Nothing further to seek...

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.]
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Wayfarer
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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:22 pm

“DharmaChakra” wrote:In Advaita its much more of a serious problem....
Great post.

I have had some exposure to the neo- or pseudo-advaita in the past. It is new-age waffle and wish-fulfilment as far as I’m concerned. There’s a serious modern Advaita scholar in the UK, Denis Waite, who devotes a whole section of his website to refuting the new-age version.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:38 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:22 pm
It is new-age waffle

...waffle the verb?
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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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Anonymous X » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:04 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:59 am
Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:59 am

But what is the difference between that attitude, and plain old narcissism, which is being in love with yourself?
The latter involves craving, and thus suffering, and the other is the relinquishing of craving.
I think that is the crux of it as you put it. The advice to do nothing comes out of this relinquishing of craving. You stop feeding the problem. This is a sign of wisdom, not narcissism.

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Astus
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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Astus » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:30 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:59 am
It’s rather easy to believe that as Nirvāṇa and samsara are not two, then we have nothing further to seek, that we are already enlightened. You hear that a lot in various forms of modernised Buddhism and other spiritual philosophies - you perfect as you are, there is no need to strive for anything. ‘Lucky is one with nothing further to seek’.
The misleading word here is "perfect". The true nature of life, the universe, and everything is: impermanent, dissatisfying, and impersonal. Those are not exactly the common associations for the word "perfect". What sentient beings love is stability, pleasure, and importance, the very opposites of how things really are. But even though one ceaselessly pursues the illusion of perfection, there is no end to the chase. Therefore, when the real qualities of existence are seen, it is through the relinquishing of the lives long pursuit of perfection that one arrives at aimlessness, the total extinction of seeking. Such peace is attained not because there is anything to gain, nor because there is something to let go, but because it has become clear that life cannot be fixed, that all hopes and fears are utterly baseless and fabricated.
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: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:51 am

Well, I would agree, but there remains a quality of perfection, which is expressed in the Buddhist-inspired artwork and iconography of China and Japan. Actually I recall being told that Chinese fine ceramics often have a deliberate slight imperfection or flaw so as to denote the imperfection of all compound things. But they are beautiful, nonetheless.

I am reminded of Lex Hixon's commentary on the Prajñāpāramitā:
when perception of the world is no longer burdened with the imputed meanings that are attached to it on account of attachment, it is perceived in its suchness, tathata, as an aspect of boundless Reality: ineffable, limitless, boundaryless, frontierless, divisionless, identityless, infinite, transparent, harmoniously functioning, open, free, elusive, deep, pure, empty, sublime, calmly quiet, at peace, and blissfully awakened. (Hixon 1993)
That is why Prajñāpāramitā is referred to as the 'perfection of wisdom', isn't it?
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Anonymous X » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:50 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:51 am
Well, I would agree, but there remains a quality of perfection, which is expressed in the Buddhist-inspired artwork and iconography of China and Japan. Actually I recall being told that Chinese fine ceramics often have a deliberate slight imperfection or flaw so as to denote the imperfection of all compound things. But they are beautiful, nonetheless.

I am reminded of Lex Hixon's commentary on the Prajñāpāramitā:
when perception of the world is no longer burdened with the imputed meanings that are attached to it on account of attachment, it is perceived in its suchness, tathata, as an aspect of boundless Reality: ineffable, limitless, boundaryless, frontierless, divisionless, identityless, infinite, transparent, harmoniously functioning, open, free, elusive, deep, pure, empty, sublime, calmly quiet, at peace, and blissfully awakened. (Hixon 1993)
That is why Prajñāpāramitā is referred to as the 'perfection of wisdom', isn't it?
I think you are referring to the Islamic way of making designs that have a flaw in them to show that man is never perfect. It seems the perfection of wisdom is quite another thing. I think Astus spoke well.

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Astus » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:04 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:51 am
there remains a quality of perfection
Remains where?
I am reminded of Lex Hixon's commentary on the Prajñāpāramitā:
when perception of the world is no longer burdened with the imputed meanings that are attached to it on account of attachment, it is perceived in its suchness, tathata, as an aspect of boundless Reality: ineffable, limitless, boundaryless, frontierless, divisionless, identityless, infinite, transparent, harmoniously functioning, open, free, elusive, deep, pure, empty, sublime, calmly quiet, at peace, and blissfully awakened. (Hixon 1993)
That is why Prajñāpāramitā is referred to as the 'perfection of wisdom', isn't it?
Not really. That kind of perfection you mention is more of a poetic interpretation.

“Pāramitā” means “reaching to the other shore.” Because it is able to reach to the other shore of the great sea of wisdom and because it reaches to its very boundaries and utterly exhausts its most ultimate limits, it qualifies as “perfect” in its “reaching to the other shore.”
(MPPS, ch 30, tr Dharmamitra)

"What is meant by Paramita? It is a Sanskrit word which in our language means ‘arrived at the other shore,’ and is explained as ‘apart from production and extinction.’ When one is attached to states of being, production and extinction arise like waves on water. That is what is meant by ‘this shore.’ To be apart from states of being, with no production or extinction, is to be like freely flowing water. That is what is meant by ‘the other shore.’ Therefore it is called ‘Paramita’."
(Platform Sutra, ch 2, tr BTTS, p 124)
which is expressed in the Buddhist-inspired artwork and iconography of China and Japan. Actually I recall being told that Chinese fine ceramics often have a deliberate slight imperfection or flaw so as to denote the imperfection of all compound things. But they are beautiful, nonetheless.
I think you mean kintsugi.

Here is Nagarjuna on not seeking anything:

"Then again, if the bodhisattva refrains from taking up the practice of any particular dharma, because he does not apprehend any dharma whatsoever, he may thereby succeed in realizing prajñāpāramitā. How can this be the case? All practices are essentially false and unreal. In some cases, they possess faults in the near term. In other cases, they possess faults in the more distant term.
In the case of unwholesome dharmas, in the near term, they are involve karmic transgressions. In the case of good dharmas, there may be a time when, after a long while, they become so transformed that one becomes attached to them and thus generates distressful suffering on their account. In that case, they involve karmic transgressions in the distant term.
These circumstances are analogous to the certain cases involving both fine food and bad food, both of which have been mixed with poison. When one eats the bad food, one immediately becomes displeased. When one eats the fine food, although one will immediately be pleased, still, after a long while, in both cases, one’s life will be stolen away. In fact, neither of the two should be eaten. All good and bad practices are comparable to these circumstances.
...
If one is able to practice the dharma of “no practice” in this manner, in every case, nothing whatsoever is gained. Inverted views, falseness, and afflictions are finally not produced at all. Because one remains as pure as empty space, one succeeds then in realizing the true character of dharmas. One takes having nothing whatsoever which is gained as that which is gained."

(MPPS, ch 30, tr Dharmamitra)
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: Nothing further to seek...

Post by White Lotus » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

One seeks for the sake of seeking, for the joy of seeking and to clarify what one has not found (enlightenment). (as well as what one has found: 1.). :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.

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by White Lotus » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:48 pm

There is no abiding. You can't abide in emptiness, since there's not a thing at all to grasp. And you can't abide as ideal 1 since it has no extension nor existence to hold onto. It is not even infinite it is just 1. The only difference is that it is possible to 'focus' on objects as 'real' without a subject/observer. So if there can be no grasping or abiding where is enlightenment? It is in the abscence of attainment. :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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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:41 pm

White Lotus wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:48 pm
So if there can be no grasping or abiding where is enlightenment? It is in the abscence of attainment. :rolleye:
As long as there is suffering, there is enlightenment, freedom from suffering. This is the Third Noble Truth.
No attainment is one thing, but it would be a mistake to think one therefore needn't practice at all :smile:

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Astus » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:09 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:41 pm
As long as there is suffering, there is enlightenment, freedom from suffering. This is the Third Noble Truth.
How does that relate to the Heart Sutra?

"There is No Truth of Suffering,
Of the Cause of Suffering,
Of the Cessation of Suffering,
Nor of the Path.
There is No Wisdom, and
There is No Attainment Whatsoever."
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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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:13 pm

Because it's easy to intellectualize the Heart Sutra and decide that "no attainment" means one needn't practice in one's current state.
That was a mistake I've made before so I bring it up here :smile:

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:14 pm

The definition of Prajñāpāramitā which I am familiar with is 'perfection of wisdom'. I am inclined to retain that definition.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Astus
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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Astus » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:06 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:14 pm
The definition of Prajñāpāramitā which I am familiar with is 'perfection of wisdom'. I am inclined to retain that definition.
Perfection is an English rendering of paramita, but not the only one. A standard Chinese translation is du 度 that means to pass, to cross over, while the Tibetan is pha rol tu phyin pa, i.e. go to the other side. So apparently they both followed the traditional Buddhist understanding when translating the word. After all, the paramitas are not the end but the means.
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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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:59 am

Astus, which term would you prefer for paramita? I leave it untranslated when talking about them.

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by seeker242 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:45 am

Astus wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:04 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:51 am
there remains a quality of perfection
Remains where?
Everywhere! If samsara is nirvana and nirvana is perfect, then it must follow that samsara is perfect also.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Malcolm » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:15 am

seeker242 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:45 am
Astus wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:04 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:51 am
there remains a quality of perfection
Remains where?
Everywhere! If samsara is nirvana and nirvana is perfect, then it must follow that samsara is perfect also.

In which case eating meat is also perfect.
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seeker242
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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by seeker242 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:17 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:15 am
seeker242 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:45 am
Astus wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:04 pm


Remains where?
Everywhere! If samsara is nirvana and nirvana is perfect, then it must follow that samsara is perfect also.

In which case eating meat is also perfect.
If you regard going to hell as no problem, then yea.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Anonymous X » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:13 am

Astus wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:04 pm


I think you mean kintsugi.
Kintsugi is the Japanese craft of repairing breaks in things like ceramics using lacquer with gold or silver.

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Re: Nothing further to seek...

Post by Anonymous X » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:35 am

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:41 pm
White Lotus wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:48 pm
So if there can be no grasping or abiding where is enlightenment? It is in the abscence of attainment. :rolleye:
As long as there is suffering, there is enlightenment, freedom from suffering. This is the Third Noble Truth.
No attainment is one thing, but it would be a mistake to think one therefore needn't practice at all :smile:
Practice is not about striving for enlightenment or to end suffering. It is to understand how suffering comes about and how to accord with the natural way, with the way things are. When someone like Bodhidharma says "To seek is to suffer", the practitioner who understands this has tried to seek an end to suffering through many different means and has failed. This failure gives rise to wisdom which is able to comprehend Bodhidharma's statement. Equating seeking with diligence is usually not the same thing. Diligence and mindfulness are path factors of awakening. Understanding dependent origination and impermanence of phenomenon and not self in anything, is the beginning of the end of seeking.

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