Repetition in a Changing Reality

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

I find it interesting that,
although Buddhist teachings emphasize that everything is constantly changing, that nothing truly exists even for a second,
Nearly all Buddhist practices involve doing the same thing over and over and over again...
The same rituals every day, bowing and prostrations, banging a fish block, 100,000 preliminaries (Vajrayana)
And so on. This, as opposed to, say,
“never doing anything twice”.
Do you suppose that it is in emphasizing repetition,
that in contrast, the ever-changing nature of phenomena is seen?
It’s a curious thing.
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Crazywisdom
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by Crazywisdom »

We keep repeating our mistakes.
tkp67
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by tkp67 »

Impermanence means constant change it does not mean consistency does not exist within that dynamic.

In fact if there were no constants within impermanence liberation would not be possible. Why? because there would be no consistent outcome to teach because it would not be a fabric of absolute reality.
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by tkp67 »

the world of buddhism as delivered by the world honored one Shakyamuni occurs within life on a planet with a sun that rises and sets consistently enough for this all to happen. The "everything exist in the mind" means our interpretation not what lies beyond. Life outside our own cognition is undeniable by proxy of our own existence.
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Dan74
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by Dan74 »

Seems to me, the rituals are also about developing a keen awareness (mindfulness) of what one does - the body, the mind, the physical environment, the entire dance of it, within a consistent container of form. That way, they are never the same.

The appearance of sameness is indicative that what one experiences is the story of what one does, which is the same story.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

tkp67 wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:02 pm Impermanence means constant change it does not mean consistency does not exist within that dynamic.

In fact if there were no constants within impermanence liberation would not be possible. Why? because there would be no consistent outcome to teach because it would not be a fabric of absolute reality.
But illusion of permanence arises because of repetition. A chair appears to be the same chair from one moment to the next because the conditions for that appearance give rise to (99.999%) identical conditions. Likewise, a person has the experience of a personally unchanging “me” which is experienced as true but isn fact isn’t.

My point is, Buddhist practices create the experience of personal consistency. If I make a regular habit of meditating for a half hour every morning, that routine becomes a fixed point. Within that, of course, one morning it may be meditation with full concentration, the next day, with a lot of mental distraction. So, what I’m looking at is whether the Buddhist emphasis on repetition, that consistency, functions to reveal the actual inconsistencies of everyday life.

In other words, when we are running around in the typical confused state, we tend to see phenomena as unchanging. But when we intentionally engage in repetition, do we then begin to see phenomena as constantly changing?
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by muni »

Since rusty habits and beliefs of mind, holding on the apprehensions of what "we are" (= independent self with whatever characteristics) repetitions are necessary (many, many lives) to "break through" or habits to fade. To see "this self" as merely holding onto movement and... recognizing stillness?

Perhaps to see what is taken as "own self" is merely change in "what does not change": Dharmadhatu.

Stillness' movement inseparable?

ps before, for prostration I went flat, now all cracks and the floor became further away. Repetitions are never same.
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Phenomena adorn emptiness, but never corrupt it. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
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muni
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by muni »

the Buddhist emphasis on repetition, that consistency, functions to reveal the actual inconsistencies of everyday life.
Amazing.
The presence of space makes it possible for the whole universe to be set out within it, and yet this does not alter or condition space in any way. Although rainbows appear in the sky, they do not make any difference to the sky; it is simply that the sky makes the appearance of rainbows possible.
Phenomena adorn emptiness, but never corrupt it. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
All dharma abide in mind mind abide in space space abides nowhere. Master La.
https://samyeinstitute.org/philosophy/w ... -concepts/
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by Jeff H »

I like Dan's reply.

When I first read the OP it reminded of Shunryu Suzuki’s statement:
Suzuki wrote:If you lose the spirit of repetition, your practice will become quite difficult.
I read Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind years before I became interested in Buddhism as a practice, but that statement has informed a lot of my actions ever since I first read it, including my eventual Tibetan Buddhist practices.

I went back to read that section and his point is something like this. Shakyamuni began with the ascetic practices of Hinduism, but it occurred to him that it was an endless cycle of repetition: if the idea was to forcefully subdue one’s physical aspects in order to free one’s spiritual aspects, in the first place it was a very idealistic goal. But more importantly, you can never fully conquer the body to release the mind because however much “progress” you make in this life, you just repeat the process endlessly in subsequent lives.

Suzuki says Buddha wasn’t interested in the metaphysical elements that contributed to the condition of samsara, he was interested in the conditions that formed his present person-hood. Suzuki compares it to making bread in the sense that he observed the processes of combining the ingredients, putting the dough in the oven, and perfecting the resulting loaf; over and over and over he did that.
Suzuki wrote:Buddha wanted to find out how human beings develop this ideal character … But we may find it not so interesting to cook the same thing over and over again every day. It is rather tedious, you may say ... Anyway, we cannot keep still; we have to do something. So if you do something, you should be very observant, and careful, and alert. Once you know how the dough becomes bread, you will understand enlightenment. So how this physical body becomes a sage is our main interest.
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by Grigoris »

The idea of repitition is to change habits. Our bad habits have been formed over infinite lifetimes, if you think we can change them by doing something which counters the habit, just once, you are mistaken.

It is precisely because reality is constantly changing that we make the effort to change ourselves for the better.
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tkp67
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by tkp67 »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:14 pm In other words, when we are running around in the typical confused state, we tend to see phenomena as unchanging. But when we intentionally engage in repetition, do we then begin to see phenomena as constantly changing?
Even perfectly replicated daily rituals occur within a temporal gather of the 5 senses which is in itself impermanent. What I speak of is the consistencies that occur within constant change such as the propensity of waves to make white caps under the influence of strong winds. These consistencies don't change the nature of impermanence they simply are expressed throughout according to conditions and causes.
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Grigoris
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by Grigoris »

We tend to think that rituals are the painting, when in fact they are the canvas.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Re: Repetition in a Changing Reality

Post by Crazywisdom »

Impermanence is a door to dharma. Not the actual dharma. There is something else to see behind the door.
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