If all is mind then how is Zen not monistic?

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Astus
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Re: If all is mind then how is Zen not monistic?

Post by Astus » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:59 pm

Sherab wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:54 pm
But are the five aggregates unborn, unmade etc?
The aggregates are impermanent.
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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Sherab
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Re: If all is mind then how is Zen not monistic?

Post by Sherab » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:43 am

Astus wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:59 pm
Sherab wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:54 pm
But are the five aggregates unborn, unmade etc?
The aggregates are impermanent.
Exactly.

The question then is why the need to label the destruction of lust etc as unconditioned? All that is needed is to say that the object of practice is the annihilation of lust, etc. There is no need to talk about anything unconditioned. If nirvana is merely the destruction of lust, etc., then there is no need to call it unconditioned. In fact, I would argue that it would be inaccurate to say that it is unconditioned since it can be argued that nirvana is dependent on the destruction of lust etc. One could even argue that the Buddha by teaching dependent origination and emptiness, was actually teaching that there is no dharma that is unconditioned. Yet the Buddha did talk about the unconditioned. It seemed so unnecessary.

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Astus
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Re: If all is mind then how is Zen not monistic?

Post by Astus » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:36 am

Sherab wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:43 am
The question then is why the need to label the destruction of lust etc as unconditioned?
There is the category of conditioned, and so there is the category of unconditioned, or in other words, there is samsara and there is nirvana. It is the unique teaching of the Buddha that instead of pointing to God, Soul, Essence, etc. as the ultimate, he taught liberation from birth and suffering as the final elimination of afflictions. And he also shown the many versions of mistaking the various mental states and realms as the ultimate. Similarly to other terms, like karma and brahmana, the Buddha gave a new meaning to what a person should strive for.
I would argue that it would be inaccurate to say that it is unconditioned since it can be argued that nirvana is dependent on the destruction of lust etc. One could even argue that the Buddha by teaching dependent origination and emptiness, was actually teaching that there is no dharma that is unconditioned. Yet the Buddha did talk about the unconditioned. It seemed so unnecessary.
There are conditioned states where one finds no lust, but those are temporary. The final destruction of afflictions is called the unconditioned because there is no coming back to samsaric states.
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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