Can buddha nature be proved?

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:15 am

"Buddha Nature" isn't a thing.
It is a description of the true nature of mind, or, one might say, original state of mind, which is clear, empty and luminous.
It's called "Buddha nature" because Buddha means awake, which is another way of saying free from confusion and suffering. Not dreaming. Not dwelling in delusions and projections of one's own mind.

Whether it can be proved that this is the true, "proof" may not be the right word for it.
However, it can easily be demonstrated that when a mind is free from confusion, clinging to false experiences of a permanent "self", and so on, that the result is peace of mind, or, in buddhist terms, "liberated from suffering" which is, after all, the whole point.

All activity of all beings, positive, negative, or otherwise neutral, is tuned to one goal: peace of mind and freedom from dissatisfaction (craving). Everything that people and animals do, eating, taking cover in a storm, buying stuff at the mall, is all for this purpose.
When we get what we want, the mind is no longer craving it. we are satisfied.
Of course, as the Buddhist teachings point out, we look for satisfaction in things that are impermanent, so the satisfaction is also impermanent, etc. etc. and we look for satisfaction from the next thing.
Buddhist teachings demonstrate that perfect peace of mind can be realized by working with the mind itself, through meditation and other practices.
It can be inferred from this then, that perfect tranquility is the mind's true nature, because it is what all activity of beings is trying to get, and what the buddhist teachings demonstrate how to achieve.
Conversely, if the true nature of mind were confusion and dissatisfaction, there would be no point in beings trying to be free from anxiety, depression, and so on. We would be satisfied with suffering.
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Sherab
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Sherab » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:03 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:52 am
This is maybe not the answer you're looking for...
I wasn't looking for any answer. If there is anything I was looking for, it is an on point and well-argued rebuttal of my statement.
Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:52 am
Yes, I'm interpreting Nagarjuna so we can talk about it....
And I have already explained why that is not an on point and well-argued rebuttal of my statement.
Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:52 am
For the rest of your post, that appearances are empty, including the teachings, does not negate their appearance. Clearly, here we are, you and I, understanding each other more or less. If I understood your post, you've eloquently shown the emptiness or interdependence of teachings as well. In the same way, suffering and buddhas being empty of self does not negate their appearance or experienced reality by deluded beings. I'd argue all Buddhist teachings have this aim, to save beings, not to find Truth. To interpret emptiness to mean there is therefore no awakening is a form of nihilism which the Buddha rejected, if I'm not mistaken.
This is really irrelevant to the discussion/debate of my statement.
Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:52 am
Are you proposing that appearances are not empty...
No. I have no idea how you arrive at such a projection from my statement.

In case you are still unclear about my responses, my argument is based on logic. Therefore any rebuttal should address whether I committed a logical fallacy or whether the implicit premises in my argument are invalid. So far, you have not touch on either.

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Malcolm
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:09 pm

Sherab wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:28 am
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:28 am
Nāgārjuna again:

For those whom emptiness possible, everything is possible;
for those whom emptiness is impossible, everything is impossible.
I think this cannot be taken as an absolutely true statement. Why? Because that would mean that it is possible for a Buddha to become a deluded sentient being again. In other words, the recognition of things-as-they-are can unravel and be lost.

Yes, it really should reald:
For those whom emptiness proper, everything is proper;
for those whom emptiness is not proper, for them nothing is proper.
Buddhapalita comments on this:
Those for whom emptiness is proper as an intrinsic nature, everything mundane and supermundane is proper. Those for whom emptiness is not proper as an intrinsic nature, for them everything mundane and supermundane is improper.
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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:13 pm

Sherab: I thought I understood your posts but apparently I didn't. Apologies.

PadmaVonSamba: thank you for such a clear post. Especially your third paragraph helps me remember why I'm practicing. :twothumbsup:
Namo Amitābhāya

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nichiren-123
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by nichiren-123 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:38 pm

So I've been mulling over whether buddha nature exists or not and what it might be and this is the conclusion I've come to:

People only want to do good things. they don't want to cause harm at all. However, people do bad things because they are deluded. If someone is freed from delusion then they would only do what they know is good. all evil action stems from delusion, but underneath the delusion is a wholly altruistic, compassionate personality - it is the sun behind the clouds.

That inherent goodness is buddha nature.

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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by smcj » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:09 pm
Yes, it really should reald:
For those whom emptiness proper, everything is proper;
for those whom emptiness is not proper, for them nothing is proper.
Buddhapalita comments on this:
Those for whom emptiness is proper as an intrinsic nature, everything mundane and supermundane is proper. Those for whom emptiness is not proper as an intrinsic nature, for them everything mundane and supermundane is improper.
That's a huge difference.

Thanks. I sort of had suspected that.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:04 pm

nichiren-123 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:44 pm
So I've been thinking about various buddhist doctrines:
Suffering, Cause and Effect, impermenance, non-self, emptiness, interpenetration, non-duality and buddha nature.

Now all of these concepts make sense to me except for buddha nature. After all, how can we have an essential nature if we are ultimately empty and impermanent, with no reality as any single thing?

So how can I work myself out of this?
If interpenetration makes sense to you, then Buddha-nature should also make sense to you, since, IMO at least, it seems Buddha-nature is predicated on notions like the Analaysis of Nirvāṇa in the Venerable Nāgārjuna's MMK, which is the origin of interpenetration.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:33 pm

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:11 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:09 pm
Yes, it really should reald:
For those whom emptiness proper, everything is proper;
for those whom emptiness is not proper, for them nothing is proper.
Buddhapalita comments on this:
Those for whom emptiness is proper as an intrinsic nature, everything mundane and supermundane is proper. Those for whom emptiness is not proper as an intrinsic nature, for them everything mundane and supermundane is improper.
That's a huge difference.

Thanks. I sort of had suspected that.
What does proper mean here? Thanks!
Namo Amitābhāya

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Sherab
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Sherab » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:09 pm
Sherab wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:28 am
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:28 am
Nāgārjuna again:

For those whom emptiness possible, everything is possible;
for those whom emptiness is impossible, everything is impossible.
I think this cannot be taken as an absolutely true statement. Why? Because that would mean that it is possible for a Buddha to become a deluded sentient being again. In other words, the recognition of things-as-they-are can unravel and be lost.

Yes, it really should reald:
For those whom emptiness proper, everything is proper;
for those whom emptiness is not proper, for them nothing is proper.
Buddhapalita comments on this:
Those for whom emptiness is proper as an intrinsic nature, everything mundane and supermundane is proper. Those for whom emptiness is not proper as an intrinsic nature, for them everything mundane and supermundane is improper.
Monlam Tharchin asked what is the meaning of proper in this context.

I think that is a question that cannot be answered without a correct understanding of emptiness. This would mean that Nagarjuna's statement on emptiness, which depends on understanding the word proper cannot be understood without understanding emptiness. There is therefore a kind of internal regress. That would render Nagarjuna's statement about emptiness as not useful. In brief, if you understand emptiness, Nagarjuna's statement is redundant. If you don't understand emptiness, this particular Nagarjuna's statement will not add to your understanding and is therefore not useful.

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Sherab
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Sherab » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:49 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:13 pm
Sherab: I thought I understood your posts but apparently I didn't. Apologies.
It is rare to see such honesty. :anjali:

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Malcolm
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:31 am

Sherab wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:43 pm

Monlam Tharchin asked what is the meaning of proper in this context.
I know it seems like all I do is sit in front of a computer 24/7/365...but it is not true.
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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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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:23 am

I'll ask a different way: why is "proper" a more correct term than "possible" in that verse? I'm hoping Malcolm, in the not-24/7/365 time he is on here, could explain some of his thinking behind that. Thanks :smile:
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Wayfarer
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:52 am

You prove your convictions by your behaviour. I think that the only proof possible, or needed.

:namaste:
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smcj
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by smcj » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:11 am

I think Malcolm is using the word to meansomething like: right, correct, true to form, apropos, appropriate, demonstrating accurately, etc.

But I could be wrong about that.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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narhwal90
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by narhwal90 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:57 pm

From Merriam-webster;

Definition of proper
1 a :referring to one individual only
b :belonging to one :own
c :appointed for the liturgy of a particular day
d :represented heraldically in natural color
2 :belonging characteristically to a species or individual :peculiar
3 chiefly dialectal :good-looking, handsome
4 :very good :excellent
5 chiefly British :utter, absolute
6 :strictly limited to a specified thing, place, or idea

the city proper

7 a :strictly accurate :correct
b archaic :virtuous, respectable
c :strictly decorous :genteel
8 :marked by suitability, rightness, or appropriateness :fit
9 :being a mathematical subset (such as a subgroup) that does not contain all the elements of the inclusive set from which it is derived


I was thinking #8 seems to fit the usage.

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Malcolm
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:10 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:23 am
I'll ask a different way: why is "proper" a more correct term than "possible" in that verse? I'm hoping Malcolm, in the not-24/7/365 time he is on here, could explain some of his thinking behind that. Thanks :smile:
It has to do with the difference between the Tibetan translation and the Sanskrit original. The Tibetan term is rung ba, which means suitable, proper, but also possible, in the sense of one can do this or that. The Sanskrit term here is more restrictive. The first time I wrote down the quote, I wrote it down hastily based on my memory of the Tibetan verse; but Sherab is correcet, if everything were possible because of emptiness, then buddhahood could revert, etc., corn could become wheat, and that is not what the verse intends. So i went back to the Sanskrit and looked at Buddhapalita's commentary for clarification.
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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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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:14 pm

Thank you Malcolm and everyone! I understand better now.
Namo Amitābhāya

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smcj
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by smcj » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:25 pm

Buddhapalita comments on this:
Those for whom emptiness is proper as an intrinsic nature, everything mundane and supermundane is proper. Those for whom emptiness is not proper as an intrinsic nature, for them everything mundane and supermundane is improper.
If I’m even in the ballpark, Buddhapalita’s second sentence basically covers all of current western civilization. Specifically I’m thinking it pertains the post-modern “there is no meaning to anything” idea.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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In the strangest of places if you look at it right.
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Tolya M
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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by Tolya M » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:23 pm

nichiren-123 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:44 pm
So I've been thinking about various buddhist doctrines:
Suffering, Cause and Effect, impermenance, non-self, emptiness, interpenetration, non-duality and buddha nature.

Now all of these concepts make sense to me except for buddha nature. After all, how can we have an essential nature if we are ultimately empty and impermanent, with no reality as any single thing?

So how can I work myself out of this?
If there is a consciousness then meeting with the Dharma one can become a Stream-enterer at the minimum (stage of the sravaka-buddha) or to improve one's rebirth not to say about entering bhumis.

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Re: Can buddha nature be proved?

Post by thomaslaw » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:58 am

:jumping: Buddha nature cannot be proved, because it is empty of both existence and non-existence.

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