Peeling the onion

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Malcolm
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Malcolm » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:16 pm

MiphamFan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
MiphamFan wrote:
OK so this is one of the key differences between samkhya and Dzogchen?

From a Dzogchen PoV, samkhya basically:
- takes conditioned mind to be permanent and the origin of all things
- does not recognise primordial consciousness (yeshe) as the basis
- just rests in conditioned mind

Is this right?

So from a Buddhist PoV, is this a cause for rebirth in the arupadhatu?

The purusha is a passive knower, deluded into thinking the transformations of the three gunas of pradhana/prakriti— sattva, tamas, and rajas— are distinct as the 24 tattvas — from mahat/buddhi down to the earth element. When a purusha recognizes all of this is nonself, it withdraws from all of it and abides in its own permanent, unique effulgence. There are infinite purushas.

The criticism of the Saṃkhya system of other yogis, is that not recognizing purusha, they mistake the most subtle form of sattva, i.e., mahat, as the self and rest in that state. But prakriti is not sentient, its sentient appearance is a reflection of the effulgence of purusha. So basically, they assert the nirvana of the Buddhists, for example, is simply resting in unmanifest prakriti, in a state where the three gunas are in stasis.

Of course we know the Buddhist criticisms of Samkhya are: they assert a permanent self, they assert identity of cause and effect, and they assert prakriti and purusha as real.

It is important to understand Saṃkhya well, since it is the foundation for all Hindu thought.

So called Neo-Advaita does not go beyond Saṃkhya in many respects. The reason why many people think that Advaita and Dzogchen, etc., are the same is that they do not understand Saṃkhya. All this business about the pure knower, the witness, etc., has its roots in Saṃkhya tenets.

The main difference between standard Advaita and Saṃkhya is that Advaita asserts that when purusha does not recognize its own state, it is saguna Brahman, and that purusha is itself brahman, and there is only one, and third, that the transformations of the three gunas are not real, but are Māya.Therefore, when one recognizes that all the appearances of the 24 tattvas are notself, one recognizes brahman as oneself and one rests in that state.
OK, so in Samkhya:
-In samsara, purusha, pure consciousness, passively "knows" prakriti, which includes all the various physical and mental phenomena (the tattvas).
Yes.

-To achieve liberation, one must distinguish purusha from prakriti in one's lifetime.
-In the process of achieving liberation, one makes use of intellect (buddhi) to distinguish the lower tattvas from the purusha
The process actually is balancing the three gunas so that sattva becomes predominant. When one is thoroughly sattvic, then one notices also that buddhi is not the self either, and the jñā aka purusha, becomes embarrassed and turns away from prakriti altogether.
-Upon death, the purusha permanently separates from prakriti, knows itself and is liberated forever.
-Both purusha and prakriti are real and eternal.
Yes.


So I guess where people confuse samkhya with Dzogchen is that they:

- get tripped up by the similarity in expression of "distinguishing mind from nature of mind" in Dzogchen and "distinguishing purusha from prakriti"
- confuse rigpa as being a permanent purusha that "knows itself"
Yes, since rigpa is not a purusha, it is knowledge.

Interestingly enough, however, Saṃkhya also uses the terms vidyā and avidyā in a way very similar to Dzogchen. But the meaning is totally different.

However, they forget the part where samkhya asserts purusha is permanent and separate from prakriti. Whereas in Dzogchen, what samkhya calls "prakriti" is simply the display of five lights, not separate from your own state. So what samkhya calls "prakriti" and "purusha" are both part of your own state. And rang gi rig pa is not something that "knows itself" like (A) knows (A) but simply knowledge that arises from oneself about one's state.
Yes.
Also, I guess the methods involved in both are quite different.
Yes.
So in base, path and fruit they are all different. The only similarities are some expressions in translated English texts. If anything, samkhya seems more similar to realist Hinayana schools to me?
Yes.

White Lotus
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by White Lotus » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:12 pm

Malcolm, why is view wrong to assert a single focus in sunyata sunyata that is the heart of non cognitive awareness/Mind? :?:
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.

Malcolm
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Malcolm » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:28 pm

White Lotus wrote:Malcolm, why is view wrong to assert a single focus in sunyata sunyata that is the heart of non cognitive awareness/Mind? :?:

Because the dharmadhātu is free from all reference/focal points. If one's meditation has a reference/focal point, it is limited, extreme, and a proliferation. It will not be space-like and free from extremes. One will not be a yogi of space.

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Rick
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Rick » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:53 pm

Malcolm wrote:Because the dharmadhātu is free from all reference/focal points.
So is brahman. Though that's not the vibe one usually gets from studying Advaita and particularly Neo-Advaita. If you talk about something long and hard enough, even if you keep repeating the caveat "Remember, folks, X is attributeless!" X ends up feeling attribute-ful. I love this about Buddhism, that it throws the baby out with the bathwater. Advaita spares the baby ... which of course turns it into a kind of an icon, something to grasp at.

(Disclaimer: I have nothing against babies. In fact, I find them quite lovely most of the time.)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

Malcolm
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Malcolm » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:10 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Because the dharmadhātu is free from all reference/focal points.
So is brahman.
Brahman is not śūnyatā. Śūnyatā is not a self. "Dharmadhātu" is a name for the collective śunyatā of all things. Dharmatā is the name for the śunyatā of a given thing.

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Vasana
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Vasana » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:13 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Because the dharmadhātu is free from all reference/focal points.
So is brahman. Though that's not the vibe one usually gets from studying Advaita and particularly Neo-Advaita. If you talk about something long and hard enough, even if you keep repeating the caveat "Remember, folks, X is attributeless!" X ends up feeling attribute-ful. I love this about Buddhism, that it throws the baby out with the bathwater. Advaita spares the baby ... which of course turns it into a kind of an icon, something to grasp at.

(Disclaimer: I have nothing against babies. In fact, I find them quite lovely most of the time.)
Throwing the baby out with the bathwater means throwing away what is useful or valuable along with what is not useful or valuable. In that sense, I'm not sure that it's the best phrase to get your point across here.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

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Rick
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Rick » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:15 pm

Vasana wrote:Throwing the baby out with the bathwater means throwing away what is useful or valuable along with what is not useful or valuable. In that sense, I'm not sure that it's the best phrase to get your point across here.
True! I'm taking poetic license. I know what I mean, but I'm not sure anyone else would! ;-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Rick
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Rick » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:Brahman is not śūnyatā.
Nor is it anything else. Hence: attributeless = free from reference/focal points. (Though not as it is often taught.)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

White Lotus
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by White Lotus » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:14 pm

I agree Malcolm that the Dharmadhatu 'when' it is Sunyata is free of reference points or any kind of focus... However under what condition or no condition could Sunyata Sunyata have a reference point? This is difficult to grasp because before it emerges one must concurrently see neither emptiness nor form (Sunyata Sunyata). A state with no conditions and not even spaciousness. Secondly the focal point though been empty [?] may truly be utterly simple. So utterly simple that whatever we say about it complicates the issue. I would propose that such unique simplicity is not conditioned by emptiness of any kind, but only reveals itself under such non conditions. I agree that the sunyata dharmadhatu has no reference point whatsoever (what of the changing Dharmadhatu with evolving/changing perception of phenomena?). Perhaps Mind does have a reference 'point'? Perhaps reality emerges within the Dharmadhatu when this point is seen and it ceases to be Empty and without reference. Then again the reference is so simple and one dimensional: can it even be called a reference [only symbolically]. :?:
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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tomschwarz
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by tomschwarz » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:21 am

Malcolm wrote:
White Lotus wrote:Malcolm, why is view wrong to assert a single focus in sunyata sunyata that is the heart of non cognitive awareness/Mind? :?:

Because the dharmadhātu is free from all reference/focal points. If one's meditation has a reference/focal point, it is limited, extreme, and a proliferation. It will not be space-like and free from extremes. One will not be a yogi of space.
Dear Malcolm, the darmadhatu is not free of anything, let alone reference points.

There are a few big risks in studying the Darma and arriving at axioms. A big one is the duality of dogma, dogmatic approach. My limited observation, to kraft words that can say something meaningful about Buddhism, generally speaking, will not use absolute terms (e.g. all, not any, every, completely, etc...) . Of course there are exceptions )))))

You smell what i am cooken'?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

White Lotus
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by White Lotus » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:46 pm

Dear Tom, i think that Malcolm thinks that the Dharmadhatu is free of focus and any reference whatsoever because he may think that Dependent Origination is purely provisional and lacks any kind of reality: no arising: no ceasing. I don't have a problem with that. Even mundane Sunyata is Sunyata Sunyata: empty of emptiness and form, from a certain perspective. However, Mind is the focus and real core of most emptinesses. Does Mind emerge from emptiness, or emptiness from Mind? Personally i think they may both be independent of each other but paradoxically mutally complementing each other: Mind generating emptiness: emptiness generating Mind? Who knows. I certainly don't. Is the Dharmdhatu provisional dependence? Perhaps we can't say it is real, nor can we say it is illusory, but at times it seems real. I just don't know! He he he! Some times not knowing tastes nice. Cooking? I love my soup maker, but still not 100 % vegetarian. The soup maker really helps with a vegetarian diet. Mine is a "Morphy Richards". :)
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.

undefineable
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by undefineable » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:38 pm

tomschwarz wrote:the darmadhatu is not free of anything, let alone reference points.
It's probably safe to say it's free from them in the sense that it isn't bound by them (like samsara is)
you wore out your welcome with random precision {Pink Floyd}

Malcolm
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Malcolm » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:18 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Brahman is not śūnyatā.
Nor is it anything else. Hence: attributeless = free from reference/focal points. (Though not as it is often taught.)

Yes, nirguna Brahman is indeed without qualities. But it is held to be a pure consciousness. Without understanding the three gunas it is impossible to understand the context of what nirguna means. Purusha is also nirguna. Both Brahman and purusha are held to be permanent and true, the main difference beteeen Samkhya and Advaita is whether there are multiple purushas or only one.

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Losal Samten
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Losal Samten » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:42 pm

Malcolm wrote:the main difference beteeen Samkhya and Advaita is whether there are multiple purushas or only one.
Also Advaita attributes pradhana to the purusha, as opposed to the prakriti as Samkhya does.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨོཾ་ཧ་ནུ་པྷ་ཤ་བྷ་ར་ཧེ་ཡེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱ།།
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

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tomschwarz
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by tomschwarz » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:39 am

White Lotus wrote:Dear Tom, i think that Malcolm thinks that the Dharmadhatu is free of focus and any reference whatsoever because he may think that Dependent Origination is purely provisional and lacks any kind of reality: no arising: no ceasing. I don't have a problem with that. Even mundane Sunyata is Sunyata Sunyata: empty of emptiness and form, from a certain perspective. However, Mind is the focus and real core of most emptinesses. Does Mind emerge from emptiness, or emptiness from Mind? Personally i think they may both be independent of each other but paradoxically mutally complementing each other: Mind generating emptiness: emptiness generating Mind? Who knows. I certainly don't. Is the Dharmdhatu provisional dependence? Perhaps we can't say it is real, nor can we say it is illusory, but at times it seems real. I just don't know! He he he! Some times not knowing tastes nice. Cooking? I love my soup maker, but still not 100 % vegetarian. The soup maker really helps with a vegetarian diet. Mine is a "Morphy Richards". :)
Wow WL, never saw one of those sozp cookers. Browsing available models and accompanying recipe books inspires me to peel an onion!!! And according to Buddhism, plants dont feel pain... ...but still there was that story about that guy who had to wear a tree on his head because he was needlessly brutal to a tree.... i think i remembé honey and bees too... so in short better not go willy nilly chopping vegetables... ...which also reminds me that garlic is forbidden in the pratimoksha. That of course would be due to the breath-of-monks downfall when visiting neighbors for alms....

Here are a bunch of reference points in a sutra intoducing the endless and magnificent overlord of all things empty, super inspiring on the path to enlightenment for all sentient beings and non sentient vegetables!!!!!!

Brahms Net Sutra:
Now, I, Vairocana Buddha am sitting atop a lotus pedestal; On a thousand flowers surrounding me are a thousand Sakyamuni Buddhas. Each flower supports a hundred million worlds; in each world a Sakyamuni Buddha appears. All are seated beneath a Bodhi-tree, all simultaneously attain Buddhahood. All these innumerable Buddhas have Vairocana as their original body.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

White Lotus
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by White Lotus » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:18 am

Dear Tom, its probably worth starting a thread on soup recepies some time! Very simple. Peeling onions! Garlic makes one feel tremendous for about 2 or 3 hours and then crashes the emotions. I don't think smell is the main issue with garlic. Some are against eating onions too but they are a main ingredient in my cooking and very healthy i think. Rgds Tom. :smile:
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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Rick
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Rick » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:
rachmiel wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Brahman is not śūnyatā.
Nor is it anything else. Hence: attributeless = free from reference/focal points. (Though not as it is often taught.)
Yes, nirguna Brahman is indeed without qualities. But it is held to be a pure consciousness.
But that is clearly a contradiction, since "to be a pure consciousness" is an attribute.

This might be a limitation of teaching/language, which cannot help but imputing attributes to that which it attempts to point.

It's like Krishnamurti's River 2. River 1 is our phenomenological experience, consensus reality. River 2 is ___________ (brahman, buddhanature, universal awareness, God, whatever word works for you). Look for River 2, you won't find it. Reason your way to River 2, you'll just go around in circles. Assert that River 2 exists ... you'll be wrong. BUT rest (alertly and self-lessly) in the present moment, and River 2 reveals itself to be all there is.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Firebrik
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Firebrik » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:18 am

As long as you keep attempting to peel while there is Self, then it will be an endless mystery but once Self is 'annihilated' that bliss of what is truly there (or not there) is fully realized but not with Self. So through mind, there can only be perceived illusion any form? am I right?

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catmoon
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by catmoon » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:16 am

I think the whole point of the onion analogy is that if you keep peeling the onion, layer after layer, suddenly you find you have nothing in your hand. The onion has no core.
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