I discovered a wonderful way to pull Reddit posts from someone so that I can upload it into a compilation. Introducing: https://redditcommentsearch.com/


I remember john tan commented a decade ago that kyle’s writings are very insightful, no less insightful than buddhist masters and advised me to take the pointers seriously


Also see this link for another older compilation of Kyle Dixon [Krodha's]'s posts: A Compilation of Some of Kyle Dixon's Wonderful Postings


Note: if you are unable to see the words below due to formatting, click on this link to read: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRkcjo4JAZc8qKyi1LgyMBbdQ2y1krGKmERyoqskOtQNXuywTwARf87id2H3I9mt6jWUmUMCD2yG2oA/pub


Update: Nafis Rahman informed me some good links/tool to pull posts by Krodha/Kyle without the 9 months limitation!


Nafis: "This website is able to access Reddit’s API much more thoroughly and retrieve all posts/comments without any restrictions:

https://camas.unddit.com/

u/krodha

posts: https://camas.unddit.com/#{%22author%22:%22krodha%22,%22searchFor%22:1,%22resultSize%22:200} 

comments: https://camas.unddit.com/#{%22author%22:%22krodha%22,%22resultSize%22:100000}  

"




Kyle is Krodha https://www.reddit.com/user/krodha/

Putting this out for a miracle for my father’s Tibetan Buddhist community


Miracles are nice but in Vajrayāna you have the means to take action. When Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche needed to raise funds for Dzamling Gar on Tenerife the project was also in dire straits. A group of students and Rinpoche did ganapujas essentially around the clock for a period of time to generate merit, and the funds did end up coming through.

Perhaps advise your father’s sangha to do the same.

Can anyone explain about the basis or primordial ground according to dzogchen? Do all sentient beings share one common basis or each one has it's own basis that is exactly the same as all other basises?


Is there a canonical explanation for why each individual mind's dharmatā would necessarily have the exact same characteristics if these dharmatās are discrete and distinct?

Dharmatā is essentially just the emptiness of the mind. The mind's dharmatā is that the mind is ultimately empty, and the mind also has the characteristic of clarity, or being cognizant. Each instance of mind possesses clarity and emptiness, and the nature of the mind is the emptiness of clarity, sometimes described as inseparable clarity and emptiness [stong gsal dbyer med].

Wherever a mind is found, clarity is found, and that clarity is ultimately empty. For that reason the dharmatā of mind is what we would term a generic characteristic [sāmānyalakṣaṇa]. The heat of fire, and the wetness of water are also examples of generic characteristics. Wherever you find water, you find wetness, and wherever you find fire, you find heat. The same goes for emptiness. Wherever you find an object, or a mind, if you recognize the nature [prakrti] of that object you recognize its dharmatā, which is that it is empty. All things are empty in the same way, they lack an essential nature [svabhava], a core entity which possesses characteristics. All minds are empty in the same way, and we describe that dharmatā of mind as non-dual or inseparable clarity and emptiness.

New sentient beings are being born all the time, why should their dharmatās have exactly the same characteristics as those born ages ago?

Because emptiness is always the same, and consciousness as clarity is the same.

I get the logic of saying the dharmatā is beyond distinctions of individual vs. transpersonal, but struggle to get how it could be individual and yet identical across individuals without either positing an inherent nature with positive affirmative characteristics like radiance and compassion and so on

It is the difference between understanding dharmatā as a generic characteristic [sāmānya-lakṣaṇa] versus understanding it as a specific characteristic [sva-lakṣaṇa]. A specific characteristic would be an inherent nature that is transpersonal. A generic characteristic is, in this case, the lack of an inherent nature of a discrete conventional person, place, thing, or mind.

question about inner mind rushen


You’d have to ask Lama Lena. Practice commitments are not always “one size fits all.”

Could someone offer simple explanation of stream-entry and how to achieve it


The simplest explanation is that stream entry is an instance of awakening where it is experientially realized that there has never actually been a self at any point in time.

Like tasting sugar for the first time, after that insight dawns you will have unerring confidence in the dharma because the teachings are no longer just a theory, it becomes a lived and embodied truth.

Can someone explain me the significance of this image ?


Educate yourself.

Can someone explain me the significance of this image ?


That is a depiction of samsara. The bhāvacakra, or wheel of existence. Yāma as the personification of death holds the wheel. The three poisons that tether us to samsara lie at the center, and then the six lōkas or destinations (realms) of rebirth are depicted.

What does Anātta mean? No Self or No Permanent Self?


Does the Buddha want us to believe that there is no permanent essence? Or that there is no essence at all?

No essence at all, in anything.

Or that we are under the illusion that a permanent essence(soul) exists?

We are deluded when we conceive of an essence that is permanent or impermanent.

I'd like to invite you to meet, listen and learn from one of my teachers - Available virtually via zoom. Upcoming teaching on Ngondro/WOMPT -- Nyingma/Dzogchen tradition, student of Namkhai Norbu - Thursdays 5:30pm PDT


I haven’t met Joe yet, but have shared teachers and forums for many years, he seems very sincere, genuine and knowledgeable. Great opportunity for anyone interested.

Buddha Nature and Emptiness


Śrīmālādevī-siṃhanāda-sūtra:

Bhagavān, the so-called "tathāgatagarbha" is tathāgata's wisdom of emptiness that cannot be seen by śravakas and pratyekabuddhas.

Distinguishing “pure consciousness” from the sixth consciousness perceiving the other five sense doors.


He describes a form of pure, unchanging knowing that underlies the active and changing parts of experience that one can become aware of by, for example, noticing the sound of silence. Even when there is no sound, there remains an objectless state of knowing.

That is technically the khandha of vinnana.

But, there is an unconditioned gnosis. It is not quite separate from the vinnana khandha, it is instead the actual nature of the vinnana khandha.

Are we deviating from the path of Gautam Buddha


Also there have been many tangents and additions to the path throughout the history of Buddhism that had at varying degrees led away from the eightfold path and the practice of meditation to calm the mind and see reality for what it is. But the path is not truly obscured yet, so there is still hope.

The tangential “paths” are things like new age spirituality and so on. No extant Buddhist system, considered an “addition” or not, has deviated from the buddhadharma.

Is it necessary for a Buddhist to take refuge in the Buddha?


Yes it is also the Theravada view.

Dharmakaya vs Nirguna Brahman


What truly is the Dharmakaya?

Dharmakāya is a Buddha’s total realization of emptiness at the time of buddhahood.

Can be a nuanced topic but the gist is outlined by Bhaviveka here:

Since [the tīrthika position of] self, permanence, all pervasivness and oneness contradict their opposite, [the Buddhist position of] no-self, impermanence, non-pervasiveness and multiplicity, they are completely different.

Is it necessary for a Buddhist to take refuge in the Buddha?


the buddha was the founder, it would be hard to seperate the two.

Śākyamuni did not found the dharma, he himself said he simply rediscovered a path that existed long before him, set forth by other past Buddhas.

Suttas about anatman?


Pāli texts that discuss anātman would be:

AN 7.49 Dutiyasaññā Sutta, MN 140 Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta, SN 46.73 Anatta Sutta, Sutta Nipāta 5.15, Mogharājamāṇavapucchā, AN 10.60 Girimānanda Sutta, SN 22.59 Pañcavaggiya Sutta, Ud 1.10 Bāhiya Sutta, AN 4.24 Kāḷakārāma Sutta.

If Karma is plays a role in determining how our lives are going to be in the next reincarnation. What good does it matter if you don’t carry your identity into the next life?


The identity does not carry over because it is a false construct to begin with, but the mindstream that the identity is based upon persists indefinitely and causal actions that satisfy certain criteria (which are performed from within the confines of whatever current identity “inhabits” said mindstream) create a karmic debt.

If you don’t want so-called “negative” karmic debts to ripen upon your mindstream at a future time, then you guard your current conduct to mitigate the creation of further karmic debt.

This includes actions which cause certain traces which may result in a disadvantageous rebirth. Why shoot yourself in the foot? It is unnecessary.

Prasangikas, do you believe shengtongpas can still realize enlightenment?


So-called rangtong and shentong are both post-equipoise views. Equipoise is identical for both.

Did Nagarjuna deny the transcendental reality or just our reality in his philosophy of Śūnyavāda? Could anyone explain the most key ideas of his philosophical framework as I'm getting contradictory viewpoints from different places.


For Nāgārjuna, the so-called “transcendent reality” is nothing more than an accurate cognition of this so-called mundane reality. We do not see or experience this “reality” correctly due to the fact that our mindstreams are burdened by ignorance. When ignorance is removed, then we see things how they really are. Thus there is an ultimate truth to recognize, but that is just an accurate knowledge of relative truth.

Looking for theoretical resources on wrathful activity


Wrathful activity in Vajrayāna for example, is not really related to anger, rather it is a method to rapidly remove obscurations.

What Path or school, if any yet or ever, have you decided to follow or peaked your interest?


What Path or school, if any yet or ever, have you decided to follow or peaked your interest?

u/laycub the phrase is “piqued your interest,” just for future reference.

Who is this?


One of the foremost protectors of the Dzogchen teachings.

Does Buddhism believe in a divine self? Anatman vs. Atman (Hinduism vs. Buddhism)


so much of advaita was influenced by Buddhism that it shares methods that should create the conditions for stream entry.

Def not.

Care to share?


The two are concomitant, jñāna as a prevailing modality of cognition does not manifest without realizing selflessness.

Care to share?


In dzoggchen no self is not much of a concern since the emphasis is quite different.

No self is actually emphasized quite heavily and explicitly in Ati teachings.

Can anyone explain about the basis or primordial ground according to dzogchen? Do all sentient beings share one common basis or each one has it's own basis that is exactly the same as all other basises?


Each conventional sentient being has a mind, and each mind has a dharmatā or “basis.” Each dharmatā is identical in characteristic, but discrete and distinct, meaning not identical as a single transpersonal nature that all minds share.

if there is no self, then what is suffering?


There is a self. 100%. You exist.

This sentence is what lies at the heart of samsara. The idea that the self “100% exists” is 100% inaccurate and false, and moreover is not what buddhadharma teaches.

if there is no self, then what is suffering?


It isn't that there is no self, it's that there is no fixed self that is unchangeable and can be pointed to and defined specifically.

This might be true for Taoism, which is your main view as you’ve professed, but this is not an accurate description of anātman in buddhadharma.

How do Buddhists understand the phenomenon of Near Death Experiences?


For Buddhists, actual death occurs nearly 3 days after what western cultures consider “death” which is the cessation of the heartbeat, breathing etc. In buddhadharma there is an inner respiratory process of sorts that consciousness is actually bound to. Thus, the separation of consciousness from the body does not occur until that inner process ceases, which takes 3 days typically.

This means this western idea of an NDE is some sort of play of our still embodied consciousness during that time of the outer breath ceasing and so on. Similar to a dream.

The subtle body outside the physical body is surely some sort of state like astral projection where the subtle body is not bound to the physical body for a time. This happens in the bardo eventually as well, but at that point the consciousness has totally separated, and we are said to have a subtle body that persists for some time. The white light is the ālaya aspect of consciousness.

Is this a scam / cult? Should we be careful?


Entheogens can create an opportunity for insight as well

Entheogens can produce profound substantial non-dual states, but they cannot provide insight into anātman proper.

Is this a scam / cult? Should we be careful?


There are no “official endorsements” but Malcolm has said he has no issue with xabir and John Tan’s views or presentation of buddhadharma and he said their views do not run contrary to the buddhadharma.

It is also my opinion that their views are very clear, and I consider them friends.

Gorampa on Establishing Perception-Independent Reality


active contributor to this sub responded saying that there is, indeed, an external world with “actual objects” (nangyul, as opposed to the way they appear perceptually) independent of perception, although that world is, too, dependently arisen and not (ultimately) real (which really, i could argue how absurd this is on pure reason alone, but.) This was recently continued in a new Dzogchen sub.

The nangwa and nangyul distinction is not actually saying there is a noumenon. That topic is very nuanced.

Is Buddhism’s non-self (Anattā) and Hinduism’s belief that the self is pure awareness a meaningful difference or more conceptual/semantic?


This, to me, sounds like two traditions labeling the same thing differently. Am I wrong?

The differences are more substantial than your description suggests, and for that reason the distinction is appropriate.

what do buddhists say instead of "oh my god"?


Just say “oh my god” like a normal person.

Khenchen Namdrol on rigpa in beginners vs in āryas


Nice excerpt.

Does the mind-stream continue after Parinirvana? Or is it dependent on the aggregates and thus wrong to say there is such a thing as a mind-stream?


Does the mind-stream continue after Parinirvana?

Yes, it is unceasing. Nirvana etc., is only the total purification of the mindstream.

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about Buddhism because of the translation of the word 'Dukkha'.


Life unavoidably contains pain and suffering” would be a more accurate representation.

Everything apart from nirvana is suffering, is more accurate.

Could Gautama be a group or historical projection like the projection of a self?


Buddhas appear real to sentient beings but they ultimately are a projection of sorts. They look like a real, corporeal person because of our karmic perception.

Why we are not told what have happened in our previous lives?


Yes one of the six abhijñās.

The six types of higher knowledges (chalabhiññā) are:

"Higher powers" (iddhi-vidhā), such as walking on water and through walls;

"Divine ear" (dibba-sota), that is, clairaudience;

"Mind-penetrating knowledge" (ceto-pariya-ñāṇa), that is, telepathy;

"Remember one's former abodes" (pubbe-nivāsanussati), causal memory, that is, recalling one's own past lives;

"Divine eye" (dibba-cakkhu), that is, knowing others' karmic destinations; and,

"Extinction of mental intoxicants" (āsavakkhaya), upon which arahantship follows.[7]

Bardo/clear light questions


In the book, the author mentions that practicing lucid dreaming will help you out in the bardo. How does that work?

The bardo is said to be very similar to sleeping and dreaming. The more adept you are at remaining lucid while dreaming, the better chance you will have with staying lucid in the bardo. Also, the process of falling asleep is said to be very similar to the process of dying, and again, it is said if you can remain cognizant of the process of falling asleep while it happens, you will have a better chance of staying cognizant during the process of death. Ordinary people fall unconscious during death and then regain consciousness in the “bardo of becoming,” which means they are unconscious during key moments that they could otherwise utilize for awakening.

For my Vajrayana people: getting real about sex & love, and questions about awakening.


I’m a married man nowadays, so much has changed.

Can a person interested in Buddhism learn more than 1 type of Buddhism Mahayana, Theravada, Tibetan, and Vajrayana Buddhism? Because I’m trying to be a Buddhist and I’m reading book around those types of Buddhism, what would I be?


Vajrayāna is Tibetan Buddhism, which is a form of Mahāyāna called “uncommon Mahāyāna,” as opposed to common Mahāyāna (which is the prajñāpāramitā, Yogācāra, Madhyamaka, pure land, zen, tathāgatagarbha, etc). Thus with Tibetan Buddhism it is Vajrayāna practice with Mahāyāna folded in as a basis in many ways. The majority of key Theravada principles also apply to Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna by default. But the practice of Theravada is not the practice of Vajrayāna for example, they are different “paths” in terms of practice.

For my Vajrayana people: getting real about sex & love, and questions about awakening.


What about your emotions?

I don’t like to talk about myself really but doctrinally you would be referring to the “taming” ('dul ba, damya), which is as my teacher says “the process of obtaining the mental and emotional resilience on a deep level. When one has tamed one's afflictions, even if they are still present in the mind stream, one has reached the level of patience (bzod pa, kṣānti).” This occurs at the 3rd bhūmi, and is characterized by pretty much a total absence of negative emotions like sadness or anger, but with the ability to still feel immense gratitude, joy and happiness in proper contexts.

In my past I would sometimes form healthy attachments to some women and have relationships with them, this is really no issue.

The view of Vajrayāna and ati in general is actually defined as “attachment without clinging” this means we allow our senses to come into contact with their respective objects of sensation without accepting or rejecting. This means that even in the act of sex, the sensations are arising and you are fully with the sensations. If you aren’t in equipoise then you are fully experiencing the sensation, and you can play with how that sensation lacks a subject and object if you understand how that principle is applied in the view. That is the meaning of training in pure vision. Everything is the mandala of the deity, in ati for example, this means everything is innately the mandala of vidyā.

For my Vajrayana people: getting real about sex & love, and questions about awakening.


At age 27 when I encountered the dharma I was practicing regularly individually and also group pūjas and I was sometimes sleeping with multiple women a day and it had no affect on my progress in practice at all. You’ll be fine.

Also sexual attraction does not really dissipate until the later bhūmis.

Can a non-monk wear a robe like this?


Upāsakas [non-monastic practitioners] can wear robes if they took śrāmanera vows but never went full bhikṣu [monastic].

Do you think existence is strange?/ Buddhas accuracy?


Do you think existence is strange?

Unbelievably strange, and just unbelievable in general.

Does terminating AI components (eg. a boss) in computer games affect one’s karma


Say if one plays a computer game like Diablo 3 and terminates a bunch of AI monsters every time he plays, does this act affect his karma?

No, characters in a game do not have mindstreams.

The Illusory Nature of Things


can I ask what you mean by things have never manifested in the first place?

This is called "anutpada" in Sanskrit, or "non-arising." It means that the practitioner realizes that their perception of objects and the self were both byproducts of ignorance [avidya], and when avidya ceases, the misconception that persons, places and things ever originated in the first place is undone and all phenomena are realized to be primordially unconditioned and illusory.

The Illusory Nature of Things


Travelling for me was always about broadening my understanding of the world but that was before I realised that to understand my mind is to understand the world. I don't need to go anywhere to gain understanding.

This is true, but you can also engage in your conventional life. Lucky for us yogis who prioritize comprehension of the mind, the mind goes with us wherever we go, and wherever we are, it is there. Thus, Mexico can also be a place where practice can occur, and you should go enjoy time with your girlfriend.

Besides, the illusory nature of things is not that they are impermanent, but rather that things have never manifested in the first place, if you recognize and begin to integrate this latter insight, then you are likewise free to enjoy life as it unfolds no matter what is appearing, or where you may be.

Do any of you know about the illusion of self, and what is your opinion on it?


The Buddhist view is that there is no actual seer of sights, no hearer of sounds, no feeler of feelings, no knower of known. When this is experientially recognized in a nonconceptual way, that is “awakening.”

Why traditonal buddhism is wrong and why every traditional Buddhist goes into denial when faced with this argument


The author of that thread u/udontknowshitfoo is ill informed, as are 99% of those replying.

is the concept of nondualism universal throughout the dharma?


Nonduality as advāya is found all throughout every system of buddhadharma, even your beloved Pāli Canon, Nicky boy. We as Buddhists only reject substantial, ontological nonduality [advaita].

is the concept of nondualism universal throughout the dharma?


is the concept of nondualism universal throughout the dharma?

Yes, and has various expressions in different systems.

If there is no self, what are we, how are we distinct from others, and what becomes enlightened?


But what is the one in this case? How is there a being that is enlightened if there is no unchanging essence underneath their mind?

There is just a mindstream that is either afflicted by delusion or purified of delusion. Liberation is just the total purification of the mindstream.

If all we are is mental phenomena, then doesn't one cease to exist when they stop being reborn?

Rebirth is just the causal process of affliction that keeps the mind deluded. When delusion is removed from the mindstream then the process of rebirth ceases, but the mindstream does not cease, it is inexhaustible.

How does Buddhism view duality versus non-duality?


Is the phenomenon of mind based in something else than flesh and bone coming together under the right conditions?

Yes and no. Yes, because the mind is immaterial and according to Buddhism cannot have a material cause. The cause of mind is a previous moment of mind in Buddhist teachings, which means the mind is a discrete, causal continuum. Mind is not an epiphenomena of matter according to these teachings, and in fact it can be said that the reverse is true, matter is caused by mind.

For these reasons a provisional substance dualism is suggested between mind and matter, that dualism is called nāma-rūpa. Nāma is consciousness and rūpa is matter, specifically the four material elements which comprise all matter according to Buddhism.

And then no, because the mind is in many ways dependent on a body, and it is said that even between lives when there is a separation of the mind from the body, the mindstream still carries the other aggregates within it.

Astus on dharmawheel.net forums just shared these two relevant excerpts recently.

The Avijjāpaccayasutta:

Mendicant, if you have the view that the mind and the body are the same thing, there is no living of the spiritual life. If you have the view that the mind and the body are different things, there is no living of the spiritual life. Avoiding these two extremes, the Realized One teaches by the middle way: ‘Rebirth is a condition for old age and death.’ ... ‘Ignorance is a condition for choices.’"

And, from The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, p 756, n 107:

The living of the holy life (brahmacariyavāsa) is the living of the noble path. One who holds the view “the mind and the body are the same” (taṁ jīvaṁ taṁ sarīraṁ) holds that the mind and the body are annihilated together (at death). For one who holds this, the annihilationist view follows, for he holds that “a being is annihilated.” Now this noble path arises to stop and eradicate the round of existence. But on the annihilationist view the round ceases even without the development of the path, and thus the development of the path becomes purposeless. In the second case, one holding the view “the mind is one thing, the body another” (aññaṁ jīvaṁ aññaṁ sarīraṁ) holds that the body alone is annihilated here, while the mind goes about freely like a bird released from a cage. This view is eternalism. But if there were even one formation that is permanent, stable, and eternal, the noble path would not be able to bring the round to an end; thus again the development of the path would be purposeless.

Is nirvana a place where your soul can “be” or just a term used for enlightenment?


Nirvana is defined as a total cessation of the cause for the process of cyclical rebirth (samsara).

It essentially means you possess a clear, unobstructed and irreversible knowledge (or gnosis) of the true nature of mind and phenomena.

The Buddha describes his attainment of nirvana here in the Ārya-lalitavistara-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra:

I have obtained the ambrosia of Dharma, profound, peaceful, immaculate, luminous and unconditioned. Even though I explain it, no one will understand, I think I will remain in the forest without speaking. Free from words, untrained by speech, suchness, the nature of Dharma, is like space free from the movements of mind and intellect, supreme, amazing, the sublime knowledge… Always like space, nonconceptual, luminous, the teaching without periphery or center is expressed in this Dharmawheel. Free from existence and nonexistence, beyond self and nonself, the teaching of natural nonarising is expressed in this Dharmawheel.

Is consciousness reborn? or, is there just one universal consciousness.


There are no universals in Buddhism at all really. Only universal generic characteristics like the wetness of liquid or the heat of fire.

If there is no soul or self, then what are hungry "ghosts"?


When, with the arising of a sankhata dhamma, the sankhara on which it depends is seen to be anicca, then that presently arisen dhamma is correctly understood as anatta, which is all that is necessary for release.

This is technically inaccurate. The realization of anatta results from insight into non-arising, not impermanence. Impermanence is just a preliminary characteristic of conditioned phenomena that infers a lack of a stable essence. Everyday deluded sentient beings can perceive impermanence, but only awakened individuals have insight into anatta.

because all views automatically imply self for a being without insight

This is not a problem. Upholding a conventional right view is necessary for experiential realization to occur. As a practitioner of the śravākayāna or common Mahāyāna, if your provisional right view is flawed then you will obstruct your own access to so-called higher insight.

This is why the view "there is no self" leads to confusion

It doesn’t. You are probably just parroting Thanissaro Bikkhu who spreads this misconception and confuses many who are interested in the Pāli Canon.

escape from the effluent of views altogether

Escape from views does not mean you opt for a neutral indeterminate position. If you do not realize selflessness directly then you will never, ever escape from views. The relinquishing of views is a synonym for the realization of emptiness.

And SN 44:10 gives an example of how the view "there is no self" gives rise to confusion

Only for Vacchagotta in that particular instance. The Buddha is attempting to help Vacchagotta avoid adopting an annihilationist view. This does not mean “there is no self” will lead to confusion.

If there is no soul or self, then what are hungry "ghosts"?


The Buddha speaks often in terms of anatta, but he does not say that “there is no self” is a beneficial view.

It is absolutely a beneficial conventional view, for the simple reason that it is an accurate description of the actual nature of phenomena given that the skandhas are completely devoid of a self. You are only liberated in these teachings due to thoroughly realizing that there has never at any time been an actual self.

Thus “sabbe dhamma anatta” - All phenomena are not self/empty of self.

Precisely. Thus there is absolutely no self. Unless you think there is some dhamma that is exempt.

It’s not that “there is no self” is wrong, but if taken on the level of view, it prevents the arising of right view.

If you relate to the view skillfully then it is no problem. The view is just a concept, the reality of anātman is something to be directly realized like tasting sugar. No person of sound mind believes the word “sweet” is the actual taste of sugar, nevertheless it is an accurate description. Just like no person who truly comprehends these teachings thinks the view of selflessness is the actual taste of anātman, nevertheless it is an accurate description.

If there is no soul or self, then what are hungry "ghosts"?


The Buddha gives us some views to cling to, for the arising of right view, but “there is no self” is not one of them (not given in the Pali Suttas)

It is found all throughout the Pāli suttas.

if every empowerment, including common ones such as Medicine Buddha, led to Samaya commitments, all of the Lamas would be sending hundreds of thousands of students to Vajra Hell


u/krodha despite our occasional arguments

My friend, I never interpret our interactions as argumentative. I think you are a sincere practitioner and have a good outlook on things.

The essence boils down to I'm concerned that because of taking a medicine Buddha empowerment when I was a new Buddhist in 2014, and didn't keep samaya not being told about it on the of empowerment (was rhe same day as refuge) and not understanding much, and now that its been over 3 years, that I'm essentially doomed to vajra hell without hope.

Impossible. The only way you would wind up in avīcī or “vajra hell” would be if you completely abandoned bodhicitta and turned your back on the buddhadharma altogether.

I might be screwed regardless.

I think you will be just fine. My advice would also be not to worry.

So by his view, the 3 years doesn't seem to apply; is this more of a Nyingma view and not a Sarma view?

These things can vary from teacher to teacher.

Enlightenment in Zen: Same or different? Including death and rebirth


Nirvana in traditional Buddhism is described as the cessation of greed, hatred, and ignorance, and after death, paranirvana, the 5 Skhandas are dissolved and there is unbinding. Is this idea similar in zen? Or different?

Same for the most part. Some different aspects are emphasized, but the awakening of zen and the awakening of other Buddhist teachings are the same.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


Ah, thanks. In that case, touché.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


In what other ways are the teachings wrong

The teachings aren’t wrong, they are the instructions of Buddhas and awakened āryas. If you think ignorant sentient beings are accurately revising and correcting the teachings then this is a grave error.

How do I get over misanthropy?


Sentient beings and humans especially simply dwell in the three poisons and engage in activity that is often quite harmful in the process. They are simply ignorant, and want to be happy which really is a fool’s errand when pursued within the confines of samsara. You can have compassion for them like a parent does for a child who unintentionally harms themselves or others, you know the child does not know any better, but at the same time you can disapprove of their behavior.

As much as I've come to detest (yes, I know, aversion) the "I killed a bug, wut do?" posts...


So I'd conjured up the thought, over time, that the best course of action was to finish the job as quickly and cleanly as one could, rather than let the process of death be prolonged. And this still jives with me now, mostly, as someone who subscribes to Buddhist beliefs. So, I crushed its head, disposed of it, and prayed over it. What say you, r/Buddhism?

You have a karmic debt now. It will ripen at an unknown future time. Best to avoid creating situations like that your yourself or whatever being will be expressed by your mindstream in the future and resolve to refrain from intentionally taking life.

That bug will be reborn as some other being and it’s karma will ripen again, you did not save it from that ripening, you’ve only succeeded in delaying it (and created an obstacle for yourself in the process).

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


you still haven’t been able to present any evidence for what you’re proposing.

You can study plenty of expositions on buddhadharma which offer many logical arguments based on the three main pramanas, or valid forms of knowledge, in Buddhist teachings.

Need some help with Mulamadhyamakakarika


I would recommend Mabja Jangchub Tsondru's the Ornament of Reason. It is one of the only pre-Gelug commentaries of the MMK available. Jay Garfield, who arguably published one of the more popular MMK translations has said that the “Ornament of Reason” renders his own translation “obsolete.”

To add, diving headfirst into the MMK is a bit ambitious, I might also recommend going slow with the MMK and also supplementing your approach to Nāgārjuna with some other more palatable expositions of his such as the 70 Stanzas on emptiness [Śūnyatāsaptati] and his 60 stanzas of reasoning [Yuktiṣāṣṭika]. The Catuḥstava which consists of four works: Lokātīta-stava (Hymn to transcendence), Niraupamya-stava (to the Peerless), Acintya-stava (to the Inconceivable), and Paramārtha-stava (to Ultimate Truth) is also quite good. Along with his Bodhicittavivaraṇa or exposition on awakened mind.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


According to: until there’s evidence that a long, drawn out, agonising death is better for you than a quick one, it makes no sense assume that it is

It makes no sense to lokayāta annihilationists, but you’re in the Buddhism subreddit.

Self question


No Self does not mean that there is not some sort of entity that is existent as the aggregate of the Five Khandas/Factors and is thus capable of observing the world

It literally does mean that.

Self question


where/what is the presence/awareness/observer which stands behind and notices thoughts,

It is called vijñāna. It is a false construct of ignorance.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


not only is it a superior way of alleviating suffering, it’s the only one out of our 2 propositions that actually does alleviate it.

Only according to uccedavādins, a.k.a., annihilationists.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


Your claim that allowing unnecessary suffering is beneficial for the animal is based on superstition which you have no evidence for as far as I can tell.

The same can be said about the superstition of “mercy killing” that you’ve evidently been culturally conditioned to believe is a superior method of alleviating suffering.

Why do buddhist monks shave their heads while none of the budhas never cut kes(hair)?


Looking for answers from an Indian or Tibetan perspective.

Not all Buddhists or Buddhas have shaved heads. There are lay Tibetan practitioners called ngakpas who take a vow to never cut their hair.

Are their any people who are enlightened in prison?


Tibetans were imprisoned by the PRC around the time of the cultural revolution for decades, there were many realized masters who were in the prison camps, and many had to practice secretly.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


Hypothetical scenario, do you also believe it’s wrong to be heavily drugged when you die because you aren’t feeling the full scope of the dying experience?

Definitely, which is counterintuitive to our western worldview, but according to Buddhist teachings it is actually vital to die with a clear and non-inebriated mind.

If so, do you believe assisted euthanasia is wrong to those with severely painful terminal illnesses, or an old dog that can barely still walk?

Technically yes because these things qualify as killing. They should be avoided if possible. At the same time, we as Buddhists have absolutely no business telling anyone else how to live or die. All we can do is guard our own mind and conduct.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


I guess what's even the point of having compassion for other creatures. What does right compassion look like?

Right compassion in the context of these teachings is actually the compassion we feel for sentient beings knowing that they suffer and continue to suffer due to their ignorance regarding the nature of their mind and the nature of phenomena.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


If it is mercy killed, wouldn’t that imply that we have no evidence of a karmic debt regarding a slow and painful death?

You are intentionally intervening.

The original stepping on and subsequent mercy kill may be the entirety of the karmic debt owed.

The act of killing is an intentional action on your part. The accidental stepping on of the snail was the snail’s karma because it was unintentional on your part.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


This isn’t an answer to the essence of my question, though.

Intervening in the suffering of others in the sense of saving beings from harm or suffering, feeding the hungry, ransoming the life of a being in harms way, and so on, these are acts which generate great positive karma.

Killing a being does not save them from being subject to the karma you think you are sparing them of.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


Because according to Buddhist teachings that suffering is exhausting a karmic debt, a debt that will ripen regardless of whether it ripens now or at a later time.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


If someone is starving, and I delay that karma by giving them some food, surely the same argument applies?

There is a difference between feeding a hungry being and killing them if they are mortally wounded.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


The act of killing has certain karmic consequences for your own personal mindstream. It creates a karmic debt, and that karma will have to ripen at a future time. The idea is to become free of that karma, not compound it by adding to it. This is why we as Buddhists are to guard our conduct and be mindful of the cause and effect related to our actions and intentions.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


So, your comment is extra confusing bc they are ending the current suffering w euthanasia, thus speeding things up, not delaying it?

In the Buddhist worldview, the karma of suffering ripens no matter what, and is usually expressed as pain. Therefore if a being is in pain and suffering then that karma is ripening and that being will exhaust that karmic debt, never having to experience it again. However that karma ripens regardless, whether in this life or the next, and this means that according to Buddhist teachings, if you kill the sentient being then you temporarily interrupt the ripening of that karma which will simply continue again in the next life.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


If they are alive then karma is just playing out. Killing them just delays the karma from playing out, it does not end suffering.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


Because it is soon reborn.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


It is not in the insect’s best interest, only your own. You are actually robbing that sentient being of the process of exhausting that karma. Extremely selfish.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


You are only delaying the misery for your own benefit.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


I don't care if it is negative karma or not I'm ending it's suffering

You are not ending that being’s suffering. You are only postponing it.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


I will gladly accept the consequences of killing in order to end its continued suffering.

This does not end that being’s suffering, you are only delaying it.

If I accidentally injure an insect but don’t kill it is it more compassionate to take it out of its misery or leave it as is?


As a practitioner of buddhadharma you simply never take a life, no matter what. Thus OP should refrain from killing.

Just began reading Bardo Thodol, a translation in Spanish. It mentions 80 deities and I wanted to learn about them all. Is there any video (preferably), website, article, etc… were I can learn about them?


Just began reading Bardo Thodol, a translation in Spanish. It mentions 80 deities and I wanted to learn about them all. Is there any video (preferably), website, article, etc… were I can learn about them?

Typically it is 100 deities. 42 peaceful and 58 wrathful. This is related to zhitro.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhitro

This is the zhitro mandala:

https://tinypic.host/i/nBDkK

Confusion regarding an objects dependency relying on its parts, and how that effects its inherent existence


One of the objects suggested is a blue vase. I understand the idea that the vase's existence is not inherit - it is made up of an opening, a lid, a handle, and then deeper it is made of dye, clay, a finish of some sort, then atoms etc etc.

Regarding this, it is important at some point to acknowledge that these teachings are not actually saying that the vase is composed of parts. But do go slow, I know that book is sort of a gradual approach.

For more on this you can consult Candrakīrti’s sevenfold reasoning of the chariot, here is a brief synopsis:

(i) There is no chariot which is other than its parts

(ii) There is no chariot which is the same as its parts

(iii) There is no chariot which possesses its parts

(iv) There is no chariot which depends on its parts

(v) There is no chariot upon which the parts depend

(vi) There is no chariot which is the collection of its parts

(vii) There is no chariot which is the shape of its parts

If there is no self, what clings to the aggregates?


Terrible advice.

If there is no self, what clings to the aggregates?


However, the Buddha himself was not concerned with anything these two schools are concerned with.

A very strange assertion given that the Buddha taught the Mahāyāna prajñāpāramitā himself.

If there is no self, what clings to the aggregates?


“There is no self” is the granddaddy of fake Buddhist quotes.

Total b.s.

buddhism and psychedelics?


What psychedelics could he be talking about, though?

Probably datura.

Hello, is there a mantra that is suitable against negative spirits? Is the vajrasatva mantra good?


There are different mantras associated with different figures who help to control certain types of beings in the eight classes of sentient beings. Garuda controls nāgas for example. If you have a provocation from a certain being then it generally a good idea to try and discern what type of being you are dealing with. Certain beings wield certain provocations.

Also for general “black magic” type attacks, if you are worried about such things, Simhamukha is good, like u/dharmastudent mentioned. Not sure how much we have to worry about that, but there are areas of the world where things like that are occurring.

Many of Padmasambhava’s emanations control various beings of the eight classes.

Vajrasattva is good for purifying karmic debts. But isn’t so much something that can be used against negative beings. Although it is still good. You only have provocation from certain beings because of karmic connections.

Probably something to consult a teacher about. Or a practitioner of traditional Tibetan medicine or ayurveda.

Cessation of Self


There is a cessation of ignorance [avidyā] and the misconception of a self ceases with it.

Why are there differing views on sense pleasure?


This distinction concerns Śravākayāna, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna views on sensory phenomena.

Śravākayāna and Mahāyāna are paths of renunciation. Vajrayāna is a path of transformation. Vajrayāna uses the senses to awaken.

What advice (personal or from the dharma) can you give to someone with a porn addiction?


Most people who suffer from “porn addiction” typically seem to be merely individuals with strong porn enthusiasm. The two are not the same. Addiction is a disease that leaches out into the addict’s surroundings and affects their personal life in a destructive way despite the addict’s knowledge that their behavior is causing issues. Affecting relationships, their job, sometimes affecting their ability to engage in normal social situations. A genuinely compulsive and uncontrollable, destructive habit.

Porn enthusiasm is just viewing porn frequently in a way that doesn’t spill out into one’s life and cause destruction.

Important to identify which one accurately characterizes your situation. People often throw around the idea of “addiction” too liberally.

Addicts need rehabilitation and therapy. Enthusiasts might need to cut back consumption, maybe not, the motivation in either direction is something to examine.

Can serial killers and rapists be forgiven?


With enough time in hell or the lower realms, they can get out of that as they burn off their negative karma.

Or if they eliminate that karmic debt in this lifetime.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


They can't say things that was not said by Buddha himself.

In Mahayana, the Buddha is not a person.

And he clearly did not say such things. He explained narakaloka as actual, physical world.

You can uphold any view you want to in your personal life, I'm merely clarifying that there are large portions of the buddhadharma that assert otherwise.

Well, Is it?. Samsara is the core belief that the Buddha peach Buddhism from. Without that is it still Buddhism or another religion.

Samsara appears to deluded beings. But it is not ultimately real.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


Where did learn this from?

Vasubandhu and other prominent Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna figures.

Samsara chakra is a actual thing that happens. you can't say that it doesn't exist.

Perhaps these are just differences between Mahāyāna and the Pali teachings. To each their own.

Did buddha do yoga?


"Yoga" in buddhism does not mean the same thing as it does in Hinduism.

The meaning of the term "yoga" in buddhist contexts means to possess a first hand, experiential knowledge of the nature of our mind, which is the real condition of the individual.

For example, "yoga" in Tibetan is naldjor. "Nal" means your real condition, the luminous nature of your mind in its natural condition. "Jor" means to possess direct knowledge. Thus "naldjor" is to have that knowledge and be in that state. The awakened state of a buddha or arya bodhisattva.

In buddhist teachings there are physical yogas that help us to discover that state and integrate with that knowledge. But there are also non-physical yogas, the meditative practices of buddhadharma are also a form of yoga, because they too are a means to establish a direct knowledge of that state and integrate with it.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


You said that hell and heaven is 'state of mind'.

The narakaloka is like a projection of mind, yes, but it appears very real to the individual concerned.

Are you now saying that what happened was Buddha entered this state of mind, right?

Yes, buddhas can appear to your mind in various ways.

Why would he come down from sky then?. Why would that happen?

You'd have to cite an example of what you're referring to.

And, samsara doesn't exist?

Not ultimately, no.

Well. So, is in Theravada. You can't know the words of other Buddhas since either they have not come to this world yet or their time is over. Only way to that is if the current buddha says those things.

Right, so as I said, in Mahayana and Vajrayana there is a more liberal definition of "buddhavacana."

bodhisattvas can't preach dhamma can't they since bodhisattvas could be anybody.

In Mahayana, many bodhisattvas expound teachings.

Buddhism is a lot more than just sūtras, śāstras and tantras.

Sure, but here we are discussing a doctrinal position. That position is the case no matter where you are located on the globe.

Did buddha do yoga?


There are both physical yogas and yogas of the mind in the buddhadharma.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


how can he go to heaven if it doesn't exist?.

Buddhas can emanate anywhere in the three realms. Samsara technically does not exist either, nevertheless, the tathāgata appears to sentient beings.

How so?.

In Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna, buddhavacana is anything “well said” meaning anything that accords with karma, rebirth, dependent origination, bodhicitta and so on. As opposed to the words of a person or single Buddha. For us there are countless Buddhas and bodhisattvas.

It isn't irrelevant. It matters a lot.

It doesn’t matter at all. The sūtras, śāstras, tantras all say what they say no matter where you are located geographically.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


Well, I don't follow Mahāyāna or Vajrayāna.

Then we can just agree to disagree on this topic.

And, he was born a 1000 years after Buddha.

Indeed.

Is this Buddhism or Vasubandhu-ism.

Buddhadharma. Buddhavacana or “the word of the Buddha” is defined differently in Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna.

Why did you not answer my question?

Because where you live does not qualify as a license for being correct, and given that is the case, the question is irrelevant to this conversation.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


I don't think what Vasubandhu argues is true

Ok, well his abhidharma is the basis for all abhidharma in Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna. Thus I will have to defer to his authority on this matter.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


I have to use a desktop computer for that so I’m unable to access that messaging feature at the moment, but can later.

In the meantime, here is an excerpt from Dan Lusthaus' page on Vasubandhu, under his review of The Twenty Verses:

In an intriguing example, Vasubandhu argues that the torturing guards in hell are not real beings but communal projections by hell denizens with which they torture themselves, since it is illogical that one would be born into hell unless one deserved it based on one's previous actions, and if so, then one would not be immune to hell's tortures--but the guards don't suffer, they mete out suffering. The implication of his argument is that hell itself is merely a paranoid projection. If one wished to make a similar point about intersubjective grouping of interpretations, one could use a common, if scatological example: the difference in the ways humans and flies respond to excrement. Flies flock to it, while humans revile it as filthy and disgusting. Each views excrement according to the life condition, the sort of genetic programming and communal attitude collectively adhered to by its own species. Each takes its interpretation to accurately reference the intrinsic nature and qualities of the thing itself, rather than recognizing that the horizons of such interpretations are karmically conditioned.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


No. It absolutely is a real place according what I have been taught all my life.

You were taught wrong then.

I don't know where you learned that it wasn't a real place but It's impossible otherwise.

As I mentioned, Vasubandhu and other adepts are very clear on this subject.

Being born as a animal is form of hell,

The animal lōka and the narakalōka are two different things.

This is illogical nonsense

Well that is what is taught in the sūtras, śāstras, tantras etc., you can follow suit or not.

why should karma should be exhausted by you being chopped into pieces and boiled alive and other horrific acts?

Because all pain is the ripening of karmic debts in the body.

There is no other answer than being punished for the crimes you did.

There is clearly another answer, you are just being stubborn. But that is your error, you’re welcome to it.

This is shown in countless stories where the thing that happened to you in hell is directly related to the sins you did in your mortal life.

Yes, the causal incurring of a karmic debt, completely divorced of any inkling of the concept of “punishment.”

But, I'm from a Buddhist country and has been deeply following Buddhism all my life.

That is great but this does not mean you were taught correctly.

I'm pretty sure I know enough about these principals and don't need you to teach me.

Yes, it is quite evident that you feel that way. And you’re welcome to believe whatever you like, it has no bearing on my practice. But you will be corrected by people in this subreddit if you make inaccurate assertions, if not for the benefit of yourself, for the benefit of offering clarity to others who may be reading.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


Are you hearing what you say?. Why would you go to hell if not to be punished for the sins you committed?

The naraka realm is not a real place per Vasubandhu and other luminaries, it is essentially equivalent to an extremely negative mental state which manifests an apparent environment and so on. Naraka is simply the result of compounded karmic debts that must be exhausted, hence why one’s experience in the naraka realm concludes after said karmic debt is eliminated.

The Naraka IS about punishment.

Absolutely not. It is about the exhaustion of so-called negative karma.

Have you even read a single Buddhist story?. It seems you haven't.

Have you? Because it seems you know little to nothing about these principles.

Does Buddhism believe in demons and evil spirits?


The naraka or “hell” realm has zero to do with “punishment.” Karmic causality is simply cause and effect.

'Special Techniques' of Tibetan Buddhism?


What kinds of techniques would this be referring to-- tools, meditation, etc.?

Yes, tools, breathing patterns, visualizations, gazes, postures.

The “spiritual energy” is just what is referred to as the inner air element in the body, called “vāyu.” Consciousness in the form of the subjective mind is inseparable from the vāyu, and circulates through the body. The forumla goes, if you can manipulate the body through specific postures, gazes and breathing, then you can manipulate the vāyu, which in turn manipulates the mind. Ergo, in these Tibetan systems there is an advantage over other Buddhist systems which only aim to establish samādhi via meditation alone. The Tibetan yogas, not meaning strictly physical yogas, but these systems used to explore the nature of consciousness in general, are capable of establishing deep meditative states very rapidly.

Buddhism and the nature of Consciousness (Philosophy of Mind)


Svasamvedana, or “rang rig” in this context means "intrinsic" or "innate" knowing. It is intended to contradict the view that the mind's cognition arises in dependence on an object and ceases in the absence of said object.

It just means that minds are conscious by their very nature, and that quality of clarity is an intrinsic characteristic.

For example Śāntarakṣita's definition of svasamvedana is as follows:

The nature of intrinsic clarity that does not depend on another clarifier is the intrinsic knowing [rang rig] of consciousness.

And Kamalaśīla's:

The concise meaning is that the function of intrinsic knowing [rang rig] is only to be the opposite of inert substances such as chariots, walls and so on. It is a convention for a clarity that does not depend on anything.

Affliction and gnosis depend upon whether that mind recognizes the nature of its own clarity or of appearances.

This means that the mind has a conscious capacity, a jñā, which is either expressed as jñāna or vijñāna based on the presence of vidyā, or the absence of vidyā, i.e., ignorance [avidyā].

Tagging u/jigdrol for continuity, since you were summoned.

Death and Nirvana


I am aware that the Buddha, although reached enlightenment, he stayed in samsara in order to help other reach enlightenment.

Buddhas do not stay in samsara. Samsara and nirvana are something like states of mind to put it coarsely. We perceive a Buddha as a person who is in samsara, because we are in samsara, but from a Buddhas point of view, they are completely liberated and have totally conquered samsara.

Buddhism and the nature of Consciousness (Philosophy of Mind)


To add, the arising of consciousness is dependent upon sense organs & sense objects; therefore there is no independent mind.

Some Mahāyāna systems clarify that vijñāna as a dualistic consciousness is dependent on contact with an object, but that the mind is actually innately conscious in and of itself independent of contact, the concept is called “svasamvedana,” translated as “intrinsic knowing.”

Is Buddhism closer to science than to religion?


So a friend said this to me yesterday: "Buddhism is not a religion but an empirical science of the mind, everything that is said in Buddhism has been tested through experimentation, verification and adaptive refinement". And although I can see why he says it, to me, it just sounds really weird to compare the act of looking upon one's own mind with something like the empirical sciences. Also, even if we did, does that mean it is not a religion?

It is both.

Is there no faith in Buddhism?

There is “faith” in the same way that if someone has been to a certain city before and points to a path and gives you directions on how to get there, you have a certain degree of trust and confidence in their experience and instructions. Confidence that you will use as a basis for your own journey, utilizing the directions, to go and see for yourself.

One of the three pramanas, or forms of authoritative knowledge, is “śabda” or the “testimony of reliable persons.” You place confidence and “faith” in the testimony of someone who has direct knowledge of the result you are aiming to achieve.

Different pronunciations?


Benza or benzara is a Tibetan “corruption” of the Sanskrit term “vajra.”

Just like “dröllo” is somehow a corruption of “krodha lokottara.”

Do Buddhists Believe in God?


This is the wrong conclusion of the fourteen unanswered questions." Tell that to literally every Lama, monk and nun I've ever talked to

Gladly.

The Mahā-prajñāpāramitā-śāstra explains the logic behind the unanswered questions:

To reply to the fourteen difficult questions would be to commit a fault. If you ask what type is the size or the physique of a son of a barren woman and an eunuch, that would not deserve an answer, for such a son does not exist.

What is the nature of consciousness when dreamlessly sleeping?


If consciousness has receded into the center of the body, how can contact and sensation arise?

Consciousness permeates the entire body, via the vāyu. When we are asleep it recedes into the center of the body because it is not actively accessing the eyes, ears and so on. But the individual is not deceased, consciousness is still present in the body, and is still circulating throughout the body, any loud noise or being shaken etc., will cause consciousness to immediately re-engage in the major sensory faculties.

Do Buddhists Believe in God?


Buddhism does not work if there is some sort of monolithic deity. Our view is cause and effect, full stop. As such this is vitally important for all Buddhists to understand and is one of the most important things to comprehend about Buddhist practice.

People who are under the false impression that these sorts of issues are “irrelevant” are not really grasping the import of these teachings.

What is the nature of consciousness when dreamlessly sleeping?


They aren’t dead.

Do Buddhists Believe in God?


It has no time to speculate on the nature of an alleged omnipotent being.

This is the wrong conclusion of the fourteen unanswered questions.

Do Buddhists Believe in God?


It can be easily disproved and Buddhism rejects it.

Do Buddhists Believe in God?


So, Buddhism takes an agnostic position on the existence of God?

No, god is outright negated and rejected. There is no such thing according to buddhadharma.

What is the nature of consciousness when dreamlessly sleeping?


Consciousness resides in the center of the body in what is called the anahatabindu. When we are awake consciousness accesses the sensory faculties, however when we are in deep dreamless sleep consciousness recedes into the anahatabindu and is essentially dormant. Dreaming occurs when consciousness begins to emerge from the anahatabindu but does not access the sensory organs. Instead consciousness starts entering the nadis near the bindu and activates latent karmic traces which generate appearances, this is why we often dream of things that we encounter in our daily lives which leave impressions on us. Sometimes we can access latent karmic traces from previous lifetimes.

Does enlightened person feel physical pain?


Fully awakened beings do not feel pain. All pain is the ripening of karma in the body. If karma has been totally exhausted, then there is no cause for pain.

Identification with any pain that is experienced is only an indication the adept has not yet completely exhausted their karma so that phenomena remain in their basic nature, as Dudjom Lingpa says here:

Still, you might protest that it is unreasonable to hold that the body and the rest of the world have never existed as anything other than mere sensory appearances, since those who understand the empty nature of their bodies still feel pain when touched by fire or water or when struck by arrows, spears, clubs and so forth. The answer to this is the fact that as long as you have not arrived at the state of basic space in which phenomena resolve within their true nature, dualistic appearances do not subside, and as long as they have not subsided, beneficial and harmful appearances occur without interruption. In actuality though, even the fires of hell do not burn.

There are other stories of yogins who had taken their realization to the fullest extent so that they no longer experienced suffering the same as you or I, for example these stories about Sabchu Tulku and a siddha by the name of Lama Tenje:

Here is another story about the previous Sabchu Tulku - not the child who lives nowadays in Swayambhu, but in one of his former lives. The first Sabchu was a disciple of Situ Pema Nyingje, Jamgön Kongtrül and Jamyang Khyentse. Before he died, a horrible disease struck him; his stomach became one big open sore. It started with one sore and slowly it became bigger and bigger. Finally all his intestines were lying out in his lap. The pus, liquids and blood ran out onto the floor, all the way out to the door. There were definitely bodily sensations, and he wanted to scratch it all the time, so he asked to have his hands tied. They were tied with a white scarf to stop him from scratching the wound. His disciple asked, "Oh Rinpoche! This must be so difficult, it must be really painful for you." He said, "I'm not sick at all, there is nothing wrong with me." They said, "How terrible, all the pus and blood is flowing down the floor." He answered, "There is an old monk sitting on this bed, he seems to be moving around, quite uncomfortably. He wants to scratch his belly, but for me there is nothing wrong at all. I am not sick at all. However there is someone who looks like me sitting right here. He seems to be suffering quite a bit, but I am fine." If you are stable in practice, it is like that: there is no fixation at all.

There was another lama, in Kham, by the name of Tenje, a siddha who contracted the same sickness where all his intestines were hanging out. People asked him, "How are you feeling today?" He said, "I'm fine, nothing wrong at all." They said, "But Rinpoche, look down, you have all these sores and open wounds." He replied, "Yes, it looks like there is something wrong here, but I am quite fine. I am not sick at all." The people asked, "We think you will die soon, so will you please tell us where you will be reborn so we can find the tulku?" He said, "Yes, I can take care of that. Call my disciple Tendar." The lama then told his disciple, "Carry me seven steps to the west." While Tendar was carrying his master those seven steps, the master snapped his fingers and said, "May my realization take birth in your stream of being." Afterwards, he said, while pointing at the student, "This is my tulku, even before I pass away. Will he be okay for this monastery? Tomorrow morning at dawn, I will enact the drama of dying. I am going home to the dharmadhātu buddhafield of Akanishtha." The next morning he died while the sun was rising. His disciple Tendar later said that from the moment when the lama snapped his fingers onwards, he was totally undistracted; he never wandered from the state of rigpa. This disciple later was known as Tendar Tulku, and he had the same realization as his master - no difference whatsoever.

I smoke marijuana


Buddhadharma defines these principles. Study the two truths, conventional and ultimate truths, if you have any interest.

I smoke marijuana


Frame it however you want, you’re free to be pedantic, as long as you comprehend the meaning.

I smoke marijuana


Of course there is. Conventions are designations which accurately describe something which functions consistently and reliably in a certain way. You most likely have a name, and an identity based on certain characteristics and dynamics related to relationships of various kinds. That is your “conventional” identity.

To state something has a conventional identity or is a conventional individual just means it can be designated accurately and the appearance functions efficiently. Like the conventional truth that there is one moon, water is wet, fire is hot, and so on.

This is the Buddhism subreddit. Conventions are an inextricable aspect of these teachings.

Conventions are not ultimately real, but within their own context and application, they are accurate. You are a conventional individual, I am a conventional individual. This is a non-controversial part of these teachings.

I smoke marijuana


Well there never has been, yet nevertheless, deception occurs, and as a conventional individual, you are deceiving yourself.

I smoke marijuana


No you misunderstand you're talking to someone who has already achieved the complete enlightenment state of perfect clarity so I see direct reality when what you refer to are just some spiritual thoughts.

You are deceiving yourself.

I smoke marijuana


There is no way. As an avid practitioner of these teachings for over a decade who has recently tried cannabis for the first time in the past year or so, it is absolutely counterproductive to practice, and if I am able to establish a strong samādhi while high it is clearly influenced by the cannabis.

Don’t get me wrong, cannabis and psychedelics are great in and of themselves, they have some degree of relative value along the lines of the qualities you list, but those are not helping you awaken. It may “enlighten” you in the sense that it makes you a more “enlightened” person in the everyday use of that term, like more in tune with yourself and your relationships and emotions etc., but none of that has anything to do with the meaning of bodhi or awakening in the context of the buddhadharma.

In the buddhadharma we are taming our minds through disciplined equipoise so that we can access what is called a yogapratyaksa, or a yogic direct perception that reveals the true nature of mind and phenomena. No substance can produce that, in any way. Not even psychedelics. The states that can be established via psychedelics are coarse absorption states, which are mere experiences that do not cut through ignorance [avidyā].

Again, not that they lack some sort of relative value, they indeed have value. But they are not a catalyst for actual awakening as defined in Buddhism.

I smoke marijuana


The import of the precept is essentially that if you are high all the time you’re going to have a difficult time remaining diligent in practice and that will make it harder to tame your mind. It isn’t that the precept is a law and some big bad god is saying “thou shalt not attain buddhahood because you smoked weed!” Cannabis just has characteristics and properties that can be unconducive to progress on the path, same with any other mind altering substance.

You can consume cannabis if you want but perhaps just pay attention to how it affects your mind. Do some investigating, see what your mind is like in practice without it, and what your mind is like with it, and you may begin to see how it can cause issues with practice.

Is ngondro the practice I should find a guru to be initiated into to learn the Buddhist chakras


Some teachers may require ngöndro, others may not, it just depends on the teacher.

Re cākras, what you actually looking to learn about are the generation and completion stages of anuttarayogatantra. Generation stage is kyerim and completion stage is dzogrim. The cākras are relevant in both of these stages.

The bulk of Vajrayāna practice consists of these two stages, which result in buddhahood.

As an aside, the cākras as understood in Buddhist teachings are actually physical locations in the body where the venous, arterial and nervous networks coalesce around vital organs.

Can someone please explain the idea of emptiness?


How do I incorporate the idea of emptiness into who I am?

Emptiness is something we are meant to recognize about ourselves and the phenomena around us. Śūnyatā or emptiness means that persons, places and things lack an inherent nature, meaning they lack a core self, to put it simply. We as people ultimately lack a substantial, core self, and external objects also lack a core entityhood.

Emptiness is a refutation of the idea that persons and things have a core essence or nature that lies at the heart of themselves. The Buddha taught this by explaining the five aggregates, and said that the five aggregates constitute the body and mind that we identify as ourselves, without there actually being a self that lies at the center. In objects, such as a table, emptiness is addressing the idea that there is a core entity called “table” which possesses its qualities and characteristics. We think the table is made of wood, or the table has four legs, a top and is brown, but emptiness is challenging the idea that there is a core “table” as a findable entity which possesses those parts and pieces. Instead, the table is only those characteristics, and the “table” is just an imputation, there is no table that can actually be found at all. Moreover, the perceived “characteristics” cannot be found apart from the perception of them. Meaning the idea that your consciousness begins in one place and the appearances that allegedly constitute the table begin in another place is a total delusion. There is only the activity of knowing the appearances and the appearances are precisely the activity of perception, to put it simply.

Obviously this is a nuanced topic but that is the gist of it.

Emptiness means everything is equivalent to something like images in a dream, they are illusory appearances that have never originated or have been born etc.

When you experientially recognize this about yourself and phenomena around you, then you are “awakened.” And that is the start of the path of unraveling the predicament of samsara that Buddhism aims to resolve.

How does one remove Kilesa exactly?


The prajñā of meditation, also called the prajñā of realization, burns away kleśas.

Prajñā is a species of direct, experiential realization or omniscience (wisdom) that dawns in the individual's mindstream upon awakening. It arises as a profound insight into the nature of phenomena and by sheer force it has the power to burn away afflictive karmic traces that give rise to afflictive emotions [kleśa].

The Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra states:

Affecting the mind, kleśa and vāsanā can be destroyed only by a wisdom [prajñā], a certain form of omniscience [sarvajñatā].

There is a lesser form of prajñā that is able to eradicate the kleśas, and then a superior form of prajñā that destroys vāsanās. Only buddhas possess the superior form and have therefore dispelled both the kleśas and vāsanās. Effectively freeing themselves from negative karma.

The Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra continues:

There is no difference between the different destructions of the conflicting emotions [kleśaprahāna]. However, the Tathāgatas, arhats and samyaksaṃbuddhas have entirely and definitively cut all the conflicting emotions [kleśa] and the traces that result from them [vāsanānusaṃdhi]. The śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas themselves have not yet definitively cut vāsanānusaṃdhi... these vāsanās are not really kleśas. After having cut the kleśas, the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas still retain a small part of them: semblances of love (attachment) [rāga], hate (aversion) [dveṣa] and ignorance [moha] still function in their body [kāya], speech [vāc] and mind [manas]: this is what is called vāsanānusaṃdhi. In foolish worldly people [bālapṛthagjana], the vāsanās call forth disadvantages [anartha], whereas among the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas they do not. The Buddhas do not have these vāsanānusaṃdhi.

I'm God or whatever here are my videos be free


Naw.

If there is 'no self' but just a stream of conciousness than 'Who' decides to know self to attain 'whose' nirvana? And that stream of consciousness which decided to practice meditation hasn't it already flowed ahead?


Nirvana is free from ideas and concepts,

Same goes for all phenomena. It is called being “ineffable” and just means that the imputed word you describe the phenomenon with does not actually truly describe the appearance. Like “red ball” does not actually contain or produce the image of a red ball. As such this status of ineffability for nirvana is not all that profound, it is just a pointer to say the experiential realization cannot actually be apprehended with the intellect. Nevertheless, “red ball” is an accurate conventional description of a red ball, and so too, selfless and unconditioned and pure, etc., are accurate conventional descriptions of nirvana.

is any form of Buddhism actually 'closer' to original Buddhism? or is it just lost?


is any form of Buddhism actually 'closer' to original Buddhism? or is it just lost?

There were countless Buddhas that pre-dated Śākyamuni, the idea of some sort of “original” buddhism is really a fool’s errand, no offense. The original Buddhism is the dharma that you are meant to experientially realize through applying the various methods of the buddhadharma, the 84,000 dharma doors. Those “doors” are the entryway to what all Buddhas have realized. Therein lies the only aspect of these teachings that is truly original, the original mind [ādyacitta].

are there any close students of Lama Lena here who can give me some advice?


According to Ati teachings, your root guru is the guru who through their instruction was the catalyst responsible for your recognition of the nature of mind.

Therefore even if you’ve received numerous empowerments, direct introductions and so on, if these have not resulted in recognition of your nature then the lama who imparted these abhisekas may be your guru, but they are not your “root guru.”

Do you think belief in metaphysical is required of a Buddhist?


Can one reach enlightenment if they do not believe in the spirit realms, demons, metaphysical, etc., in a literal way?

You only perceive physicality in general because your mindstream is completely corrupted by ignorance. This allegedly physical consensus reality is the actual altered state of consciousness. Accessing so-called “metaphysical” aspects of your experience is the beginning of seeing things clearly.

Buddhist Monks and Psychic Powers


My Drikung Kagyu teacher and his teacher are both clairvoyant and would make it known in subtle ways. It is definitely real. Also another Tibetan lama I received teachings from was able to influence the minds of those who attended the teachings one time just by singing a yogic song.

beautiful song of realization from Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche that elucidates the Karma Kagyu Shentong perspective


Thanks. I still don’t get it, seems like these shentongpas exist in some sort of bubble where they rail against mischaracterizations of other views and then try to justify their ideas by evoking the three turnings which I also don’t put an ounce of investment in.

They claim they are the solution to the danger of nihilism in prasanga but this logic can be easily inverted and applied in the other direction with eternalism. As I’ve mentioned before the idea that Nāgārjuna ever advocated for some sort of inert emptiness is a massive misconception.

If you subtract all the posturing and unnecessary justifications then honestly the above exposition sounds like a completely normal Vajrayāna view. The whole shentong versus rangtong thing is so extraneous.

If we approach the above excerpt on simply the view of Vajrayāna then it is a very typical description of things, again minus all the extra posturing.

If reality is empty, why should one be kind?


But if you think about Vajrayana being the fruitional path, doesn't that imply taking the result as the basis?

Taking the result as the path in Vajrayāna is related to viewing yourself as the deity and your environment as the deities mandala. It does not mean we actually dispense with the path or basis etc.

Whether you call it the kayas or the base, we're both in agreement that primordial wisdom, of the nature of emptiness-luminosity, effectively is covered over until one recognizes it, so why does it matter whether one approach emphasizes the already enlightened Buddha Nature of that pristine awareness, and the other just uses different terminology?

In atiyoga we have to ripen the three jñānas of the basis into the three kāyas.

We're both ultimately saying that all beings have Buddha Nature (not a substantial or eternal "self" but the inherent potential to realize infinite wisdom and compassion and centerless awareness beyond concepts.)

Yeah we are definitely both saying that. In ati the system is just very careful to differentiate the basis, path and result because if you think the qualities of the result are present at the time of the basis then you can feasibly delude yourself into thinking that dualistic mind is jñāna.

If reality is empty, why should one be kind?


Doesn't matter whether one calls it the kayas or the base.

It matters in Dzogchen because we have to differentiate the basis from the result.

If reality is empty, why should one be kind?


Why does an extremely subtle difference in words matter whatsoever for something utterly beyond concepts?

The taste of salt and sugar are equally ineffable and therefore beyond concepts, and what’s more, they look very similar in appearance, nevertheless the ineffable taste of each one is radically different than the other. And hence the conventional distinctions of “sweet” and “salty” are accurate in describing those tastes that are beyond concepts.

If reality is empty, why should one be kind?


Thus rje is the compassion aspect of the basis in atiyoga, which is my actual heart dharma. We just do not hold that qualities are ultimately real and we do not state that they are established from the beginning as the three kāyas.

What made you choose Buddhism over Christianity?


What other cosmological model is there?

What made you choose Buddhism over Christianity?


Not on hand but it is a central principle in all Buddhist cosmology that spans every system in every canon.

What made you choose Buddhism over Christianity?


In buddhadharma there is an expanding and contracting model, the “Big Bang” would only be the onset of the latest expansion.

Where was conciousness before big bang happened and how after big bang matter became 'Concious'?


We are in the Buddhism subreddit, in the buddhadharma we uphold the big bounce view that universes expand and contract. The time in between universes is called the pralāya.

The root of all suffering


Hes talking about the throat Chakra here.

I am not.

Where was conciousness before big bang happened and how after big bang matter became 'Concious'?


Before this current mahākalpa, if it did begin with a Big Bang, the time in between is called the pralāya.

What made you choose Buddhism over Christianity?


Perhaps, but we cannot draw this conclusion with any certainty.

If you say so buddy.

Where are the r/buddhism monks at?


Where my upāsakas at?

Do you agree that any teacher who charges money is not a real teacher?


Tibetan monasteries did have feudal arrangements with the local peasantry who were often able to receive teachings in exchange for corvee labor. Was not a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination.

The “guru’s fee” [skt. gurudakṣiṇa, tib. bla ma'i yon] was an accepted aspect of the Tibetan culture. Many Vajrayāna tantras speak of it.

At least in term of Vajrayāna and Mahāyāna as traditionally taught in the Indo-Tibetan region, it was not generally free, and the idea that dharma should always be free is a predominantly western idea.

Again, there are exceptions though and even today most Vajrayāna teachers will not turn people away for lack of funds.

Do you agree that any teacher who charges money is not a real teacher?


In places like Tibet empowerments were sometimes large public affairs and were free, but other teachings were never free, unless you had some sort of personal sponsor or the teaching was sponsored. Usually there was a fee and if you didn’t pay you were unable to receive the teachings.

Even here in the West, organizing dharma teachings has inherent costs, if you aren’t paying then someone is paying. That said my root teacher never charged me a dime in the decade that I received teachings from him, but his organization still had inherent costs and some events did have fees due to the production and organizational aspects surrounding the events.

The root of all suffering


I’ve read that attachment is the root of all suffering, and that desire is the root of all suffering.

The true root of suffering is ignorance [avidyā] in the form of a knowledge obscuration. All attachment and desire result from that knowledge obscuration and Buddhas are Buddhas because they have eliminated that knowledge obscuration.

If reality is empty, why should one be kind?


If reality is empty, why should one be kind?

Compassion is actually an innate property of the nature of your mind. Awakened individuals are compassionate by default, and the aspect of compassion that is innate to the awakened mind engages in altruistic deeds for the benefit of all beings by its very nature.

When you cultivate loving kindness and compassion in your relative condition you are aligning with the intent of ultimate bodhicitta.

Actions which bring harm are the epitome of delusion. And saying that because phenomena are ultimately empty you have license to act and do whatever is called “nihilism” in these teachings. Nihilism is a misunderstanding of emptiness.

Is it possible to reach enlightenment in this life time as a solo practitioner?


If you receive Vajrayāna teachings from a qualified teacher and dedicate your life to them then yes, you can attain samyaksambuddhahood in this very life.

No need to ordain or anything like that, but dedicated stretches of solitary retreat will be necessary.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


I think it is great you are skeptical. This is a serious matter. Jigme Lingpa for example says mistakes about these points can derail one’s entire path.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


But relying on the transmission of the teacher and recalling it, everything is naturally liberated

Phenomena are indeed naturally liberated, like the prajñāpāramitā states, phenomena are in a state of nirvana from the very beginning, but unfortunately for us, this is meaningless until we remove the avidyā which obscures that natural liberation. The entire path of the buddhadharma in general revolves around solving this problem of avidyā, Dzogchen is no different.

how can you say that, resting with that transmission jnana, that phenomena are not perfected?

The dharmatā of phenomena is self-perfected, but our delusion obstructs a clear cognition of that.

Like yes, when unenlightened phenomena present themselves with delusion, but that is outside of the context of the Great Perfection meditation.

How so?

Avidya is only an obscuration when you’re not resting with jnana

Right and jñāna as a modality of cognition is not active until emptiness is realized. Hence Patrul Rinpoche’s statement that such things are only known to āryas. For us this means we can only know jñāna as a prevailing modality once trekchö is realized or the third vision is actualized.

Sorry man I’m really not trying to antagonize you

I don’t think you’re being antagonistic, it is too bad more people don’t ask questions about these things.

but I hope we can reach an agreement on this

Maybe we can, maybe not, it is all good either way, you have a teacher and you should follow their advice. I follow the advice of my teachers.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


Inside meditation on the transmission what is there to give up?

Āvidya, which is not completely uprooted until buddhahood.

Everything is naturally liberated, which is my point.

But avidyā obscures this. We do not perceive phenomena as naturally liberated unless we have realized emptiness.

If that mode of meditation was afflicted how would it naturally perfect itself?

Because the view that you employ, trekchö, is the means to “thoroughly cut” through dualistic vision.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


The tantra says that when vidya is introduced to its own primal nature, jnana manifests and self liberation happens.

Yes. And conversely when vidyā fails to recognize its own primal nature, vijñāna manifests and dependent origination happens.

So if the teacher’s introduction is introducing the nature of the mind or jnana as rigpa then how is that modality afflicted?

Because your clarity is expressed as vijñāna, that is where you start. Dualistic perception is completely embedded in your current cognition, you have to begin to train that unripened vidyā to access jñāna. Like Longchenpa says:

The essence of mind is an obscuration to be given up. The essence of vidyā is a jñāna to be attained.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


how is that baby rigpa vijnana like you said?

The tantra I cited said this, but this is the case because as a sentient being you have dualistic vision. You feel like you are behind your eyes looking out at objects that are situated at a distance from you, that is vijñāna in a nutshell.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


There are different types of direct introduction, 21 in some systems, but the main types center around these two:

The first is what we’ve discussed so far which is (i) introduction to vidyā as clarity (which is the example jñāna) in the form of ma bcos pa'i shes pa skad cig ma or “a moment of unfabricated consciousness.” That is the “baby rigpa.”

The second is (ii) a special type of direct perception (which is an example of the visions, and is itself jñāna appearing in the field), in the form of rig pa mngon sum du gtan la phebs which is “confirming vidyā in a direct perception,” also called “the direct perception of dharmatā” [chos nyid mngon gsum].

This latter principle is something to ask your teacher about.

Where does the idea of non duality in Buddhism comes from?


I don't think it's really a thing in Theravada.

It definitely is not emphasized, however the same “nonduality” described in Mahāyāna (as a freedom from extremes) is arguably stated here in the Kaccayanagotta Sutta:

Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


how does it lead to inevitable liberation?

The inevitable liberation part is really connected with the type of direct introduction that is based on a direct perception of dharmatā. That is something your teacher would have to show to you.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


How can genuine jnana be afflicted? That doesn’t make sense to me.

Jñāna becomes obscured when vidyā is deluded by mixing with the karmavāyus. This causes dualistic consciousness [vijñāna]. When vidyā recognizes its own state then vijñāna ceases and jñāna is revealed, becoming the prevailing modality of cognition (so to speak).

Longchenpa describes delusion affecting vidyā here:

General delusion is caused by the stain of vidyā not recognizing the manifest basis, through which vidyā itself becomes polluted with delusion. Though vidyā itself is without the stains of cognition, it becomes endowed with stains, and through its becoming enveloped in the seal of mind, the vidyā of the ever pure essence is polluted by conceptualization. Chained by the sixfold manas, it is covered with the net of the body of partless atoms, and the luminosity becomes latent.

The Sun that Illuminates the Meaning discusses how vidyā appears as vijñāna in sentient beings:

The vidyā of migrating beings itself appears as the mental consciousness [vijñāna] in terms of apprehending subjects and apprehended objects. When vidyā manifests its own primal nature, the mental consciousness [vijñāna] manifests as self-originated jñāna, and then the pure basis of the mental consciousness (free from the root of an apprehending subject and apprehended objects) brings samsara to an end.

This means that our unripened vidyā that we are introduced to in the beginning is really just vijñāna, hence why it is an example jñāna and not yet expressed as genuine jñāna.

Wasn’t it Dudjom Rinpoche who said that once we encounter these teachings it’s impossible not to attain freedom? I believe even Malcolm has that on his website.

Definitely. If you do not attain liberation in this lifetime, it is said just by being introduced to vidyā, you are guaranteed liberation nevertheless.

Since affliction is self perpetuating, how can it simultaneously be perpetuating, but also have encountered genuine jnana? That doesn’t make sense to me.

Not sure what you mean. Even if you have glimpsed genuine jñāna that equipoise will not be non-regressive. You will lapse back into mind in post-equipoise.

Where does the idea of non duality in Buddhism comes from?


However it is not that Buddhism denies there is skilfulness vs unskilfulness, ignorance vs wisdom, ill will vs good will etc.. right?

These things have conventional validity. Meaning they appear to us in our relative condition and since there is a consensus amongst sentient beings that they are reliable and have whatever relevant efficacy, they are considered valid conventions. Such as there being one moon rather than two and so on. It is okay to accept these conventions, like Candrakīrti states:

Vases, canvas, bucklers, armies, forests, garlands, trees, houses, chariots, hostelries, and all such things that common people designate dependent on their parts, accept as such. For Buddha did not quarrel with the world!

Ultimately however, these conventions cannot withstand scrutiny and are therefore ultimately unfounded, because they are empty, meaning unrstablished, insubstantial, and so on.

I mean what you are talking here is the Unborn, Unconditioned etc.. which supersedes the existence and non existence.

The so-called “unborn” in these teachings is simply that these dualities are ultimately unfindable and are themselves unborn. There is no separate unborn or unconditioned nature.

Nāgārjuna:

Since arising, abiding and perishing are not established, the conditioned is not established; since the conditioned is never established, how can the unconditioned be established?

and Candrakīrti again:

At the level of the unborn, there is no distinction of attaining nirvāṇa or not attaining nirvāṇa. The unborn nature itself is also not there, because there is no thing which is unborn. There is no relative and no absolute. There are no buddhas and no sentient beings.

Where does the idea of non duality in Buddhism comes from?


Non-duality in buddhadharma is related to the nature of emptiness [śūnyatā]. Emptiness in Buddhism means a freedom from the four extremes of existence, non-existence and any combinations of those two dualities. Hence “non-dual.”

The Kaumudī states:

Because of the absence of inherent existence, the nondual essence of all phenomena is emptiness.

The Vajrasattvamāyājālaguhyasarvādarśa-nāma-tantra:

One's knowledge of the non-duality of all phenomena is bodhicitta.

And from the Tarkajvālā:

When that yogin dwells in the experience of nonconceptual discerning wisdom [prajñā] and experiences nonduality, at that time, ultimately, the entire reality of objects are as follows, of the same characteristics, like space, appearing in the manner of a nonappearance since their characteristics are nonexistent, therefore, there isn’t even the slightest thing that is not empty, so where could there be emptiness? Since there are no mental discriminations, there is no conceptual clinging of mutual dependence.

Is Buddhism dualistic or monistic?


Doesn't it seems like a bit absurd to have called dependently originated something that is non-arisen?

The idea is that if you gain insight into the meaning of dependent origination, then you are realizing emptiness, i.e., non-arising. For us sentient beings, phenomena seem to originate and seem to exist, but dependent origination means we recognize that these alleged entities only appeared to origination concomitantly with our ignorance, and once our ignorance is uprooted, the false perception of origination in entities is also uprooted, and then we are awakened.

The Āryāṣṭadaśasahasrika-prajñāpāramitā-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra:

Dependent origination should be known as emptiness.

And the Ārya-mahāvajrameruśikharakūṭāgāra-dhāraṇī:

Due to being imputed, imputation is also empty. Due to arising from causes and conditions, dependent origination is also empty. Due to being generated by adventitious causes and conditions, production is empty of self. In that respect, dependent origination is empty of intrinsic characteristics. Whatever is empty of intrinsic characteristics is characteristicless. Whatever is characteristicless, that is suchness. Whatever is suchness, that is unmistaken suchness. Whatever is unmistaken suchness, that is isn't anything other than suchness. Whatever isn't anything other than suchness, that is samadhi. Whatever is samadhi, that is realization. Whatever is realization, that is emptiness. Whatever is emptiness, that is sublime insight. Whatever is sublime insight, that is calm-abiding. Whatever is calm-abiding, that is complete freedom [vimokṣa]. Whatever is complete freedom, that is the middle way. Whatever is the middle way, that is without a first limit and without a second limit, cannot be apprehended, is not an apprehender, is not annihilated, is not permanent, does not arise, does not cease, is without thought, is without concept, is not independent, is not dependent, does not come, does not go, is without total affliction, without purification, does not cohere, does not separate, that is sublime insight. Whatever is sublime insight, that is without aggregates, without elements [dhātus], without sense organs, without sense gates [āyatanas], without objects, is not designated as an object, is without karma, without the result of karma — whatever is without karma and without the result of karma, that is unsurpassed perfect awakening.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


If you receive an “example jnana” from your teacher that is genuine jnana then you are knowing genuine rigpa as it is, are you not?

The vidyā of direct introduction is “genuine vidyā” it is just a diminished and afflicted modality of vidyā. As you progress on the path, that same continuum of vidyā will be gradually refined, and when vidyā reaches its full measure then that will be the true “natural state” of your vidyā, in encumbered by delusion.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


for example, what is “symbolic pristine wisdom”?

An example jñāna [dpe'i ye shes], like that of the third empowerment.

In direct introduction you are typically introduced to vidyā as a dpe'i ye shes, an example jñāna, it is not yet expressed as the actual rig pa’i ye shes encountered in awakened equipoise. That is then used as a foundation for practice.

you are saying that this is only in the context of being an Arya, where there is “actual” unaltered, unchanging wisdom of pure awareness.

Vidyā as the gnas gyu shes pa or knower of stillness and movement is also one’s “own present awareness, left as it is, in natural ease, beyond qualities and flaws to be added or removed, accepted or rejected,” as this is just describing the clarity of your mind, which we call “vidyā” for beginners, left in its unmodified condition.

And for accessing the result… the Prayer of Kuntuzangpo even says: “All that appears and exists, samsara and nirvana, has one ground, two paths, and two forms of fruition, the magical displays of awareness and unawareness.”

This just means there is one basis, that is either recognized which is the path to nirvana, or unrecognized which is the path of samsara.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


They’re both in the Dzogchen sense, he just means the latter is the real meaning of vidyā in Dzogchen.

When you begin your vidyā is just the knower of stillness and movement as he mentioned, just the clarity of mind being called “vidyā” because it has a knowing capacity.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


The Patrul Rinpoche text is titled Clear Elucidation of True Nature: An Esoteric Instruction on the Sublime Approach of Ati which is featured in a book by the Khenpo Brothers called The Nature of Mind: The Dzogchen Instructions of Aro Yeshe Jungne by Patrul Rinpoche, Khenpo Palden Sherab, and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and his son, Tsoknyi Rinpoche also make this distinction between the vidyā of direct introduction and the vidyā that is the awakened “rang byung rig pa.”

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche:

In the case of stillness [lack of thought], occurrence [thought] and noticing [the knowing], the word rigpa is used for noticing. Self-existing awareness is also called rigpa. The word is the same but the meaning is different. The difference between these two practices is as vast as the distance between sky and earth.

Tsoknyi Rinpoche:

This early stage of knowing or noticing whether there is stillness [of mind] or thought occurrence is also called rigpa. However, it is not the same meaning of rigpa as the Dzogchen sense of self-existing awareness [rang byung rig pa].

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


The point is that I’ve never seen a teacher say that there is a sort of faux-rigpa that beginners find themselves in that is not the natural state.

Patrul Rinpoche:

Moreover, the phrase “to see the essence of mind” refers to merely the general seeing of symbolic pristine wisdom that is skillfully introduced. Other than that, the authentic essence of totally nonconceptual pristine wisdom of natural intrinsic awareness is realized only by those who have attained the level of noble ones [āryas].

The “symbolic” natural state is just resting in guruyoga below the path of seeing. It is like the example jñāna of the four abhisekas in anuttarayogatantra. Then, the actual natural state is known exclusively by those at the path of seeing and above.

but rigpa directly accesses the result

At the time of buddhahood, yes.

Confusion about these points is why the two basis model was introduced in Nyinthig teachings, separating the ālaya and dharmakāya.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


I’m sure there’s some subtle distinction between what I’m presenting and what you’re presenting but as we’ve seen I think both are crucial points. For example, I would say that the state of rigpa means all phenomena are naturally released (this is the third statement of Garab Dorje).

In the excerpt you cite, Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro is referring to the awakened modality of vidyā, that is a synonym for prajñā. That is the vidyā of trekchö or the vidyā of third vision, the actual antithesis of avidyā.

I think in post meditation this is not

Yes definitely not. In post-equipoise the practitioner lapses back into mind.

so one reenters rigpa until its strength cannot be overcome by delusion, at which point one is a Buddha (if I’m not mistaken).

Yes until the transcendent state [dgongs pa] is established, which is the fusion of equipoise and post-equipoise, meaning the individual is established non-regressively in vidyā 24-7-365.

Like you’re saying, it begs the question, if everything is freed naturally then why is there any necessity of practice.

Because everything is not freed naturally if you aren’t in the equipoise of an ārya. You have to practice diligently to even approach the point of awakening where you first get a glimpse that things are originally pure, and then you have to cultivate that equipoise by returning to it again and again.

But “practicing” or “exerting effort” is only ever used outside of the context of resting in the nature of the mind

Right, so unless you’re in the samādhi infused with prajñā that characterizes the actual natural state, then you have to practice and perfect the view. People do not really understand what “effort” is referring to when it is said the practice is effortless. That is referring to the nature of thögal. But, still a tremendous amount of effort is required.

because that idea begs the question “what effort is there to put out?”.

Lots of effort. “Effortlessness” is referring to sitting still in the postures.

it’s a conceptual, relative marker (which I think is skillful means) for what happens in rigpa which is that the result which is already present dawns more and more, as TUR and DR say in your respective quotes. As CHNN says, there’s one continuum of Rigpa that goes from the beginning until the end, and in it is found the Trikaya.

There is a basis, path and result in these teachings. We cannot say the result is already present, buddhahood is not present for us right now. You have Buddha nature, the sugatagarbha, but you have to extract the result. The tathāgatagarbha is the dharmakāya encased in affliction, the path removes the affliction and ripens the qualities.

Opposing abortions personally and on a state level?


The act certainly gets increasingly more and more gruesome as the pregnancy progresses.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


Ie, the basis is the uncontrived nature of the mind which is what is already there, the path is gaining faith that that nature which is already there is naturally freed, and the fruition is already present, as CHNN says…

It would be nice if the fruition was already present, but it isn’t. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche describes these differences in the basis, path and result here:

A seeming confusion obscures the recognition of the basis [gzhi]. Fortunately, this seeming delusion is temporary. This failure to recognize the basis is similar to dreaming. Dreaming is not primordial; it is temporary, it can be purified. Purification happens through training on the path. We have strayed from the basis and become sentient beings. To free the basis from what obscures it, we have to train. Right now, we are on the path and have not yet attained the result. When we are freed from obscuration, then the result - dharmakāya - appears. The liberated basis, path and result are all perfected in the realm of the single essence, the continuity of rig pa [vidyā].

In fact, there is no difference whatsoever between the basis and result. In the state of the basis the enlightened qualities are not acknowledged, but they are manifest at the time of the result. These are not new qualities that suddenly appear, but are like the qualities of a flower that are inherent in the seed. Within the seed are the characteristics of the flower itself. The seed holds the potential for the flower's color, smell, bud and leaves. However, can we say that the seed is the result of the flower? No, we cannot, because the flower has not fully bloomed. Like this analogy, the qualities of the result are contained in the state of the basis; yet, they are not evident or manifest. That is the difference between the basis and the result. At the time of the path, if we do not apply effort, the result will not appear.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


Huh, my own teacher and every other Dzogchen teacher I’ve read including mipham, Patrul Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse and by extension Shechen Gyaltsap, the Dalai Lama etc., have said that the rigpa attained in the first looking is the same as it is when buddhahood is attained.

It is the same continuum of vidyā, but it is refined and vidyā is therefore qualitatively different between direct introduction and the result. For example, Dudjom Rinpoche describes a difference in quality:

Similarly: first, the rigpa [vidyā] of having had the introduction is like the first part of the early dawn; in the middle, the rigpa of having gained assurance, free from equipoise and post-attainment is like the daybreak; and finally the rigpa of having gained liberation from extremes is like the sun shining.

Also stating:

The mere recognition of vidyā will not liberate you.

Vidyā has to be ripened and “trained” on the path, Mipham Rinpoche states:

The training of rigpa comes in three steps: recognition, training and finalization.

From Dudjom Lingpa:

Having simply identified vidyā, some people, who lack even a trace of any meditation, claim they have experienced the extinction into dharmatā and there is nothing more to spiritual awakening than this. That is an enormous mistake! The qualities of realization mature through the power of gradual practice. This is how you must reach the state of liberation.

Is Buddhism dualistic or monistic?


Is 'dependent origination' in conflict with what u/krodha is saying?

No dependent origination is correct view, I was merely pointing out that dependent origination and interdependence mean two different things in Buddhism.

Is Buddhism dualistic or monistic?


Also to unpack this more completely... I posted this the other day on the topic, might as well put it here too:

Existence [bhāva] and dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda] are mutually exclusive. For something to actually "exist" it must do so independently of causes and conditions, but as luminaries such as Nāgārjuna point out, that is impossible.

Many people conflate dependent existence [parabhāva], which is something existing with assistance from another, with dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda]. The two are radically different principles. Regarding Nāgārjuna's classification of "existence" [bhāva], he asserts rather damningly:

Whoever has a view of inherent existence [svabhāva], dependent existence [parabhāva], existence [bhāva] and non-existence [abhāva] do not see the truth of the Buddha's teaching.

Yet Nāgārjuna was one of the most major proponents of clarifying the inner workings of dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda], and states that there can be no existence established independently of inherent existence or dependent existence in the following inquiry:

Where is there an existent not included in inherent existence and dependent existence? If inherent existence and dependent existence are established, existence will be established.

This means that dependent existence [parabhāva] is actually a guise for inherent existence [svabhāva], and therefore is in direct contradiction to dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda]. Further, since we cannot extract any form of existence [bhāva] as separate from dependent existence [parabhāva] or inherent existence [svabhāva], existence in any form is contradictory to dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda].

Buddhapālita comments on Nāgārjuna's damning assertion above:

Someone like that, who [has a] view of inherent existence, dependent existence, existence or non-existence does not see the truth in the profound and supreme teaching of the Buddha. Because we, in the correct way, see the nonexistence of the inherent existence of things which appear because of the sun of dependent origination arose, because of that, because we see the truth, liberation can be accepted only for us.

Nāgārjuna is stating that all views of existence contradict dependent origination.

In order for something to exist, it must be independently originated, and conversely, for something to be independently originated it would have to be unconditioned, independent and uncaused, but as mentioned above, this is considered an impossibility in the eyes of the buddhadharma. The correct conventional view for emptiness is dependent origination, and so we see that in order to have objects, persons, places, things and so on, they must be possessed of causes and conditions. Meaning they cannot be found apart from those causes and conditions. If the conditions are removed, the object cannot remain.

Regarding this, Nāgārjuna states the following:

That which comes into being from a cause, and does not endure without conditions, it disappears as well when conditions are absent - how can this be understood to exist?

Going on to say:

Since it comes to and end when ignorance ceases; why does it not become clear then that it was conjured by ignorance?

And so here we get to the actual meaning, and the heart of dependent origination, which is nonarising [anutpāda]. For an object to inherently exist it must exist outright, independent of causes and conditions, independent of attributes, characteristics and constituent parts. However, we cannot find an inherent object independent of these factors, and the implications of this fact is that we likewise cannot find an inherent object within those factors either.

The object itself, as the core entity which possesses characteristics, is ultimately unfindable. We instead only find a designated collection of pieces, which do not in fact create any discrete object. In the absence of an object the pieces are likewise rendered as incapable of being "pieces" or "parts" and therefore they are also nothing more than arbitrary designations that amount to nothing more than inferences.

This means that all entities, selves, and so on are merely useful conventional designations, their provisional validity is only measured by their efficacy, and apart from that conventional imputation, there is no underlying object that can be ascertained or found.

Dependent origination is the apparent origination of entities that seem to manifest in dependence on causes and conditions. But as Nāgārjuna states above, those causes and conditions are actually the ignorance which afflicts the mindstream, and the conditions of grasping, mine-making and I-making which are the drivers of karmic activity that serve to reify the delusion of a self, or a self in objects, and so on.

This is why many adepts are explicitly clear that dependent origination is synonymous with a lack of origination [anutpāda], because phenomena that originate in dependence on ignorance as a cause, never actually originate at all, for example, Candrakīrti states:

The perfectly awakened buddhas proclaimed, "What is dependently originated is non-arisen.

Or Mañjuśrī:

Whatever is dependently originated does not truly arise.

Nāgārjuna once again:

What originates dependently is non-arisen!

Thus dependent origination is incapable of producing existence of any sort, because dependent origination is incapable of producing entities. Entities and existence only appear because of the ignorance which afflicts your mind. When that ignorance is removed, all perceptions of existence are removed, all perceptions of selves are removed and all perceptions of origination are removed.

Opposing abortions personally and on a state level?


Let’s say a Buddhist personally opposes abortion because it violates the Buddhist law against killing but at the same time he thinks that the state shouldn't outlaw abortions because it is the womans choice and outlawing it would create a black market and make things worse

This is basically the correct attitude we as Buddhists should have towards this issue.

So if this Buddhist thinks it’s good that a state outlaws abortions up until the moment of birth without the mothers life being at risk

The other issue is that the precepts are for us to follow personally, because we are guarding our own conduct. We have zero business telling others how to act or what to do, all you can do is guard your own mind. Of course if you have a child for example you have an obligation to nurture them and teach them, that is an exception and even then we should be gentle not to condition our children to stringently... but apart from that exception, we have no business trying to condition others.

Is Buddhism dualistic or monistic?


Nāgārjuna says that interdependence [parabhāva] is things existing with assistance from other things, thus those constituents end up being established and this is just another form of inherent existence [svabhāva].

Interdependence [parabhāva] and dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda] are two different things.

indescribable luminosity


This text is a great exposition by Maitreyanātha. The above is the Dharmachakra translation, it is also translated by Thrangu Rinpoche as Distingishing Dharma and Dharmatā.

Is Buddhism dualistic or monistic?


Monism would be a substantial and reductive nonduality, and dualism is honored in Buddhism conventionally, but ultimately we posit an insubstantial and nonreductive nonduality, which is emptiness free from extremes.

Is Buddhism dualistic or monistic?


Buddhism posits interdepence.

We technically do not posit interdependence. Interdependence according to Nāgārjuna is a limited view that is just a guise for inherent existence.

He even goes as far as to say, s/he who upholds a view of inherent existence, interdependent existence, existence in general or nonexistence, fail to see the truth of the Buddha’s teaching.

An Honest Look - ChNN


He was an extraordinary guru.

And even that is an understatement. Truly one of the most profound and unparalleled masters of recent times.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


In Dzogchen the basis is the result, is it not?

Indeed. The basis is the unrecognized three jñānas. The path is the recognized [ngo shes] three jñānas, and the result is the full realization [rtogs pa] of those jñānas as the three kāyas. This process means there are qualitative differences in the basis, path and result for the practitioner, meaning vidyā goes from being mere vijñāna, to totally unobscured jñāna at the time of dharmakāya, hence why the dharmakāya is also called the jñānakāya.

Doesn’t mean that the resultant qualities aren’t already there all the time.

In Dzogchen it does mean the resultant qualities are not present at the time of the basis, as Mipham stated in the cited excerpt yesterday. If the qualities of the result were present at the time of the basis, then the path would be unnecessary. Like Śri Singha says, there is no such thing as a “primordial buddhahood” in Dzogchen.

The kāyas being fully formed at the time of the basis is a shentong view.

But again, what is your motivation here? If someone is resting in the natural state all the time, they are a Buddha

True. We practitioners of atiyoga do not even see the actual natural state until the third vision. And then it is not totally stable as dgongs pa, the transcendent state, until the time of buddhahood. Our so-called “natural state” as beginners is just like an example jñāna, it is only a nominal “natural state.”

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


10) Within this state of pure presence (rig-pa), the three Aspects (chos gsum) of the State of Samantabhadra (kun-bzang dgongs-pa) are wholly present. These three are termed the Essence, the Nature, and the Energy. (He goes one to explain these as the Trikaya)

Essence, nature and energy are the three jñānas of the basis (which are the kāyas of the basis): ka dag, lhun grub and thugs rje. These jñānas ripen into the kāyas of the result. Sort of like an acorn ripens or grows into an oak tree, but still the oak tree is just a potential, if the conditions for ripening are absent, then the potential remains latent.

Since this natural statue of initial instantaneous awareness (skad-cig-ma ti shes-pa rnal-ma) encounters as its own Mother the real condition of existence (chos-nyid ma dang ‘phrad-pas), we can say that, in truth, it is the Dharmakaya.

Your vidyā is in truth the dharmakāya, but that nature is currently obscured.

From the dgongs pa zang thal explanatory tantra:

Since vidyā recognized itself [rang ngo shes], there was no grasping to clarity. Since wisdom [prajñā] arose to vidyā, it naturally formed as dharmakāya.

The prajñā [shes rab] of realization [rtogs pa] is actually what “ripens” vidyā into the dharmakāya.

but we simply remain present and this quality of the Nature of the Mind is called Rigpa. Rigpa means this state of presence. This Rigpa is also lhun-grub, that is to say, spontaneously self-perfected in all its qualities right from the very beginning. It is not a question of acquiring something we do not now possess. Rather, when we find ourselves in a state of presence, this state manifests all its inherent qualities spontaneously and this is what is meant by lhun-grub.

Again like a seed has all the qualities of a flower within it already, it is not acquiring something new, only manifesting it’s own latent qualities with the assistance of secondary causes.

How can we remember past lives if we didn't have a brain in other realms?


Depends on the system. In the Vajrayāna system I practice even in the so-called formless realms there is a body comprised of the inner elements.

Reality is unreal vs common sense


Many of these students seem to have a teacher, Malcom Smith, who teaches prasangika in this way, which is slightly different than the general Nyingma approach to Dzogchen.

That is Longchenpa’s presentation of Dzogchen who along with Jigme Lingpa and Rongzom is the definitive Nyingma Dzogchen luminary.

EDIT: Malcolm also learned Dzogchen from Kunzang Dechen Lingpa (Nyingma), Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche (former head of Nyingma), Khenpo Namdrol (Nyingma) and Norbu Rinpoche who was non-sectarian.

How can I learn Buddhist terms and names easily? I find them very difficult. Does learning Sanskrit help?


Getting a decent handle on key terms and principles can take many years, five years, ten years. Be patient with yourself and with encountering the terms continually whether in study or online interaction, even personal practice (all are interrelated), their meaning will become gradually clearer as time goes on.

I spent a few years in the wtf is this, wtf is that, who are they, what does this mean, etc., phase. Just keep at it and do your best.

The First Noble Truth is reassuring, actually


Can you explain how Vipassana practice is different than "deliberate mindfulness?"

Traditionally vipaśyanā is not a practice but a type of awakened seeing, the term means “clear seeing” or “clear insight.”

Defined in the Akṣayamati-nirdeśa as such:

The consciousness that perceives the entry into reality is called "vipaśyanā." So-called vipaśyanā is perceiving phenomena correctly, perceiving phenomena as they are, perceiving phenomena truly, and perceiving phenomena as not otherwise, perceiving phenomena as empty, without characteristics, without aspiration, perceiving phenomena to be unformed, likewise, nonarisen, unproduced, insubstantial, just as they are, pure, and as isolated. It is perceiving phenomena as unmoving, inactive, without self, wholly without grasping, inseparable, one taste, as the nature of space, and nirvana by nature.

This means that the real meaning of vipaśyanā is an awakened equipoise a synonym for realizing emptiness [śūnyatā].

The so-called practice of “vipassana” as in the vipassana movement is sort of a glorified śamatha. It is more of just a nice moniker, but it is not actual vipassana [vipaśyanā].

What separates vipaśyanā proper from deliberate mindfulness would be the fact that vipaśyanā is infused with gnosis [jñāna] whereas mindfulness is a sustained attention that is performed from within the confines of one’s everyday dualistic consciousness.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


isn’t only one of those five modalities the one referenced in Dzogchen practice?

They are all relevant to ones practice.

Like for example, the appearances may change but the looking does not.

The looking does indeed change though. Right now it seems like there is a stable looker who abides as thoughts arise and pass, etc., but this too is a total delusion.

CHNN actually says this too in The Cycle of Day and Night… he roughly says that rigpa itself does not change from the moment you enter it to the moment of Buddhahood.

The vidyā of a first bhūmi ārya and the vidyā of a Buddha are identical, the former is just fragmented while the latter is not.

The First Noble Truth is reassuring, actually


TIL that the Supreme Patriarch of BUddhists in a country with 64 million BUddhists, is really an "outlier."

If his views are discordant with the buddhadharma then he may be. I know nothing about him, and don’t really care what he has to say to be honest. My personal focus is primarily on Indian and Tibetan traditions, I have a little interest in Zen, but not really any southeast Asian traditions.

I guess that if a Zen master says "Don't shoot me!" he's also engaging in coded meaning?

Zazen proper is like an awakened equipoise that is free of dualistic mind, thus when these adepts are advising not to cultivate an intentional mindfulness, they are giving instructions on how to leave the mind in a natural condition so that awakened equipoise, or a samādhi infused with prajñā, can manifest. The zen “path” actually begins when that insight dawns, and then that is carefully cultivated. As such, those who are engaging in a deliberate mindfulness are not quite there yet, and if they mistake that mindfulness for the real meaning of zazen, then they’re deceiving themselves.

The First Noble Truth is reassuring, actually


So it is laughable to refer to the BUddhism in Thailand as some sort of "syncretic offshoot of various traditions."

Clearly I was referring to the Chinese individual i mentioned. In any case I’m not sure why we are discussing this Thai patriarch? Thai Buddhism is often saddled with its own issues, such as unjustified eternalist views seeping into their teachings, one has to be careful to vet the teacher and teaching for this reason, no matter their title.

This isn’t as much of an issue in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist systems due to their historical proximity to the polemic environment of the Indo-Tibetan region. Their expositions are pretty air tight and refute any basis for error because the area was such a melting pot. It was vital to have explicit clarity.

So what you term "Buddhist view," is not what everyone who self-identifies as Buddhists considers "Buddhist view."

Yes, there are outliers like I said.

Take care, and stop being mindful!

This has a coded meaning, which is normal in zen teachings.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


But when you designate something as “little rigpa” … what the hell does that even mean?

It is a reference to the unripened form of vidyā that we use as a foundation for practice.

Bear in mind that Vimalamitra for example, describes five different modalities of vidyā, to describe different characteristics and aspects of vidyā as a beginner, as things progress and so on. He closes by saying they are all part of a single continuum of vidyā, but that is not the point. The point is that the Dzogchen path is the process of refining and ripening our vidyā. Our vidyā as a beginner is not the same in quality as vidyā at the time of the result. This is all “little and big” vidyā are referencing.

This is not a novel idea, for instance Tsoknyi Rinpoche even coins “baby rigpa” stating:

There is immediate recognition, which Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche’s brother, calls “baby rigpa.” It’s a baby, and that baby needs to be nurtured – not in a conceptual way, by adding something to it, but it needs to be trained, developed, and strengthened. It is abrupt, but it’s unstable. Not unstable in itself, but unstable with respect to one’s ability to remain there. We would all like to believe that we are proceeding directly, Dzogchen style, but most of us in fact are proceeding in a gradual way.

How can we remember past lives if we didn't have a brain in other realms?


Sentient beings possess all five aggregates in every realm, even if the rūpaskandha is in a subtle form, the aggregates are all complete. This means that there technically is no such thing as a disembodied consciousness in these teachings, even as a gandharva in the intermediate state between lives, there is always a subtle type body, and the mind is present.

How can we remember past lives if we didn't have a brain in other realms?


The mind and brain are two different things according to these teachings. In Buddhism the brain just coordinates the sensory faculties and so on, it does not generate or store the mind. The mind actually permeates the entire body according to Buddhist teachings, and is located in the center of the body.

Reality is unreal vs common sense


Thanks. So they are just misapprehended rtsal that seem solid and existent in our delusion? The reason they are not projections of the basis is because they are deluded and empty in the first place and hence can't be "from" anything?

Yes the basis only displays the five lights.

rather than thinking, "This is this and that is that". Does that follow?

Yes all of these things are empty from the standpoint of bodhicitta. rTsal is like the dynamism of bodhicitta. When we have an accurate knowledge of rtsal, that is vidyā. When we are ignorant of rtsal, then that avidyā arises as rol pa. Therefore rol pa can never be equivalent to bodhicitta, and Longchenpa states this to be the case.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


but what book is the Mipham quote from? I think I’m missing a lot of context that would allow me to understand what he’s saying here.

His Original mind text, it has been translated in a book called “Fundamental mind.”

Differences in the Middle Way of Indian and East Asian Buddhism


Yeah, for Gorampa and so on, conventions are just nominal inferences, just names that seem to refer to things.

Reality is unreal vs common sense


Since outer objects are rolpa, which is connected to the emptiness of the basis, does this mean that outer objects are really ultimately just misapprehended rtsal, which means that they don't really exist and are just projections of the basis?

Yes and no. Yes because rol pa is just misapprehended rtsal, and no because objects are total delusions that cannot be equivalent to anything. That is where the bodhicitta aspect comes in, that is the emptiness aspect.

Reality is unreal vs common sense


For Dzogchen, all appearances are the rtsal of vidyā. We just differ from Yogācāra because we make a distinction between mind [sems] and jñāna. Appearances for us are the dynamism of jñāna, and not the mind, the mind is a secondary formation that manifests as a failure to accurately apprehend the appearance of jñāna. For Yogācāra, appearances are mental factors and are thus appearances of mind.

Differences in the Middle Way of Indian and East Asian Buddhism


Posted this elsewhere the other day:

The usual point of contention with the Gelug view (in contrast to Gorampa) is that Tsongkhapa makes a hard distinction between existence and inherent existence, and states that the inherent existence of an object is negated while the conventional existence is not (this means the Gelug define emptiness as the non-existence of inherent existence — all while subtly reifying conventional entities). For the general trödral criticism of Tsongkhapa’s view that Nyingmapa’s and other non-Gelug sarma schools would follow one can look to Gorampa’s criticisms of Tsongkhapa’s expositions.

Differences in the Middle Way of Indian and East Asian Buddhism


Yes, his view is based on Indian Madhyamaka, Nāgārjuna, Candrakīrti, Āryadeva etc., also based on Sapan.

The whole debate is based on these differing interpretations of Indian Madhyamaka.

The First Noble Truth is reassuring, actually


So was the 18th Patriarch awakened in your eyes?

You mean this guy Zhang Tianran who founded some sort of syncretic offshoot of various traditions? I would instead advise looking to traditional Buddhist teachers.

What makes a person awakened?

Awakening or bodhi is defined in Buddhism as an experiential insight into the actual nature of phenomena.

The Vedic tradition holds that when one appreciates When I say ’’I’’ that's the Self. There's a quality that is so pervasive about the Self that I'm quite sure that the ‘‘I’’ is the same ‘‘I’’ as everyone else's ‘‘I.’’ Not in terms of what follows right after. I am tall, I am short, I am fat, I am this, I am that. But the ‘‘I’’ part. The ‘‘I am’’ part is the same ‘‘I am’’ for you and me, one starts to appreciate Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — world is family. How does one appreciate that "The ‘‘I am’’ part is the same ‘‘I am’’ for you and me," if there is no "me" in the first place?

The vedas are sanatanadharma. Non-Buddhist, tīrthika dharmas.

Complete empathy is the appreciation that "you" and "I" are fundamentally the same person.

Not a Buddhist view.

The First Noble Truth is reassuring, actually


Well, the second paper refers to the first, but I don't see any evidence that they are written by the same person.

The point is that Thanissaro Bhikkhu is the source of this idea. Sure he attempts to substantiate his assertions with his own interpretation of doctrine, but like I said, dubious.

And you single out 31 words out of 1200 in your response, while avoiding any other point I made.

TM is not related to buddhadharma. Anātman is a dharma seal that is only experientially knowable by either stream entrants [srotapannis] or first bhūmi āryas. It is essentially the realization of emptiness as related to the mind. People who practice TM are not accessing that type of awakened equipoise.

Again, you distort things to fulfill your agenda of attempting to portray YOUR interpretation of anatta as the only mainstream Buddhist interpretation.

I can only go by what the teachings state. I do not introduce my own interpretation, unlike Thanissaro.

The other interpretation, is nicely encapsulated by this quote by a TMer in the beginning stages of enlightenment as understood by the monastic tradition TM comes from:

This has nothing to do with anātman.

That you don't see that both Buddhism and Yoga have been distorted is also inevitable. Very few peole want to acknowledge that not only have THEY been doing meditation "wrong" but that the lineage they come from has also been doing it wrong for many many centuries

A living lineage is only such because it produces awakened individuals, the lineage is the rosary of mindstreams that actualize results, thus these lineages are potent and accurate by definition.

Differences in the Middle Way of Indian and East Asian Buddhism


Maybe I need to get on to Tsongkhapa at some point.

Or perhaps just the Tsongkhapa and Gorampa debate for some balance.

The First Noble Truth is reassuring, actually


Well, I'm constantly getting bombarded with links to essays and papers with titles like:

Two papers authored by none other than Thanissaro Bikkhu, who is the source of this novel view.

The First Noble Truth is reassuring, actually


It's a debate that has raged amongst scholars for a very long time,

There have been a few outliers who attempt to establish a hard disparity between “no self” and “not self,” but the evidence for this distinction is dubious.

Does Dzogchen have anything to do with the experience of remembering that there is something rather than nothing?


Namkhai Norbu says (iirc) in The Cycle of Day and Night that when we look at the mind directly we are accessing the three kayas right there, directly. This business about “little rigpa” sounds fishy to me because I’ve never ever heard any teacher assert that the rigpa of pointing out is anything less than a direct introduction to the three kayas.

It can be argued you are introduced to the three kāyas of the basis, but per Mipham, those are not the actual kāyas:

From the perspective of the mode of appearance, the basis itself never ripens as the result, and since that non-ripening is not the actual dharmakāya, since this present basis is not the buddhahood that manifest the ten powers from the mere cause of the dharmakāya, it may be considered that “dharmakāya of the basis” is not "the actual one.”

Going on to say that not even 10th bhūmi bodhisattvas can see the actual dharmakāya:

Therefore, though the qualities of nirvana such as the ten powers and so on that do not exist in the basis exist as a primordial endowment, other than those who have reached the ultimate realization, buddhas, when even the bodhisattvas of the tenth bhumi cannot see the manifestation of all qualities, what need is there to mention ordinary sentient beings [being able to see them]?

The kāyas of the basis are referring to the three jñānas of the basis which must be ripened on the path.

Practicing Buddhism and Hinduism at the same time ?


Still, it is religious imperialism disguised as some sort of lazy attempt at syncretism.

Practicing Buddhism and Hinduism at the same time ?


Well many Hindus consider Buddha to be an avatar of Vishnu I think.

No Buddhist endorses this idea.

Is dungeons and dragons a skillful hobby to have?


I haven't played in some time but I was going through my things and found my dice and a book and I was just wondering if it is good to play. There's violence in it but you can get around it if your smart.

D&D and games of that sort do not qualify as akuśala, the violence is not real. The only thing you would have to be mindful of is whether the competitive aspect of the game is causing unwholesome reactions, like anger and so on. If so, then it might be wise to maybe pump the brakes a bit and analyze that.

Reality is unreal vs common sense


but the inner perception is still going to be dependent upon the senses encountering the external object.

Yeah the alleged construct of an apparent referent will be contingent on the threefold structure of vijñāna, which means the mind conceives of an sense object, sensory faculty and sense function. But it is possibly immediate, like mistaking a rope in a dark room to be a snake, just a misperception of the immediate appearance that causes an apparent division that isn’t actually there.

Reality is unreal vs common sense


Right, I’m not sure that the object and the perception of the object are truly aspects of the snang ba and snang yul distinction. It may actually just be categorizing inner and outer phenomena, without suggesting there is something external filtered by the senses.

Reality is unreal vs common sense


The object and the perception of the object are precisely what’s being distinguished here.

Possibly. Longchenpa also clarifies that snang ba and snang yul are differentiating subjective and objective phenomena conventionally. Subjective meaning thoughts, emotions etc., objective meaning outer apparent objects.

But not that there is an object filtered through the senses like phenomena and noumena.

How exactly does the mind/consciousness transfer to a new body during rebirth


From Ācārya Malcolm:

The Buddha taught rebirth without making recourse to a self that undergoes rebirth.

There are a variety of ways of explaining this, but in essence, the most profound way of understanding this is that the habit of I-making appropriates a new series of aggregates at death, and so it goes on and on until one eradicates the knowledge obscuration that creates this habit of I-making. In the meantime, due to this habit of I-making, one continues to accumulate affliction and karma which results in suffering for infinite lifetimes, just as one has taken rebirth in samsara without a beginning.

But no soul-concept has been introduced in this thread, not at all. The sentient being I was in a past life is not identical with me in this life, even though I suffer and enjoy the results of the negative and positive actions that sentient being and all the other sentient beings engaged in who make up the serial chain of the continuum which I now enjoy. But when I die, all trace of my identity will cease since my identification with my five aggregates as "me" and "mine" is a delusion, and that identity, self, soul, etc., exists merely as a convention and not as an ultimate truth. When the habit of I-making that drives my continuum in samsara takes a new series of aggregates in the next life, it is unlikely I will have any memory of this lifetime, and my habit of I-making will generate a new identity based on the cause and conditions it encounters in the next life.

[The] delusion of 'I' is an agent, capable acting and receiving the results of action, even though it does not exist.

It is important to understand that this "I" generated by the habit of I-making does not exist and is fundamentally a delusion. But it is a useful delusion, just like the delusion of a car allows us to use one.

An analogy is using the last candle to light the next candle. One cannot say that two flames are different, nor can one say they are identical, but they do exist in a continuum, a discrete series.

And some excerpts from Nāgārjuna on the topic, starting with his Pratītyadsamutpādakarika:

Empty (insubstantial and essenceless) dharmas (phenomena) are entirely produced from dharmas strictly empty; dharmas without a self and [not] of a self. Words, butter lamps, mirrors, seals, fire crystals, seeds, sourness and echoes. Although the aggregates are serially connected, the wise are to comprehend nothing has transferred. Someone, having conceived of annihilation, even in extremely subtle existents, he is not wise, and will never see the meaning of ‘arisen from conditions’.

and In his Pratītyasamutpādakarikavhyakhyana, Nāgārjuna states in reply to a question:

Question: "Nevertheless, who is the lord of all, creating sentient beings, who is their creator?"
Nāgārjuna replies: "All living beings are causes and results."

And in the same text:

Therein, the aggregates are the aggregates of matter, sensation, ideation, formations and consciousness. Those, called ‘serially joined’, not having ceased, produce another produced from that cause; although not even the subtle atom of an existent has transmigrated from this world to the next.

How exactly does the mind/consciousness transfer to a new body during rebirth


The ālayavijñāna coupled with what is called the mahāpranavāyu, contain the five aggregates within them and move through the intermediate state. This is according to Vajrayāna.

No entity actually transfers as mentioned elsewhere in the replies, but the mindstream driven by karma does retain imprints and subtle information.

Is the soul bound by time when passing from one incarnation to the next?


Yes, samsaric consciousness takes rebirth in linear time.

The Universe as made of infinite consciousness?


Sorry not true.

100% true without question. A principle made explicitly clear in Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna teachings.

My friend (also Buddhist) told me not to venerate or give offerings to the folk deities and spirits because he said they could be demons/mara who want me to stray from the Dharma.


There is a right way to do it, and if done the correct way it is perfectly ok. If you have a teacher you can ask them.

What does Buddhism say about free will and determinism


Determinism would require truly established causes giving rise to established effects in a unilateral manner, thus based on that buddhadharma is not deterministic. Causes are only conventional, and cause and effect are bilateral dependencies. Like Āryadeva says, we might think the father is the cause of the child, but the child is also the cause of the father.

Re free will, we Buddhists acknowledge volition [cetana] but only conventionally. Free will is actually a monotheist principle used to reconcile sin with a creator deity. Thus free will proper is not a thing in Buddhism. Further, free will requires a rational agent which buddhadharma does not uphold. And actually we negate such a thing. As such we have conventional volition but are still subject to karma.

The Universe as made of infinite consciousness?


Although rūpa is a product of nāma in Buddhism.

The Universe as made of infinite consciousness?


Consciousness is fundamental in Buddhism. Matter is an epiphenomena of mind, but we do not state that the universe is “made” of consciousness because the universe is a misconception.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


The danger in simply saying ‘there is no self’ is to tacitly hold on to it as a view, which implies having the very sense of self involved and this would be one of the wrong view that the Buddha mentioned:

Only if the person is a fool who fails to understand that a mere view is not the truth of the principle they are conventionally utilizing.

This naïve view is dangerous because it may mislead one to hold onto the attitude that there is no problem to be solved

Again the person would have to be pretty dumb. And this is why a relationship with a teacher is absolutely necessary. In order to make sure practitioners do not err into such naive and stupid mistakes.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


It is not that its existence contradicts dependent origination but that its existence is precisely because of it (dependent on holding/grasping the five aggregates as self).

Existence [bhāva] and dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda] are mutually exclusive. For something to actually "exist" it must do so independently of causes and conditions, but as luminaries such as Nāgārjuna point out, that is impossible.

Many people conflate dependent existence [parabhāva], which is something existing with assistance from another, with dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda]. The two are radically different principles. Regarding Nāgārjuna's classification of "existence" [bhāva], he asserts rather damningly:

Whoever has a view of inherent existence [svabhāva], dependent existence [parabhāva], existence [bhāva] and non-existence [abhāva] do not see the truth of the Buddha's teaching.

Yet Nāgārjuna was one of the most major proponents of clarifying the inner workings of dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda], and states that there can be no existence established independently of inherent existence or dependent existence in the following inquiry:

Where is there an existent not included in inherent existence and dependent existence? If inherent existence and dependent existence are established, existence will be established.

This means that dependent existence [parabhāva] is actually a guise for inherent existence [svabhāva], and therefore is in direct contradiction to dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda]. Further, since we cannot extract any form of existence [bhāva] as separate from dependent existence [parabhāva] or inherent existence [svabhāva], existence in any form is contradictory to dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda].

Buddhapālita comments on Nāgārjuna's damning assertion above:

Someone like that, who [has a] view of inherent existence, dependent existence, existence or non-existence does not see the truth in the profound and supreme teaching of the Buddha. Because we, in the correct way, see the nonexistence of the inherent existence of things which appear because of the sun of dependent origination arose, because of that, because we see the truth, liberation can be accepted only for us.

Nāgārjuna is stating that all views of existence contradict dependent origination.

In order for something to exist, it must be independently originated, and conversely, for something to be independently originated it would have to be unconditioned, independent and uncaused, but as mentioned above, this is considered an impossibility in the eyes of the buddhadharma. The correct conventional view for emptiness is dependent origination, and so we see that in order to have objects, persons, places, things and so on, they must be possessed of causes and conditions. Meaning they cannot be found apart from those causes and conditions. If the conditions are removed, the object cannot remain.

Regarding this, Nāgārjuna states the following:

That which comes into being from a cause, and does not endure without conditions, it disappears as well when conditions are absent - how can this be understood to exist?

Going on to say:

Since it comes to and end when ignorance ceases; why does it not become clear then that it was conjured by ignorance?

And so here we get to the actual meaning, and the heart of dependent origination. For an object to inherently exist it must exist outright, independent of causes and conditions, independent of attributes, characteristics and constituent parts. However, we cannot find an inherent object independent of these factors, and the implications of this fact is that we likewise cannot find an inherent object within those factors either.

The object itself, as the core entity which possesses characteristics, is ultimately unfindable. We instead only find a designated collection of pieces, which do not in fact create any discrete object. In the absence of an object the pieces are likewise rendered as incapable of being "pieces" or "parts" and therefore they are also nothing more than arbitrary designations that amount to nothing more than inferences.

This means that all entities, selves, and so on are merely useful conventional designations, their provisional validity is only measured by their efficacy, and apart from that conventional imputation, there is no underlying object that can be ascertained or found.

Dependent origination is the apparent origination of entities that seem to manifest in dependence on causes and conditions. But as Nāgārjuna states above, those causes and conditions are actually the ignorance which afflicts the mindstream, and the conditions of grasping, mine-making and I-making which are the drivers of karmic activity that serve to reify the delusion of a self, or a self in objects, and so on.

This is why many adepts are explicitly clear that dependent origination is synonymous with a lack of origination [anutpāda], because phenomena that originate in dependence on ignorance as a cause, never actually originate at all, for example, Candrakīrti states:

The perfectly awakened buddhas proclaimed, "What is dependently originated is non-arisen.

Or Mañjuśrī:

Whatever is dependently originated does not truly arise.

Nāgārjuna once again:

What originates dependently is non-arisen!

Thus dependent origination is incapable of producing existence of any sort, because dependent origination is incapable of producing entities. Entities and existence only appear because of the ignorance which afflicts your mind. When that ignorance is removed, all perceptions of existence are removed, all perceptions of selves are removed and all perceptions of origination are removed.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


And as I have explained following the sentence you quoted, the Buddha was referring to dependent origination of suffering which is taken as ‘self’.

Obviously. And this still means there is ultimately no self to be found anywhere.

Practically speaking, the self exists for you and that is why you suffer

It appears, and seems to exist. It certainly does not actually “exist,” if it did, this would contradict dependent origination.

confusion: If there are beings alive who have attained Buddhahood, why is only Shakyamuni considered the Buddha of this age?


Śākyamuni Buddha was a uttamanirmāṇakāya. There cannot be two uttamanirmāṇakāya Buddhas at the same time after a Buddha like Śākyamuni has turned the wheel. However samyaksambuddhahood is still attainable for sentient beings, and those who attain buddhahood are considered janmanirmāṇakāya Buddhas. There can be countless janmanirmāṇakāya Buddhas.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


Right, thank you for elaborating on his position, but if you'll pardon my hot take, I don't really see the difference between undermining self and selflessness and saying that there is neither a self nor no self.

Saying there is neither self nor no self is just an indeterminate, neutral position. But the undermining that the absence of characteristics results in is just the furthest extent of selflessness. Meaning that because there are no selves anywhere, there are not even entities that could lack a self, thus it essentially doubles down on selflessness.

If there were no conscious self, there would be no interaction between the form of my body and the form of perceived reality, and yet there is interaction between the body and perceived reality

There is a conventional interaction. But ultimately no body or perceived reality can be found.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


It is entirely to be experienced

Indeed. Only srotapannis and/or first bhūmi ārya bodhisattvas have experiential insight into anātman.

Nevertheless, a correct inferential view is necessary for most.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


There is not a self to be found in the five aggregates, and the aggregate-landscape is where we attempt to find the self.

Right, we are to abandon the misconception that there is a self in the skandhas, the Ratnakuta states:

Right view is the abandonment of the view of that the aggregates are a self [satkāyadṛṣti].

And per Vasubandhu:

There is neither direct perception nor inference of a self [ātman] independent of the skandhas. We know then that a real self does not exist.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


I don’t mean to come off as rude, so please forgive me. But, I am aware of what the self is

I have no way of knowing that.

when I never expressed any interest in asking, or needing answered, the question myself. I’m hoping this is just a miscommunication.

This is just an open forum, many people read this, if it isn’t helpful to you then it may be helpful for someone else.

your overly convoluted language is, unfortunately, a wasted effort — And I’m sure you don’t mean it to be, but comes across as rather aggressive.

I’ve been involved in dharma forums for over a decade and my conduct is rarely interpreted in the way you are characterizing it. But to each their own, you’re welcome to your opinion of my contributions.

If you want to help people understand, I’d suggest using more accessible language

The language is fine and describes the dynamics of the principle accurately. I have no plan to nerf my presentation.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


No, it means all phenomena are selfless, without a self, lack a self, and so on.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


Arguments like this are why I prefer Nāgārjuna's interpretation of anattā as "neither self nor no self".

Nāgārjuna’s view is not “neither self nor no self.” His view is the absence of characteristics that undermines both self and selflessness by virtue of the logic he expounds in the Mulamadhyamakakarika, where he states the following in the form of an inquiry:

If there were something non-empty, then there would be something to be empty, but since there is nothing that isn’t empty, what is there to be empty?

This is the logic that the absence of characteristics is based upon, which undermines emptiness as a substantial nature.

The same logic can be applied to anātman, which is how both self and selflessness are ultimately undermined. The rendition would go as follows:

If there were some phenomeon that didn’t lack a self, then there would be a phenomenon to lack a self, but since there is no phenomena which does not lack a self, what phenomena is there to lack a self?

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


I was referring to the constant questioning on what the self actually is.

The teachings are clear that the self is an inputed inference that is predicated on a conglomerate of afflictive causal factors which form a nexus of delusion that results in the compelling appearance and feeling of an internal, subjective reference point that is the owner of characteristics and the agent of activities and actions. That is the self.

That process is fueled by the reification of afflictive I-making and mine-making.

Thus a self appears, but it is a total delusion. If the nexus is keenly scrutinized then the mind can awaken to realize that there is no “self” at the core of this elaborate deception, and then the house of cards begins to collapse. Which is how samsara is uprooted.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


I also think everyone’s getting hung up on finding an answer without recognising that the question is rather pointless.

Which question is pointless? These teachings are very clear on this point.

Typically this topic is an uphill battle for many in this subreddit due to people either parroting Thanissaro Bikkhu, or misunderstanding the absence of characteristics in the context of Mahāyāna, which if mishandled results in some sort of neutral, indeterminate view. Both ideas only serve to endlessly obfuscate the meaning of anātman, precisely because both iterations of this error hinge upon some sort of unjustified ambiguity.

will everyone eventually escape samsara? if so, is there any rush?


If everything is impermanent, this would imply the cycle of rebirth will eventually end and we will all escape samsara correct?

Only if they remove their obscurations through practicing buddhadharma.

Certain systems do say that all beings will be liberated at the end of the mahākalpa, but not without attaining liberation through the dharma, it does not just happen automatically.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


Indeed.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


There is no self” is the granddaddy of fake Buddhist quotes.

“There is no self” is not a fake Buddhist quote. The Buddha said it repeatedly, over and over and over in his expositions.

Not only did the Buddha frequently state sabbe dhamma anatta all phenomena lack a self, but this means literally all phenomena, both conditioned and unconditioned completely lack a self.

I have no idea where people get this strange and completely unfounded idea that “the Buddha never said there’s no self” it is absurd. Thanissaro Bikkhu seems to be the only source of this confusion.

If the self is an illusion in the first place, who is being continuously reincarnated?


All selves are illusory, no need to qualify it with “separate.” Moreover, all phenomena are illusory according to these teachings.

Who gets affected by my karma, if the notion of "myself" is only an invention of my mind?


Karma is actions performed on the basis of the delusion of a self, and those actions reify the delusion of a self. The mindstream can be purified of the misconception of a self via exhausting delusion and karma.

prayers to remove worldly obstacles: are they too focused on samsara gain?


Hard to focus on your practice if you are inundated with worldly obstacles.

Best French translators ?


Best French translators ?

Jean-Luc Achard.

just an observation, this subreddit had about double the subscribers that the Christianity subreddit has


It's been 3 hours since you responded brother, I feel sorry that you're still thinking about it.

Not who you are replying to but important to bear in mind that sometimes people are busy and actually cannot respond for 3 hours.

Dolpopa was an enlightened being who is unfairly criticized.


He puts it so simply. And putting it simply highlights the folly of holding too tightly to dualistic, language-based ways of looking at the nature of experience.

The issue is that one’s view can inform their experiential realization, and experientially there can be subtle structures of consciousness involved which seem profound but still contain obstructions. Also consciousness is quite dynamic in terms of how it begins to intuit and realize dharmatā. For instance emptiness can be realized in the sense gates without being realized in the mind, which can give the illusion of a stable ultimate “knower.” In addition, there can be coarse nondual states that are just a fusion of subject and object which make the continuum seem substantial.

As such, this really is an issue related to experience (rather than just language) and then the language-based ways of describing various types of equipoise are secondary symptoms. Some types of equipoise are inferior in nature, but can be deceiving if the practitioner mistakes them for something definitive. It would be nice if all realizations were identical and this disparity in presentation was just a semantic issue, but realizations are manifold, and disparities in description are often just describing disparities in the quality of experience.

Not saying this to insinuate anything about Dolbupa or gzhan stong etc., just merely commenting on the language versus experience issue and saying things may be more complex than we think.

Can I recite or chant mantras inside unclean places like bathrooms?


Can I recite or chant mantras inside unclean places like bathrooms?

If you are a Vajrayāna practitioner, then you train in pure vision. All places whether “clean” or “unclean” are the maṇḍala of the deity.

AMA with Meido Moore Roshi, Abbot of Korinji, Rinzai Zen Monastery | Friday 7/15


Meido Moore is the real deal. Highly recommend his teachings for anyone interested in Zen.

Are there any Dzogchen/Mahamudra (or any Mahayana) texts that deconstruct the illusion of concrete "distance"?


The ultimate negation of entities means there are ultimately no discrete objects anywhere. Thus there cannot be objects that reside at a distance. Also, since there is ultimately no reference point in the mind, ultimately no self as an entity in our subjective experience, one is forced to inquire: an alleged object would be at a distance from what?

In terms of Dzogchen/Mahāmudrā, Dzogchen Nyinthig states that time and space manifest as the consequence of inaccurately apprehending ka dag and lhun grub, which are two of the jñānas that characterize the nature of mind.

Anatman


I felt ok with it until i encountered this excerpt on Wikipedia about Anatta: "While often interpreted as a doctrine denying the existence of a self, anatman is more accurately described as a strategy to attain non-attachment by recognizing everything as impermanent, while staying silent on the ultimate existence of an unchanging essence."

This is what Thanissaro Bikkhu’s followers believe.

In actuality, anātman is definitely defined as denying the existence of a self [ātman] in the form of a substantial inherent nature or entity [svabhāva]. The Bodhisattvayogacaryācatuḥśatakaṭikā defines anātman in the following way:

Ātman is an essence of things that does not depend on others; it is an intrinsic nature [svabhāva]. The non-existence of that is selflessness [anātman].

Then if one goes deeper into the logic, we approach the absence of characteristics, which states that even selflessness itself is not actually possible or established, precisely because the referent to lack a self cannot be found, thus there is not even an entity to lack a self.

Is there an idea of purity or impurity in Buddhism?


Whoever skillfully realizes all phenomena as pure, that is the natural luminosity of the mind. Because the mind is naturally luminous, therefore it is never afflicted.
— Ārya-gaganagañjaparipṛcchā-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

This concept of purity or “luminosity” is really the cornerstone of all Buddhist teachings.

Collection of Quotes from Mipham on Buddha Nature


The three turnings as contemporaneously presented are also not entirely legitimate. Due to historically different hierarchies and presentations. Like the Hevajra tantra for example, where Nāgārjuna-esque Madhyamaka is held to be above tathāgatagarbha by virtue of its necessity in undermining substantialism according to the Buddha in that instance.

Collection of Quotes from Mipham on Buddha Nature


Then there is the stage of basically undercutting existence, but here there is still a conceptual orientation towards non-existence. Then, the full orientation of the mind towards non-existence is also overcome and one finds a sort of natural rest in suchness, in which there is absolutely no denigration or orientation towards a pole of emptiness or clarity and the root of mundane cognition is cut. This is also related to emptiness endowed with all attributes.

The second and third are exactly the same, one cannot have any genuine insight into emptiness without both characteristics of these proposed “second” and “third” stages occurring in tandem.

The idea that the second ever occurs in the absence of the alleged third is a polemical strawman. The big bad inert emptiness that no one has ever advocated for.

Proper understanding of emptiness is the same thing as proper realization of suchness, which also relates to how the full intent of the 2nd and 3rd turnings are the same.

Tathāta is just a synonym for śūnyatā per the Buddha. Suchness [tathāta] simply means “to see the way things really are.” That insight is prevalent in all Buddhist teachings.

Collection of Quotes from Mipham on Buddha Nature


I can’t really verify your assertions

I would think one can easily verify that every other system of Madhyamaka is considered “rangtong” by shentongpas.

Another way to verify this, is whether you spend any time around directly shentong or shentong-adjacent individuals. If you interact with them then the concept of rangtong is suddenly quite prevalent and is mentioned with noticeable frequency. If you don’t hang out around shentongpas then you never hear “rangtong” mentioned, precisely because no so-called “rangtongpa” calls themselves a rangtongpa.

Collection of Quotes from Mipham on Buddha Nature


Rangtonpas btfo?

Rangtong isn’t a real thing, it is just shentongpas projecting their alleged antithesis onto the rest of the buddhadharma.

One of my mentors once said that a so-called rangtongpa would never think of themselves as a “rangtongpa.” The moniker is just something shentongpas project onto traditional non-shentong views.

curious what those who endorse Prasangika think of later Buddha-Nature/Yogacara teachings of Asanga and Vasubhandu?


Edit to my response: when I say mind, I don't mean the egoic, dualistic mind, I mean pure awareness, Dharmakaya

There is only one mindstream or continuum of mind (per sentient being) that expresses itself in different ways. Buddhas experience their mindstreams as dharmakāya, we sentient beings experience our mindstreams as dualistic consciousness. It is just the same mindstream afflicted or purified of affliction.

With the version of "Shentong" (saying that because Karma Kagyu Shentong is not eternalistic like Jonang) that I've been taught, it just means mind is empty, yet has qualities of primordial awareness and wisdom

Sure, but again, even sūtrayāna teachings state the mind has qualities, as does most of Vajrayāna qua Mahāmudrā, Dzogchen, etc., so we can’t really mean that when we say “shentong” because that view pre-dates shentong in sūtra, and is also found in every other non-shentong Mahāmudrā type teaching.

curious what those who endorse Prasangika think of later Buddha-Nature/Yogacara teachings of Asanga and Vasubhandu?


The union of emptiness and luminosity inseparable. That to me basically sounds like the view of the great Nyingma scholars and yogis, right?

Sure, but that isn’t what makes shentong what it is. The fact that the mind is inexhaustible and merely expresses itself in deluded or liberated modalities is pretty fundamental to all buddhadharma, we find mention of this even in the Pāli Canon.

curious what those who endorse Prasangika think of later Buddha-Nature/Yogacara teachings of Asanga and Vasubhandu?


Asanga came up with an entirely new framework that definitely contradicts Prasangika (Yogacara) and said the mind did inherently exist, am I wrong?

That Yogācāra is sort of a species of non-dual realism in certain respects has to do with the consequence of their three nature view, where the perfected nature is in essence, the absence of the imputed nature in the dependent nature. This means the three natures work like a soiled cloth. The cloth soiled is the dependent nature, the dirt is the imputed nature, and the cloth once clean is the perfected nature. Thus the paratāntra or dependent nature is actually established. Did the Yogācārins intend for this to be the case? That I can’t say.

Shentong differs in that they posit a perfected nature that is completely separate from the other two natures.

In prasangika, the view is somewhat different I’ll give you that, but the utter negation of entities does not mean appearances are negated, and it does not mean that jñāna is deprived of a conventional status, it is all just illusory. The big bad non-affirming negation that the shentongpas fear is just misunderstood.

What do you think about putting statue of Christian figure/saint on home Buddhist altar?


The quasi-Christian perennialists of this sub will drool with approval.

Are there any schools within Tibetan Buddhism, or books exploring, that focus on Pire Land practices?


There are numerous pure and impure buddhafields (purelands) in Vajrayāna. Buddha Amitābha is known as Amitāyus in Vajrayāna. Padmasambhava’s buddhafield is Zangdok Palri. There are many, many practices related to these sambhogakāya a.k.a., “natural nirmanakāya” buddhafields.

Eastern Traditions & The Pursuit Of The Universal Truth.


/u/krodha am I getting this right?

Yes, that is the gist of it. The mind has seven times more clarity in the bardo, Buddha Vajrasattva states in the Victor’s Speech Tantra:

After that, in the bardo of rebirth the present unobstructed awareness with complete sense organs has seven times more clarity.

Hate as a poison. Why?


Hate is a strong reification of subject-object dualism, and any actions performed on that basis of the emotion and deluded dualistic view will incur karma.

curious what those who endorse Prasangika think of later Buddha-Nature/Yogacara teachings of Asanga and Vasubhandu?


The usual point of contention with the Gelug view is that Tsongkhapa makes a hard distinction between existence and inherent existence, and states that the inherent existence of an object is negated while the conventional existence is not (this means the Gelug define emptiness as the non-existence of inherent existence — all while subtly reifying conventional entities). For the general trödral criticism of Tsongkhapa’s view that Nyingmapa’s and other non-Gelug sarma schools would follow one can look to Gorampa’s criticisms of Tsongkhapa’s expositions.

curious what those who endorse Prasangika think of later Buddha-Nature/Yogacara teachings of Asanga and Vasubhandu?


The difference between Dolpopa's Shentong and the rangtong view, if I'm not mistaken, was that he suggested quite straightforwardly that mind had ultimate existence and ultimately existing qualities,

Also that the kāyas of the result are fully formed from the beginning, at the time of the basis. And that the perfected nature is the only ultimate truth that stands separate from the other two natures, imputed and dependent, meaning there is a hard demarcation between relative and ultimate truth. The other schools really took Dolbupa to task for these novel views.

curious what those who endorse Prasangika think of later Buddha-Nature/Yogacara teachings of Asanga and Vasubhandu?


That Minds nature is not only empty, but luminous and self-cognizant, full of primordial Buddha qualities. It differs from Yogacara in that the mind is still seen as emptiness, but more in the sense of limitless, inconceivable, nonconceptual awareness beyond existence, non-existence, both or neither, beyond words, time, space, etc. And is the basis for all appearances of samsara and Nirvana.

If you investigate the sūtras and śāstras that accompany the prasanga corpus you will find that they are replete with explanations of gnosis and luminosity. Clearly the import of views like prasangika are much more nuanced and elaborate. The shentong straw man that prasanga advocates for an inert emptiness is just a convenient polemic tool.

Since Prasangika tends to view Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka as definitive, do you believe Asanga and Vadubandhu were just heretics, that they had wisdom but also misunderstanding, or something entirely different?

It is all the same view in essence.

being a traditionally more meditative/yogic tradition.

They are all meditative/yogic traditions. This is another shentong straw man. But nevertheless, as Sapan pointed out, the pandita is actually at an advantage when compared to the kusali, because the pandita possesses all three prajñās. Whereas the kusali only cultivates one of them.

Prasangika is well-suited for the more analytical Gelug and Sakya

The prasanga import of trödral is the heart of many Kagyu and Nyingma systems as well. For example, Nyingma atiyoga is rooted in trödral and has nothing to do with shentong.

how prasanikas reconcile some of these later teachings, whether they're totally rejected or integrated somehow. I don't have much knowledge beyond the Kagyu/Mahamudra traditions

It is al integrated all the way up and down. Only shentongpas struggle with these reconciliations. It is a symptom of their view.

curious what those who endorse Prasangika think of later Buddha-Nature/Yogacara teachings of Asanga and Vasubhandu?


According to this view, the third and final turning was on Buddha-Nature, and focused on correcting any "over-negation" that may have occurred with meditations on the previous turning.

Back when the turnings were inverted, and tathāgatagarbha was second turning, Nāgārjuna’s teachings (treated as third turning) were likewise utilized as a means to mitigate “over-affirming” that may have occurred with meditations on the previous turning. The Hevajra Tantra uses this hierarchy, for example.

what does Alan watts mean when he says "agent's" are an illusion?


Despite this subreddit’s distaste for Watts, what he is saying here regarding an agent is true in terms of Buddhist teachings. Rational agents, meaning discrete separate selves which are the author of an action, the doer of what is done, mover of the moved, knower of the known, is a total illusory construct.

AN 4.24 Kāḷakārāma Sutta:

Thus, monks, the Tathāgata does not conceive an [object] seen when seeing what is to be seen. He does not conceive an unseen. He does not conceive a to-be-seen. He does not conceive a seer.

He does not conceive an [object] heard when hearing what is to be heard. He does not conceive an unheard. He does not conceive a to-be-heard. He does not conceive a hearer.

He does not conceive an [object] sensed when sensing what is to be sensed. He does not conceive an unsensed. He does not conceive a to-be-sensed. He does not conceive a senser.

He does not conceive an [object] known when knowing what is to be known. He does not conceive an unknown. He does not conceive a to-be-known. He does not conceive a knower.

what does Alan watts mean when he says "agent's" are an illusion?


But what he is saying regarding agents is accurate for Buddhist teachings.

Is it true that the Mahayana teaches that all beings will eventually be liberated? If this is true, in a way aren’t they already if whatever that is is outside of time and duality? What happens next if samsara is over?


If this is true, in a way aren’t they already if whatever that is is outside of time and duality?

Their minds are burdened with ignorance, which obscures the fact that liberation is innate. The entire buddhist path is nothing more than the process of removing that obscuring ignorance.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


It seems like you have confused Tsen Kawoche with Yumo Mikyo Dorje. Tsen Kawoche's gzhan stong was based on a meditative tradition of the Ratnagotravibhaga. Yumo Mikyo Dorje's gzhan stong was based on the Kalacakra sadangayoga (and Dzogchen). Kawoche is part of the sutra lineage of the Jonang, not the tantric Kalacakra lineage. Maybe this explains why you believe that gzhan stong is based on the sutras, because Kawoche got his inspiration from the Ratnagotravibhaga?

Yes, thanks, I did confuse the two. But that conflation was not the basis for categorizing gzhan stong as a sūtrayāna view. The actual basis for that assertion is the lack of abhiṣeka.

Gzhan stong is also not really a reinterpretation.

The gzhan stong treatment of the yogācāra three natures is certainly novel. Only the pariniṣpanna or perfected nature is considered ultimate truth, which deviates from the traditional presentation.

Early commentaries on the sadangayoga like the Laghutantratika talk about how the emptiness of empty forms is not a "nihilistic emptiness."

Sure, but no proper view of emptiness is ever nihilistic.

Emptiness in the Kalacakra is not some sort of non-implicative negation or philosophical tool, but is something that has a perceivable non-conceptual form and that is animate and dynamic.

Yes, this is true from every view of emptiness. Emptiness is traditionally, even in prasaṅga for example, always a non-conceptual "animate and dynamic" realization.

You have it backwards, it's an anuttarayogatantra view

Again, impossible in the absence of abhiṣeka, which is what actually differentiates sūtrayāna and vajrayāna. Otherwise, if gzhan stong is simply a synonym for the luminosity of mind, then this is found in many sūtra systems, there is nothing unique about that. Luminosity is not an exclusively vajrayāna view.

Gzhan stong isn't the standard understanding of the three natures, but its understanding is clearly found in canonical texts

...according to gzhan stong pas. Hence the novel reinterpretation of Maitreyanātha's treatises to substantiate the claim.

And unsympathetic lamas will make opposing claims then, no?

Of course.

A straw man is an argument that nobody actually believes but that people offer only to debunk.

A straw man in this case, is a faux position projected onto a given party by another. Like group A claiming they are the "purple team" and then stating that all other groups are "non-purples" by default, but the other groups are not non-purples, they are oranges, and blues and greens, reds, and so on. The blanketed projected opposite is just a default moniker attributed to contrasting groups by the purple group.

Same goes for gzhan stong and rang stong. Rang stong is just normal madhyamaka in its varieties. Just because gzhan stong came along and claimed their view and rendered every other madhyamaka view as "rang stong" does not mean rang stong is actually something real. It is just something shentongpas say. If you're a shentongpa then sure there's a lot of rangtongpas out there. But if you're not a shentongpa then you'd never consider yourself a rangtongpa.

Rang stong clearly is not a straw man seeing how many people rush to defend it.

No so-called rangtongpa is defending some sort of rangtongpa view. This is again just something shentongpas say. It isn't real.

Dolpopa was clear that rang stong applies to samsara and gzhan stong applies to nirvana.

A strange view.

So all shentongpas accept the rangtong view of samsara, the fault that makes one a rangtongpa is misapplying intrinsic emptiness to nirvana.

Nirvana is a cessation by definition. Defined as analytical cessation (pratisaṃkhyā-nirodha) specifically.

So if rang stong was a mere straw man, it seems odd that Dolpopa would accept it as a valid description of samsara.

Again, a strange view.

Homosexuality and becoming a monk


I saw that one of the prerequisites to be trained and be ordained as a monk, is heterosexuality.

Where?

I'd like to ask some questions regarding the "self"


There is also the unanswered/undeclared questions that the Buddha had refused to answer. One of them being, "Is there a self? Is there no self?".

“Is there a self” and “is there no self” are not featured in the fourteen unanswered questions.

Hi, Jew interested in Conversion here.


Vajrayāna is nice because it is based on non-conceptual abhisekas or “empowerments” which give insight into experiential aspects of your mind and so on that are used as a basis for practice. Of course there is a rich conceptual doctrine associated, but the main takeaway is that you can really hold all types of conceptual views and they will not detract from your practice because your practice is based on the non-conceptual example wisdom introduced by the teacher. You can remain culturally Jewish and it will have no bearing on your dharma practice.

Theravāda is also great though. You should investigate as many systems as you can and find out what speaks to you. You will have a karmic connection to one or more teachings.

Can I do anything?


If you trust tradition, then the Buddha spoke it.

Avalokitesvara, technically.

Can I do anything?


That, I feel is real. Perhaps the only thing that is real.

Not according to Buddhism at least.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


I wouldn't be surprised to hear these views from a Gelugpa, but it's surprising to see them from a Nyingma Dzogchen practitioner.

I did not assert any view of that nature, just for the record.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


I was under the impression the entire Vajrayana view was encapsulated by everything is, right now, fundamentally pure, as it is, and ignorance simply obscures that.

Indeed. That is the actual meaning of luminosity.

Is mindfulness of the Buddha a samatha or vipasyana practice?


Real vipaśyāna is the dimension of realization, important to differentiate from the vipassana movement, which is sort of a glorified form of śamatha.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


Then a “sutrayana view” used in tantric methods becomes a tantrayana view

This is like myself as a Dzogchenpa, referencing prasangika. The reference does not make prasangika suddenly a tantric view. It is not.

I’m not quite clear on what this distinction between a sutra view and a tantra view is supposed to accomplish

It is important to distinguish sutra and tantra views. Tantra is rooted in abhiseka, sutra teachings are not. You can adopt sutra views in the context of your tantric practice, because it does not matter, tantra is rooted in abhiseka, non-conceptual empowerment to the example jnana. It is not an intellectual view. Shentong does not have abhiseka, it is a conceptual view adopted in post-meditation [rjes thob].

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


I don't see this comment as addressing my points, nor do I know why we should invoke unnamed "adherents" or Dudjom R when we have word from Dolpopa himself

Well, the point is just that even someone like Dudjom Rinpoche understood that gzhan stong is categorized as sūtrayāna.

Dolpopa himself, who originated the very gzhan stong concept, that it has its origination and basis in tantra. Its entire premise is not what you claimed (the integration of three natures and two truths), but to elucidate the Kalacakra.

The origin of gzhan stong itself is not in tantra, the idea of it came from a master by the name of Tsan Kawoche who received teachings on the six limb yoga of Kalācākra, and specifically based this view on a reinterpretation of the pratyahāra part of the six limbs which featured some sort of empty forms, or śūnyatābimba. However this instruction came from a teacher by the name of Somanatha, who apparently utilized a translator who did not understand Sanskrit very well, and somehow this interpretation came about from the instruction, even though this view is not actually found in the Kalācākra tantra itself or any of its commentaries. Regardless, this view was created and the lineage of instructions eventually came down to Dolbupa who ran with it and used the Yogācāra three natures in relation to Tathāgatagarbha, Maitreyanatha's five treatises, and the Madhyamaka two truths to elaborate on this idea. Dolbupa's presentation is logically rooted in sūtrayāna.

or Dolpopa, the fact that gzhan stong illuminates and integrates sutra and tantra is simply further proof that it is the Buddha's definitive teaching

If you are a shentongpa and want to believe that it is the buddha's definitive teaching you can. For others, they will consider their own heart dharma the buddha's definitive teaching. "Definitive" in realation to the teachings is whatever works best for you, there is no objective trademark "definitive" teaching. For myself, the definitive buddhist teaching is Dzogchen mennagde, but that is my view. I would never in my wildest dreams try to tell anyone else that mennagde is actually some sort of objective definitive teaching, even though for me, it is.

is free from internal contradiction

The internal contradiction comes from how the three natures are synthesized with the two truths. The shentong reinterpretation deviates from the standard understanding in Yogācāra, but nevertheless shentong claims it has the actual understanding.

To claim the fact that gzhan stong interfaces with sutras means that it's not a view for and from highest yoga tantra is to misunderstand Dolpopa's project and hermeneutic strategy.

Gzhan stong is not anuttarayogatantra, there is no abhiseka involved in its teachings at all. It is just a sūtrayāna view that is referenced from within the framework of anuttarayogatantra, just like us Dzogchenpas reference prasangika even though prasangika is likewise sūtrayāna.

or someone outside the Jonang, you can read Khenpo Tsultrim's teachings in Shenpen Hookham's The Buddha Within.

I'm not interested but thanks.

There is a section called "Tantric Shentong" that may be of interest, along with comments throughout the book on why, without tantric initiation and secret oral instruction, you simply will not understand what gzhan stong means

Yes, I mean different shentong sympathetic lamas are going to make all sorts of claims of this nature.

is not about reconciling sutra views, and is about the tantric sadangayoga practice.

Shentong literally is about reconciling sūtrayāna views. It is the three natures synthesized with the two truths through a novel understanding of Maitreyanātha's five treatises.

I posted this more so for onlookers that they may have the facts about gzhan stong rather than to convince rangtongpas.

Sure, I am doing the same. To add, rang stong is a false title. It is a shentong straw man. Rangtong does not exist. There is just normal mahdyamaka and then shentong. Just because shentongpas call non-shentong madhyamaka "rangtong" does not mean non-shentong madhyamaka is rangtong.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


Ask Ācārya Malcolm, this is an anecdote of his based on a personal debate with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


and he explicitly stated that gzhan stong was derived from the Kalacakra tantra

Shentong is a known sūtrayāna view, it is even presented in the sūtra section of Dudjom Rinpoche’s big red book, this is really a non-controversial point. Shentong is not anuttarayogatantra, not Vajrayāna since there is no abhiseka, it is a sūtra view.

On top of that shentong is substantiated by its adherents through a novel reinterpretation of Maitreyanātha’s five treatises, sūtra texts. This does not invalidate shentong in any way, but shentong is not a mantrayāna view.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


Because it's not realized.

Right, this is the definition of the basis in these teachings, “something not yet realized.” The result is the total and complete knowledge of that which is unrecognized in the basis, thus, how can the result exist at the same time as the basis as Dolbupa asserts? It is nonsensical.

Kagyu/Nyingma practitioners especially: thoughts on Advaita Vedanta and Ramana Maharshi?


The Rigpa Rangshar rejects Advaita Vedanta even mentioning Ādi Śaṅkarācārya by name, so it is important to understand why.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


Dzogchens view is basically identical to Mahamudra's man.

Sort of. In essence yes for the most part, but the paths are quite different. For example the four yogas and four ting nge 'dzins appear very similar at first glance, but there are subtle differences such as the four yogas being progressive and the tingdzins being immediate. Also no thögal in mahāmudrā, which is essentially the cornerstone of atiyoga which sets it apart form the other inner yogas, and so on. These are differences in the path or method, the basis and result are the same.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


Shentong still holds mind is empty.

Most contemporary shentong, yes. Dolbupa's shentong though? He is quite clear that the perfected nature is established.

When pressed, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche actually admitted that there is not much difference between Dolbupa's shentong and Advaita Vedanta. For whatever that is worth.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


I think you're still not getting that there are multiple different "Shentongs" out there.

I'm thoroughly aware. I get that there is the original Jonang shentong of Dolbupa and Taranatha. Then it begins to be slightly more subtle in Mikyo Dorje's expositions, Shakya Chogden, Jamgon Kongtrul, etc.

Now it's very much similar to Ju Mipham's view.

Mipham's view is Dzogpachenpo.

When I see what you're writing your view is, I recognize it as my view but worded just very very slightly differently. I eaally don't think these tiny differences matter when it's about going beyond all intellectual concepts and views together. Sure, it's important to understand the view, but the degree of nitpicking (which I'm doing too so I'm not blaming you) seems to accomplish nothing. It I'd interesting and intellectually stimulating, except when I get angry and respond with aggression I'm creating bad karma.

Ok, well I think we can still discuss. If you don't want to however then that is okay too.

Are the Prajnaparamitas a good place to start reading?


I started early with the Diamond Sutra (Vajracchedikā-prajñāpāramitā-sūtra) it was of great benefit. Even if the subject matter seems difficult at first, it is good to be exposed to it and start to learn about it.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


Your views don't agree with Ju Miphams or any contemporary Nyingma master.

Which aspect of my views are discordant with Ju Mipham?

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


There are just nuances to these views which characterize them. Shentong is not simply this idea that emptiness and luminosity are inseparable, if it were it wouldn't be any different than other sūtrayāna views such as yogācāra or tathāgatagarbha. What makes shentong "shentong" are those nuanced aspects.

Beyond that, I think these conversations are always good, it makes everyone think and consider different viewpoints. When can only bring clarity and benefit.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


Are you also saying Dudjom Dorje Rinpoche, a great Nyingma masters, was bastardizing Yogacara and Madhyamaka?

Dudjom Rinpoche's personal affinity for shentong was his own, the Nyingma kyabjé's who preceded and followed did not necessarily have this same view. Does not mean it is wrong, it just means when you read this, you are reading Dudjom Rinpoche's view, which is great, but it is his own, and if you follow the Dudjom Tersar then perhaps you then adopt this view, if not, then really it boils down to a personal view.

you'll see a poster quoted him as referring to Prasangika as "outer Madhyamaka" and that "inner Madhyamaka"

Yes, this is just a shentong strawman, again, not actually rooted in any doctrinal basis.

refers to Great Madhyamaka

The joke of mahāmadhyamaka is that at one time in history, every single madhyamaka system has claimed to be "mahāmadhyamaka," thus the title really means nothing more than the type of madhyamaka the particular lama prefers. Shentong does not have a "trademark" on it, as my teacher once said.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


I don't know how you would get that from solely the Prajnaparamita sutras.

The prajñāpāramitā sūtras are the first place we really encounter the idea of phenomena being in a state of cessation from the very beginning, but this is not known due to our delusion. The tathāgatagarbha is an extension of this which covers the innate embodiment of buddhahood in a coarse manner.

That's why you never see Nagarjuna talking about the luminosity aspect of mind's nature

Yes, Ārya Nāgārjuna does not generally discuss luminosity, the Siddha Nāgārjuna does though.

Buddha Nature is a teaching of the Third Turning

According to the Tibetan trope yes, but this was never a view in India. And even in early Tibet, these "turnings" were never truly set in stone. We sometimes see them inverted. The contemporary "three turning" model is not really based on any extant Indian literature, meaning it has no true doctrinal basis. Which is fine, but the main takeaway is that the rigid idea that somehow tathāgatagarbha is a higher view than madhyamaka and so on, is a personal opinion.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


Ultimate and relative truth are inseparable and I've never heard it say otherwise.

In most systems, yes, the ultimate is a generic characteristic of the relative. However in shentong, the perfected nature, pariniṣpanna, is completely set apart from the other two, dependent and imputed natures, by virtue of shentong's novel reinterpretation of the two truths. As a result, there is an internal contradiction in the form of a hard demarcation between these natures, and one has to wonder how does a conditioned nature even relate to a completely separate unconditioned nature?

If you say they're not there from the very beginning, and that the Dharmakaya hasn't primordially always been free

In most systems, dharmakāya is the result and is not present at all times. If dharmakāya were present at all times then we would always possess the jñāna of a buddha free from the two obscurations, but alas we do not yet possess that. For example, in common Yogacara the ālayavijñāna is transformed into the ādarśajñāna or dharmakāya by virtue of the exhaustion of its karmic bījas or seeds. In a teaching like Dzogchen, dharmakāya is actually not present in the basis or result, it is a path dharma. The ngo bo aspect of the basis ripens into dharmakāya on the path, and then all the kāyas are exhausted in the result.

Shentong stands apart in asserting that dharmakāya is fully formed at the time of the basis and is then merely revealed by the removal of afflictions, and then is still fully formed at the time of the result. This is a unique view, and many question why, if the dharmakāya is fully formed in the basis would the path be necessary at all?

also, isn't the view that all beings are enlightened in essence from the very start the entire basis of the fruition, Vajrayana path

No, not quite. The Vajrayāna trope of "taking the result as the path" signifies the generation stage, where the practitioner visualizes themselves as the yidam, and his/her environment as the deity’s maṇḍala.

the seeing of promordial wisdom and clarity as having always been there but not known due to ignorance?

Yes the dharmatā of mind is always present and is merely revealed as the two obscurations are removed, however, that dharmatā ripens into the dharmakāya. Sure, there are different dharmakāyas in some contexts, the dharmakāya of the basis for example is ka dag, but this is not the actual dharmakāya. The actual dharmakāya does not dawn even for 10th stage bodhisattvas. Only a buddha can know dharmakāya.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


If that alone makes it sutrayana, what’s to stop us from saying prasangika madhyamaka is also a sutrayana view, as it’s based off of the Prajñaparamita sutras?

All Madhyamaka is categorized as sūtrayāna.

You could even then come up with the paradoxical statement that the vajrayana is a sutrayana view,

Vajrayāna is set apart by abhiseka. Sūtrayāna does not have abhiseka of any sort.

as is is a unique interpretation of the Buddha-nature sutras synthesized with the two truths of madhyamaka.

Indeed, but a completely different methodology which sets it apart from sūtra.

consciousness is not self?


please kindly avoid troubling me with your pointless replies in the future

Quite rude.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


Khenpo Samdup Rinpoche says the emptiness of Jigten Sumgon is the Shentong view

My Drikung Kagyu lama, Drüpon Gongpo Dorje would adamantly disagree. Just depends on the lama and his/her direct lineage.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


You mentioned Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, but he says Shentong Madhyamaka, not Prasangika, is the highest view.

Some people have that opinion.

Most Kagyu teachers call themselves Shentong, not Prasangika these days

Depends on the Kagyu sect. Karma Kagyu is heavy leaning shentong, but a sect like Drikung Kagyu is more prasanga leaning.

Ultimately I realize that at some point arguing about rhe exact nature of emptiness-luminosity in words is pointless, at least for me, since the reality of the matter goes beyond concepts, completely beyond words

Any and everything is ineffable (beyond words). The issue with shentong is that their view harbors certain irreconcilable positions, for example, shentong asserts a hard demarcation between relative and ultimate truth, stating that ultimate truth is completely separate from the relative. Shentong also states that Buddha qualities are fully formed from the beginning, meaning the kāyas of the result are fully formed at the time of the basis, both of these positions contradict Dzogchen teachings for example.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


In Vajrayana there are some views that are not present in Sutrayana, eg. All beings already being promordially pure and enlightened from the start.

The tathāgatagarbha and prajñāpāramitā sūtras are really the locus classcus for “All beings already being promordially pure and enlightened from the start.”

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


Gzhan stong is absolutely a sūtrayāna view, the entire premise of its view is a unique interpretation of the three natures of Yogācāra synthesized with the two truths of Madhyamaka.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


I have often seen Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa referred to as Pransangika Madhyamaka adherents. Do you know if they spoke to this directly?

Longchenpa states that Prasangika Madhyamaka, meaning Nāgārjuna’s expositions (even though Nāgārjuna was obviously pre-prasanga) are the definitive sūtrayāna view, while the tathāgatagarbha sūtras are the definitive sūtra texts.

Emptiness and Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka in Relation to Dzogchen and Mahamudra


I complied this some years ago, I can try to track down the sources for you though.

consciousness is not self?


its best to not reply to a Theravada matter with a Mahayana answer.

These priniples and their implications are not Theravada specific. They are prevalent in every system and tradition. The so-called “Mahāyāna” reply I offered is directly applicable to Theravada. One who would think otherwise is simply failing to understood the universal nature of these topics within the scope of the Buddha’s teachings.

In Theravada, the Path is "conditioned" (MN 44) and every type of consciousness is conditioned (SN 22,59). Only Nibbana is unconditioned (MN 115; Ud 8.1,etc).

Yes, the same is true in Mahāyāna.

As a Theravadin who follows the Pāli Canon, you too aim to cultivate gnosis:

Just as the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch, in the same way this Doctrine and Discipline (dhamma-vinaya) has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual progression, with a penetration to gnosis (nana) only after a long stretch." — Ud 5.5

and,

Monks, I do not say that the attainment of gnosis (nana) is all at once. Rather, the attainment of gnosis is after gradual training, gradual action, gradual practice." -MN 70

consciousness is not self?


The species of “consciousness” which dwells in nirvana is gnosis [jñāna]. A Buddha’s mind is dharmakāya, i.e., jñānakāya, thus there is no contradiction.

This is a standard Buddhist view, whether Ajahn Sumedho promotes it or not, I don’t follow his teachings personally. But the principle is buddhadharma.

consciousness is not self?


He says all the time that consciousness is the unconditioned, unborn, deathless

This just means that consciousness always has an unconditioned nature, a dharmatā. For example, the dharmatā of consciousness [vijñāna] is gnosis [jñāna]. The purpose of these teachings is to recognize that jñāna. We are currently ignorant and suffer because we have no direct knowledge of it.

Jñāna is also selfless, because it is technically the emptiness of vijñāna. Neither vijñāna or jñāna are substantially established in any way.

12 links of dependent origination.


Nāgārjuna breaks the 12 links down into three phases: (i) affliction, (ii) action, (iii) suffering. Affliction drives the links: affliction—>action—>suffering—>affliction—>action—>suffering repeat.

He writes:

The first, eighth and ninth are affliction; the second and the tenth are action. Also the remaining seven are suffering. Twelve dharmas are gathered into three. Two arise from three. Seven are produced from two, that is the wheel of existence, it is turned again and again.

The twelve links take place over a period of three lifetimes. Rebirth happens at the link of consciousness and the link of birth. Links 3 through 10 are the links of this current life.

Which publishing house is the best/most authoritative for English translations of original buddhist texts.


It is Mabja Jangchub Tsondru's the Ornament of Reason. One of the only pre-Gelug commentaries of the MMK available. Jay Garfield, who arguably published one of the more popular MMK translations has said that the “Ornament of Reason” renders his own translation “obsolete.”

I am having a look at /u/krodha and there are heated discussions

Definitely not, I consider squizzlebizzle a friend and Vajra brother.

When the world ends


During the prālaya or period between universes, beings take rebirth in more subtle deva type realms until things begin again.

Practicing the Dharma in Sexual Relationships


The question was regarding the scope of your presentation, including bodhicitta presented in the context of sex and sexual partners, and whether that is something Vajrayāna teaches, and the answer is sort of. The bodhicitta part, sure. The treatment of a partner in sex, kinda. The two together, not really. And then cultivating conditioned virtue can be a distraction for some Vajrayānis.

is breathing or breathing methods mentioned in any Buddhist texts?


There is a rich system of pranayama in some Indian and Tibetan teachings.

With all the discussion around abortion lately, can someone point me toward specific Suttas that speak to life/rebirth occurring at the point of conception?


If the embryo forms when a heavenly being decides to take up residence in the fertile conditions of the womb

Not a heavenly being. There are different uses of gandhabba. “Gandhabba” in this context is a term used to denote the series of aggregates in the intermediate state between lives.

do you think nibbana is non duality?


Nondual in Buddhism really means a freedom from extremes. Thus the Kaccānagotta sutta and others do teach of Buddhist nonduality [advāya].

do you think nibbana is non duality?


Any psychophysical activity that is based upon, and also reifies, a subject-object division.

do you think nibbana is non duality?


The essence of mind is the samsara of dualistic grasping. The essence of vidyā is nondual nirvana.
— Longchenpa

Practicing the Dharma in Sexual Relationships


It means he thinks I am speaking false Dharma

This is a bit extreme. I think the post has value. Do the Vajrayāna tantras teach something like this explicitly? Not exactly. But if the takeaway is bodhicitta then that is a multi-layered topic, and sure, this is your personal, lived experience of applying aspirational and engaged bodhicitta.

It is obviously good to be virtuous in the context of our relative condition. In some Vajrayāna settings we have to be mindful and walk a fine line with “virtuous” conduct, as we are meant to be somewhat more free without the need for it, but as there is also no need for misdeeds, there is no problem.

Practicing the Dharma in Sexual Relationships


The squizzlebizzleyāna does.

So what's the deal with GoldenSwastika?


I like the premise, seems like a cool sub, I somehow hadn’t heard of it til today.

Buddhism vs Hindusim


Saying one ripped off the other is simplistic and child like.

Although the Advaita luminary, Gaudapāda admitted he adopted Madhyamaka dialectics in order to refute Dvaitins or dualist Vedantins.

What’s the point of liberation?


There is no self” is the granddaddy of fake Buddhist quotes.

This really isn’t true, and is an idea that is exclusively peddled by Thanissaro Bikkhu.

Moreover, not only does the Buddha explicitly state there is no self in any phenomena [sabbe dhamma anatta], he goes as far as he to be certain that it is understood there is no self or svabhāva in any dharma both conditioned or unconditioned.

The definition of anātman, or selflessness is very clear in texts such as the Bodhisattvayogacaryācatuḥśatakaṭikā which defines it as such:

Ātman is an essence of things that does not depend on others; it is an intrinsic nature. The non-existence of that is selflessness [anātman].

The misconception of a self is what lies at the heart of samsara, and in realizing anātman it is directly known that such a self never existed at any point in time. The self is nothing more than a stable deception that depends on certain afflictive conditions. When those causes and conditions are exhausted, then the misconception of the self is exhausted, and that is liberation.

Question for my Dzogchen people & Pure-Landers about mantras & dream yoga (Crazy nightmare experience)


The Dzogchen opinion:

When vidyā is practiced, since hells do not exist, the one who designates hells has been taken by Māra. When vidyā reaches its full measure, it is shown that neither buddhas nor hell beings were ever established. Therefore, it is shown that there is not the slightest difference between Buddha Samantabhadra and the King of Hell, Dharmarāja.
— Vimalamitra

This dovetails with buddhafields or “purelands.” There can be pure and impure buddhafields, but ultimately no matter if the buddhafield you perceive is relatively pure or impure, all buddhafields are ultimately pure. This Sahalōka is Akaniṣṭha-ghanavyūha even now, you just cannot see it.

Below the path of seeing we treat our vidyā like a mirror. Whatever is reflected in a mirror does not affect the mirror, nor does the mirror accept or reject.

But, lofty words, nightmares can be terrifying, as Norbu Rinpoche always said: “just do your best.”

The concept of Emptiness


I may be wrong about what i think i have understood from yours and others comments here but it seems like the idea is that if we can break something down further suggests that its not real or true somehow? Is this right?

I think this idea is prevalent and I’m sure others may have asserted this in this thread, but that is not what I was saying. Breaking objects down into constituent pieces or parts is not what I was getting at. What I am saying is the intention in understanding emptiness should center around challenging the validity of the object that can possess parts and pieces from the very beginning.

A good example of this would be the “chariot” line of logical reasoning used most notably by Candrakīrti in his Madhyamakāvatāra in order to establish the lack of a fundamental, core identity (self) in phenomena. Candrakīrti argues that the identity of a given person, place, thing, etc., is merely an inferential, conventional designation that does not ultimately correlate to the basis of imputation that the alleged 'thing' itself is falsely predicated upon. Meaning: the alleged object that the designation infers (the existence of) cannot be found when sought due to the fact that the alleged object itself cannot bear keen analysis.

(i) There is no chariot which is other than its parts

(ii) There is no chariot which is the same as its parts

(iii) There is no chariot which possesses its parts

(iv) There is no chariot which depends on its parts

(v) There is no chariot upon which the parts depend

(vi) There is no chariot which is the collection of its parts

(vii) There is no chariot which is the shape of its parts

Here, Candrakīrti is calling into question the credibility of the entity in its entirety. Not even asserting that there is an entity which possesses characteristics such as wheels, axels, a wooden frame etc., that can be further broken down into parts and pieces. The point is not to break the object down to show it is unreal, but rather investigate the mistaken notion that it is possible to locate the object in the first place.

The concept of Emptiness


Elsewhere in describing Dharmakaya, you describe it as a generic characteristic.

Yes, dharmakāya is the “nature of mind” [citta dharmatā]. As the dharmatā of the dharmin called “mind” it is a generic characteristic [samanyalakṣana].

Could this be a case of two different terms translating into the same English term

Yes, these teachings will differentiate between generic characteristics [samanyalakṣana] and specific characteristics [svalakṣana]. When it is said that there are no characteristics in an ultimate sense, this is referring to specific characteristics [svalakṣana]. A svalakṣana is a specific characteristic of a relative entity. Like a fire hydrant being short and red. Short and red are examples of specific characteristics. A relative example of a generic characteristic on the other hand would be the wetness of water, or the heat of a flame. Heat and wetness are generic characteristics because they are identical in expression in every discrete instance of fire or water. So too, the dharmakāya is identical in expression in every instance of mind, but dharmakāya is just a generic characteristic which signifies the emptiness of mind (or inseparable emptiness and clarity). It is not some sort of singular monolithic nature like a substratum that is established in some way unto itself. Dharmakāya is just something about your own mind that is realized. It is the ultimate truth of the alleged relative entity called “mind.” Just as the Buddha clarifies in the Samdhinirmocana sūtra when he states that the ultimate is the generic characteristic [samanyalakṣana] of the relative.

Or perhaps the Dharmakaya consists precisely in that fact that there are no such characteristics?

Dharmakāya reveals that there are no specific characteristics [svalakṣana] because dharmakāya is by definition the complete and total realization of emptiness [śūnyatā]. A synonym for emptiness is an absence of characteristics. There are no characteristics because in realizing emptiness, we discover that there are no entities to bear said characteristics.

As for the importance of an absence of characteristics, here is something I wrote before on that topic, dovetailing absence of characteristics with the abandonment of views:

The absence of characteristics [alakṣaṇa] is revealed in the realization of emptiness [śūnyatā]. The Āryākṣayamatinirdeśaṭīkā describes the interrelation of these aspects of awakened insight:

The descriptions from the element of self [atmadhātu] up to the element of all phenomena [sarvadharmadhātu] are the nature of one taste in the ultimate dharmadhātu, emptiness. Since individual characteristics do not exist, all phenomena said to be "equivalent" since they are undifferentiated.

Therefore to actualize the “abandonment of views” one must realize emptiness, and through realizing emptiness, the absence of characteristics is directly known due to the absence of a would be inherent nature or “svabhāva” to possesses said characteristics. At that time, because entities are realized to be non-arisen, the basis of imputation which was previously mistaken to be an object endowed with specific characteristics is recognized to be a heterogeneous array of appearances that do not actually constitute or create the entity they were previously misconstrued to characterize. In the absence of an entity, existence and non-existence, having no substantial referent, are undone and as a result all views (and characteristics) are exhausted.

In his Mūlamadhyamakakārika, Nāgārjuna clarifies that the pacification of views is contingent upon insight into emptiness whereby existent entities that are capable of existing and/or lacking existence are recognized to be unfounded. He likewise chastises those of “little intelligence” who assert otherwise:

Some of small intelligence, see existents in terms of “is” or “is not”; they do not perceive the pacification of views, or peace.

“Peace” here again is intended to illustrate an absence of characteristics, the Ārya-tathāgatācintyaguhyanirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra states:

"Nirvana is peace" denotes actualizing the absence of characteristics.

Candrakīrti concurs in his Madhyamakāvatāra:

The absence of all characteristics is peace.

We can understand “peace” and “pacification” in general to be the import of such statements. The pacification of characteristics and therefore the pacification of views, resulting from an awakened and experiential knowledge of the nature of phenomena, emptiness free from extremes, the Aṣṭasāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā sūtra states:

What is called "knowledge of all things" is the result of knowing one thing: the true nature of phenomena, which has the attribute of peace.

One may ask, how is such an insight possible? It is possible because all phenomena are innately empty and devoid of a svabhāva that possesses characteristics, however ignorance and affliction obscure that fact. The purpose of applying the dharma is to discover that hidden nature of phenomena that is always already the case, but is concealed by our delusion. The Ārya-kāśyapa-parivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra is clear that emptiness and an absence of characteristics are innate attributes which only need be recognized:

Kāśyapa, moreover, the true discernment into dharmas of the middle way is not making dharmas empty with emptiness, dharmas themselves are empty; it is not making dharmas without characteristics with the absence of characteristics; dharmas themselves lack characteristics.

It is only our affliction which causes us to perceive entities that are endowed with characteristics, when in actuality no such entities have ever originated in the first place. The realization of emptiness is simultaneously the antidote to those afflictions, and the means by which the absence of characteristics is ascertained. The Play of Noble Mañjūśrī Sūtra states:

Afflictions are temporary, they cannot simultaneous with the realization of emptiness; they cannot simultaneous with the knowledge of the absence of characteristics and the absence of aspiration; they cannot simultaneous with natural luminosity.

Nāgārjuna states in his Lokātītastava:

You [the tathāgata] taught that those who do not realize that characteristics do not exist are not liberated.

And in closing it is important to bear in mind that because the referent to lack characteristics is exhausted, even the absence of characteristics is ultimately absent as a characteristic.

The Ananta­mukhapariśo­dhana­nirdeśaparivarta states:

Although the teachings conventionally refer to “the essence and nature of all phenomena,” phenomena are actually devoid of an inherent essence or a nature. The inherent nature of things is that they are empty and lack an essence. All that is empty and devoid of an essence has a single [generic] characteristic: since phenomena are devoid of [specific] characteristics, their [generic] characteristic is complete purity, and thus by definition there is nothing to label as empty or essenceless. Since by definition there is nothing to label as empty or essenceless, no phenomena can, by definition, be labeled.

Brahman (Capital B) in Buddhism? Is Nirvana a state of mind or an unconditioned reality?


There is no interest in Brahman. There is interest in Ariya-Magga (Noble-Path).

Yet it is important to understand precisely what the ārya-marga (path of the āryas) is. If the aspirant does not comprehend the difference between (i) the sthāna-marga-phala or basis, path and result of the buddhadharma and (ii) the basis, path and result of relevant tīrthika systems, then this can cause issues. As Āryadeva said, realization is based on view. If the view is unclear, then this can potentially disrupt progress on the ārya marga, or even compromise entry to the ārya marga itself.

In any case, not trying to dominate the thread. Just trying to advocate for a healthy relationship with Buddhist metaphysics, because often there can be a trend to suppress such things, in an anti-intellectual way, which is a western invention. Traditional Buddhism has never shied away from study and even debate in post-equipoise activities, which is what reddit discussions qualify as.

Brahman (Capital B) in Buddhism? Is Nirvana a state of mind or an unconditioned reality?


Whenever I ask a monk a question that is about Buddhist metaphysics, like your question, they always advice me to focus more on 4 noble truths and 8 food for path.

Not every bhikṣu may be fully aware of the depths of Buddhist metaphysics (meaning a Theravāda bhikṣu will most likely not be classically trained in something like Śāntarakṣita‘s refutation of Advaita Vedanta in his Tattvasaṃgraha), it is important to bear in mind what system or tradition they belong to. Clearly metaphysics are discussed in depth in the abhidhamma, and these specific issues regarding differences between buddhadharma and sanatanadharma are elaborated upon heavily in Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna expositions.

I can see the logic behind a bhikṣu advising that you focus on fundamentals, but Buddhist scriptures are also very dense with metaphysical topics and comparisons, because it is important to understand such things, especially if it helps the practitioner to remove doubts... which is the sole purpose of such writings.

Brahman (Capital B) in Buddhism? Is Nirvana a state of mind or an unconditioned reality?


In comparing Buddhist principles such as nirvāna, or dharmakāya with something like the Brahman of Vedanta, there are distinct differences. Brahman on the one hand is a transpersonal, ontological, truly established ultimate. Whereas dharmakāya is a buddha’s realization of śūnyatā, emptiness, brought to its full measure at the time of buddhahood, which results from the cultivation of jñāna, or a direct non-conceptual, yogic perception of emptiness. Dharmakāya is the nature of a personal continuum of mind, is epistemic in nature, and is not a truly established ultimate nature.

The great Buddhist adept Bhāviveka, who lived during a time in India where there were many polemical debates and interactions between different traditions, addresses the distinctions in many of his expositions. This excerpt from his Tarkajvālā is especially pertinent:

If it is asked what is difference between this dharmakāya and the paramātma [bdag pa dam pa] (synonymous with Brahman) asserted in such ways as nonconceptual, permanent and unchanging, that [paramātma] they explain as subtle because it possesses the quality of subtlety, is explained as gross because it possesses the quality of grossness, as unique because it possess the quality of uniqueness and as pervading near and far because it goes everywhere. The dharmakāya on the other hand is neither subtle nor gross, is not unique, is not near and is not far because it is not a possessor of said qualities and because it does not exist in a place.

Thus we see that that dharmakāya is not an entity-like "possessor" of qualities. Conversely, brahman which is an ontological entity, does possess characteristics and qualities.

Dharmakāya is not an entity at all, but rather a generic characteristic [samanyalakṣana]. As the Buddha says in the Samdhinirmocana, the ultimate in Buddhism is the general characteristic of the relative. The dharmakāya, as emptiness, is the conventional, generic characteristic of the mind, as it is the mind’s dharmatā of emptiness, it’s actual nature that is to be recognized. Liberation results from the release of the fetters that result from an ignorance of the nature of phenomena, and this is how dharmakāya is a non-reductive and insubstantial nature.

The differentiation of brahman as an entity versus dharmakāya as a generic characteristic is enough to demonstrate the salient contrasting aspects of these principles. Dharmakāya is an epistemological discovery about the nature of phenomena, that phenomena lack an essential nature or svabhāva. Alternatively, brahman is an ultimate ontological nature unto itself. Dharmakāya means we realize that entities such as brahman are impossibilities, as Sthiramati explains, entities in general are untenable:

The Buddha is the dharmakāya. Since the dharmakāya is emptiness, because there are not only no imputable personal entities in emptiness, there are also no imputable phenomenal entities, there are therefore no entities at all.

Lastly, another succinct and pertinent excerpt from the Tarkajvālā, regarding the difference between the view of the buddhadharma and tīrthika (non-Buddhist) systems:

Since [the tīrthika position of] self, permanence, all pervasivness and oneness contradict their opposite, [the Buddhist position of] no-self, impermanence, non-pervasiveness and multiplicity, they are completely different.

The concept of Emptiness


We just have to strive to purify our minds of the species of ignorance which makes tables and so on appear to be real entities. The issue is in the mind, not in phenomena. Phenomena have always been unconditioned and pure from the very beginning, but we fail to recognize this. This teaching is the method to bring about that recognition so that truth can be fully integrated. When that recognition is completely integrated and brought to its full measure, that is buddhahood.

The concept of Emptiness


u/shooptube27 “Inter-being” is sort of a coarse interpretation of dependent origination [pratityasamutpada], but the idea of inter-being actually aligns more closely with dependent existence [parabhāva] which is refuted by Nāgārjuna as a guise for inherent existence [svabhāva].

Meaning dependent origination in its actual intention, as a synonym for emptiness, is not actually a way to describe things depending on one another.

Thich Nhat Hahn would sometimes introduce these concepts so they are more easily digestible from the standpoint of a westerner. Thus “inter-being” is okay but does not actually capture the true meaning of emptiness i.e., non-arising.

The concept of Emptiness


Emptiness means when you truly scrutinize an object or entity you cannot find that entity. It is a difficult principle to understand.

Even in this very thread when monkey_sage writes:

Example: A table disappears under analysis. There are four legs, a flat top, a purpose, a name (table), qualities of hardness, height, length, width, an apparent origin (when the table was "made"), an apparent end (when the table breaks or otherwise stops being able to be used as a table). If you were to spend any time looking for what makes the table a table, you will never find it. It has no inherent essence. It is only a table because of all these factors (and more) coming together in a particular way for a particular duration under a particular observation and cognitive apprehension.

This is a nice explanation but it is not entirely accurate. The idea that there is a table that comes together because of certain objective factors is not even true (Candrakīrti refutes this idea). The table is a complete inference, there is no table entity there at all. The basis of designation, which in its distilled form is more subtle than a table-top, four-legs and so on, is actually just sensory phenomena, shades of color, shapes (again colors bordering one another), tactile sensation, and so on. There is no entity behind the color or shape, no entity that possesses those colors and shapes as characteristics. There are in fact no characteristics anywhere in an ultimate sense. Phenomena are in an innate state of cessation, having never arisen at any point in time. We as sentient beings are afflicted by an error in cognition that causes us to objectify appearances and reify them as entities in a habitual way. This dharma is a means to cut through those fortifying factors so that we can see the way things really are, as unborn, unconditioned, pure and naturally perfected.

Tsultrim Allione on Christ and Madonna and Tara


people may encounter the nature of the mind and call it God if they find themselves in the right circumstances.

Maybe. There is also the difference between types of gnoses to consider. For example the gnosis of Vedanta or Samkhya is not the same as Buddhist gnosis. They are both profound, but as Buddhists we generally hold that only our equipoise is truly liberating because the gnosis of tirthika systems still retains a basis for identification, and thus those seeds of dependent origination are not uprooted so to speak.

Like Āryadeva said, realization is dependent on view. Thus if you have a tirthika type view, that will inform your realization in a manner that produces tirthika leaning gnosis. Even in Vajrayāna, the “view” is contained in the four abhisekas, which in something like Dzogchen is the fourth abhiseka distilled to its essence. These empowerments set the stage for the reversal of the afflictive dependent origination that is the cause of samsara. And while I respect other contemplative traditions and feel they have value to certain degrees, the buddhadharma is truly unique in these regards because no other dharma expounds dependent origination.

Tsultrim Allione on Christ and Madonna and Tara


Even in esoteric Christian thought, such as Paul Tillich who is oft mentioned as an example, his positing of a ground of being immediately sets up an irreconcilable difference. Again, something closer to Advaita Vedanta.

The problem is that I don’t think people understand these subtle distinctions and their implications. Esoteric Christianity is absolutely a contemplative tradition, which accesses the species of gnosis they champion, but that type of gnosis is not like the jñāna of buddhadharma.

To add, esoteric Christianity as a complete system is no longer a thing, it has been systematically suppressed and intentionally compromised by the church for centuries. If it were a complete and living soteriological system I could understand the comparison, but if in the off chance, those Christian lineages are alive anywhere, they are certainly scattered to the wind and the idea of them being unbroken is wishful thinking. Why spend time on an incomplete picture or map rife with degradation when there are actual, unbroken lineages available with soteriological potency in the buddhadharma? Something to ponder.

What would a Buddhist say to a Christian Apologist who is questioning his worldview?


Buddhism doesn't need you to take anything on faith and there is nothing to defend.

We do start with a certain degree of faith. However only in the sense of the same sort of faith you would have that a master martial artist has the ability to properly train you. You have faith in their abilities even though you have not yet developed those qualities yourself. Then later when you practice and your qualities develop, faith is just the confidence that the process works.

The problem with something like Christianity is that it is essentially a total belief system that hinges on faith beginning to end. Which is something quite different. Buddhist faith is meant to transform into direct perception.

Tsultrim Allione on Christ and Madonna and Tara


I would argue that there are self-secret teachings there, and even that Jesus in the New Testament was saying things much like you are here. He was basically railing against a corrupt and overly worldly religious bureaucracy that is completely disconnected from the ultimate meaning of what it is to be with God.

Sure, but there are so many glaring principles that are so completely at odds with the buddhadharma. Creation ex nihilo, divine provenance. free will, the soul, original sin, none of these ideas correspond to buddhadharma. What reconciliation can there be?

I honestly have no idea how this trend of Christianity and Buddhism being alike has gained so much favor in this subreddit. Never in over a decade of any other buddhadharma forum has this trend been so prevalent. It is beyond strange to say the least.

Esoteric Christianity is just a mystical system supported by an inferior worldview. Different basis, path and result.

But I think the woke dharma is really aiming towards the esoteric, which I think features more prominently as a mysterious and easily misinterpret-able force in other doctrines

Advaita Vedanta would be a better choice for arguing similarities. I have no idea where this Christian thing comes from. Seem like it is just a few reddiors here that push it.

Tsultrim Allione on Christ and Madonna and Tara


Fair enough but still don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that true contemplative traditions exist where there is otherwise *a lack of dharma.

They do indeed exist. However, just as I was discussing with squizzlebizzle elsewhere, there are contexts that must be explored. My comments about Christianity above are leveled at modern, contemporary christianity, which apart from inklings of views such as the father, son, Holy Spirit and so on, have totally lost their esoteric or gnostic roots. One may take these surface level concepts and attempt to graft them onto another esoteric tradition, claiming they are the same, but it is speculative.

There is (i) modern, exoteric christianity, (ii) ancient esoteric christian gnosticism, and then (iii) other ontological leaning contemplative traditions that are esoteric in nature, and then (iv) buddhadharma.

My distaste is really directed towards the first. The prominent dualities featured in exoteric monotheism are absolutely destructive and have an insidious effect on the cultural psyche in so many ways. The implications are vast, and much of the issues in our modern world stem from the conditioning that comes from these assumptions or views that accompany exoteric monotheism.

And then beyond that, how the four listed above relate to one another is a whole other topic.

It is sort of a "woke dharma" trend to be very accepting of these apparent syncretic similarities, even on an experiential level, between these various traditions. My views on the matter are not rooted in ideology, or dogmatism. There are palpable differences in the quality of realizations and so on that must be considered.

Tsultrim Allione on Christ and Madonna and Tara


Yeah. Not a fan.

Tsultrim Allione on Christ and Madonna and Tara


And then of course, maybe you or /u/krodha or /u/squizzlebizzle have experienced this (sorry for tagging, you are the only people I know on this site that really seem to want to talk about practice like this). but it seems like as you sit, things just kind of … detach and dissolve. i think im a fairly calcified person so maybe this manifests differently for you all, but you know there are these things which appear to be solid but arent, they have many sides to them. At first thet are very large, they appear very large in the mind or body. but over time they kind of … “burn off” and become freed.

If you really have a handle on the "view," and you understand how to apply that, then when you are utilizing that method everything that appears will become fuel for your practice and will enhance the potency of your practice.

That said, I personally think Jesus and Christianity, barbarian dharmas of whatever nature, are a plague on this earth.

What is the chant Teyata Gate Gate Paragate Parasam Gate Bodhi Soha for?


"Svaha" means something like "let it be so" or "it is so."

Tsultrim Allione on Christ and Madonna and Tara


No, equating Buddha with Jesus is the New Age-y thing to do. "All religions are one" is the hippy dippy 'spiritual' attitude.

It is called “perennialism.”

Tsultrim Allione on Christ and Madonna and Tara


What Jesus taught is incompatible with what the Buddha taught, and grossly inferior to it. Equating the two is an insult to the Buddha

Yes, equating the two is definitely misguided and has the potential to mislead people.

Should we donate our organs, after we die?


Yes, usually 1 to 3 days after breathing has ceased.

if I take the three Buddhist refuges, would it be consistent to "unsubscribe" from the Catholic Church?


He said that it's the same, just different culture

Not quite. He said how it is possible to see remnants of something deeper and mystical in the catholic religion, but that it has been corrupted and lost.

Should we donate our organs, after we die?


I heard of saying of 8 hours (some say 24 hours) when one is declared death, that it is not advisable to move the body as the 7th and the 8th senses have yet departed, this belief has caused a dilemma to some Buddhists.

It is up to 3 days actually. It takes three days for the inner vāyu to cease after the physical breath has stopped. Consciousness remains in the body until the inner vāyu ceases, thus the western view of “clinical death” is somewhat premature in timing.

This is the reason why some Buddhist cultures do not move or disturb the body for a few days after the outer breath has stopped. Two drops of blood and mucus will come out of the nostrils when the inner vāyu finally ceases, and that is the sign that it is okay to move the body.

How can one think that a fetus is a human being, yet at the same time be pro choice?


I don’t think so, although the other day at the bookstore I encouraged a guy who was looking for the Alan Watts section by telling him Watts is a good introduction for understanding eastern philosophy in general.

Apart from instances of that nature no one ever knows that I am a practitioner of buddhadharma, and I do not try to condition others. If they have an Internet in buddhadharma then sure I would encourage them to investigate it, but they would have to make that known, I do not bring up Buddhism to strangers, or even friends or family in general.

How can one think that a fetus is a human being, yet at the same time be pro choice?


Would that make "pro-choice" also rooted in Judeo Christian beliefs?

Pro-choice is just the antithesis of pro-life. It is actually a straw man, a pseudo polarity of the “pro-life” campaign engendered by these zealots. I’m not a “pro-choicer” I simply have no urge to condition others with views rooted in religion. That means I am “pro-choice” by default, because I have no desire to control others based on personal views, but such an expression of the ethos that embodies “pro-choice” in this form is not an agenda, it is the absence of agenda at heart. There is no agenda behind simply allowing people to govern themselves in terms of their own body.

the only way out of it would be through rationalizing that abortion is not killing, cos its not a human being but just bunch of cells.

Obviously an equally misguided position, clearly rooted in materialistic views as you mentioned. This type of view can also breed dogmatic identification.

Could possibly killing be moral, if it creates less suffering than not killing?

Killing simply and invariably incurs a karmic debt. But it is not my job to enforce others to not engage in akusala activity that incurs karma. That is their own choice to make.

Do we use karma as a baseline for our morality, or do we use compassion for suffering of others?

The Buddha explains in the Ārya-āyuṣman-nanda-garbhāvakrānti-nirdeśa:

Then, the Bhagavan said this to Āyusman Nanda, “Nanda, when a sentient being wishes to enter the womb, if causes and conditions are perfect, a body will appropriated. However, if [the causes and conditions] are not perfect, a body will not be appropriated.

According to these teachings, if pregnancy occurs it is because the causes and conditions were “perfect.” Which means the intentional termination of the pregnancy is an act of killing a sentient being, one’s own child at that. What suffering justifies that action? How is it compassionate? But, like I said, at the same time that is my own view, related to a the guarding of my own conduct, it is not something I should attempt to condition others with.

How can one think that a fetus is a human being, yet at the same time be pro choice?


How can one think that a fetus is a human being, yet at the same time be pro choice?

As a practitioner of the buddhadharma my only “job” in relation to the precepts is to guard my own conduct. I really have no business telling other people how to conduct themselves, much less establishing laws of that sort, especially when the objection to abortion is rooted in ones personal religious interests and background.

Besides, “pro-life” is in actuality, a political position. Rooted in Judeo Christian ideals, and as such I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

Why is Desire the root of all suffering?


Avidyā or ignorance in the form of a certain type of knowledge obscuration is the actual root of all suffering in the buddhadharma.

Buddhist Monk leaving body at will. How is this possible ?


The actual practice that is related to this phenomenon is called “phowa,” in Tibetan systems.

Serious question, would this woman be expected to spend a long time in the lower realms the same as a violent suicide?


That os one hell of a dirty attempt of rationalisation

You’re in the Buddhism subreddit. The view of the buddhadharma is that karma is going to ripen at some point regardless of euthanasia. Mercy killing is only postponing that suffering.

What's the difference between a Buddha and an Arhat?


That is interesting. I’ve personally never been able to identify with Tsongkhapa at all. There have been Gelug leaning Atiyoga practitioners, but most align with the trödral view that Gorampa embodies. As Tibetan Buddhists we really choose between trödral, gelug or shentong as basic views for the most part.

What's the difference between a Buddha and an Arhat?


Gorampa says the main difference is that arhats realize the selflessness of the person imputed onto the aggregates, but not the selflessness of the aggregates themselves. Buddhas fully realize the selflessness of the self imputed onto the aggregates, and the aggregates themselves.

Now then, if it is thought that one will be able to give up the grasping true existence of grasping the true existence in the aggregates with the unimpeded path of the śrāvakas, since apprehending the non-existence of true existence of the aggregates is not the main point, but apprehending the non-existence of the true existence of the person is the main point, there is no error...

Because apprehending the freedom from proliferation of the four extremes with the unimpeded path of the path of seeing of Mahāyāna is the main point, that is the point of being able to give up all knowledge obscurations.

...In brief, primary object of realization of śrāvakas is the selflessness of the person but that realization grasps true existence in the aggregates. It is necessary to reject [such grasping to true existence] because grasping true existence of grasping the true existence in the aggregates has the unimpeded power to cause the actual grasping to the self of persons.

Is it possible to overcome sexual attraction?


Āryabodhisattvas on the higher bhūmis overcome sexual interests. Below that you will still experience sexual urges and attraction.

What does Bodhisattva truly mean?


Sort of true but the issue is somewhat more nuanced than that.

What do you think about early buddhism and EBT?


Every response in this thread so far is great (Hot4Scooter, bodhiquest, BuddhistFirst and NickPIQ).

What does it mean for "one" to attain nirvana if the self does not exist (Anatta)?


What's interesting is if you read the Sutta that Thanissaro Bhikkhu references, although it's true the Buddha doesn't give a point blank answer to the question, his discussion with Ananda afterwards suggests that the Buddha was much more concerned with how the lay person would react to a direct answer to the question.

The Buddha states in the sutta that his intention by refraining to answer was to avoid Vaccagotta from adopting an annihilationist view.

If there is no "self", how do you explain astral projections, out if body experiences?


There is a “subtle body” comprised of the inner elements.

What does it mean for "one" to attain nirvana if the self does not exist (Anatta)?


Sectarian_af is the new bbballs incarnation?

For my Vajrayana people: How do we view "intrinsic awareness" without a self?


When your awareness is deluded, it takes on the expression of being an internal observer of observed external phenomena. This predicament creates many misconceptions and misperceptions, even the small inclination that there could feasibly be a self behind awareness or that awareness is a reference point that could have anything behind it at all.

All of these spatial distinctions, temporal occurrences, these all emerge as a result of ignorance. The self is just a delusional aggregation of various causal conditions that manifest what seems like a monolithic entity, including assumptions of distance and the seeming flow of consecutive thoughts that appear to reference one another. The self is a truly incredible illusion, and it creates many issues. Luckily the mindstream can be purified of these limitations. And the buddhadharma is the means to accomplish this.

What does it mean for "one" to attain nirvana if the self does not exist (Anatta)?


Maybe “cronies” was the triggering remark? I don’t know. Thanissaro really does have a bunch of followers who have read his expositions purely by virtue of their availability and then it is like an echo chamber with everyone just repeating taglines. It is like a little Thanissaro army, I didn’t really intend to be offensive by describing them as “cronies.”

What does it mean for "one" to attain nirvana if the self does not exist (Anatta)?


Bhikkhu Bodhi is not within the Thai Forest Tradition.

Ok, well then as an authority on the Pāli suttas, he disagrees with Thanissaro’s views at times, and people should be aware that there are differing takes on certain concepts and topics. It is the healthy way to learn about these teachings.

What does it mean for "one" to attain nirvana if the self does not exist (Anatta)?


Thanks.

What does it mean for "one" to attain nirvana if the self does not exist (Anatta)?


I genuinely feel that while Thanissaro Bikkhu’s contributions to dharma are great in terms of his translations, that he does a great disservice to people trying to understand this profound dharma by promulgating this “not-self” apophatic misinterpretation of anātman. The parroting of this view is so prevalent nowadays, I do indeed feel it is necessary to object when I see it expressed. Especially in the lazy way it is usually demonstrated in brief tag line comments with no unpacking of the alleged logic behind the claim, such as, “the Buddha never said there is no self,” or “anatta doesn’t mean no self.”

To me this is an expression of this degenerate yūga and is a poisoning of buddhadharma. So while sure, I can be more gentle and polite about it if we are concerned about the tone, I very much take issue with these views, and while I am being assertive rather then hostile, I’ll concede and find a better way to communicate my utter disagreement with said views if that is deemed necessary.

It feels like every time the user to whom you are replying expresses a perspective of theirs, even when they have done so without the slightest hint of hostility, you go on the offensive in a way that feels hostile.

Also to be clear I have no idea who this user is and do not recall ever interacting with them, so it is not personal, it is a purely information based transaction in terms of communication.

I’m not a hostile person, I’m merely being outspoken with my own opinions and views. Like I said I can check my tone if the perception it gives off is that of hostility, but I have no ill will, aggravation or irritation towards this user, or anyone in this subreddit for the most part. If I do then I will plainly state my issue as constructively as possible and then move along.

What does it mean for "one" to attain nirvana if the self does not exist (Anatta)?


What does it mean for "one" to attain nirvana if the self does not exist (Anatta)?

It means there is a mindstream that either expresses itself in an afflicted or pure form. When the mindstream is afflicted by ignorance (avidyā) then there is a samsaric sentient being who is reborn. When that same mindstream is purified of avidyā, then there is buddhahood.

The process of nirvana is simply the process of removing obscurations.

For example, from Ācārya Malcolm:

Buddhahood is a subtractive process; it means removing, gradually, obscurations of affliction and obscurations of knowledge. Since wisdom burns these obscurations away, in the end they have no causes for returning.

What does it mean for "one" to attain nirvana if the self does not exist (Anatta)?


Anātman does mean no self or selflessness, it is just Thanissaro Bikkhu and his little cronies who claim otherwise. Even other Thai Forest teachers like Bhante Sujato and Bikkhu Bodhi question Thanissaro’s apophatic reinterpretation.

Did Nagarjuna have a "Divine Revelation?"


It means the Buddha’s disseminated the teaching, and it was then stored in the nāgā realm until Nāgārjuna rediscovered/recovered them. And then he disseminated them to the human realm.

Did Nagarjuna have a "Divine Revelation?"


I have heard that some of "lineages" of Mahayana originate from the divine, either a bodhisattva or celestial Buddha.

In a way, Nāgārjuna essentially had one of the first treasure (terma) teachings.

Why are plant not considered alive?


Plants are alive because they have pranavāyu. But they do not have a mindstream, and thus are not classified as “sentient beings.”

Paths of Buddhism without renunciation (especially Vajrayana)


Remember that the ultimate goal of the Vajrayana is Buddhahood, which involves clearing away the fetters. The Vajrayana just takes a more direct approach and clears them away by enforcing the realization that they were never even an issue in the first place.

Vajrayāna’s position is the real fetters to be corrected are only our concepts about phenomena, not phenomena themselves. Thus Vajrayāna is not a renunciant path, because pure vision is the method and no phenomena are abandoned. This is why it is said Vajrayāna is the path of “transformation” rather than renunciation.

Yeshe Tsogyal


Also there are many texts which consist of Padmasambhava teaching Yeshe Tsogyal:

The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, 1978

The Lotus-Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, 1999

Treasures from Juniper Ridge: The Profound Instructions of Padmasambhava to the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal, 2008

From the Depths of the Heart: Advice from Padmasambhava, 2004

“Dakini teachings” mentioned above is also in this format.

Yeshe Tsogyal


Dakini Teachings, Sky Dancer, Life and Visions of Yeshe Tsogyal, Lady of the Lotus Born.

Is there any Buddhist meditation technique focusing on sound?


I have health problems, is there any Buddhist technique that focuses attention on sound, bells, etc?

Yes you can just use sound in general as an object of meditation.

Why do I unconsciously stop breathing when I meditate deeply/try for shamatha?


And I am not being disrespectful, if you are offended and angered, you should speak with your teacher before engaging in emotionally fueled protest.

I am so unbelievably angry and offended, I can barely hold myself back from engaging in an emotionally fueled protest.

Why do I unconsciously stop breathing when I meditate deeply/try for shamatha?


Also some advice from a Lion’s Roar article:

The path to entering the jhanas begins with what is called access concentration: being fully with the object of meditation and not becoming distracted even if there are wispy background thoughts. If your practice is anapanasati—mindfulness of breathing—you may recognize access concentration when the breath becomes very subtle; instead of a normal breath, you notice your breath has become very shallow. It may even seem that you’ve stopped breathing altogether. These are signs that you’ve likely arrived at access concentration. If the breath gets very shallow, and particularly if it feels like you’ve stopped breathing, the natural thing to do is to take a nice deep breath and get it going again. Wrong! This will tend to weaken your concentration. By taking that nice deep breath, you decrease the strength of your concentration. Just stay with that shallow breathing. It’s okay. You don’t need a lot of oxygen when you are very quiet both physically and mentally.

https://www.lionsroar.com/entering-the-jhanas/amp/

Am I on the right track believing the concepts of emptiness and impermanence are connected?


It’s just my opinion that it is this person’s opinion.

My personal opinion is that sentient beings are very familiar with impermanence, and it is no guarantee that they will awaken because they understand impermanence. Further as Nāgārjuna and others clarify, it is a delusion. That said, the antithesis of emptiness is svabhāva or inherent existence, if things existed inherently then they would be permanent, thus things must lack svabhāva by nature, but that does not mean one will realize the true meaning of that lack.

Am I on the right track believing the concepts of emptiness and impermanence are connected?


then why do some say impermanence is a doorway to emptiness? You say they’re wrong?

I don’t have doctrinal support for this claim, only a statement from an author Jen Chun in a book called Great Bodhi Mind:

As practitioners, we must understand impermanence. Impermanence is the gateway to emptiness. Thus to understand emptiness, we must start with an understanding of impermanence. Emptiness, in turn, is the gateway to non-birth. By understanding emptiness, you will not be attached to life. In other words, you will transcend the two extremes and all dualities. In this way, you will be able to enter non-birth. Non-birth is the gateway to Buddhahood.

Am I on the right track believing the concepts of emptiness and impermanence are connected?


Am I on the right track believing the concepts of emptiness and impermanence are connected?

They are sort of related, but not really. Some say impermanence is a doorway to emptiness.

Impermanence is a perception of arising and cessation, which is an impure, deluded cognition according to these teachings. Realizing emptiness is a yogapratyaksa, or yogic direct perception of non-arising, which means the entities previously thought to arise and cease are realized to have been unreal and non-arisen from the very beginning.

For example, Nāgārjuna states that the perception of impermanence results from delusion:

If you maintained that arising and dissolution of existents are indeed seen, arising and dissolution are only seen because of delusion.

Why do I unconsciously stop breathing when I meditate deeply/try for shamatha?


when I do enter what feels like that description, it will be a few moments before I realize I have stopped breathing and then I have to come out of this meditative state in order to "be attached" to breathing again.

This happens in one or more of the dhyāna (jhana) stages.

Edit: 4th dhyāna specifically:

Samyutta Nikaya 36:11 (Alone) "Then, monk, I have also taught the step-by-step stilling of fabrications. When one has attained the first jhana, speech has been stilled. When one has attained the second jhana, directed thought and evaluation have been stilled. When one has attained the third jhana, rapture has been stilled. When one has attained the fourth jhana, in-and-out breathing has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of space, the perception of forms has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of space has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of nothingness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of neither-perception nor non-perception, the perception of the dimension of nothingness has been stilled. When one has attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have been stilled. When a monk's effluents have ended, passion has been stilled, aversion has been stilled, delusion has been stilled.

Bikkhu Sunyo states that according to Ajahn Brahm: ”the perception of the breath ceases before nimittas. The breath itself is still happening, but you don't notice it. According to the sutta the breath itself stops in the fourth jhana, not just the perception of it.”

What were the Buddha’s arguments against annihilationist theories of consciousness?


The arguments against the annihilationist, physicalist view of consciousness is that mind is immaterial and cannot have a material cause. The validity of rebirth is inferred based on that logic. The cause of mind is the previous moment of mind, and this rosary of causal moments of mind is uninterrupted and inexhaustible.

This is Dharmakirti's reasoning set forth in the Pramanasiddhi chapter of the Pramanvarttikas. Many even in this thread are saying rebirth is argued based on śabda, the testimony of the Buddha, but Dharmakirti argues rebirth can be logically argued for based on inference [anumaṇa]. Once rūpa or matter is ruled out as a cause for mind, citta and caittas, then rebirth is the logical consequence, that, or causeless arising.

Does consciousness exist according to Buddha?


Modern science doesn’t know shit about consciousness.

Why'd You Choose the Tradition You Chose?


And other reason for initially picking Theravada was because I wanted to get as close as possible to the Early Buddhism and original words of the Buddha himself. Just makes more sense to me to go directly to the source when learning.

This a common misconception, both Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna also have teachings directly from Buddha Śākyamuni.

But I see in your last paragraph that maybe you are recognizing this.

How do you burn off negative Karma?


Only prajñā burns away negative karma.

Prajñā is a species of direct, experiential realization or omniscience (wisdom) that dawns in the individual's mindstream upon awakening. It arises as a profound insight into the nature of phenomena and by sheer force it has the power to burn away afflictive karmic traces that give rise to afflictive emotions [kleśa].

The Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra states:

Affecting the mind, kleśa and vāsanā can be destroyed only by a wisdom [prajñā], a certain form of omniscience [sarvajñatā].

There is a lesser form of prajñā that is able to eradicate the kleśas, and then a superior form of prajñā that destroys vāsanās. Only buddhas possess the superior form and have therefore dispelled both the kleśas and vāsanās. Effectively freeing themselves from negative karma.

The Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra continues:

There is no difference between the different destructions of the conflicting emotions [kleśaprahāna]. However, the Tathāgatas, arhats and samyaksaṃbuddhas have entirely and definitively cut all the conflicting emotions [kleśa] and the traces that result from them [vāsanānusaṃdhi]. The śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas themselves have not yet definitively cut vāsanānusaṃdhi... these vāsanās are not really kleśas. After having cut the kleśas, the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas still retain a small part of them: semblances of love (attachment) [rāga], hate (aversion) [dveṣa] and ignorance [moha] still function in their body [kāya], speech [vāc] and mind [manas]: this is what is called vāsanānusaṃdhi. In foolish worldly people [bālapṛthagjana], the vāsanās call forth disadvantages [anartha], whereas among the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas they do not. The Buddhas do not have these vāsanānusaṃdhi.

[deleted by user]


What is that last “five rules of leadership” square? Source?

I’m being polite asking for a source but would love to be surprised with an actual reference from the sūtras.

Otherwise that has no place here.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


Yeah, same as Madhyamaka being lumped in with prajñāpāramitā for the second turning.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


Śravākayāna teachings, prajñāpāramitā and then tathāgatagarbha.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


As an aside, for myself, the most interesting aspect of the Samdhinirmocana is that it is one of the original teachings on how dharmins and dharmatā relate to one another.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


A lot of the Shentong stuff just seems like Yogacara with extra steps.

It is just a bastardization of Yogācāra and Madhyamaka which corrupts an attempted synthesis of the two truths and three nature model.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


The turnings presented in the Samdhinirmocana are not referring to the contemporary three turning model. Fans of the contemporary model just try and use the Samdhinirmocana as the locus classicus to substantiate their allegiance to the three turnings.

Honestly it is really just shentong fans that engage in all this. The rest of us have no need for it.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


Mahāmadhyamaka is a meaningless title that has been attributed to every form of Madhyamaka at one time. No system has a real claim to it.

All samaya belongs to Vajrayāna, and none of these sūtrayāna classifications such as the turnings or shentong have any bearing on Vajrayāna view since it (Vajrayāna) is rooted in abhiseka.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


The Aksayamatinirdesa classifies Yogācāra and tathāgatagarbha as provisional teachings.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


Maybe I need to revise the Samdinirmocana

The turnings in the Samdhinirmocana have nothing to do with the contemporary three turning model.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


The three turnings in general have no basis in any extant sūtra. The three turnings as we know them is a Tibetan invention that became a staple in their presentation of sūtrayāna teachings.

The whole model is quite extraneous as it is. Shentong is a sūtra view so the validity of this model is important to them, but for Vajrayānis it has no application (even though some Vajrayāna teachers with an affinity for shentong bring it up), and most applied Tibetan Buddhism is Vajrayāna.

Really if you understand emptiness properly then this division of turnings becomes superfluous. On top of that the contemporary turnings are sort of rooted in this polemical argument directed at so-called rangtong Madhyamaka, which is another straw man that shentongpas invented.

The main takeaway is that in terms of sūtrayāna, you can be properly educated on how prajñāpāramitā and tathāgatagarbha (and Madhyamaka and Yogācāra) can be complimentary without ever deviating into this three turning model. And the alleged hierarchy that these turnings suggest is a total farce. Especially given that at one point in time in Tibetan historical doxography, the second and third turnings were inverted. The Hevajra corpus actually references that prior arrangement when it says that in terms of study, Madhyamaka should come after Yogācāra and tathāgatagarbha so the aspirant removes any inkling of substantialism that those teachings appear to advocate for.

In the end it becomes an indicator of personal preference and interest more than anything else.

Confused as to how Tsongkhapa views the third turning


You know when the Samdhinirmocana talks about the three turnings it never discusses Tathagatagarbha texts so I’m not sure why Tibetan scholars like to include them under that category.

Because the contemporary “three turning” schema is just made up. It is a fixation of Tibetan shentongpas for whatever reason.

what are the buddhist arguments against 'necassery' unconditioned reality?


what are the buddhist arguments against 'necassery' unconditioned reality?

Buddhadharma is nominalistic in nature, which means we consider ultimate truth to be that phenomena ultimately lack an essence. That epistemic insight into the nature of phenomena does not require another ultimate reality, it only requires this apparent reality, either accurately or inaccurately known.

and is Jnana unconditioned reality?

Jñāna is a gnosis or consciousness that accurately knows the nature of phenomena. Jñāna is considered unconditioned in Buddhist teachings, for example the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras state:

The original nature of the mind [ādyacitta or citta dharmatā] is luminosity [prabhāsvara].

The Mahāyāna-mahāparinirvāṇa sūtra states very simply:

Luminosity [prabhāsvara] is gnosis [jñāna].

In Bhavyakīrti's commentary on Aryādeva's Clear Lamp he states:

”Freedom from arising and ceasing" is luminosity [prabhāsvara], because it is unconditioned.

Here we see that luminosity (prabhāsvara) and jñāna synonyms which are terms for the nature of mind.

Jñāna is not an unconditioned reality, but it is a gnosis that is itself unconditioned and knows the unconditioned nature of phenomena, emptiness free from extremes.

I heard there is a Dzogchen creation story based on some literal interpretations based on the text,

This so-called Dzogchen “creation story” is just an explanation regarding the causes of the mind falling into delusion. The process that is described in that “story” did not happen eons ago, it is constantly happening in every moment. Dzogchen teachings provide the means to reverse that afflicted dependent origination that occurs as a result of that described error. In addition, this explanation does not violate infinite regress.

and what are the basic and strongest mahayana/vajrayana arguments against a creator God?

Vasubandhu’s critiques are good. These teachings are based on the mind becoming influenced by affliction and the means to purify the mind, along with the implications that follow both of those “states.”


What happened to u/BBBalls?


The user in question is neither fundamentalist nor traditionalist

The user in question only adheres to the Pāli canon under the Thai Forest specifically, and attacks every other school and system stating they are false. It is pretty disgusting actually. He is the definition of a fundamentalist.

What happened to u/BBBalls?


Yeah, he is a Thanissaro Bikkhuist.

What happened to u/BBBalls?


I always appreciated their no-frills answers to questions and found them a valuable asset to this sub and r/theravada. They seemed to have a knack for making something clear without using too many words. It was the right kind of no-nonsense discussion that would motivate me and set me straight when I needed it.

You’ll be happy that the ideological fundamentalism of the BBBalls account lives on in its new incarnation as breakingthechain.

Assuming they're real, I'm curious what these beings would be called in various Buddhist cultures. Yakshas?


There are eight classes of beings.

[deleted by user]


Integrate sensory experience so it fuels your dhyana.

Black metal and Buddhism


This question has been tormenting for a long time, is it correct for a Buddhist to listen to Black Metal? Are there Buddhists here who listen to black metal? Black metallers sing mostly about Satan and cruelty, while Buddhists are about kindness and stuff like that

It’s perfectly fine.

Everyone is different but if you are accepting and rejecting types of sound and categorizing one type of sound as pure versus one that is impure, and so on, this is really an indication that samādhi and equanimity are missing from your practice.

It is actually good practice to integrate with such things, listen to beautiful music and then something like the most gruesome goregrind metal. A sensory perception is a sensory perception, in the beginning be like a mirror, no matter the reflection that manifests, the surface of the mirror is unscathed and unaffected. Investigate the meaning of that, and you are well on your way.

What sect should I be?


Keep investigating sects, schools and systems until you find one that feels right.

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Blocking people is certainly antithetical to certain systems of buddhadharma.

Is there "group karma?"


There is collective karma in the sense that if you go to war and condone the killing of enemies, even if you do not kill anyone yourself, by virtue of your participation in war and supporting killing you will incur a karmic debt.

In Tibetan Buddhism there are sort of generational family curses called ye sri, but it is not related to karma and rather is what Tibetans call a gdon or “don.”

If there is no "I", then why should I be upset if someone hits me? Just trying to understand this logic in Buddhism.


For the record the Buddha never says there is no self. When asked point blank if there is a self he actually would not even answer.

This is actually a misconception that is spread around the Internet.

teaching children meditation


It is best not to condition children. Let them flourish with their own interests, and form their own healthy and balanced identity, which is crucial for a “successful” samsaric life. If they express interest in dharma then by all means nurture that interest. If not, nurture their other interests.

Some beings will have the karma for buddhadharma, most will not, the idea as dharma practitioners that our children will somehow be fall into that section of people with karmic inclinations for buddhadharma is probably wishful thinking. Temper your expectations there.

Just aim to raise a happy child and do everything in your power to not add to their afflictions.

Buddhism and Brain


In Buddhist teachings consciousness is not in the brain, the brain only helps to coordinate the sensory faculties.

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To be frank, for a while I’ve been getting a strange, almost cultish vibe from his online followers.

They definitely are a bit too enthusiastic at times.

I made a depiction of the Chönyd Bardo, also known as the the Bardo of the Experiencing of Reality (not working from any representational tradition).


not working from any representational tradition).

This only comes from one specific subsection of one specific tradition. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it does mean you are working from a single representational tradition.

Need clarity: Modern Vipassana actually an interpretation of Anapanasati as described in Anapanasati Sutta — Distinctions between historical teachings and the modern Vipassana movement


Historical vipassana and the vipassana movement are arguably two different definitions of vipassana. The former is an ārya’s clear seeing or insight into the nature of phenomena, and the latter is sort of an iteration of śamatha which uses analysis to various degrees.

Living in Samsara sucks


Living in Samsara sucks

This insight is really what lies at the heart of one’s refuge in the triple gem. Which is to say it is great insight to have.

Does the fifth precept mean no alcohol ever?


But hey, see you at the bar.

Honestly apart from dipping a finger in wine at tsok so I can have a drop, I’ve never drank alcohol in my life.

Does the fifth precept mean no alcohol ever?


Alcohol is consumed in many Tibetan Buddhist pūjas. Vajrayāna is not as strict as the śravākayāna. There are many śravākayāna adherents in this subreddit, they will say “it’s never skillful,” but whether or that applies to you depends on the system you practice.

Does the fifth precept mean no alcohol ever?


No alcohol ever.

There is a fair amount of alcohol at tsok for we who practice Tibetan Buddhism.

No alcohol ever is a śravāka thing.

Advice on starting the Canon and other texts


Which canon? There’s three of them.

Is Idolizing the Buddha against Buddhist theology of "Not Self"


The Buddha is the dharmakāya, the nature of your own mind. The Buddha is idolized and venerated because the three jewels, Buddha, dharma and sangha are the means by which you personally can actualize buddhahood and realize the true meaning of what it means to be a Buddha yourself.

The the prajñāpāramitā exegesis, the Buddha himself states that he is not to be actually idolized as name and form, he says the Buddha is not the rūpakāya, not the personage, not the historical character, the Buddha is the dharmakāya, and the dharmakāya is the nature of your own mind.

How do you actualize the citadel of the dharmakāya? By exhausting the two obscurations. How is that accomplished? By realizing the luminosity of mind and phenomena via the experiential realization of selflessness [anatta].

The Ārya-aṣṭasāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā Sūtra states:

Those who are attached to the tathāgata as a form or a name are childish and have corrupted discerning wisdom [prajñā], the tathāgatas are not to be seen as the rūpakāya; the tathāgatās are to be seen as the dharmakāya.

Tibetan & Pure Land Buddhism


What is Tibetan Buddhism's views on Amitabah and Pure Land scriptures?

Tibetan traditions have so-called “pure land” teachings as well. Although the root term kṣetras or zhing kham is better translated as “buddhafield” because there are both pure and impure buddhafields. Amitabha or Amitayus is included in many Tibetan teachings.

For my Vajrayana people: question about dhyana & strange things


I've noticed that, now that I've started meditating again, I'll have instances where I have a very vivid thought about an old friend I haven't seen or thought about in YEARS, then suddenly, I'll see that same exact person in the same day...one time it happened in a matter of 5 minutes. And This ONLY happens when I'm consistent with dhyana. Any other time, it doesnt happen when I'm in the discursive state. Similar instances happen with other kinds of things.

These synchronicities tend to occur when you are practicing diligently and correctly. I won’t pretend to know why, but happens to me as well.

What are Buddhist ideas on why the cycle of Samara exists in the first place?


I have not stumbled on any ideas of why the cycle exists, or for what purpose it exists at all.

Sravakayana and Mahayana do not really explain where samsara comes from, only that it has no first cause. In Vajrayana there are explanations regarding how samsara arises, because there are some practices that revolve around reversing that process, and therefore the onset of the process is explained.

Can budhists eat eggs?


I probably eat between 20 and 30 eggs a week. Also scrambled eggs in a tortilla with a little cheese... highly recommend.

Are there any alternative ways to exhausting your accrued karma?


But if one is hell-bent on escaping Samsara, is non-participation i.e. avoiding accumulating karma either positive or negative, the only way?

The prajñā of awakened equipoise burns away negative karma. If you are able to access that equipoise, the more you dwell in it, the more karmic obscurations will be removed.

If you are unable to access awakened equipoise like most people, then you will have to opt for purification practices, confession practices and guarding your conduct.

Question on no self


After the Buddha taught the five skandhas are "not-self", "self" still exists but conventionally (i.e., the existence of "self" is conventional truth). But ultimately (i.e. in ultimate truth) after fivefold analysis we cannot identify what is "self". So "no-self" is ultimate truth. Do I currently understand correctly?

Yes that is accurate. There are some other minor nuances, but that is the general accurate understanding.

Question on no self


These are technical nuances, but in the end the gist of these teachings does concern purifying consciousness of the afflictions of self and so on, so while the self isn't awareness, I'm not saying your assessment is completely mistaken. It would just need some fine tuning in order to understand in a buddhist context.

In any case, we all have lots to learn, including me, and you're well on your way.

Question on no self


the self is pure awareness.

Awareness is just a skandha in Buddhism, the self is an imputation.

Question on no self


Buddha ultimately decided not to answer the question or whether or not there is a self.

This is wrong. The Buddha was explicitly clear there is no self to be found in any dharma. His repeated statement sabbe dhamma anatta is a very exact phrase with no nuance in meaning. No dharmas, conditioned or unconditioned, contain, possess or create a self.

It's a common misconception that Buddha said something like "there is no self." What he said are things like the mind and the material world are not the self.

He said the five skandhas do not contain nor produce a self. There is no other basis for a self apart from the skandhas, āyatanas and dhātus. This is very clear.

What is the mind and the pathway of rebirth?


Now, my first question is, how would your mind know which body to inhibit based on your karma (is it somewhat omniscient, because how would it know to inhibit a body that will experience x, y and z because you did 1, 2 and 3 in your previous lives or life)?

It is said the intermediate state being is directed towards their next destination automatically based on the ripening of their karma.

Is the mind some form of energy?

The mind is not an energy, but the mind “rides” a type of energy called vāyu while both embodied and disembodied.

Is it related to consciousness (or different)?

Mind [citta] and consciousness [vijñāna] are essentially synonymous.

What path does the mind take upon death?

The mind goes through an intermediate state. Vijñāna paired with the mahāpranavāyu is sustained in a subtle body.

An atheist wants to become a Buddhist


I also came into Buddhism as an atheist - and still am, in the sense that I don't believe in the Biblical God or any other all-powerful creator being. Many Buddhists are.

We all are. One cannot be a legitimate practitioner of buddhadharma if they believe in a higher power.

The Self in Buddhism


The point is that Thanissaro’s aphophatic interpretation of anatta is completely novel.

The Self in Buddhism


"Not self" as a gloss is not the issue, you can translate anatta as "not self" that is no problem. It is the assertion that somehow there is a disparity between the meaning of "not self" and "no self" that becomes an issue.

There is only one meaning of anatta. The claimed distinction between the translations of "not self" and "no self" is false.

The Self in Buddhism


the Sabbasava Sutta

What is it that you believe this sutta says regarding this topic?

The alleged disparity you bring up does not actually exist outside the mind of Thanissaro Bikkhu.

The Self in Buddhism


Annihilationism only comes into play when someone asserts that a previously existent entity ceases and hence becomes non-existent. No definition of selflessness qualifies as annihilationism [uccedavāda].

The Self in Buddhism


This includes a faulty grasped view of there being no self.

This sūtra is addressing intellectual views. It is not stating that anātman is some sort of faulty principle to be overcome in any way.

If as the OP states, they understand intellectually that there is no actual self to be found anywhere, but this conceptual view is treated as a provisional stepping stone pointing them in the right direction to actually realize anātman experientially and non-conceptually, then that is “right view.”

How is nirvana unconditioned when it cannot exist without samsara?


Nirvana is just the cessation of samsara. Cessations are classified as unconditioned dharmas in Buddhist teachings.

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If you’ve received transmission for your tummo practice from a qualified lineage teacher, then you shouldn’t be discussing it on reddit. And if you haven’t received transmission then you should obtain it in order to effectively practice tummo.

Is ignorance of The Four Noble Truths suffering?


Avidyā would be associated with the second noble truth, pertaining to the cause of suffering, as it is the root cause of samsara.

No self but Self?


You might enjoy teachings by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharshi, who are practitioners of Hindu dharmas rather than Buddhism, but their views are essentially identical to what you describe above. Another guy named Ramesh Balsekar unpacks a lot of Nisargadatta’s teachings and makes them more understandable for a beginner.

Buddhism has the view of emptiness which means all phenomena are ultimately equal and non-dual due to lacking an essential nature, but this is not the same as a single self that actually pervades all phenomena. It is a subtle but important distinction that really differentiates the two systems.

Is ignorance suffering?


Ignorance [avidyā] is the root cause of samsara.

Are there modern day monks who practice alone in the forest?


Vajrayāna yogis, who can be either upāsaka or bhikṣu, will do solitary retreats in the wilderness, but their retreat territory will usually have borders, unless they are wandering. If it is a sort of instituted retreat there will be a designated area that food will be dropped off at certain days/times so that the practitioner can avoid having to interact with anyone.

how would buddhism explain paranormal activities?


Traditional Buddhist teachings include all sorts of unseen beings, psychic abilities and magical powers.

Yoga and how it works as a practise for buddhism


I don't know of any true Buddhist yoga practices.

Trul khor [yantra yoga] is genuine and legitimately “true” Buddhist pranayama [rtsa rlung] with physical asanas and so forth.

Yoga and how it works as a practise for buddhism


are there any true buddhist yoga practises to follow out there for the whole body?

Yes, for physical yogas you can look into Tibetan trul khor or yantra yoga. These are primarily pranayama practices which manipulate the body and breath to control the vayu, which in turn controls the mind. Yantra yoga is actually the basis for Hatha yoga, which has been popularized in the West.

Look up Fabio Andrico, he is a master of yantra yoga classically trained by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu.

Buddhadharma also has non-physical yogas, which is just the methods of realizing the nature of mind and integrating with that knowledge in order to actualize liberation.

How does Mind-Body dualism ‘work’ in Buddhism? Did the Buddha accept mind-body dualism as relative truth?


The Buddha taught the Mahāyāna prajñāpāramitā sūtras directly. And in Vajrayāna, the Guhyasamāja and Kalākākra tantras.

How does Mind-Body dualism ‘work’ in Buddhism? Did the Buddha accept mind-body dualism as relative truth?


True, sravaka abhidhamma is a wildcard in that respect. But ok will do.

How does Mind-Body dualism ‘work’ in Buddhism? Did the Buddha accept mind-body dualism as relative truth?


Mind-body dualism in buddhadharma is called nama rūpa, or name and form. Form is the material aggregate, and nāma is the mind and it’s relevant aggregates. This division is conventionally valid, but not ultimately.

How does Mind-Body dualism ‘work’ in Buddhism? Did the Buddha accept mind-body dualism as relative truth?


Therefore, 'non-duality' is not some type of standard or benchmark to judge the Buddhist teachings with.

In Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna, which the Buddha himself also taught, non-duality is an inextricable characteristic of emptiness, which is a cornerstone of those vehicles.

What are the “original texts” of Buddhism?