been a while since I read it, so, maybe you can fill in the details.

Queequeg wrote:Even more critically, though, the Buddha Nature is in the hell dweller, and therefore, the hell dweller actually is, in a sense, Buddha. Similarly, you get the Tiantai controversial position that Buddha includes hell being.
This is true, just as a human can "be"/manifest an asura dhātu despite not generally considered as "being" an asura. But Zhìyǐ, or at least Brook Ziporyn's characterization of Zhìyǐ, argues that this does not compromise the notion that there exists a Buddha-dhātu and a Hell-dhātu, and that being in Hell are still different from Buddhas, even if they have the same potentiality for Buddhahood or devilry. The Dharmakāya is only Saṃsāra when it is misunderstood. The Buddha is only in hell when Buddhahood (and Hell?) is misunderstood. The misunderstanding is the "latent cause" that you bring up later in the post I am in responce to.


Latent cause is one of the ten factors.

I think we are not on the same page, but I can't quite place where.

Buddha is never in hell. :) Even when responding to the hell dweller, he is always dwelling in tranquility. Buddha never misunderstands reality - he sees the triple world as it truly is.


Saṃsāra is arisen through misunderstanding (which would be the 'latent cause' for saṃsāra) in the Zhìyǐ quote, thats why I called it "false", not because reality doesn't exist. When there is no misunderstanding there is no saṃsāra, however. The man shoveling poop still shovels regardless of if he shovels in saṃsāra or he shovels in dharmakāya. The difference is if that shoveling is a cause for suffering or not, yes?
[/quote]

Mm. If samsara is manifest, its cause can't be said to be latent. Its a cause that's already manifested in effect. Buddhahood, at that time, however, is latent. I suppose there are other ways to analyze this, but I don't think its going to be fruitful.

Latent cause is one of the ten factors. If we want to discuss that, let's start there.
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Re: Minobu's Muse: Lord Nagarjuna, The Lotus Sutra, The Gakki

Postby Coëmgenu » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:42 am

Queequeg wrote:First, I probably don't understand any of this, and I'm not as articulate as you, so please pardon me. I'm not couching my comments in hedging language, so... anyway... keep that in mind. Read as though its all hedged. I'll try to be more articulate this time 'round.
Well I talk like a pretentious twat, so sometimes trying to be as articulate as possible one ends up actually being incomprehensible, and not because what one is saying is particularly profound or subtle, if you catch my drift.

Queequeg wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Well keep in mind that I am limited to academic chatter in my critical exposure to early Tiāntái thought. For instance, I've read before that Zhìyǐ never encountered Yogācāra discourse in his lifetime because the textual and intellectual traditions of Yogācāra had not yet arrived in China. So that he was in dialogue with Vasubandhu is already something of a surprise given that Brook Ziporyn presents a narrative of early proto-Tiāntái Buddhism, via the writings of Zhìyǐ, being rather ambivalent to Yogācāra-discourse concerning reality because it was form in neither agreement with Yogācāra-discourse nor in refutation of Yogācāra-discourse.


Zhiyi from Ziporyn's Good and/or/as... p. 164.

“In Vasubandhu’s theory of consciousness-only, there is the one consciousness, but it is divided into the discriminating and the undiscriminating forms of consciousness; the discriminating consciousness is what we usually call consciousness, whereas the undiscriminating consciousness is “consciousness appearing to be an object”. All the physical objects in the universe – vases, clothing, carts, and carriages – are all this undiscriminating form of consciousness… But since they are all one nature, we can equally say that there are two forms of matter, the discriminating and the undiscriminating… It is in this sense that mind and matter are non-dual. Since he [Vasubandhu] is able to say there are these two different forms of consciousness, we can equally say they are two different forms of matter… In the Integrated Teaching, we can also say that all things are matter only, or sound only, or scent only, or flavor only, or tactile sensation only, or consciousness only. In sum, every dharma inherently includes all the dharmas throughout the dharma-realm.”
Well I stand corrected.

Queequeg wrote:I don't read Chinese so, ultimately, I can't say if he's right or not. I suspect Swanson disagrees with him on some points. :shrug:
Seriously? I was 90% sure you could get some understanding of Chinese through the Japanese language, which I thought you were translating from a text a while back in your study group. I don't actually know why I thought you spoke Japanese though, it just occurred to me that I have no actual reason as to why I always had assumed you did.

Queequeg wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Brook Ziporyn's narrative of Tiāntái Buddhism is something of a mild "the revolution betrayed". He does not outrightly call Zhanran and Zhili dishonest to the teaching they inherited, but he does argue that they fundamentally transformed Tiāntái Buddhism from an interpenetrative East Asian Madhyamika tradition into a Non-Dual tradition. His text Evil and/or/as the Good: Omnicentrism, Intersubjectivity, and Value Paradox in Tiantai Buddhist Thought is predicated on the notion that Zhìyǐ wasn't a teacher of non-duality, but that later thinkers, chiefly Zhanran and Zhili, reframed his teaching in their interpretations so that he was seen to argue from the same non-dual perspective they themselves were more well-exposed to in the contemporary Buddhisms of their times.


I'm not sure what you mean about Zhiyi being interpentrative and Zhanran and Zhili being non-dual. Please break that down in simple words that this slow layman can understand.
Well the narrative I have encountered really couches the relations, similar or different, between Zhiyi, Zhanran, and Zhili on terms of the historical realities of sectarian Buddhisms (and, in Zhiyi's case, particularly monasteries moreso than doctrinal movements) competing for aristocratic and imperial patronage in China, particularly after the founder was long dead. Particularly in the different ideological rivals that different writers had to engage in polemic against, lest they lose patronage, and the way that this transformed and reinvented Tiantai over the years.

Particularly Ziporyn frames Zhanran as a "Tang reinventor of Tiantai" (183).

Actually nevermind, I'm going to cut off there, I'll make this particular section its own post later otherwise I'll never finish typing this one.

Queequeg wrote:Buddha is never in hell. :) Even when responding to the hell dweller, he is always dwelling in tranquility. Buddha never misunderstands reality - he sees the triple world as it truly is.
I meant the buddha-dhātu was able to manifest in hell, that is all.

Queequeg wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Saṃsāra is arisen through misunderstanding (which would be the 'latent cause' for saṃsāra) in the Zhìyǐ quote, thats why I called it "false", not because reality doesn't exist. When there is no misunderstanding there is no saṃsāra, however. The man shoveling poop still shovels regardless of if he shovels in saṃsāra or he shovels in dharmakāya. The difference is if that shoveling is a cause for suffering or not, yes?


Mm. If samsara is manifest, its cause can't be said to be latent. Its a cause that's already manifested in effect. Buddhahood, at that time, however, is latent. I suppose there are other ways to analyze this, but I don't think its going to be fruitful.

Latent cause is one of the ten factors. If we want to discuss that, let's start there.
When I said that misunderstanding was the latent cause for samsara I meant that misunderstanding was the cause for samsara that, if not latent, "causes". It probably would have been easier to have phrased it the other way around: "The cessation of misunderstanding is the latent cause for realization of Dharmakāya."
"My pure land is not destroyed,
yet the multitude sees it as consumed in fire,
with anxiety, fear, and other sufferings
filling it everywhere."
(Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra XVI)

All these dharmāḥ are the status of dharma, the standing of dharma, the suchness of dharma; the dharma neither departs from things-as-they-are, nor differs from things-as-they-are; it is the truth, reality, without distortion.(SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶(Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasya Mantra)


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