From Dharmawheel - see Acarya Malcolm Dharmawheel Posts + Astus, Krodha (Kyle Dixon), Geoff (Jnana), Meido Moore

Also See: Madhyamaka, Cittamātra, and the true intent of Maitreya and Asaṅga self.Buddhism

Author: Astus

Date: Tue Feb 6, 2024 11:49 PM

Title: Re: Yogachara: Ontological or Epistemological Idealism?


They uphold the twofold emptiness. Again from Brunnhölzl (p 26):

'The perfect nature is emptiness in the sense that what appears as dependent false imagination is primordially never established as the imaginary nature. As the ultimate object and the true nature of the dependent nature, this emptiness is the sphere of nonconceptual wisdom, which is nothing other than phenomenal identitylessness.'

Author: Astus

Date: Tue Feb 6, 2024 5:00 PM

Title: Re: Yogachara: Ontological or Epistemological Idealism?


This practical clarification by Karl Brunnhölzl might help (, p 19-21):

'Cittamātra is not a metaphysical assertion of a transcendental reality consisting of “mind-only” but a description of our delusion — the dreams of this sleep from which the Buddha has awakened. If the dream-world saṃsāra is “merely mind,” freedom and the Buddhist path are possible because we can change our minds through creating a counter-dream within the dream of our delusion. Most important, we can wake up from this dream.

That cittamātra is constantly referred to in Yogācāra texts as the delusional perception of what does not exist (these texts moreover abound with dreams, illusions, and so on as examples for it) hardly suggests that it exists in a real or ultimate way. Thus, the notion of “mere mind” refers only to the mistaken minds and mental factors of saṃsāra (the realities of suffering and its origin) but not to the realities of the path or cessation. Many Yogācāra works make it clear explicitly and repeatedly that not only external objects but also “mere mind” does not exist and is to be relinquished in order to attain the realization of the path of seeing and eventually buddhahood.

In this context, the four “yogic practices” (Skt. prayoga) in Yogācāra works are the following four steps of realization:

1. Outer objects are observed to be nothing but mind 

2. Thus, outer objects are not observed as such

3. With outer objects being unobservable, a mind cognizing 

them is not observed either

4. Not observing both, nonduality is observed

This means that stages (1)–(3) — and thus the notion of cittamātra — are progressively dealt with only up through the end of the path of preparation. Stage (4) marks the path of seeing (the first bhūmi), on which bodhisattvas have to let go of the notion of cittamātra as well. In other words, like so many other Buddhist notions, cittamātra is no exception to simply being an expedient pedagogic tool to realize a certain level on the path. However, it is neither the final realization, nor to be reified in any way (thus becoming an obstacle to this very realization), but to be discarded once its intended function has been accomplished.'

Author: Astus
Date: Wed Feb 28, 2024 6:12 AM
Title: Re: Was Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka an implicative negation?
Yogacara accepts the emptiness of both self and dharmas, and it denies ultimate reality to both mind and its objects. What foundation is left?

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