Peeling the onion

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
White Lotus
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by White Lotus » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:41 pm

You start with form is form. You finish with form is form. shunyata is like the outer 'shell' of a nut. It must be a step on the path. But neither the beginning nor end.
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 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:45 pm

Right, de-storifying can be good practice, part of the raft. Crucial ... until it's not.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Rick
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Rick » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:28 pm

Dan74 wrote:Something's gotta snap us out of ideas and into the juicy appleness of this very moment. ... Whatever brings us into its raw suchness, is where it's at.
Keep your eye on the prize. :thumbsup:
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Dan74
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Dan74 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:11 am

rachmiel wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Something's gotta snap us out of ideas and into the juicy appleness of this very moment. ... Whatever brings us into its raw suchness, is where it's at.
Keep your eye on the prize. :thumbsup:
except... except... the prize is where there is no non-prize. I mean you know how we separate our mental states into the 'desirable' and the 'undesirable', 'closer to the prize' and 'further away'? This splitting is what keeps us stuck, it seems to me, these inner battles and the sense of a distant prize.

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Rick
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Rick » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:49 am

Gotcha.

I was actually quoting Anam Thubten, who at a retreat spoke about going for the brass ring and keeping your eye on the prize. And (paraphrasing): If there's any story you should hold onto, keep believing in, let it be the story of enlightenment. Raft ahoy!
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Rick
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Rick » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:58 am

Belated response to those who said I should get a teacher:

I have had several teachers, of several traditions, direct (fleshly or online) and indirect (via readings). What I've haven't had is a formal long-term relationship with a certified Buddhist master. It just never happened, and I'm cool with that.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Virgo
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Virgo » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:32 am

rachmiel wrote:There are so many layers of stories we believe in (mistake for real) ... consciously or unconsciously. Like a set of (infinite?) nested dolls.

If we keep peeling back the onion layers — relentlessly, mercilessly! — to reveal the story (within the story (within the story (within the story))) ... do we eventually reach no-story? Is that enlightenment, liberation: the dropping of all stories of self and other and world and "reality?" Or is no-story yet another, albeit subtler, story?
Making stories is the function of mind. In Dzogchen we learn to separate mind from the essence of mind, if you will (rigpa and marigpa). This is the key in the Dzogchen teaching.

kevin
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jkarlins
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by jkarlins » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:49 am

rachmiel wrote:Belated response to those who said I should get a teacher:

I have had several teachers, of several traditions, direct (fleshly or online) and indirect (via readings). What I've haven't had is a formal long-term relationship with a certified Buddhist master. It just never happened, and I'm cool with that.
Good luck!

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Rick
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Rick » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:36 am

Thanks, brother. Back atcha.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Rick
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Rick » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:42 am

Virgo wrote:Making stories is the function of mind. In Dzogchen we learn to separate mind from the essence of mind, if you will (rigpa and marigpa). This is the key in the Dzogchen teaching.
Essence of mind sounds like pure awareness, no felt subject/object division.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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tomschwarz
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by tomschwarz » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:18 am

Vasana wrote:
rachmiel wrote:All good responses. Good stories. :-)

Does the indivisibility of the two truths show us that story is ultimately no different from not-story? Does every layer of the onion contain every other layer? Indra's onion?
Valid-cognition of the mind's nature is what you're after, remember. 'The ultimate is not the sphere of cognition.' Shantideva.

The ultimate is not in the sphere of stories nor is it found in stories about non-stories. When you can abide beyond thinking in terms of the 4-extremes* then you have a moment of valid cognition of mind's nature and you gain knowledge of mind's ground/basis. Story and non-story are still two extremes.

It sounds like your vippassana and analysis is sharp but that there's not enough spaciousness/emptiness from the shamatha side. Valid yogic cognitons are moments where shamatha and vippassana are indivisible. One without the other is conceptual but when they are experienced simultaneously, the groundlessness of mind and the movement of concepts and percepts are known and released simultaneously. (This isn't to be confused with simply being aware of the rising and passing of thoughts though, although that can be a gateway)

Mahamudra and Dzogchen don't require intellectual analysis but if you are a person with a prelediction for mental analysis and MMK, them learning about Pranama/ direct valid cognition can really help contextualize the intent and result of MMK style analysis.

The Sword of Wisdom by Mipham Rinpoche is a good overview of this,

80. When taking the definitive meaning into experience,
Do not rely upon the ordinary dualistic mind
That chases after words and concepts,
But upon non-dual wisdom itself.

81. That which operates with conceptual ideas is the ordinary mind,
Whose nature is dualistic, involving ‘perceiver’ and ‘perceived’.
All that it conceptualizes in this way is false,
And can never reach the actual nature of reality.

82. *Any idea of something real or unreal, both or neither—
Any such concept, however it’s conceived—is still only a concept,
And whatever ideas we hold in mind,
They are still within the domain of Māra.

83. This has been stated in the sūtras.
It is not by any assertion or denial
That we will put an end to concepts.
But once we see without rejecting or affirming, there is freedom.

84. Although it is without any perceiving subject or object perceived,
There is naturally occurring wisdom that is aware of itself,
And all ideas of existence, non-existence, both and neither have ceased completely—
This is said to be supreme primordial wisdom.


http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... -of-wisdom
I am absolutely certain that this is the core of the correct answer. Rachmiel, do you agree? Disagree with this point/Mipham?

I say core because, even if something is "false" or an illusion, it can still arise even if ever changing, composite, fading, without inherant existance etc....

My personal take on your excellent observation of layers of self identification.... ....wonderful and revealing and wise perspective! Thank you!!! If reveals how deep and gut level our self identity is. It is the actual fabric of perception. This whole business of enlightenment, mein Senf dazu zu geben, is that its a magical dance of the mind to on one hand turn off so much "doing " and at the same time resting in non-action and yet wholly embracing the arising and fading of illusions.
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

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Vasana
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Vasana » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:56 am

rachmiel wrote:
Virgo wrote:Making stories is the function of mind. In Dzogchen we learn to separate mind from the essence of mind, if you will (rigpa and marigpa). This is the key in the Dzogchen teaching.
Essence of mind sounds like pure awareness, no felt subject/object division.
Yeah it can be spoken of like that within certain contexts.As you said earlier, de-storifying ('turning the sharp wheel of analysis') is useful until it isn't. It's useful for as long as we have the afflictive & cognitive obscurations that make story-making so habitual for us. De-storifying is useful until a moment where even the de-storifying and the de-storifier have been completely de-storified, including all subsequent stories of each of these meta-categories being conceived of as real, unreal, both, neither. It's still a direct perception that you have to arrive at for yourself again and again until it's naturally ongoing. i.e -no lapse into more stories...no lapse into dualism, views of self, other, attachment, aversion.
rachmiel wrote: I was actually quoting Anam Thubten, who at a retreat spoke about going for the brass ring and keeping your eye on the prize. And (paraphrasing): If there's any story you should hold onto, keep believing in, let it be the story of enlightenment. Raft ahoy!
Enlightenment and non-enlightenment may ultimately just be stories, but the difference is in how they're experienced. One results in characters who suffer because of the belief in their story-making, and the others have no interest in any stories at all,and therefore do not experience any suffering because they don't fall for them...While at the same time, they're able to happily and skillfully manifest according to the conventional story-rules of the story-dwelling beings, knowing that they can no longer get duped by any conventional story but can provide many story-methods to help story-beings be free of stories.

Beings play and fight in stories and impure appearances while Bodhi-beings experience the play of all appearances as pure while simultaneously being free from making a story of it.

'If you meditate on the illusion-like nature
of illusion-like phenomena,
actual illusion-like Buddhahood
will occur through the power of devotion.'
- Niguma
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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jkarlins
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by jkarlins » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:44 am

rachmiel wrote:Thanks, brother. Back atcha.
:thanks:

White Lotus
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by White Lotus » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:09 pm

Yes Tom S, you are right to appreciate Rachmiels sparkling insight. Pure awareness cannot be grasped until its all thats left after you'r peeling away. Even though you believe it to be the jewel in the crown, and it is. Still one should not grasp awareness. One has to recognise that it is not possible to abide in awareness. It comes and goes. Awareness is the ultimate something to grasp. Let it go and be content to have no attainment. You can let go of the story that says it is pure awareness. That is to let go of the 1 Mind and just be a normal person. Whatever we grasp is not the whole story. If i grasp the eye/mind/awareness: then i miss the ear/spiral/life. If i grasp emptiness i miss form. When i have a grasp of form i should not forget emptiness. Best just to drop the story: too much thinking! It limits, but that's fine! :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.

White Lotus
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by White Lotus » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:32 pm

Yes Vasana, it's a direct perception of reality that matters and that is naturally your's in every day life, but you can't attach to it. Direct perception is the jewel we are all in possession of, but you can't rest in it. It comes and goes; it is non conceptual and non dual reality: perception. Perception is reality. It's the ultimate, but we can't abide in it. :anjali:
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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Virgo
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Virgo » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:58 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Virgo wrote:Making stories is the function of mind. In Dzogchen we learn to separate mind from the essence of mind, if you will (rigpa and marigpa). This is the key in the Dzogchen teaching.
Essence of mind sounds like pure awareness, no felt subject/object division.
Correct.

Kevin
ངོ་རང་ཐོག་ཏུ་སྤྲད། །
ཐག་གཅིག་ཐོག་ཏུ་བཅད། །
གདེང་གྲོལ་ཐོག་ཏུ་བཅའ། །


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Malcolm
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by Malcolm » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:48 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Virgo wrote:Making stories is the function of mind. In Dzogchen we learn to separate mind from the essence of mind, if you will (rigpa and marigpa). This is the key in the Dzogchen teaching.
Essence of mind sounds like pure awareness, no felt subject/object division.
"Awareness" requires an object. No object, no awareness.

The essence of the mind, the mind essence, sometimes referred to as "the nature of the mind," is inseparable clarity and emptiness. Clarity is beyond awareness, it does not require an object.
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

White Lotus
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by White Lotus » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:34 pm

The nature of Mind is emptiness, inseparable clarity, but within that clarity is found emptiness of emptiness and within that appears a point of focus. The object of focus requires the emptiness of the sense organ to receive it. Were there not clarity no object would be perceived. How the object is perceived depends on how advanced one is. It can be years before the object perceived is itself seen as emptiness. It can be even longer before the mountain is once again seen as the mountain. :namaste:
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.

White Lotus
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Re: Peeling the onion

Post by White Lotus » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:04 pm

When i have ceased to exist, 1 is drawn to me. It fills the vaccume. There is no subject. The secret is the object before me. I have become the object. My neighbour is myself. There is no 'me' only phenomena. The 'focus' is the objective universe. It seems real at last, but in a completely ordinary way. The only observer i find is the observed. 1 cannot be attained, because it is 1 dimensional and yet it is all things including myself which is observed by me and yet is not 'me'. Sorry, that sounds terrible! :alien: :rolleye:
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 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
rachMiel wrote:Essence of mind sounds like pure awareness, no felt subject/object division.
"Awareness" requires an object. No object, no awareness.

The essence of the mind, the mind essence, sometimes referred to as "the nature of the mind," is inseparable clarity and emptiness. Clarity is beyond awareness, it does not require an object.
When I say 'pure awareness' I'm using it in a Direct Path sense: to point to nonduality. Pure awareness has no subject, no object, and clarity doesn't even come up, because it implies an entity which possesses an attribute of being clear.

Awareness is one of those terms that has non-trivial, sometimes even dramatically different meanings in different traditions. I should be really careful how I use it here in a Buddhist forum!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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