Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:02 am

Malcolm wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
That's all Mahāmudra is.

Seems like a tricky way of seeing it, realization of the nature of mind would always be non-gradual wouldn't it? Sustaining that realization on the other hand would have to be gradual for the vast majority of folks.
No. Once you have seen the nature of the mind, that is all there is to do.
If that's all there was to do you'd be done with any and all formal practice after a successful introduction or pointing out. Maybe that's true for a very small percentage, but seems very unlikely for most. Even Garab Dorje's Three Statements are more than just one thing to do!
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by conebeckham » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:02 am

Matt J wrote:Why do you say that?
conebeckham wrote:Certainly, for Dzogchen, we can say this...but I think the "referent" pointed out in Dzogchen is, maybe, potentially, a bit different.
I'm parroting Kongtrul. Everything up to SemDe does not go "beyond mind." longDe, and especially MenNgakDe (Nyingthik), do, in fact, Go "beyond mind." I believe this to be a correct statement, but I choose not to elaborate further.....
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།།


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It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Justmeagain » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:56 pm

I suspect this thread needs to be moved to another home!

Or are we still trying to establish what Mahamudra is before comparing it to the more easily defined Shikantaza?

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:14 pm

Justmeagain wrote:I suspect this thread needs to be moved to another home!

Or are we still trying to establish what Mahamudra is before comparing it to the more easily defined Shikantaza?
Mahamudra is the nature of your mind and everything else.
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Justmeagain » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:I suspect this thread needs to be moved to another home!

Or are we still trying to establish what Mahamudra is before comparing it to the more easily defined Shikantaza?
Mahamudra is the nature of your mind and everything else.
I thought Emptiness was the nature of the mind and everything else and Mahamudra was a method to experience this?

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Malcolm » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:09 pm

Justmeagain wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:I suspect this thread needs to be moved to another home!

Or are we still trying to establish what Mahamudra is before comparing it to the more easily defined Shikantaza?
Mahamudra is the nature of your mind and everything else.
I thought Emptiness was the nature of the mind and everything else and Mahamudra was a method to experience this?
Emptiness has no appearance. Mahāmudra does.
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Justmeagain » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Mahamudra is the nature of your mind and everything else.
I thought Emptiness was the nature of the mind and everything else and Mahamudra was a method to experience this?
Emptiness has no appearance. Mahāmudra does.
And what is the nature of this appearance? I'd say Emptiness has the appearance of a lack of inherent existence. But maybe thats pushing it somewhat!

How about I put my OP this way....are Mahamudra and Shikantaza synonymous?

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Astus » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:40 pm

Justmeagain wrote:How about I put my OP this way....are Mahamudra and Shikantaza synonymous?
One can find common elements between the Great Seal and Just Sitting. Both are meant as the realisation of the ultimate truth, for instance. Both view the ultimate wisdom as the absence of attachment and detachment. Both see beings as originally enlightened and appearances as originally pure.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

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

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

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


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Malcolm » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:48 pm

Justmeagain wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:
I thought Emptiness was the nature of the mind and everything else and Mahamudra was a method to experience this?
Emptiness has no appearance. Mahāmudra does.
And what is the nature of this appearance? I'd say Emptiness has the appearance of a lack of inherent existence. But maybe thats pushing it somewhat!

How about I put my OP this way....are Mahamudra and Shikantaza synonymous?
Emptiness and luminosity ('od gsal) are synonyms. When one is in the experience of emptiness or luminosity there are no appearances. In Mahāmudra there are appearances. Which appearances? The appearances of the world.
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Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by passel » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:07 am

Just had a thought looking over this thread, about a line from a Kobun Chino talk (I think the talk was called "No No Zero" or something like that.

He said that zazen, and he's Soto so he'd be talking about shikantaza (which of course isn't a thing you can point to which is how threads like this get so long), is the absence of samadhi. If I'm remembering right, he said that we're in samadhi all day long- hungry samadhi, angry samadhi, horny samadhi, content samadhi, exalted samadhi, whatever. Zazen (which of course he means more expansively than literally just sitting) is when we abandon samadhi. I might even add "are free from the tyranny of samadhi."

The language resonates with some of the lines like "not meditating, not being distracted," that Tulku Urgyen was so fond of.
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by passel » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:19 am

And while it's on my mind, sounds like some of the amanasi/amanasikara instructions, which in turn always makes me think of Uchiyama's opening the hand of thought.
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by fckw » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:he second is called "vipaśyāna," because one recognizes that movement and calmness are identical in nature.
Now I'm curious - what instructions are usually given out on this particular point in Sutra-Mahamudra?

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Josef » Tue May 16, 2017 5:08 pm

Justmeagain wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:
I thought Emptiness was the nature of the mind and everything else and Mahamudra was a method to experience this?
Emptiness has no appearance. Mahāmudra does.
And what is the nature of this appearance? I'd say Emptiness has the appearance of a lack of inherent existence. But maybe thats pushing it somewhat!

How about I put my OP this way....are Mahamudra and Shikantaza synonymous?
No, the point of view of both are vastly different, their application, result, and practice are also quite different.
The only element that is similar is the non-conceptual foundation of them methods. Although, I'm skeptical of shikantaza being non-conceptual.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Anonymous X » Sat May 20, 2017 6:30 am

Beside entertaining of the comparative mind, how does all this 'knowledge' help anyone?

I seem to remember the 6th Zen Patriarch saying that the teachings were neither gradual or sudden, and that gradual and sudden only applied to the students. Gradual or sudden are both concepts. It's not a choice that one makes that reveals reality.

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Temicco » Sat May 20, 2017 6:48 am

Malcolm wrote: Emptiness and luminosity ('od gsal) are synonyms. When one is in the experience of emptiness or luminosity there are no appearances. In Mahāmudra there are appearances. Which appearances? The appearances of the world.
How do "appearances" differ from "form", practically? What does the experience of Mahamudra entail that distinguishes it from emptiness/luminosity, such that it entails appearances while the other does not?

What of the saying, "Mind without projection is mahamudra"?
"It is just a matter of never letting there be even a moment's interruption in your awareness of your real nature."
--Yuanwu Keqin

"As long as you let go and entrust with belief, your daily life itself can be meditation."
--Daehaeng Kun Sunim

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by dharmagoat » Sat May 20, 2017 7:02 am

As I see it, the teachings of Mahamudra and Shikantaza are both maps of the same territory. Neither are useful as objects for examination unless one is on the ground finding their own way (with the help of a guide) and able to see the landmarks for themselves. To compare two maps when unfamiliar with the actual territory lacks any meaningfulness.

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Malcolm » Sat May 20, 2017 12:04 pm

fckw wrote:
Malcolm wrote:he second is called "vipaśyāna," because one recognizes that movement and calmness are identical in nature.
Now I'm curious - what instructions are usually given out on this particular point in Sutra-Mahamudra?
Freedom from proliferation, aka, simplicity.
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Malcolm » Sat May 20, 2017 12:07 pm

Temicco wrote:
Malcolm wrote: Emptiness and luminosity ('od gsal) are synonyms. When one is in the experience of emptiness or luminosity there are no appearances. In Mahāmudra there are appearances. Which appearances? The appearances of the world.
How do "appearances" differ from "form", practically? What does the experience of Mahamudra entail that distinguishes it from emptiness/luminosity, such that it entails appearances while the other does not?

What of the saying, "Mind without projection is mahamudra"?
Luminosity is a completion stage experience in which all appearances subside. Mahāmudra is the experience of union, in which appearance and emptiness are a seamless unity. Rather than being treated as relative (appearance) and emptiness (ultimate), here the two truths are seamless and unified where the distinctions between ultimate and relative, conditioned and unconditioned, etc., are seen through.
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Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by fckw » Sat May 20, 2017 8:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:[
Luminosity is a completion stage experience in which all appearances subside. Mahāmudra is the experience of union, in which appearance and emptiness are a seamless unity. Rather than being treated as relative (appearance) and emptiness (ultimate), here the two truths are seamless and unified where the distinctions between ultimate and relative, conditioned and unconditioned, etc., are seen through.
Ah, thanks, that again clarifies something.

Would you say this is fairly comparable to the kadag and lhundrup aspects of the base in Dzogchen?

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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Malcolm » Sat May 20, 2017 8:27 pm

fckw wrote:
Malcolm wrote:[
Luminosity is a completion stage experience in which all appearances subside. Mahāmudra is the experience of union, in which appearance and emptiness are a seamless unity. Rather than being treated as relative (appearance) and emptiness (ultimate), here the two truths are seamless and unified where the distinctions between ultimate and relative, conditioned and unconditioned, etc., are seen through.
Ah, thanks, that again clarifies something.

Would you say this is fairly comparable to the kadag and lhundrup aspects of the base in Dzogchen?
Well, sort of. The difference is that ka dag can never be a basis for delusion, since it has no appearances. In Dzogchen teachings, the basis for delusion is lhundrup.
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Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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