Gap in the Dharma?

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madyhamika
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Gap in the Dharma?

Post by madyhamika » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:18 am

I'm investigating a possible gap in the Dharma between Abhidharma and Middle Way Teaching (MWT).

(Background: I've read about 30 books on Middle Way teachings, only four on Abhidharma. No formal instruction or guidance. Daily but light meditator.)

Briefly, it seems that MWT treats inherent existence only as a concept to be undermined, not as a conventionally existent psychological function to be analyzed, and that Abhidharma does not appear to address the imputed reality of inherent existence at all.

What appears to be missing is a Buddhist exposition of how the illusion of inherent existence arises as a conventionally existent psychological phenomena in the first place, and secondarily, how the illusion of inherent existence leads to suffering in psychological terms.

I believe based on initial investigations that such information might make MWT more accessible and broadly applicable to relieving householder suffering.

Mahamudra gets close by focusing more directly on the illusion of inherent existence as opposed to the logical concept of inherent existence, however, I have seen there no analysis of how the illusion is produced.

One could say Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara and similar writings warn of the suffering caused by grasping after inherent existence, however, again, there appears in those texts to be no analysis of how that occurs as a psychological function.

Nor, incidentally, does it appear that any of this is covered in Western self-help psychology, Buddhist or otherwise. There are some texts on not grasping after inherent existence, but again, no analysis of how the underlying psychological functions work.

I appreciate that the early authors of the Dharma did not have or use the same type of analytic frameworks for thinking about psychological phenomena that are available today. However, I'm still surprised that the above described functions have been overlooked (if they have been).

Any guidance for where to look to fill in this perceived gap would be appreciated. If not direct exposition, then perhaps where the functions in can be inferred or pieced together from different sources.

(FYI, just to save time and energy, I wish not to debate the importance of the question or the integrity of the Dharma. I'm just looking for tangible information about what has been written in the areas described above.)

Blessings to all.

Lobsang Yeshi
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Re: Gap in the Dharma?

Post by Lobsang Yeshi » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:51 pm


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Malcolm
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Re: Gap in the Dharma?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:40 pm

madyhamika wrote:
What appears to be missing is a Buddhist exposition of how the illusion of inherent existence arises as a conventionally existent psychological phenomena in the first place, and secondarily, how the illusion of inherent existence leads to suffering in psychological terms.
This is one of the main subjects of the so called intimate instruction series of the Great Perfection.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Vasana
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Re: Gap in the Dharma?

Post by Vasana » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:59 pm

madyhamika wrote:
What appears to be missing is a Buddhist exposition of how the illusion of inherent existence arises as a conventionally existent psychological phenomena in the first place, and secondarily, how the illusion of inherent existence leads to suffering in psychological terms.
As far as I understand your question, I thought these topics were addressed even in the early suttas which focus on the emptiness of the aggregates?

Upaadaaparitassanaa Sutta: Grasping and Worry

"[At Saavatthii the Blessed One said:] "Monks, I will explain to you grasping and worrying, and also not grasping and not worrying... Here, monks, the uninstructed worldling, with no regard for Noble Ones,[1] unskilled and untrained in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones,... of those who are worthy[2]... regards body as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, or the self as being in the body. Change occurs to this man's body, and it becomes different. Because of this change and alteration in his body, his consciousness is preoccupied with bodily change. Due to this preoccupation with bodily change, worried thoughts arise and persist, laying a firm hold on his mind. Through this mental obsession he becomes fearful and distressed, and being full of desire[3] and attachment he is worried. He regards feeling as the self,... change occurs to his feeling... he is worried. [Similarly with 'perception,' 'the mental formations' and 'consciousness']. In this way, monks, grasping and worrying arise. And how, monks, do not grasping and not worrying arise?

"Here, monks, the well-instructed Ariyan disciple, who has regard for the Noble Ones, is skilled and trained in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones,... of those who are worthy, does not regard body as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, or the self as being in the body. Change occurs to this man's body, and it becomes different, but despite this change and alteration in his body, his consciousness is not preoccupied with bodily change... Not being full of desire and attachment, he is not worried. [Similarly with 'feeling,' 'perception,' 'the mental formations' and 'consciousness']. In this way, monks, grasping and worrying do not arise."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

And what about the the links of contact,clinging, feeling, craving within the schema of the 12 links of dependent origination? Does that not at least provisionally cover how the illusion of grasping at inherent existence leads to suffering?

Apologies if I've misunderstood the question but i thought the above Sutta is pretty homed in on the psychological aspect, hence the focus on psychologically oriented words like worry, fear and distress.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Wayfarer
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Re: Gap in the Dharma?

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:36 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always understood that avidya was described as 'beginingless' - that is, you can't nominate a particular time when it originated.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Palzang Jangchub
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Re: Gap in the Dharma?

Post by Palzang Jangchub » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:19 am

Malcolm wrote:
madyhamika wrote: What appears to be missing is a Buddhist exposition of how the illusion of inherent existence arises as a conventionally existent psychological phenomena in the first place, and secondarily, how the illusion of inherent existence leads to suffering in psychological terms.
This is one of the main subjects of the so called intimate instruction series of the Great Perfection.
Specifically in the Jangter Kunzang Mönlam, no?
Image

"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ་སྐྱབས་རྗེ་མགར་ཆེན་ཁྲི་སྤྲུལ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ཁྱེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ།།
རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་མཁས་གྲུབ་ཀརྨ་ཆགས་མེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ། ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོཿ

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