What is the location of the mind

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Supramundane
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What is the location of the mind

Post by Supramundane » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:21 am

Dear Friends, i am looking for information on determining the location of the mind. i found an interesting dialogue in the Surangama Sutra on the subject. is there any other dialogue or discussion on its location?

if we think of language, is that a good metaphor for the Mind? we 'possess' a language but actually it is a collective possession. we use a language, but it is there before we are born and there after we die. we refer to it; we use it; if two people are speaking they will often ask each other what is the meaning of a certain word... it is evidently something that has a nature and existence that is beyond us... but where is its location? nowhere and everywhere... can the mind be thought of in a similar fashion?
thx

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:49 am

According to Buddha's Tantric teachings, there are different levels of mind, gross, subtle and very subtle. The very subtle mind, which is also called the mind of clear light that manifests in deep sleep, at death, and through the force of meditation for Tantric practitioners is located at the very centre of the heart channel wheel in a subtle drop called the indestructible drop. However, gross minds occur throughout the body - for example, discursive or conceptual thoughts tend to be found at the crown channel wheel, attachment tends to manifest at the navel channel wheel and of course the body consciousness exists throughout the body, apart from the teeth, hair and nails as we experience feeling whenever any part of the body is touched.

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Bristollad » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:00 am

we 'possess' a language but actually it is a collective possession
Who or what 'possesses' the mind? Mind is a collective possession? Are you suggesting there is one collective mind?
we use a language
Who or what uses the mind?

Some of the reasons why it doesn't work for me but YMMV :smile:

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Supramundane » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:01 pm

Bristollad wrote:
we 'possess' a language but actually it is a collective possession
Who or what 'possesses' the mind? Mind is a collective possession? Are you suggesting there is one collective mind?
we use a language
Who or what uses the mind?

Some of the reasons why it doesn't work for me but YMMV :smile:
of course the mind is collective... the Buddha mind that is.

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Admin_PC » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:17 pm

Supramundane wrote:
Bristollad wrote:
we 'possess' a language but actually it is a collective possession
Who or what 'possesses' the mind? Mind is a collective possession? Are you suggesting there is one collective mind?
we use a language
Who or what uses the mind?

Some of the reasons why it doesn't work for me but YMMV :smile:
of course the mind is collective... the Buddha mind that is.
Maybe not so much:
http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=21087
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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Supramundane » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:01 pm

I believe there us a sutra that refers fo a diamond hard part of the mind that is eternal. Ananda's 7 locations of the mind dialogue comes to mind too. Nothing to do with Jung. Jung was speaking of a shared cultural depository of archetypes. The Buddha was not one for archetypes.

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Admin_PC » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:13 pm

The point of my reply was to address your statement:

"of course the mind is collective... the Buddha mind that is."

The point of that thread I linked was to address the idea of a collective mind. The Jung stuff was just a silly off topic diversion and not the gist of the thread. The point of the matter that there is no collective mind in Buddhism.
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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Admin_PC » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:28 pm

月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Supramundane » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:23 am

i would like to go back to my original question. what is the location of the mind? i think my post has been misunderstood or misconstrued. i don't mean collective as in Jung or in some other interpretation but in the same way as language is a collective possession. if the mind is restricted to the body and dies with the body then there is no nirvana... right? the mind has to be located outside the body for their to be a Buddha mind and nirvana.

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Supramundane » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:29 am

Thank you for this link. i haven't gone through all the pages but it seems to be focused on paranormal effects, mind to mind communication, etc.

i think the fault is mine that i lack the Buddhist vocabulary to articulate what i mean. The mind-stream is dependently originated; consciousness thus creates various illusions, among them the illusion of self. once we die this all falls away. but obviously there is something deeper. there is the Buddhacitta. where is this Buddhacitta located? it is our mind... but it is outside our mind as well, is it not?

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:58 am

I've been reading this sutra and it's one of the most clear descriptions I've ever seen:
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra18.html
You may want to skip down to the part that says:
"The Buddha told Worthy Protector, “You have my permission. You may ask me about your doubts. I will explicate them to you.”"
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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Aemilius » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:07 am

Supramundane wrote:i would like to go back to my original question. what is the location of the mind? i think my post has been misunderstood or misconstrued. i don't mean collective as in Jung or in some other interpretation but in the same way as language is a collective possession. if the mind is restricted to the body and dies with the body then there is no nirvana... right? the mind has to be located outside the body for their to be a Buddha mind and nirvana.
It depends on your experience. In the Dharma there are six senses, six sense objects and six consciousnesses. For most people eyes are the most important senses, and thus you identify yourself with the eyes and the eye consciousness, which means you feel you are somewhere behind the eyes. Other kinds of experience are also possible, and they do happen to some people.
Carl Jung writes, based on a discussion with a red indian, that in the modern european culture people feel that they are (or their consciousness is) some where in their head or in their brains. But the red indians felt, at least in the early 1900's, that their consciousness or their "self" is in their heart. This change of consciousness from the heart to the brains is probably be a result of the cultural change that has taken place gradually, and at different times, in different parts of the world.
There probably are still some peoples and cultures on Earth that feel they are in their heart, i.e. in their physical heart, in their chest or in the heart-chakra.
There are also people who have had out-of-the-body experiences, or other similar experiences, and who that they are not (or their consciousness is not) same as their body, or that consciousness it is not entirely dependent on the body.
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They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by seeker242 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:08 pm

According to the Shurangama Sutra, the mind doesn't have a location.
Ananda said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, when I have seen the Buddha turn the Dharma wheel in the past with great Maudgalyayana, Subhuti, Purna, and Shariputra, four of the great disciples, he often said that the nature of the mind which perceives, makes discriminations, and is aware is located neither within nor outside nor in the middle; it is not located anywhere at all...1:210
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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by srivijaya » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:43 pm

Supramundane wrote:the mind has to be located outside the body for their to be a Buddha mind and nirvana.
A location is only a location with reference to something else.

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Supramundane » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:02 am

srivijaya wrote:
Supramundane wrote:the mind has to be located outside the body for their to be a Buddha mind and nirvana.
A location is only a location with reference to something else.
good point! pls go on...! there is space in a vase and space outside a vase. the space is the same. is the mind inside and outside the vase too?

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Supramundane » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:08 am

seeker242 wrote:According to the Shurangama Sutra, the mind doesn't have a location.
Ananda said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, when I have seen the Buddha turn the Dharma wheel in the past with great Maudgalyayana, Subhuti, Purna, and Shariputra, four of the great disciples, he often said that the nature of the mind which perceives, makes discriminations, and is aware is located neither within nor outside nor in the middle; it is not located anywhere at all...1:210
You have hit the nail on the head, Seeker. do you find this Sutra compelling? I'm not sure if i follow some of the arguments. Because the mind cannot see inside the skull, this means that it is not inside the body... there seems to be a confusion between the eyes and the brain. what i mean is that i find his conclusion compelling (namely, the mind is not restricted to the body), but i don't quite follow his argumentation to get there.

maybe you can help me out?

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Supramundane » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:41 am

Admin_PC wrote:I've been reading this sutra and it's one of the most clear descriptions I've ever seen:
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra18.html
You may want to skip down to the part that says:
"The Buddha told Worthy Protector, “You have my permission. You may ask me about your doubts. I will explicate them to you.”"

looks like gold.
give me some time to assimilate this and will get back to you!
much metta

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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Admin_PC » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:51 am

Just in case you didn't read it:
Worthy Protector next asked the Buddha, “Where does one’s body hold consciousness?”

The Buddha replied, “Worthy Protector, consciousness neither accumulates nor gathers, nor does it grow. [The development of consciousness in an embryo] is like the birth of a sprout. The sprout is born neither before the seed is transformed nor after the seed is destroyed. However, when the sprout appears, the seed is spent. Worthy Protector, what is your opinion? Where does the seed stay? In the sprout, the stem, the branches, the leaves, or the top of the tree?”

Worthy Protector replied to the Buddha, “No, World-Honored One, the seed stays nowhere.”

[The Buddha continued] “Indeed, Worthy Protector, [ālaya] consciousness does not stay in a particular place in the body, not in the eye, ear, nose, or the tongue. A seed giving birth to a sprout is likened to consciousness becoming dimly aware [in an embryo]. The formation of flower buds is likened to consciousness becoming receptive. The stage from blooming of flowers to bearing of fruits is likened to [ālaya] consciousness forming a body. The way [ālaya] consciousness forms a body is throughout all parts of the body. However, one cannot find where it stays. Without [ālaya] consciousness, the body cannot be formed.

“For example, only a ripe fruit from a tree, not an unripe fruit, is capable of releasing the seed for a new tree to come. Similarly, when one’s [current] requital has matured, one dies and the consciousness-seed appears. Because of consciousness, there is sensory reception; because of sensory reception, there is love. Bondage of love produces memory. [Ālaya] consciousness carries memory and moves away like the wind according to good and evil karmas. It also thinks of its parents-to-be and entrusts those who match the causes and conditions. For example, the reflection of one’s face does not appear in a mirror if the mirror is not clear. If the mirror is clear, the reflection appears. The image in the mirror has no sensation or thinking, but it follows the person to stretch or bend, to face upward or downward, to open the mouth to speak or joke, to walk or stand, performing various kinds of motion. Worthy Protector, by what force does the reflection appear in a mirror?”

Worthy Protector replied to the Buddha, “It is by the decision of the person. Because of his face, there is its reflection. The form of the reflection is like that of the person’s face. Its sense organs, whether complete or incomplete, are like those on his face.”

The Buddha said, “The person’s face is the cause of the reflection, and the mirror is the condition of the reflection. The reflection appears because of the convergence of causes and conditions. Likewise, [ālaya] consciousness is the cause of one’s sensory reception, perception, mental processing, and mental functions, and the parents are the conditions. As the causes and conditions converge, a body appears [like a reflection in the mirror]. As for the person and the mirror, when the person moves away, his mirror reflection is also gone. The person may cast his reflection elsewhere, perhaps in the water. Similarly, carrying good and evil karmas, [ālaya] consciousness abandons this body and moves away to accept the next requital.

“As another analogy, the seed of a banyan tree or a ficus tree is small, but it can grow a huge tree. The tree again bears seeds. The new seed then abandons the old tree to grow a new tree. As the old tree grows weak over time, with its sap exhausted, it will dry out and decay. After [ālaya] consciousness abandons the body of a sentient being, [like a small seed] it will accept a huge body of some kind according to karma. It is also like many kinds of seeds, such as barley, wheat, sesame, mung bean, and legume. Because a seed is planted, sprout, stem, flowers, and fruits will grow and ripen. Similarly, because [ālaya] consciousness has moved into a sentient being of some kind, this being has awareness and sensory reception.

“The way [ālaya] consciousness, holding good and evil karmas, successively accepts a variety of bodies is also like a bee that stops over flowers. With love, pleasure, and attachment, it sucks the flavor of a flower for nourishment. The bee then abandons this flower to seek other flowers at other places. Whether it abandons fragrance for stench or it abandons stench for fragrance, it cannot help loving and coveting the object it stops over. Likewise, [ālaya] consciousness may acquire a celestial body to enjoy the fortune fruit of meritorious karma. It may then abandon the celestial body to enter into hell to accept the misfortune fruit of evil karma. As saṁsāra turns, various kinds of bodies are [successively] formed.

“[Ālaya] consciousness is like the white seed of a red or blue tulip or a puṇḍarīka flower. If one cracks open the seed, one will find no sprout, no flower, and no color. Only if the seed is planted in the ground and watered, will a sprout grow. In time flowers and fruits will thrive and flourish, with the flowers blooming in red or white, or various colors. The sprout and the colorful flowers are not inside the seed, but, without the seed, they cannot come into being. [Ālaya] consciousness abandons a dead body, including its fleshy frame, facial features, faculties, and sensory fields, because it no longer sees the convergence of their causes and conditions. With its special vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, and tactility, as well as its memory, [ālaya] consciousness knows the good and evil karmas one has done, according to which it will accept a requital body.

“As a silkworm constructs a cocoon, binding itself by its own doing, so too does [ālaya] consciousness construct a body to bind itself. It will then abandon that body and transfer into a new body as the next requital. Because of a flower seed, there will be a new plant with colorful and fragrant flowers. Likewise, after [ālaya] consciousness has abandoned a body, wherever it goes, along with it goes the dharma realm, including faculties and sensory reception. Wherever a wish-fulfilling jewel is, it is accompanied by pleasing objects. Wherever the sun is, it is accompanied by bright light. Likewise, wherever consciousness transfers to, it is accompanied by the dharma realm, including sensory reception and perception. After abandoning a body, [ālaya] consciousness, without a body of flesh and bones, takes the cause of form as its body. It has faculties, sensory reception, and subtle thinking, and can grasp good or evil.

“Various kinds of fruits, such as dates, pomegranates, mangoes, and the like, may taste pungent, bitter, sour, sweet, salty, or tart. With a distinct flavor, each fruit serves a different purpose. After the fruit decays, its flavor will be reborn through the transformation of the seed. Thus, as the [ālaya] consciousness-seed transfers, it is accompanied by sensory reception, memory, and good and evil karmas. It is called consciousness because it knows that it has abandoned this body in order to accept the next requital body. It is called consciousness because it knows that it is accompanied by good and evil karmas and that, carrying these karmas, it transfers to accept [the next] requital. It is called consciousness because it knows all about what the body does. By analogy, the wind has no form to grasp and no mass to get hold of but, through causes and conditions, it can do karmas: The wind can carry cold or hot, carry fragrance or stench, shake the woods, or violently devastate anything in its path. Likewise, consciousness has no form or mass, and cannot be detected by sight or hearing. However, through causes and condition, the appearance of consciousness is revealed. Because one’s consciousness maintains one’s body, the body knows pain or pleasure. Looking radiant and energetic, one’s body can walk or stand, speak or laugh, and feel happy or sad. Seeing clearly the karmas done, we should know that there is consciousness.”
Here, [ālaya] consciousness would be a synonym for "unenlightened mind".
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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Vasana » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:42 am

Admin_PC wrote:I've been reading this sutra and it's one of the most clear descriptions I've ever seen:
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra18.html
You may want to skip down to the part that says:
"The Buddha told Worthy Protector, “You have my permission. You may ask me about your doubts. I will explicate them to you.”"
Thanks for sharing this. Very clear!
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As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
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Re: What is the location of the mind

Post by Aemilius » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:00 am

In Buddhism there are what called sentient beings or beings with mind. It is not only humans that have mind or consciousness. The modern research on brains has produced lot of knowledge about the brains and about the exact locations in brains where perceptions, emotions etc.. take place. The animals have brains, and even tiny insects have tiny brains. There definitely seems to be a location for the mental activities in humans, larger animals, fish, crustaceans, insects, etc..
It is common sense that sense-consciousness is not on the other side of the planet when a sense organ perceives a sense object here on this side of the planet. This applies to humans, different animals, insects etc..
svaha
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They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
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