What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

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Rob_1973_Aus
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Rob_1973_Aus » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:20 am

takso wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:45 am
In Buddhism, rebirth refers to evolving consciousness or stream of consciousness of a person (upon death) and the new consciousness arising in the same person (in the new person) is neither identical to, nor entirely different from, the old consciousness, but forms part of a causal continuum or stream with it. The basic cause for this persistent re-arising of personality is the abiding of consciousness in ignorance; when ignorance is uprooted, rebirth ceases. For example, a flame is transferred from one candle to another, or a fire spreads from one field to another. In the same way that it depends on the original fire, there is a conditioned relationship between one life and the next; they are not identical but neither are they completely distinct.
Thankyou, Tasko. This is what I was trying to convey in my original post, however poorly I put it :rolling:
I have re read your post, especially the part I have quoted above a few times and it seems to be my eureka moment. The more I read it, the more it makes sense. You have helped me greatly and I wish I had put my understanding as well as you did yours!

Thankyou, my friend.
May Peace, Harmony and Wellbeing be with you.

Rob.

Rob_1973_Aus
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Rob_1973_Aus » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:27 am

Hello, everyone.
I wanted to say a quick thank you to each and every one of you who have taken the time to help me.
This topic seems to cause the most stress for beginners such as myself but it is wonderful to meet people (even online) who are willing to give input.
One person here, Tasko, gave me a description and it was very much what I was trying to convey (very poorly, it seems) in my OP. They really gave me an AHA! moment and made me feel that I was on the right track. Naturally, I have thanked them for their words but I wanted to make a point of thanking everyone involved in the conversation.
May you all have Peace and Happiness this and every day.

Rob.

smcj
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by smcj » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:42 am

:anjali:
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Grigoris
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:41 am

Nothing essentially is reborn. Ignorance continues to function and as such acts as a cause for continued birth, suffering and death as per the Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

smcj
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by smcj » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:59 am

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:41 am
Nothing essentially is reborn. Ignorance continues to function and as such acts as a cause for continued birth, suffering and death as per the Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Shravakayana. That post belongs over at DhammaWheel.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Grigoris
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:01 am

smcj wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:59 am
Grigoris wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:41 am
Nothing essentially is reborn. Ignorance continues to function and as such acts as a cause for continued birth, suffering and death as per the Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Shravakayana. That post belongs over at DhammaWheel.
What are you talking about? Are you saying that Dependent Origination has no place in Mahayana/Vajrayana? You been hitting the contents of the kapala again?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Daizan
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Daizan » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:18 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:14 pm
Daizan wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:09 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:29 am
Thing with Yogacara and Shentong is that this True Self is not an "I" as such. It has a number of characteristics, but they are not even vaguely related to the five skandha that we normally consider as an "I".
The five skandha are a description of suffering and not an I.
I did not say they were an "I", I said they "normally considered" to be an "I".

PS In the Vajrayana, the five skandha are the Five Wisdom Buddhas. ;)
I don’t think it’s normally misconstrued.

Btw, what is a characteristic of this True Self that you speak of?

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Matt J
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Matt J » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:34 pm

The answer is going to depend on the tradition. However, I don't see why the answer can't simply be the mind is what is reborn. Per Bhikkhu Annalayo, Early Buddhism posits a continuous stream of changing consciousness. Abhdidhamma states that the mind is composed of mind-atoms that arise and dissolve moment to moment. Yogacara posits that the alaya vijnana, or 8th Consciousness, carries the latent impressions of karma from moment to moment and life to life--- this is often the explanation proffered in modern Zen. Shentongpas such as Jamgon Kongtrul and Tsultrim Gyamtso may talk about Buddhanature as like space from which grosser aspects of mind arise. This is not the same as positing a findable self that is permanent, independent, and unitary. Nor is it stating that any of this is ultimately real.

What makes this confusing is the assumption that mind (or appearances) and emptiness are contradictory. I think most of us in Western culture start out with a fairly reified view of the mind, especially if we have been exposed to modern nondual teachings that trace back to the less subtle, popular teachings of Vedanta. However, working with a teacher and receiving proper oral instructions helps to remedy this, so that later on the contradiction between mind and emptiness is resolved. The contradiction, after all, is based on mental concepts about reality rather than reality itself.

I think that statements such as "there is no mind" and "nothing continues" may be correct from a well integrated Prasangika Madhyamaka view, but for some who have not been fully trained in these teachings, it just sounds like plain nihilism-- it is especially the case since a lot of this language has been co-opted by secular Buddhists like Stephen Batchelor.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Orgyen
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Orgyen » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:20 pm

Rebirth , reborn implying something or someone from A point shift to B point , but , in actual there is only a kind of Continuation where it manifest after a "Gap" occurs (death / disintegration) .

Therefore , reborn or rebirth is a inappropriate description of the situation . Nothing is being reborn .
To be continued .........to be continued ............
to be continued ................. (like the tv series) .

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takso
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by takso » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:40 am

Orgyen wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:20 pm
Rebirth , reborn implying something or someone from A point shift to B point , but , in actual there is only a kind of Continuation where it manifest after a "Gap" occurs (death / disintegration) .

Therefore , reborn or rebirth is a inappropriate description of the situation . Nothing is being reborn .
To be continued .........to be continued ............
to be continued ................. (like the tv series) .
Another way to put it is the process of rising and falling in continuum. Birth and death are merely two aspects of the same thing - just like, two sides of the same coin. The coin here is also known as samsāra. Birth and death would take place concurrently and instantaneously in every bit of moment. Yes, from a perspective, there is nothing to flow on from one point to another; just like how blinker light works - now you could see the light, now you don't.
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~

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Aemilius
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Aemilius » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:35 am

Matt J wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:34 pm
The answer is going to depend on the tradition. However, I don't see why the answer can't simply be the mind is what is reborn. Per Bhikkhu Annalayo, Early Buddhism posits a continuous stream of changing consciousness. Abhdidhamma states that the mind is composed of mind-atoms that arise and dissolve moment to moment. Yogacara posits that the alaya vijnana, or 8th Consciousness, carries the latent impressions of karma from moment to moment and life to life--- this is often the explanation proffered in modern Zen. Shentongpas such as Jamgon Kongtrul and Tsultrim Gyamtso may talk about Buddhanature as like space from which grosser aspects of mind arise. This is not the same as positing a findable self that is permanent, independent, and unitary. Nor is it stating that any of this is ultimately real.

What makes this confusing is the assumption that mind (or appearances) and emptiness are contradictory. I think most of us in Western culture start out with a fairly reified view of the mind, especially if we have been exposed to modern nondual teachings that trace back to the less subtle, popular teachings of Vedanta. However, working with a teacher and receiving proper oral instructions helps to remedy this, so that later on the contradiction between mind and emptiness is resolved. The contradiction, after all, is based on mental concepts about reality rather than reality itself.

I think that statements such as "there is no mind" and "nothing continues" may be correct from a well integrated Prasangika Madhyamaka view, but for some who have not been fully trained in these teachings, it just sounds like plain nihilism-- it is especially the case since a lot of this language has been co-opted by secular Buddhists like Stephen Batchelor.
There is no separate or independent mind. Therefore mind, perceptions and objects are reborn. They exist in the in-between-state and in the next life. Or in another way, the subject and object are reborn. Or in yet another way, the five skandhas or aggregates are reborn.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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well wisher
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by well wisher » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:09 pm

With regards to being reborn, I am really curious about ability to recount past lives. Is there an easy way to do so? Maybe some pointers and hints? At what high level of Bhumi would Bodhisattva be able to achieve this feat?

Because I think a great way to is to learn from that past and not repeat its mistakes, be it in history book or even one's own previous rebirths. This will ensure the repeated reincarnation cycles actually leads a way OUT of suffering, not to the unlimited continuation of it!
Also I would prefer to think high level Bodhisattva already know and have pre-knowledge of their own past lives to be able to properly save sentient beings, otherwise they might fall into dangerous traps of repeating the same mistakes and become very pitiful!
Surely all Buddhas must have this ability!

Otherwise if there is little point or lessons in the rebirths, then i would actually be DESPERATE for rebirth in any Buddha's Pureland after my current human life, (otherwise if the Buddhas reject my consciousness, as a desperate backup I would pursue for total self-annihilation and probably end up in formless heavens).
before I am willing to reincarnate to any rebirths in any desire & form realms (including human worlds).
But if you extrapolate that midset too much, and apply it to everyone,
then it seem all formed realms will be doomed to total extinction, even our current human world!

So far I can only logically guess my own past lives that: I was probably an insect ant, or a mad rambling clean-obsessed Dao priest who was betrayed by some heavenly god/entity - by looking back at my own preferences and behavior in this life.

The articles I read below seems to indicate that this is no easy or fast task at all! Maybe one needs to at least temporarily completely let go of one's own ego to do so?
If you are a confident meditator then you can also recount past lives, though I've found it's a long process, it doesn't just happen in one session.
-from https://www.reddit.com/r/Buddhism/comme ... dhisattva/
There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I reappeared here.' Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details.
"This was the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute."
- from https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... birth.html

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Grigoris
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:08 pm

Daizan wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:18 pm
Btw, what is a characteristic of this True Self that you speak of?
Non-conditioned, eternal, unchanging, bliss, compassion, wisdom, power, etc...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Rick
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Rick » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:15 pm

Sounds like brahman ... if you dropped the attribute-y descriptors: bliss, compassion, wisdom, power.

I'm thinkin' Shentong might be a good bridge between Vedanta and Buddhism.

Are you a Shentongian, Grigoris?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by smcj » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:16 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:08 pm
Daizan wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:18 pm
Btw, what is a characteristic of this True Self that you speak of?
Non-conditioned, eternal, unchanging, bliss, compassion, wisdom, power, etc...
Sounds like Buddha to me.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Grigoris
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:30 pm

Rick wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:15 pm
Sounds like brahman ... if you dropped the attribute-y descriptors: bliss, compassion, wisdom, power.

I'm thinkin' Shentong might be a good bridge between Vedanta and Buddhism.

Are you a Shentongian, Grigoris?
No, not really. I can understand the view and I am not unsympathetic to their logic, since Buddha Nature would logically have to be eternal and unconditioned, otherwise it would be dependently arisen. But I believe Shengtong view falls into a reification of the Buddha Nature, whereas I am more comfortable with the idea of it being a potential.

Different doors for different sized and shaped folks...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:40 pm

Rick wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:15 pm
Sounds like brahman ... if you dropped the attribute-y descriptors: bliss, compassion, wisdom, power.

I'm thinkin' Shentong might be a good bridge between Vedanta and Buddhism.

Are you a Shentongian, Grigoris?
According to Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamsto in his Stages of Meditation on Emptiness (which is, BTW a brilliant book that covers some of this same ground), all the philosophical positions taken within Buddhism (Shentong Madhyamika being at the "top" in his presentation) are praxis, intended to be used as guidelines for the practitioners experience, moreso than believed as definitive statements. So they are not standalone philosophical positions.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Rick
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Rick » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:23 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:40 pm
According to Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamsto in his Stages of Meditation on Emptiness (which is, BTW a brilliant book that covers some of this same ground), all the philosophical positions taken within Buddhism (Shentong Madhyamika being at the "top" in his presentation) are praxis, intended to be used as guidelines for the practitioners experience, moreso than believed as definitive statements. So they are not standalone philosophical positions.
So theory serves practice.

That's true for Vedanta also, but: 1) The practice is different, less meditation more reading/contemplation; 2) Brahman is not a guideline, it is the one and only real(ity). For those looking for essential sameness/similarity between Advaita and Buddhism, the atman/anatman divide is helluva challenge!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Rick
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Rick » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:29 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:30 pm
But I believe Shengtong view falls into a reification of the Buddha Nature, whereas I am more comfortable with the idea of it being a potential.
What does the bolded part mean ... I never heard 'potential' used in this context before.
Different doors for different sized and shaped folks...
84,000 last time I did an official count.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Matt J
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Re: What Exactly is 'Reborn'?

Post by Matt J » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:16 pm

I don't think you will necessarily get from Buddhism to Vedanta. What makes Buddhism different from all other religions in the world is the emphasis on a deep and thoroughgoing emptiness.

I wanted to share this passage from Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche in his commentary of the Uttaratantra Shastra. KTGR is one of most Shentong of the Shentongpas*.
"The tirthikas, such as different Hindu traditoins and so on, hold the belief of there being a self or atman that is eternal, unique, and independent. This self or atman is called "true self." The term “perfection of true self” is to be understood as follows: The tirthikas, such as different Hindu traditions and so on, hold the belief of there being a self or atman that is eternal (Tib. rtag pa), unique (Tib. gcig), and independent (Tib. rang dbang). This self or atman is called “true self.” The shravakas and so on remedy this belief by the meditation on the non-existence of a self. They meditate that everything does not exist as a self at all, that everything is nothing but sheer voidness. The belief in the existence of an eternal, unique, and independent self is a wrong concept and perception. While the recognition that everything is utterly non-existent constitutes a valid remedy for this wrong perception of the tirthikas, it is in its turn also distorted in that it does not correspond to the ultimate nature of everything either.

The ultimate nature of everything is a state of peace completely beyond the conceptual elaboration in terms of the existence of a self or the non-existence of a self. If, for instance, while dreaming one thinks in terms of “self” and “I,” attachment to one’s body will arise born from the belief in an existing self. This is a mistaken reaction based on a deluded concept. If, while dreaming, one thinks that a self does not exist at all and therefore takes this body to be nothing but empty, this is also a deluded thought. In truth it is beyond any of these conceptual elaborations.

There is a great difference between “true self” as taught in the Hindu traditions and as taught in the Mahayana system. In the first sense the term “true self” denotes a self that is eternal, unique, and independent. “True self” as taught in the Uttara Tantra Shastra is equivalent to the state of peace in terms of complete freedom from any conceptual elaboration. This state of peace has only been given the name of “true self.” There is a mere similarity in terms. The Mahayana system does not hold the view of an eternal, unique, and independent self. Between light and darkness, for instance, there is only a similarity inasmuch as they are both things (Skt. bh›va, Tib. dngos po) fulfilling a function. Apart from that they contradict each other; there is not the slightest similarity. (emphasis and paragraphs added)
*- There is some debate as to whether there really in a Shentong/Rangtong distinction.
Rick wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:15 pm
Sounds like brahman ... if you dropped the attribute-y descriptors: bliss, compassion, wisdom, power.

I'm thinkin' Shentong might be a good bridge between Vedanta and Buddhism.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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