Experience

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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Rick
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Re: Experience

Post by Rick » Wed May 01, 2019 10:28 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 10:16 pm
"Nondual reality" or whatever you call it isn't an experience.
It was the Advaitin version of this = one cannot experience nonduality, that prompted me to start the thread. I wanted to find out if Buddhism taught that it was possible to experience ultimate nondual reality (or whatever you wanna call it). Glad it doesn't, that would have been too confusing!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Wayfarer
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Re: Experience

Post by Wayfarer » Wed May 01, 2019 10:42 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:If you listen to Dzogchen teachers, some will elucidate on this. Once "it" becomes experience it is part of perception, usually a recall of a subject-object experience. Experiences are a bridge to the nondual reality, but that reality itself is not actually an experience.
:thumbsup:

I remember having mentioned Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche's teaching on the difference between realisation and experience previously. But I think it's really relevant to this discussion, so will copy an excerpt in here:
There will be all sorts of experiences on the spiritual path. Positive periods of development—those that are reassuring and comforting—are an important part of the process. It is important to realize, however, that even positive experiences will fluctuate. We will rarely, if ever, perceive a steady development of them, precisely because experiences are fickle by nature. Enjoying a series of good experiences does not ensure that they will continue indefinitely; they may stop suddenly. Even so, they remain an important part of spiritual practice, not least because they help to maintain our motivation to continue practicing.

The way in which these positive experiences arise also varies enormously. You may have some amazingly moving experiences, something like a spiritual awakening that appears to arise out of the blue. In fact, such experiences do not really come from nowhere; psychic conditions will always precede them, although they appear to our conscious experience as independent. They can also vanish just as quickly as they appear. At other times, certain experiences will grow over a period of time, peak, and then gradually fade away again.

As spiritual practitioners, we are instructed not to attach too much significance to these experiences. The advice is to resist the temptation to become fixated on the experiences themselves. Experiences will come and go. Each experience has to be let go of, or the mind will simply close down in its fixation on that experience, leaving little or no room for new experiences to arise. This is because your fixation will encourage worries and doubts to arise in the mind and interfere with the development process. If there is no fixation involved in the process, positive spiritual experiences will start to lead you to spiritual realizations.

In Buddhism, we distinguish between spiritual experiences and spiritual realizations. Spiritual experiences are usually more vivid and intense than realizations because they are generally accompanied by physiological and psychological changes. Realizations, on the other hand, may be felt, but the experience is less pronounced. Realization is about acquiring insight. Therefore, while realizations arise out of our spiritual experiences, they are not identical to them. Spiritual realizations are considered vastly more important because they cannot fluctuate.
Letting Go of Spiritual Experiences
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Queequeg
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Re: Experience

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 01, 2019 11:16 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 10:16 pm
"Nondual reality" or whatever you call it isn't an experience. If you listen to Dzogchen teachers, some will elucidate on this. Once "it" becomes experience it is part of perception, usually a recall of a subject-object experience.
This reminds me:

When I was learning to ride a bike, I remember my dad would hold the back of my banana seat as I peddled along. I remember having a good momentum, just enjoying the feeling of propelling the bike along. As I curved around the court, I saw my dad standing on the other side watching me. I immediately lost control and crashed.

LOL
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Jerafreyr
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Re: Experience

Post by Jerafreyr » Thu May 02, 2019 12:03 am

Rick wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:04 pm
I was taught (here) that the ultimate nature of reality is nondual: no subject/object division.

But experiencing requires this division: a subject (experiencer) experiences an object (experienced).

If both of these are true ... why is experiencing such a huge part of the Buddhist path? What is it that is experienced?

If either of these is not true ... or inaccurate ... please correct them!
Nirvana is experienced when the subject is free from all objects. Bodhisattvas and other arya beings merge into this in meditation (abiding nirvana) for the purpose of developing undifferential non abiding nirvana (Buddhahood).

amanitamusc
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Re: Experience

Post by amanitamusc » Thu May 02, 2019 1:29 am

Rick wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:16 pm
Vasana wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 5:58 pm
Direct experience is emphasized so much because it's our own distinct mind streams that we are seeking to untangle from the above web of confused thinking and reactions that perpetuate samsara. If we don't experience appearances of the senses and mind with the wisdom that directly cognozed their nature then we are just experiencing appearances of the senses and mind with our own distorted cognition- just as someone with jaundice sees a conch shell as yellow.
So you don't strive to experience ultimate reality (nonduality) ... rather to experience how your cognition distorts ultimate reality?
Nonduality is just another extreme in Dzogchen.Something you find in the Vedas as ultimate reality.

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Rick
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Re: Experience

Post by Rick » Thu May 02, 2019 3:50 am

amanitamusc wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 1:29 am
Nonduality is just another extreme in Dzogchen.
Meaning that ‘reality’ is neither dualistic, nor nondualistic, nor both, nor neither.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

amanitamusc
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Re: Experience

Post by amanitamusc » Thu May 02, 2019 5:01 am

Rick wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 3:50 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 1:29 am
Nonduality is just another extreme in Dzogchen.
Meaning that ‘reality’ is neither dualistic, nor nondualistic, nor both, nor neither.
Yup.Reality. This is well explained in the Rigpa Rangshar.

muni
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Re: Experience

Post by muni » Thu May 02, 2019 7:45 am

Clear light (as well object to cling to) is free from terms as object and so free from a possible clinging.

We need to play with all these to realize our grasping.

Dualism expresses grasping and is the cause of our delusion. Nondual is necessary then no ground for these is.

Habitual experience is: a sense of me... AND... other real solid existences in an outer world. This is maintained by grasping, can be very subtle.This is the duality for which we need nondual rigpa or clear light. These terms aren't neither, are dreamlike things IN the dream to wake up. No one, no two, no many...

Acceptation and rejecting = grasping.

Just some bla, by the great inspirations here.
Last edited by muni on Thu May 02, 2019 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
May I be a guard for those without one,
A guide for all who journey on the road,
May I become a boat, a raft or bridge,
For all who wish to cross the water.

Simon E.
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Re: Experience

Post by Simon E. » Thu May 02, 2019 7:53 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 11:16 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 10:16 pm
"Nondual reality" or whatever you call it isn't an experience. If you listen to Dzogchen teachers, some will elucidate on this. Once "it" becomes experience it is part of perception, usually a recall of a subject-object experience.
This reminds me:

When I was learning to ride a bike, I remember my dad would hold the back of my banana seat as I peddled along. I remember having a good momentum, just enjoying the feeling of propelling the bike along. As I curved around the court, I saw my dad standing on the other side watching me. I immediately lost control and crashed.

LOL
Many of us when we start this thing of ours go through a stage of intensified self-consciousness.

"The centipede was happy quite,
Until a toad in fun
Said,' pray, which leg goes after which?'
Which moved his mind to such a pitch,
He laid, distracted, in a ditch
Considering how to run".
I know nothing. This is not false modesty.

muni
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Re: Experience

Post by muni » Thu May 02, 2019 9:49 am

Rick wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:04 pm
What is it that is experienced?
I was just going to ask something like that too. *What* is experiencing since skandhas are essence-less?

*What* is experiencing without the six senses connecting to object?
May I be a guard for those without one,
A guide for all who journey on the road,
May I become a boat, a raft or bridge,
For all who wish to cross the water.

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Grigoris
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Re: Experience

Post by Grigoris » Thu May 02, 2019 10:01 am

Jerafreyr wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 12:03 am
Nirvana is experienced when the subject is free from all objects. Bodhisattvas and other arya beings merge into this in meditation (abiding nirvana) for the purpose of developing undifferential non abiding nirvana (Buddhahood).
Source?
"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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Rick
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Re: Experience

Post by Rick » Thu May 02, 2019 3:53 pm

muni wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 9:49 am
Rick wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:04 pm
What is it that is experienced?
I was just going to ask something like that too. *What* is experiencing since skandhas are essence-less?

*What* is experiencing without the six senses connecting to object?
There are two questions here, I think: What is being experienced? And what is doing the experiencing?

What is being experienced?
  • From the perspective of the experiencer/experienced/experiencing triad, objects (phenomena, appearances) are being experienced.
  • From the perspective of pure experiencing = no experiencer/experienced, nothing is being experienced. Experiencing is like light shining in a total vacuum, no objects to illuminate, just illumination.
What is (doing the) experiencing?
  • From the perspective of the e/e/e triad, the experiencer/I-construct is doing the experiencing.
  • From the perspective of pure experiencing, there is nothing doing the experiencing. Again, like light shining in a vacuum.
Sound about right?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Jerafreyr
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Re: Experience

Post by Jerafreyr » Thu May 02, 2019 4:58 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 10:01 am
Jerafreyr wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 12:03 am
Nirvana is experienced when the subject is free from all objects. Bodhisattvas and other arya beings merge into this in meditation (abiding nirvana) for the purpose of developing undifferential non abiding nirvana (Buddhahood).
Source?
Ha. You got me. I will kindly differ this to someone who who knows better. A source I could not find but I will explain according to my own logic. I say a subject because there is an apparent path to beings aspiring to enlightenment, and the word object refers to concepts. Thus a subject free from object is said to be nirvana. When nirvana and samsara are said to lose their difference it is said to be undifferentiated, and if this state is realized during and after meditation it is said to be non abiding because abiding generally refers to a temporary state.

muni
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Re: Experience

Post by muni » Thu May 02, 2019 5:21 pm

Rick wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 3:53 pm
muni wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 9:49 am
Rick wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:04 pm
What is it that is experienced?
I was just going to ask something like that too. *What* is experiencing since skandhas are essence-less?

*What* is experiencing without the six senses connecting to object?
There are two questions here, I think: What is being experienced? And what is doing the experiencing?

What is being experienced?
  • From the perspective of the experiencer/experienced/experiencing triad, objects (phenomena, appearances) are being experienced.
  • From the perspective of pure experiencing = no experiencer/experienced, nothing is being experienced. Experiencing is like light shining in a total vacuum, no objects to illuminate, just illumination.
What is (doing the) experiencing?
  • From the perspective of the e/e/e triad, the experiencer/I-construct is doing the experiencing.
  • From the perspective of pure experiencing, there is nothing doing the experiencing. Again, like light shining in a vacuum.
Sound about right?
It is just beautiful. :namaste:
May I be a guard for those without one,
A guide for all who journey on the road,
May I become a boat, a raft or bridge,
For all who wish to cross the water.

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Queequeg
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Re: Experience

Post by Queequeg » Thu May 02, 2019 6:29 pm

£$&^@ wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 7:53 am
Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 11:16 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 10:16 pm
"Nondual reality" or whatever you call it isn't an experience. If you listen to Dzogchen teachers, some will elucidate on this. Once "it" becomes experience it is part of perception, usually a recall of a subject-object experience.
This reminds me:

When I was learning to ride a bike, I remember my dad would hold the back of my banana seat as I peddled along. I remember having a good momentum, just enjoying the feeling of propelling the bike along. As I curved around the court, I saw my dad standing on the other side watching me. I immediately lost control and crashed.

LOL
Many of us when we start this thing of ours go through a stage of intensified self-consciousness.

"The centipede was happy quite,
Until a toad in fun
Said,' pray, which leg goes after which?'
Which moved his mind to such a pitch,
He laid, distracted, in a ditch
Considering how to run".
Glad someone got my near non-sequitur.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Experience

Post by Queequeg » Thu May 02, 2019 6:37 pm

Forget yourself.

Forget your self.

Be yourself. Except more so.

:rolleye:

:rolling:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

boda
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Re: Experience

Post by boda » Thu May 02, 2019 9:09 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 11:16 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 10:16 pm
"Nondual reality" or whatever you call it isn't an experience. If you listen to Dzogchen teachers, some will elucidate on this. Once "it" becomes experience it is part of perception, usually a recall of a subject-object experience.
This reminds me:

When I was learning to ride a bike, I remember my dad would hold the back of my banana seat as I peddled along. I remember having a good momentum, just enjoying the feeling of propelling the bike along. As I curved around the court, I saw my dad standing on the other side watching me. I immediately lost control and crashed.

LOL
I had a similar experience except that it was my older brother steadying the bike, and he deliberately steered it into a large pile of bricks. That hurt. As I hit the bricks I’m quite sure that I wasn’t the least bit self-conscious. It was an experience nevertheless. Had I lost consciousness, then it wouldn’t have been an experience.

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Queequeg
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Re: Experience

Post by Queequeg » Thu May 02, 2019 11:51 pm

boda wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 9:09 pm
. As I hit the bricks I’m quite sure that I wasn’t the least bit self-conscious.
Maybe something like getting hit with a shoe.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Wayfarer
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Location: Sydney AU

Re: Experience

Post by Wayfarer » Thu May 02, 2019 11:54 pm

Rick wrote:Sound about right?
Yes, except that 'beyond discursive analysis' is part of the specification.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

boda
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Re: Experience

Post by boda » Fri May 03, 2019 12:57 am

Queequeg wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 11:51 pm
boda wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 9:09 pm
. As I hit the bricks I’m quite sure that I wasn’t the least bit self-conscious.
Maybe something like getting hit with a shoe.
Zen mind tricks don't work on me.

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