The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

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CedarTree
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The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by CedarTree » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:56 pm

If I remember correctly I saw a quote where Malcolm spoke about there most definitely being a "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism.

I have a feeling I know how he meant this but I would like maybe Malcolm and or others to explain how Tibetan Buddhism and Dzoghen/Mahamudra understand Self.

:)

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dzogchungpa
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:58 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:56 pm
If I remember correctly I saw a quote where Malcolm spoke about there most definitely being a "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism.

I have a feeling I know how he meant this but I would like maybe Malcolm and or others to explain how Tibetan Buddhism and Dzoghen/Mahamudra understand Self.

:)

Here we go...

:popcorn:
If you focus on an object, you are not meditating. - Dudjom Rinpoche

Seeker12
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Seeker12 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:00 pm

Sometimes, it is explained that when conceptual elaboration about self and not-self are overcome, this is "Self". For example, this general idea can be found in the Uttaratantra Shastra.

This is not a "self" in the sense of tirthikas or unawakened beings, however, and isn't really a dualistic conceptual thing. It is more, perhaps, a natural simplicity.

At least to a degree, this presentation may help to overcome an attachment to a view of no-self, which can entail considerable conceptual elaboration.

I won't speak for Malcolm or others, however, they can do that themselves.

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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Seeker12 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:29 pm

In the Uttaratanta Shastra, it says,

"The fruit is the perfection of the qualities of purity, self, happiness, and permanence."

Jamgon Kongtrul, in the commentary, says,

"The causes purifying the dharmadhatu are devotion, discriminative wisdom, meditative stability, and compassion. Put briefly, the fruit of these four [purifying] causes consists of four aspects: With regard to the dharmakaya, the children (unawakened beings) entertain a strong attachment in terms of the belief in purity, in the existence of a self, in happiness, and in permanence. Shravakas and pratyekabuddhas reverse these four aspects of an exaggerated view [of a view wrongly asserting reality where it is not present]. In doing so they get attached to [their vision of] impurity, non-existence of self, suffering, and impermanence. The four aspects of the [true] purity of the dharmakaya and so on act as the remedies for this attachment."

He also says,

"The conceptual elaboration consistening of the belief in the existence of a self as it is imputed by the tirthikas and so on, and the conceptual elaboration consisting of the belief in the non-existence of a self as it is imputed by the shravakas and so on, have been totally stilled and pacified without any remainder. Thus it is the perfection of true self."

krodha
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by krodha » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:20 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:56 pm
If I remember correctly I saw a quote where Malcolm spoke about there most definitely being a "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism.
Definitely not. The delusion of a self (and grasping to that delusion) is the root of samsara. You cannot be liberated if any delusion of self remains, no matter how subtle or grandiose.

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Malcolm
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:07 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:56 pm
If I remember correctly I saw a quote where Malcolm spoke about there most definitely being a "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism.

I have a feeling I know how he meant this but I would like maybe Malcolm and or others to explain how Tibetan Buddhism and Dzoghen/Mahamudra understand Self.

:)
No form of Tibetan Buddhism suggests there is a self as a soul or atman, a permanent entity which moves from incarnation to incarnation. Where the term "self" is used in some tathāgatagarbha sūtras, it is a reference the dharmakāya of the buddhas.
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CedarTree
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by CedarTree » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:13 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:07 pm
CedarTree wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:56 pm
If I remember correctly I saw a quote where Malcolm spoke about there most definitely being a "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism.

I have a feeling I know how he meant this but I would like maybe Malcolm and or others to explain how Tibetan Buddhism and Dzoghen/Mahamudra understand Self.

:)
No form of Tibetan Buddhism suggests there is a self as a soul or atman, a permanent entity which moves from incarnation to incarnation. Where the term "self" is used in some tathāgatagarbha sūtras, it is a reference the dharmakāya of the buddhas.
Yes that is kind of how I thought it was being referenced but I wanted to check.

You have mentioned before though in other forums about the material world being transformed into the Five Pristine Lights could you talk about this a bit and how it works into the three bodies? I would be interested in this aspect and how it relates to Tibetan Buddhism understanding.

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Malcolm
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:14 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:13 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:07 pm
CedarTree wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:56 pm
If I remember correctly I saw a quote where Malcolm spoke about there most definitely being a "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism.

I have a feeling I know how he meant this but I would like maybe Malcolm and or others to explain how Tibetan Buddhism and Dzoghen/Mahamudra understand Self.

:)
No form of Tibetan Buddhism suggests there is a self as a soul or atman, a permanent entity which moves from incarnation to incarnation. Where the term "self" is used in some tathāgatagarbha sūtras, it is a reference the dharmakāya of the buddhas.
Yes that is kind of how I thought it was being referenced but I wanted to check.

You have mentioned before though in other forums about the material world being transformed into the Five Pristine Lights could you talk about this a bit and how it works into the three bodies? I would be interested in this aspect and how it relates to Tibetan Buddhism understanding.
It actually works the other way. The five lights are reified as elements.

In Dzogchen teachings, three kāyas are path appearances and do not exist in the result.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

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CedarTree
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by CedarTree » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:21 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:14 pm
CedarTree wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:13 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:07 pm


No form of Tibetan Buddhism suggests there is a self as a soul or atman, a permanent entity which moves from incarnation to incarnation. Where the term "self" is used in some tathāgatagarbha sūtras, it is a reference the dharmakāya of the buddhas.
Yes that is kind of how I thought it was being referenced but I wanted to check.

You have mentioned before though in other forums about the material world being transformed into the Five Pristine Lights could you talk about this a bit and how it works into the three bodies? I would be interested in this aspect and how it relates to Tibetan Buddhism understanding.
It actually works the other way. The five lights are reified as elements.

In Dzogchen teachings, three kāyas are path appearances and do not exist in the result.
Malcolm is there a books (one or a few) that you would recommend that go over these understandings?

I feel like Dzoghen has some understandings of the path that are deeply meaningful. These would be such.

Practice, Practice, Practice

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Malcolm
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:36 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:21 pm

Malcolm is there a books (one or a few) that you would recommend that go over these understandings?

I feel like Dzoghen has some understandings of the path that are deeply meaningful. These would be such.
There is virtually nothing in English yet that clearly explains these points. Working on it.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:46 pm

CT, there's quite a bit of discussion about something called 'self' or 'bdag nyid' in "The Marvelous Primordial State", which I think you would find interesting. Here is Elio Guarisco's explanation of the term, from his discussion of the second chapter in his introduction to the book:
In this chapter our text employs the expression "one's self." Here, this does not refer to the notion of an I or self formed through long habituation to an identification of the individual with body and mnd. Nor does it refer to a universal self in which the individuality of each being is cancelled. One's self stands for the true self of the individual that is none other than his or her original and natural condidtion of being: simple, pure, and indefinable presence. Thus, this word need not entangle the reader in concepts related to the Buddhist negation of self.
If you focus on an object, you are not meditating. - Dudjom Rinpoche

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CedarTree
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by CedarTree » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:01 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:36 pm
CedarTree wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:21 pm

Malcolm is there a books (one or a few) that you would recommend that go over these understandings?

I feel like Dzoghen has some understandings of the path that are deeply meaningful. These would be such.
There is virtually nothing in English yet that clearly explains these points. Working on it.
Are points like this and detailed understandings present in the book you were saying will be available in 2018 of yours?

Practice, Practice, Practice

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CedarTree
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by CedarTree » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:03 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:46 pm
CT, there's quite a bit of discussion about something called 'self' or 'bdag nyid' in "The Marvelous Primordial State", which I think you would find interesting. Here is Elio Guarisco's explanation of the term, from his discussion of the second chapter in his introduction to the book:
In this chapter our text employs the expression "one's self." Here, this does not refer to the notion of an I or self formed through long habituation to an identification of the individual with body and mnd. Nor does it refer to a universal self in which the individuality of each being is cancelled. One's self stands for the true self of the individual that is none other than his or her original and natural condidtion of being: simple, pure, and indefinable presence. Thus, this word need not entangle the reader in concepts related to the Buddhist negation of self.
Already like it, share more ;)

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Malcolm
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:07 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:01 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:36 pm
CedarTree wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:21 pm

Malcolm is there a books (one or a few) that you would recommend that go over these understandings?

I feel like Dzoghen has some understandings of the path that are deeply meaningful. These would be such.
There is virtually nothing in English yet that clearly explains these points. Working on it.
Are points like this and detailed understandings present in the book you were saying will be available in 2018 of yours?
Some of these points are explained there. But in general, if you want to follow Dzogchen teachings you need to receive Dzogchen empowerments, ideal if one can, receive the Chetsun Nyinthig, Vima Nyinthig, etc., but if one cannot, then direct introduction will suffice from ChNN, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, etc. There is no benefit at all in reading Dzogchen tantras if one has not made the effort to receive Dzogchen transmission.
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Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

krodha
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by krodha » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:46 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:03 pm
Already like it, share more ;)
Depending upon which system of Dzogpachenpo you are using there can be between seven and nine positions one can take in relation to the basis [gzhi]. Vairocana's view of choice was bdag nyid chen po, however that is only one facet of the basis and therefore grasping at that definition as an all encompassing view which speaks for the basis would be akin to the blind man grasping the elephants tail and proclaiming that the elephant is actually a rope. It is an incomplete view. Further, the only definitive view of the basis is held to be ka dag i.e. original purity, which is emptiness free from extremes. Ka dag as such therefore completely forbids any type of substantial self.

As stated by Dylan Esler on this issue, 'integral being' [bdag nyid chen po] is nothing more than the inseparable emptiness and clarity [stong gsal dbyer med] which is experienced upon recognizing the nature of mind [sems nyid] and does not refer to an eternal or "true" self of any kind. He states "The fact that it is explicitly described as being both empty and luminous excludes reification into a monolithic self."

The point of bdag nyid chen po is to illustrate that the nature of one's mind is not to be found elsewhere, that it is one's immediate condition, however it is the the wisdom which ensues from recognizing the non-arising of one's mind [skt. citta, tib. sems]. This term is therefore pointing to that nature, and only that nature which is completely empty and free from extremes.

Esler continues:
  • ...the tantric and rDzogs-chen notion of integral being [skt. mahātman] should not be misconstrued to contradict the orthodox Buddhist insistence on selflessness [skt. anātman], simply because of the use of related words with different shades of meaning. As mentioned above, the terminology used is sufficiently precise to ward off misunderstanding, and that is to say nothing of the contextual meaning, which leaves no trace of doubt.
and:

  • It is precisely when egocentric apprehension, the mistaken moment-by-moment reification of a self [skt. ātman], falls aside that one can speak of integral being [skt. mahātman], without this notion contradicting more normative Buddhist ideas of selflessness [skt. anātman].
Last edited by krodha on Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

krodha
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by krodha » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:03 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:46 pm
CT, there's quite a bit of discussion about something called 'self' or 'bdag nyid' in "The Marvelous Primordial State", which I think you would find interesting. Here is Elio Guarisco's explanation of the term, from his discussion of the second chapter in his introduction to the book:
Thus, this word need not entangle the reader in concepts related to the Buddhist negation of self.
Either Esler has done a bit more research on the topic or Guarisco is ignoring the "contextual meaning" she refers to which "leaves no trace of doubt" regarding the synonymous nature of mahātman and anātman in this context.

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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:21 pm

krodha wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:03 pm
dzogchungpa wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:46 pm
CT, there's quite a bit of discussion about something called 'self' or 'bdag nyid' in "The Marvelous Primordial State", which I think you would find interesting. Here is Elio Guarisco's explanation of the term, from his discussion of the second chapter in his introduction to the book:
Thus, this word need not entangle the reader in concepts related to the Buddhist negation of self.
Either Esler has done a bit more research on the topic or Guarisco is ignoring the "contextual meaning" she refers to which "leaves no trace of doubt" regarding the synonymous nature of mahātman and anātman in this context.

Well, I don't really want to get entangled in a discussion about this, but as a point of information the term in question is 'bdag nyid'. 'bdag nyid chen po' is also used quite a bit and is translated there as "total self".
If you focus on an object, you are not meditating. - Dudjom Rinpoche

krodha
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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by krodha » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:41 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:21 pm
krodha wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:03 pm
dzogchungpa wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:46 pm
CT, there's quite a bit of discussion about something called 'self' or 'bdag nyid' in "The Marvelous Primordial State", which I think you would find interesting. Here is Elio Guarisco's explanation of the term, from his discussion of the second chapter in his introduction to the book:
Either Esler has done a bit more research on the topic or Guarisco is ignoring the "contextual meaning" she refers to which "leaves no trace of doubt" regarding the synonymous nature of mahātman and anātman in this context.

Well, I don't really want to get entangled in a discussion about this, but as a point of information the term in question is 'bdag nyid'. 'bdag nyid chen po' is also used quite a bit and is translated there as "total self".
The suggested context means it is essentially synonymous with bdag nyid chen po.

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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by srivijaya » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:43 am

The Jonangpas have an interesting take on it and quite a history to go with it.
For the Jonangpas, the emptiness of ultimate reality should not be characterized in the same way as the emptiness of apparent phenomena because it is prabhāsvara-saṃtāna, or "clear light mental continuum," endowed with limitless Buddha qualities. It is empty of all that is false, not empty of the limitless Buddha qualities that are its innate nature.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonang
In the Tibetan Jonang school, only the Buddha and the Buddha Nature are viewed as not intrinsically empty, but as truly real, unconditioned, and replete with eternal, changeless virtues. The Buddha Nature (tathagatagarbha) is only empty of what is impermanent and conditioned, not of its own self. The Buddha Nature is truly real, and primordially present in all beings.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C5 ... %81#Jonang

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Re: The "Self" in Tibetan Buddhism

Post by thomaslaw » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:39 am

srivijaya wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:43 am
The Jonangpas have an interesting take on it and quite a history to go with it.
For the Jonangpas, the emptiness of ultimate reality should not be characterized in the same way as the emptiness of apparent phenomena because it is prabhāsvara-saṃtāna, or "clear light mental continuum," endowed with limitless Buddha qualities. It is empty of all that is false, not empty of the limitless Buddha qualities that are its innate nature.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonang
In the Tibetan Jonang school, only the Buddha and the Buddha Nature are viewed as not intrinsically empty, but as truly real, unconditioned, and replete with eternal, changeless virtues. The Buddha Nature (tathagatagarbha) is only empty of what is impermanent and conditioned, not of its own self. The Buddha Nature is truly real, and primordially present in all beings.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C5 ... %81#Jonang
It seems the Buddha nature in the Tibetan is similar to Brahman 'the universal soul'.

Thomas

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