Mind and appearances

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Mind and appearances

Post by zamotcr » Wed May 22, 2013 3:57 am

Astus wrote:In order to be able to accept buddha-lands, buddhas, deities and rebirth, one has to switch from objectivist-materialist to a subjectivist-phenomenologist view where appearances are experiential data. Then see how mental phenomena are definitive regarding all experience. Then it makes perfect sense that one can be born in the Pure Land just as one is born here because of karma.
This was from an old post. I would like to hear opinions or expand this idea more deeply.

This is the reason why we aren't seeing devas around us or that's the reason why we miss a lot of things?

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Re: Mind and appearances

Post by LastLegend » Wed May 22, 2013 4:36 am

People who create hell karma will experience the effects of hells. Those who don't will not.

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Re: Mind and appearances

Post by Astus » Wed May 22, 2013 10:29 am

The point I wanted to make there is that as long as we try to understand Buddhism from a materialist-objectivist perspective (as used in science and taught in schools) there is little chance of a comprehensive knowledge. The source of information in Buddhism is meditative investigation and experiences. It is not unlike other religious and spiritual traditions in this sense. You will never see supernormal phenomena with the fleshly eyes. The divine eye is needed for all the "special effects" to appear. Practically that means one has to develop one's meditation and have faith in the teachings about other realms. Then it is possible to see gods, spirits and even buddhas.

Also, even one's everyday experience is defined by the mind that perceives it. It is common knowledge that different people experience the seemingly same event in different ways. We have a lot in common as humans, especially when we speak the same language and live in the same culture. But there's still enough difference among individuals to make understanding each other a difficult task. Our differences lies in our attachments, in what we like and what we dislike. Attachments are the habitual energy, the karma. Thus karma creates our daily experiences and it is what defines every birth too.

If we look at what we are, we can immediately see that thoughts and emotions are not the same as "thoughts out there" that we perceive by the five bodily sense-faculties. Mind is immaterial. It's impossible to confirm the immateriality of the mind by objective investigation, looking out there for a mind. In our subjective experience it is obvious. So, this is the first important step in understanding Buddhism. If we believe that mind is simply matter then the Dharma makes no sense. Once we can change our perspective it becomes quite easy to understand.
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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