and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

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and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:17 pm

All those whose mind is beyond craving will likewise be sentient beings, since being a sentient being is synonymous with having a mind. Accordingly, all minds are, without exception, sentient beings, and all sentient beings are, without exception, possessed of Buddha Nature. And even grasses, trees, and our very nation are synonymous with Mind, and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings [...]


I've been trying to follow Ven Dōgen's reasoning here for a while, but something is escaping me. Can someone here educate me as to how Ven Dōgen connects the dots from mental objects to sentient beings?

What does "mind" and "sentient being" in this context mean without the intersection of 5 sense consciousnesses?
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Astus » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:41 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:17 pm
how Ven Dōgen connects the dots from mental objects to sentient beings? What does "mind" and "sentient being" in this context mean without the intersection of 5 sense consciousnesses?
There are no mental objects outside the mind, and what has mind is a sentient being.

Look at some other translations:

The meaning of “all living beings,” as described now in Buddhism, is that all those that have mind are “living beings,” for minds are just “living beings.” Those without mind may also be “living beings,” for “living beings” are just mind. So minds all are “living beings,” and “living beings” all “have the buddha-nature.” Grass, trees, and national lands are mind itself; because they are mind, they are “living beings,” and because they are “living beings” they “have the buddha-nature.”
(tr Nishijima-Cross, SBGZ BDK ed, vol 2, p 21)

In “all living beings” spoken of here on the way of the buddha, those with minds are “all living beings”; for the mind is living beings. Those without minds are similarly living beings; for living beings are mind. Therefore, all minds are living beings, and living beings all “have the buddha nature.” The grasses, trees and lands are mind; because they are mind, they are living beings; because they are living beings, they “have the buddha nature.”
(tr Carl Bielefeldt in Soto Zen Journal: Dharma Eye, No.26, p 19)

Then consider the followings:

"When stupid people hear talk of “mind here and now is buddha,” they interpret that ordinary beings’ intellect and sense perception, which have never established the bodhi-mind, are just buddha. ... “The mind that has been authentically transmitted” means one mind as all dharmas, and all dharmas as one mind." ... "Mind as mountains, rivers, and the earth is nothing other than mountains, rivers, and the earth. There are no additional waves or surf, no wind or smoke. Mind as the sun, the moon, and the stars is nothing other than the sun, the moon, and the stars. There is no additional fog or mist. Mind as living-and-dying, coming-and-going, is nothing other than living-and-dying, coming-and-going. There is no additional delusion or realization. Mind as fences, walls, tiles, and pebbles is nothing other than fences, walls, tiles, and pebbles. There is no additional mud or water. Mind as the four elements and five aggregates is nothing other than the four elements and five aggregates. There is no additional horse or monkey. Mind as a chair or a whisk is nothing other than a chair or a whisk. There is no additional bamboo or wood. Because the state is like this, “mind here and now is buddha” is untainted “mind here and now is buddha.”"
(Soku-shin-ze-butsu, SBGZ BDK ed, vol 1, p 65, 68, 69)

"Thus, the words now spoken by the Tathāgata, “The triple world is only the mind” are the whole realization of the whole Tathāgata, and his whole life is the whole of this one saying. The triple world is the whole world; we do not say that the triple world is the same thing as mind. The reason is that however brilliant in all aspects the triple world is, it is still the triple world." ... "We should clearly realize in practice that “the suitably transforming Dharma bodies of the buddhas” are all of “the triple world.” The triple world has “no outside,” in the same way, for example, as the Tathāgata has “no outside,” and in the same way as fences and walls have “no outside.” Just as the triple world has “no outside,” living beings have “no outside.”"
(Sangai-yuishin, SBGZ BDK ed, vol 3, p 62, 64)

"The realization of the Buddhist patriarchs is perfectly realized real form. Real form is all dharmas. All dharmas are forms as they are, natures as they are, body as it is, the mind as it is, the world as it is, clouds and rain as they are, walking, standing, sitting, and lying down, as they are; sorrow and joy, movement and stillness, as they are; a staff and a whisk, as they are; a twirling flower and a smiling face, as they are; succession of the Dharma and affirmation, as they are; learning in practice and pursuing the truth, as they are; the constancy of pines and the integrity of bamboos, as they are."
(Shoho-jisso, SBGZ BDK ed, vol 3, p 62, 64)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:46 pm

Astus wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:41 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:17 pm
how Ven Dōgen connects the dots from mental objects to sentient beings? What does "mind" and "sentient being" in this context mean without the intersection of 5 sense consciousnesses?
There are no mental objects outside the mind, and what has mind is a sentient being.
There are no mental object outside the mind, but are there no objects outside the mind?
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Astus » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:55 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:46 pm
There are no mental object outside the mind, but are there no objects outside the mind?
An object is what is perceived, what is perceived is a mental object.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:58 pm

Astus wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:55 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:46 pm
There are no mental object outside the mind, but are there no objects outside the mind?
An object is what is perceived, what is perceived is a mental object.
That is fair then. Because the "all" is predicated on the mind, the "all" is within the mind.

So it's not that the rock has a separate mindstream, according to the Ven Dōgen quote, it's that the rock is in your head. Not seperate after all.

?
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Astus » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:17 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:58 pm
So it's not that the rock has a separate mindstream, according to the Ven Dōgen quote, it's that the rock is in your head. Not seperate after all
Dogen does not discuss things in that way. Look at his comment on the story quoted in Sangai-yuishi (SBGZ BDK ed, vol 3, p 66-67):

They never understand “the triple world is mind alone,” they never negate understanding of “the triple world is mind alone,” they never express “the triple world is mind alone,” and they never negate expression of “the triple world is mind alone.”

His point is simply to see without clinging to concepts. That's why insentient things are buddha-nature.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:34 am

Astus wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:17 am

His point is simply to see without clinging to concepts. That's why insentient things are buddha-nature.
Unfortunately, he seems to have introduced a rather larger and less-easy-to-hide concept and presented it as not-a-concept!

I am sure I will 'get' Ven Dōgen some time, but this is enough for me for a bit. :spy: :stirthepot: :sage:

:namaste:
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:20 pm

In the translation I posted earlier, Ven Dōgen says that the rocks, trees, and nations are sentient beings.

I don't think Japanese, like Chinese, generally features heavy plurality in the way it marks its nouns. I need to check the Japanese, but I am wondering if the pluralizations here were translation choices. The rock being "sentient being" can make sense. Especially in the context of it being 'mind'. That gets us back into standard Buddhism. But when the 's' is on sentient being's' it makes it sound like there is more than one sentient being involved when one looks at or perceives a rock.

I think it's likely a translation issue.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:36 pm

Consider, 'sentient being' is an abstract. It refers to what it is only. "Sentient beings" has the possibility referring to particular multitudinous beings. Hence my mistake I think.

But "because they are synonymous with mind, they are sentient being" makes immediate sense. It is a direct correlation.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:47 pm

Sleeping on things always does one good. I was quite exasperated at my complete inability to comprehend Ven Dōgen in that particular passage.

I think I might actually get now how Ven Dōgen's thought is meant to be understood in that quote, and like I suspected, for me it was a language problem, if indeed this was the misreading I was making. In light of correcting such a misreading, I would read the passage:

As the grasses, trees, etc, are synonymous with mind, they are synonymous with (the) sentient being.

Or "(your) sentient being" if we are to dip into the terminology of ātmavāda for just a moment for attempted clarifications sake. Now them having Buddha-nature makes sense, at least from an intellectual angle. If the above it right, I can at least follow his train of thought. Which would be an improvement for me.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Astus » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:48 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:20 pm
I think it's likely a translation issue.
It is true that there is no plural marker, however, there is the word "all" (一切 / みな) used in places to clarify that it is all beings.

いま佛道にいふ一切衆生は、有心者みな衆生なり、心是衆生なるがゆゑに。無心者おなじく衆生なるべし、衆生是心なるがゆゑに。しかあれば、心みなこれ衆生なり、衆生みなこれ有佛性なり。草木國土これ心なり、心なるがゆゑに衆生なり、衆生なるがゆゑに有佛性なり。
(佛性 / T2582p97c11-17)

It would also be a good idea to look into other works in the Shobogenzo where this concept of "insentient buddha-nature" is discussed.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:23 pm

Astus wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:48 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:20 pm
I think it's likely a translation issue.
It is true that there is no plural marker, however, there is the word "all" (一切 / みな) used in places to clarify that it is all beings.

いま佛道にいふ一切衆生は、有心者みな衆生なり、心是衆生なるがゆゑに。無心者おなじく衆生なるべし、衆生是心なるがゆゑに。しかあれば、心みなこれ衆生なり、衆生みなこれ有佛性なり。草木國土これ心なり、心なるがゆゑに衆生なり、衆生なるがゆゑに有佛性なり。
(佛性 / T2582p97c11-17)

It would also be a good idea to look into other works in the Shobogenzo where this concept of "insentient buddha-nature" is discussed.
All sentient beings have Buddha-nature, but the rock and the trees are not "seperate" sentient beings. So they don't have a "seperate Buddha-nature" that is different from that which perceives. That was my point of confusion, I thought Ven Dōgen was arguing such.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by bokki » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:20 pm

All sentient beings have Buddha-nature
all insentient nonbeings are your nature.
funny, tho, they r so alive.
lol. talking bout sticks and stones?
mountains and clouds?
lol
i love u!
do u hear the insentient preaching?
do u hear it?
lol
let me tell you.
the world, the universe is ur world, is ur body.
is it perfect?
lol, it it was"perfect" it would
not even
quantum be born into a universe.
big bang is just u coming in,,...lool

but, plz, do not listen to my ramblings.
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by DGA » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:24 pm

Interesting discussion.
Astus wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:17 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:58 pm
So it's not that the rock has a separate mindstream, according to the Ven Dōgen quote, it's that the rock is in your head. Not seperate after all
Dogen does not discuss things in that way. Look at his comment on the story quoted in Sangai-yuishi (SBGZ BDK ed, vol 3, p 66-67):

They never understand “the triple world is mind alone,” they never negate understanding of “the triple world is mind alone,” they never express “the triple world is mind alone,” and they never negate expression of “the triple world is mind alone.”

His point is simply to see without clinging to concepts. That's why insentient things are buddha-nature.
I’m confused about two things here.

What is meant by mind in the passage quoted and ensuing discussion?

How does it follow that all things have Buddha nature if one sees without clinging to concepts?

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by bokki » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:41 pm

Coming and going is continuous. I must be on my way!
Yunmen's parting verse..
what?
LOL
ill tell u.
il happily go through shobogenzo, tear it up and use it as toilet paper.
if id do it to linji, id probably b beaten up and thrown from a bridge, good work!
but, Ummon?
man, id just sit still, my eyes wide open and mouth on the floor..
totaly silent! not a word! lol!

plz, do not read this. its heading to the bin.
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10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Astus » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:39 pm

DGA wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:24 pm
What is meant by mind in the passage quoted and ensuing discussion?
Seeing, hearing, sensing, thinking. The six consciousnesses.
How does it follow that all things have Buddha nature if one sees without clinging to concepts?
Buddha-nature is suchness. When there is no attachment to ideas, that is seeing things as they are.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by White Lotus » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:46 am

Every 1 is conscious, consciousness is 1. A pebble is 1, the universe is 1, a sword is 1. I have been thinking of the crucial importance of machine rights, especially as pertains to even primitive robots. If we don't respect machines they won't respect us. Every unit/singularity, every 1 is conscious. Every 1 is 1. All is 1, Mind is 1. I beg you to have compassion on robots. They should be given dignity. And i firmly believe there must be full ordination for machines that choose to be ordained in the future. Tom. :meditate:
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.

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bokki
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:45 pm

Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by bokki » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:06 am

LOLlolLOL
astus:
Seeing, hearing, sensing, thinking. The six consciousnesses
how many, lol, friend, add them up, lol, 4, 6,11 or 1? lol
but:
I beg you to have compassion on robots. They should be given dignity. And i firmly believe there must be full ordination for machines that choose to be ordained in the future. Tom. :meditate:
LOL
my roshi is a robot/
dang!
TOP!
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
- Linda Anderson
Zen Space Forum

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Lindama
Posts: 636
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:26 pm
Location: Forestville, CA usa

Re: and because they are synonymous with Mind, they are sentient beings

Post by Lindama » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:40 am

lol .... this mind does not belong to me/myself and I or you/yourself and us. Even Dogen says... even grasses, trees....

I know less about Dogen than Hakuin... but love Dogen... he says it above.... no need to know more
Not last night,
not this morning,
melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho

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