Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

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prsvrnc
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Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by prsvrnc » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:50 am

My teacher quoted a text that said something like this-- that having a physical body (as opposed to, I'm guessing, an illusory body) is akin to carrying around a sack of poison. Does anyone know where this is from? Or where to find a similar reference?
Thank you. :anjali:

Simon E.
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by Simon E. » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:52 am

Its all a matter of persepective..I can't tell you the source of your quotation. I can tell you my teacher said that the body IS our vehicle for Awakening.
Poison or Amrita is a matter of where you stand.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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kirtu
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by kirtu » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:17 pm

prsvrnc wrote:My teacher quoted a text that said something like this-- that having a physical body (as opposed to, I'm guessing, an illusory body) is akin to carrying around a sack of poison. Does anyone know where this is from? Or where to find a similar reference?
Thank you. :anjali:
I don't know the reference directly but it can be found in renunciation teachings. It is not impossible for this to be found in Tibetan Mahayana teachings like "The Wheel of Sharp Weapons" for example although I would expect the context to be very important.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by kirtu » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:07 pm

Indeed this image is found in "The Wheel of Sharp Weapons", a Kadam lineage mind training text transmitted to Atisha by his guru Dharmaraksita in Sumatra. The text deals with the vicissitudes of phenomenal existence mostly in the form of karmic manifestations and teaches renunciation from samsara and Bodhsattva training.

verse 55:
Appear Yamantaka, O wrathful protector;
I have further entreaties to make of you still.
This sack of five poisons, mistakes and delusions,
Drags us down in the quicksand of life's daily toil-
Cut it off, cut it off, rip it to shreds!
Yamantaka is a wrathful form of Manjushri, Bodhisattva of Wisdom.

A web version of the entire text can be found here. Commentaries on the text seem to come mostly from the Gelug lineage (these are the ones I have seen published in English).

However the image could also be found in other Mahayana mind training texts like the Suhrllekha (Letter to a Friend/Letter to a King) by Nagarjuna.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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prsvrnc
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by prsvrnc » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:58 am

@kirtu-- I wish there was a thank button!!

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prsvrnc
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by prsvrnc » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:07 am

Can one be related to one's physical body in a way where there are not the stains of the poisons involved? I am guessing yes to a degree....... We have the bodhisattvas on the pure grounds, right? Before achieving a pure illusory body they are still attached to the physical body. Right?

muni
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by muni » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:14 pm

Hi :namaste:

This shows to me how some teaching/practice is medicine right now for one but not for another. Like we see for example in the movie samsara (in Ladakh), the monk struggling with worldly desires, he then gets some teaching by showing him skeletons “making love”, and other less attractive pictures. This to stop the attachment to body by minds’ delusions, desires.

At the other hand, we should take care of it in healthy way to be able to take care of our environment/others as much as possible. That is been said.

Then Simon said “the body IS our vehicle for Awakening”.
And that me is told as well. Without attachment still feeding it, keeping it as healthy as possible in order to practice, in order to awaken, free of stains and realize the illusory.

Therefore, we should respect this vehicle. Use it good.
Phenomena adorn emptiness, but never corrupt it.

Only if you have developed the love and compassion of relative bodhichitta can absolute bodhichitta – the very essence of the Great Perfection and the Great Seal – ever take birth in your being. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

madhusudan
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by madhusudan » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:36 pm

Yeah, this kind of teaching seems like it could be very useful for certain people in certain situations.

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ClearblueSky
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by ClearblueSky » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:34 am

When someone has E coli and contaminates your food, giving you food poisoning- they're a sack of poison. When an animal eats you and it saves their life- definitely not a sack of poison. There's teaching's on both the defilements and the precious nature of the body, and I'd say both are pretty important and true.

Yeti
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by Yeti » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:02 am

I've been taught that there are views of this according to the 3 yanas.

Hinayana - view this body as nothing desirable.
Mahayana - as a vehicle to use to take all beings to liberation
Vajrayana - as having the qualities of the kayas, and to be treated as such

As a 3 yanaist these views can all coexist together without conflict.
"People are fond of saying all sorts of things about others behind their backs, mentioning their names again and again. Instead of slandering others in this way, “slander” the yidam: utter his name repeatedly by reciting his mantra all the time." - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche - Zurchungpa’s Testament - Shambhala Publications

Simon E.
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by Simon E. » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:14 am

I doubt it...at least not in the same person. Depending on one means by 'conflict'.
In the case of the Vajra practitioner the HInayana, body -negative view simply retires
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

smcj
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:17 pm

Simon E. wrote: In the case of the Vajra practitioner the HInayana, body -negative view simply retires
Well, not if you're old and still doing prostrations...
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
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)

Malcolm
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:25 pm

Yeti wrote:I've been taught that there are views of this according to the 3 yanas.

Hinayana - view this body as nothing desirable.
Mahayana - as a vehicle to use to take all beings to liberation
Vajrayana - as having the qualities of the kayas, and to be treated as such

As a 3 yanaist these views can all coexist together without conflict.
No, they actually cannot. Both Mahāyana and Hinayāna view the body as impure and something to be abandoned. Practicing in this way is a violation of Vajrayāna samaya.

naljor
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by naljor » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:39 pm

Malcolm, why then all those great Vajrayāna teachers teach Shantideva, why they don’t teach Vajrayāna view from the beginning?

Malcolm
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:50 pm

naljor wrote:Malcolm, why then all those great Vajrayāna teachers teach Shantideva, why they don’t teach Vajrayāna view from the beginning?
Many do, for example, ChNN. They just do not generally leave commentaries which become famous in Shedras.

And, you must bear in mind that Mahāyāna subjects are generally speaking subjects for kids and adolescents in Shedras. When we come to Tibetan Dharma as adults, there are many things we perhaps do not know at all and need to learn as context for Vajrayāna.

But, having entered into Secret Mantra, we should never think of our bodies or sense enjoyments as impure.

smcj
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:30 pm

But, having entered into Secret Mantra, we should never think of our bodies or sense enjoyments as impure.
But with an asterisk. My Gelug mentor told me that even in the Vajrayana the defilements are not to be indulged in per se. If they can be transmuted into wisdoms they are the means to enlightenment and therefore part of the Path. But if they remain as defilements they are still the source of suffering/dukkha.

He did not elaborate much beyond that, but my impression is that the Vajrayana still has "renunciation" as a premise. What it does not have is avoidance of anything in life--as long as it is lived with refuge, renunciation, and bodhicitta.

The Vajrayana is not a path Alister Crowley would have enjoyed.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
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)

Malcolm
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:35 pm

smcj wrote:
But, having entered into Secret Mantra, we should never think of our bodies or sense enjoyments as impure.
But with an asterisk. My Gelug mentor told me that even in the Vajrayana the defilements are not to be indulged in per se. If they can be transmuted into wisdoms they are the means to enlightenment and therefore part of the Path. But if they remain as defilements they are still the source of suffering/dukkha.

He did not elaborate much beyond that, but my impression is that the Vajrayana still has "renunciation" as a premise. What it does not have is avoidance of anything in life--as long as it is lived with refuge, renunciation, and bodhicitta.
As Garab Dorje said:
  • Without the pyre of afflictions, how will the bonfire of pristine consciousness burn?
The Vajrayana is not a path Alister Crowley would have enjoyed.
Oh, he most definitely would have, are you kidding me? Vajrayāna is not a path of renunciation at all. Recall, it started in this epoch because there was a king who needed to service 500 wives.

M

smcj
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:42 pm

Malcolm wrote: As Garab Dorje said:
  • Without the pyre of afflictions, how will the bonfire of pristine consciousness burn?
Funny, but I find that quote to do nothing but substantiate my position. Thanks.
The Vajrayana is not a path Alister Crowley would have enjoyed.
Oh, he most definitely would have, are you kidding me? Vajrayāna is not a path of renunciation at all. Recall, it started in this epoch because there was a king who needed to service 500 wives.

M
Most of my Vajryana teachers have been monks that kept their vows purely, and did so without seeing a contradiction. In fact you yourself in a different thread made the distinction between renouncing something and having renunciation, the latter being necessary to practice any Path at all.

Just sayin'...
Last edited by smcj on Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
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)

Malcolm
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:43 pm

smcj wrote:
Most of my Vajryana teachers have been monks that kept their vows purely, and did so without seeing a contradiction.

Just sayin'...
Yes, monks can practice Vajrayāna, and often take consorts, hence the term "gsang yum."

smcj
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Re: Having a body is like carrying around a sack of poison

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:50 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:
Most of my Vajryana teachers have been monks that kept their vows purely, and did so without seeing a contradiction.

Just sayin'...
Yes, monks can practice Vajrayāna, and often take consorts, hence the term "gsang yum."
Back to your quote:
Without the pyre of afflictions, how will the bonfire of pristine consciousness burn?
To belabor the metaphor, if the pyre is soaked with water it will not burn. Then it is still nothing but afflictions. The only scenario whereby a monk can take a consort without breaking his vow of celibacy is if the pyre is bone-dry (renunciation) and the fire burns as wisdom.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
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)

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