Someone posted to me,
our practice the most important thing is to realize that we have
buddhanature. Intellectually we may know this, but it is rather
difficult to accept. Our everyday life is in the realm of good and bad,
the realm of duality, while buddhanature is found in the realm of the
absolute where there is no good and no bad. There is a twofold reality.
Our practice is to go beyond the realm of good and bad and to realize
the absolute. It may be rather difficult to understand."
~ Shunryu Suzuki
You can get the book from here: https://www.amazon.com/.../ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi...
This book is a must read for those seeking to have a foundational understanding of the core teachings of Buddha.
In terms of insight it is more towards anatta. (Comments by John Tan below). I personally think the author should have realised anatta.
Sent John Tan quotations:
It must be repeated here that according to Buddhist philosophy there is no permanent, unchanging spirit which can be considered ‘Self’, or ‘Soul’, or ‘Ego’, as opposed to matter, and that consciousness (viññāṇa) should not be taken as ‘spirit’ in opposition to matter. This point has to be particularly emphasized, because a wrong notion that consciousness is a sort of Self or Soul that continues as a permanent substance through life, has persisted from the earliest time to the present day.
Sometimes you see a man in a restaurant reading while eating – a very common sight. He gives you the impression of being a very busy man, with no time even for eating. You wonder whether he eats or reads. One may say that he does both. In fact, he does neither, he enjoys neither. He is strained, and disturbed in mind, and he does not enjoy what he does at the moment, does not live his life in the present moment, but unconsciously and foolishly tries to escape from life. (This does not mean, however, that one should not talk with a friend while having lunch or dinner.)
[10:23 PM, 1/23/2021] Soh Wei Yu: This book is nice
[11:58 PM, 1/23/2021] John Tan: I heard many said it is a good book
- I was contemplating and marinating in the "not found" essence I posted about a few days ago here when there was a marked changed in perception. I had been seeing the "not here, not anywhere, non-local" taste of everything that was coming up on the cushion and off. At one point I started to feel the whole phenomenal field as flux, then it spread to this body-mind. Everything felt like transient presence that is not found. The mind "interacting" with things was seen to have always been various clusters of conditions exerting themselves as the sense field. It was seen that it has always been this way, no center to anything at all. I sat there with my jaw hanging open for 5 minutes, such a giant sense of relief and gratitude washed over me. It felt like I had been involved somehow with keeping up the radiance of the transient field and I had just dropped that. The whole thing is doing itself, what I think of as me interacting with the world is just scattered transience, not found, not linked. My mind blew up and didn't come back together and it's so much better this way. Empty, Luminous, Not here, Not anywhere, Just flux with no boundaries, all boundaries were strictly conceptual. Fluxing gonna flux.2 CommentsAuthorI forgot to mention right before this in my practice I was starting to intuit the nature of grasping and how emptiness directly counteracts that. The feeling of "being involved" was grasping and then the whole field was realized to be always already empty. No more conditions for grasping the field itself, so that let go and caused the feeling of everything doing itself
I have added a new blogger tag
John Tan. Click on that link to view past writings by John Tan.
What is a good commentary of mmk?
I like Garfield's.
I’ve read almost all of them, and the one by Mark Siderits & Shoryu Katsura is the most balanced and unbiased by far: https://www.amazon.com/Nagarjunas-Middle.../dp/1614290504
That isn’t always what you want though. Sometimes you want the author to weight in more heavily, and for that nothing beats Mervyn Sprung’s Lucid Exposition of the Middle Way.
Nagarjuna's Middle Way: Mulamadhyamakakarika (Classics of Indian Buddhism)
I've actually just started rereading the MMK with Garfield's commentary along with Siderits/Katsura. I find the latter very "lofty", going into little detail, although helpful at times. I'm only 2 chapters in though.
André, I would distinguish between a commentary and an explanation. A commentary need only clarify what the root text is actually saying, because it was often cryptic to save words and fit the meter. For instance Candrakirti wrote a commentary on MMK, and also his own text explaining Madhyamaka. I think Siderits is an exemplary commentary, and for an explanation I go to Westerhoff.
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John tan said "In terms of ranking, I prefer Jan Westerhoff, Garfield then Siderits. Like what Tyler said Siderits is more of clarifying what the root text is saying, his presentation is quite structured in point forms and the settings behind the text and opponent views help readers understand the root text better. Westerhoff went far beyond and many points are related to anatta insight but more from the philosophical angle. But what all these books lack is how it can help one breakthrough conceptualities, what exactly is mmk trying to arrive at. After studying mmk, how does it help in freeing our mind?”
There are a couple of things I really like about Westerhoff. The first is that his "Western philosophy" style exposition makes it easier for me to grasp the subtle points than the explanations by shedra trained khenpos/geshes that I have seen. I have the same praise for Garfield. The second is that he incorporates Tsongkhapa's illuminating philosophical insights on various points without being a fully Gelug presentation, which is what Garfield gives.