The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 23 May 2012, 23:29

For innumerable life times, we are used to follow our sensory habitual tendencies which are actually the causes of our unceasing births and deaths; why don’t we once truly dig out the reasons why should we unavoidably face death eventually? Getting the chance and the explicit ways to find out the answers and truth in Buddhism, these are called having sufficient transmundane merits and virtues or auxiliary dharma, because we are linked with the Buddha dharma thereby we have the possibility to attain liberation and Buddhahood.

It can be liken to the banking matters, when we deposit our savings in American banks, we cannot expect to get money from Taiwan Banks; similarly, if we merely planted worldly merits and virtues, how could we expect to harvest the transmundane fruit?

It is a very long way for us to come to hear the term “auxiliary dharma.” Why?
We cannot tell our pets, or ants or insects or worms about it (they also innately possess the Alayavijnana), neither can we tell people who are suffering in the war zones, famine, or catastrophes, etc. since they far prefer to have some proper food and rest first.

Even among the browsers to visit the religious section, not really many would be interested in the Buddha dharma, let alone patiently read through the contents. Even having read through the same texts, every reader would have different concept of understanding or misunderstanding. It is only natural, because every individual possesses different stored karmic force according to one’s past and current lives, logically, the displayed internal image of sense-object would varied from one another and therefore, the result and reactions would be all different as well.

As I mentioned earlier, the Buddha dharmas work as a spider web that links in all directions, and the cultivation result will also be distinctly different from one another; you can glance over the texts in 30 seconds or you might repeatedly manage with your zoom lens mind and ponder over the lines; it all depends on how you fit the jigsaw puzzle. Again, it has everything to do with your rooted in merit during your past lives and your affinity with the Buddha.
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 01 Jun 2012, 20:26

Buddhism wrote: The most popular four-line verse in the “Diamond Sutra” are:
All conditional dharmas Are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, or shadows;
Like drops of dew, or flashes of lightning;
Thus should they be contemplated.

In the Mahayana teachings, we learn not only to get the correct answers, but also to know the reasons “why,” even more so to “verify them.” These cultivation steps are called hearing 聞, pondering 思, cultivating 修 and personal realiziation 證. Since we are all potential Buddhas, as the Buddha foretold, we should be able to substantiate the cultivation practices. Let’s see why conditioned phenomena are impermanent and we can experience them.

Don’t forget to pick up your zoom lens mind and observe slowly the sentence: e.g., I enjoy seeing. It consists of nine basic elements to complete the seeing process: a pair of healthy eye-organs, visual object, lighting, proper distance, intention (willingness to see), seeds of eye-vijnana, the conscious mind, Manas (the seventh vijnana) and the Alayavijnana. These elements altogether enable us to see, but, of course, we have never noticed these items at all. Take “lighting” for instance, if we were in complete darkness, could we see? Or “distance”, could we see the closest objects, right in front of our eyes – eyelashes? The same applies to our sense of hearing, smell, etc, we also need conditioning elements, but they are required in various ways from one another depending on the sense-objects.

We are deeply influenced by all the messages (six sense-objects) received through our sense-roots, and thereby all sorts of sensations are formed by the sixth vijnana (the conscious mind). Here, the functions of the first five vijnanas (the eye-vijnana, ear-vijnana, nose-vijnana, tongue-vijnana and body-vijnana) do only discern their specific objects, and they all have to rely on the conscious mind to participate and fulfill further decisions (pro and con).

Why should we trifle with such details?
It is because this is a matter of fact way for everyone to personally see how our daily emotions are formed and composed of via dependent arising dharmas. Mind you, I wrote “emotions,” so these are purely limited to our ups and downs of mental states, our feelings, not including the material world around us. (part 1)
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 01 Jun 2012, 21:21

If we could analyze the excitements and anguish that we possess to the tiniest details; it is exactly the same effect as that of the sea waves that keep pushing forward and fading away on top of the sea surface repeatedly. Our emotions rely on our physical body (form aggregate) and the sensation aggregate, perception aggregate, formation aggregate and vijnana aggregate.

The important point here is that we have to establish a correct concept, if something arises dependent on conditions, a condition-arisen dharma, it is essentially an existence without intrinsic nature, and it is impermanent and will eventually cease to exist once the conditions fail to support it any more.

The sea waves will cease to exist once there is no more sea water. Because it is a dharma of changing, from nothing becomes of something via conditioned elements; then it will change again, from existing to nothing when the conditioned elements disappear. Behind all the arising and ceasing of existence, there is an everlasting entity to support all the phenomena. Otherwise, the whole existence of logic would collapse. Every mortal living being innately possesses his own Alayavijnana, that is why every individual has to cultivate his own path to attain liberation or Buddhahood, the same way as each and every one of us has to take our own lessons to study.

If we are able to fully comprehend the functions of the eighteen sense-realms, then we will understand that our physical body and the perceptive mind also belong to the condition-arisen dharmas. Detailed info regarding our cyclic births and deaths for your reference:
Buddhism wrote:In terms of the “law of dependent-arising 緣起法,” it means there must be an “everlasting and never ceasing” dharma as the root origin of “dependent-arising” and all the other dharmas can then be generated depending on the supporting “conditions.” For example, the waves must have the sea water as their main entity, while the phenomenal winds blow as the supporting conditions to form the waves; the sea water represents the “everlasting and never ceasing” main entity and it encounters the phenomenal winds as the “supporting conditions” to “bring forth” its waves; hence, the waves are dharmas of dependent arising without intrinsic nature and the sea water is their root cause. When the sea is calm, the sea water remains tranquil without the waves. If a phenomenal wind blows as the “supporting condition,” a wave is then created. As such, “arising depending on the cause and conditions” and “ceasing depending on the cause and conditions,” the change is merely in the shapes of the waves. The waves themselves are dependent arising without intrinsic nature, but the sea water is “everlasting and never ceasing” and is the fundamental cause for the formation of the waves.

The “dependent arising and dependent cessation 緣起緣滅” of life is also the same. Just like the changing waves, every individual possesses a different physical body and different six vijnanas (including the conscious mind, and so on) in each lifetime, and thereby with different bodily, verbal, and mental deeds. After one’s passing away, a new life will be born depending on the supporting “conditions” by the “everlasting and never ceasing” dharma, the eighth vijnana, in accordance with the karmic deeds of the past life. The new life is a dharma of dependent arising without intrinsic nature, but one’s eternal eighth vijnana is everlasting and never ceasing. Due to the permanent and never ceasing existence of the true mind as the fundamental cause of life, a new physical body will be born depending on various supporting conditions in the future lifetimes. Nevertheless, the new life is not necessarily a human; it could possibly become God or a celestial being (deva) enjoying blessed rewards of heavens or sometimes it could fall into the three evil paths as animals, hungry ghosts or hell beings. Every new life will be always different; the former life cannot go to the afterlife. Therefore, every new life is dependent arising without intrinsic nature, but the everlasting and never ceasing Tathagatagarbha remains the same all the time.
(part 2)
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 10 Jun 2012, 00:16

Buddhism wrote:If we observe our daily routines, among other things, we eat, work and enjoy life. Our physical body consumes all sorts of food while our minds also get full fed with various sensations; we do need our name-and-form 名色 (the five aggregates; skandhas;五蘊; eighteen sense-realms 十八界) to perform all different functions and discern the results.

For a normal sentient being, the perceiving mind (the sixth vijnana 意識 ) is the most replied upon vijnana. Unknowingly, we are constantly feeding our minds with various sensations of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches all our life except during deep sleep, become unconscious or in meditative concentration; all the incoming stuffs, whether good or defiled (excluding the morally neutral bits), would be faithfully stored in the Alayavijnana and added to our karmic force which would influence our future lives in many details. That is why the Hinayana practitioners are so extremely cautious with the deeds of their six sense-roots 六根 in order not to create any cause to impede their nirvana seeking.

The Buddhist teachings do not only demonstrate the cultivation methods, but also probe to the roots of matters and tell the reasons why...

We rely so much on our conscious mind, seemingly, it represents eternity while we are still alive; but if we dig deeper in accordance with the Buddhist teachings, the worldly phenomena are truly impermanent as the Buddha repeatedly stated. And behind all the changing dharmas, the everlasting entity – the Buddha nature remains unstirred by the worldly six sense-objects yet coexists unceasingly in every individual. Even after one’s death, his Buddha nature still remains; therefore, a future lifetime could be formed according to his karmic force.

The tricky thing here is that, though all worldly phenomena are impermanent, the morally determinate (有記性) deeds we have performed every life will certainly carry on to the future lifetimes. And the show will go on, we still will tend to enjoy sensations, excitements, in terms of Buddhism, this is called “accumulation” that gathers the cause for our future lifetimes. As we have experienced, not all sensations lead to positive results, then we have to face sufferings. These are the teachings of the Four Noble Truths – sufferings, accumulation, path, and cessation; these are the main practices for the Hinayana practitioners (sravaka 聲聞) to eliminate self-view 斷我見. Many of you must be quite familiar with these terms already.

It all relies on the Buddha nature that our cyclic births and deaths could be substantiated; it is also due to our ill-informed nature that we are unaware of the Truth, so we just keep playing around life after life and we are fooled by our temporary conscious mind which exists only one lifetime. We do not remember our past lives, but in a way, we have to suffer somehow for something we do not know the reasons why, it is because we did sow the seeds in the past.

It is the key focus of Buddhist teachings to enlighten every individual to see the ins and outs of existence. (part 3)
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.

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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 17 Jun 2012, 22:56

For the ones who are interested in digging deeper to find out more about the ins and outs of our existence – the searching path is rather plain though, without sensation or excitement. It is because the Buddhist teachings are to uncover what we already have by getting rid of the hindrance-vexations, not to gain something more from the outside world. However, we all prefer to watch the shooting off fireworks, since it is far more fascinating than to understand the Truth of life. And the constant inclination to cling to some objects is the root cause for our cyclic births and deaths.

In the desire-realm, an individual’s existence consists of name-and-form (five aggregates); the form-aggregate 色法refers to the physical body (tangible), and our mental status refers to the four aggregates (sensation, perception, formation, and vijnana), which belong to the intangible mind dharma心法 .
Buddhism wrote:... Don’t forget to use your zoom lens mind. Everybody’s thought or perceiving mind is intangible which belongs to a mind dharma 心法, and the worldly objects are tangible which belong to the form dharmas 色法. How could the mind dharma successfully perceive the form dharms? So, it is the task of our physical body to serve as a go between to smoothly integrate these two incompatible dharms. For this reason, the Buddha analyzed into details regarding the observation practice of the five aggregates, which are extremely important in Buddhist cultivation.

Our eyes act like a monitor solely to catch tangible images from the outside world and transfer them to the brain. The images received by the external visible eye organs are called external appearance of sense-object 外相分.

The physical body serves as a channel to transmit the outer sense-objects to our brain (pls see p. 5, Sept. 11, 2011) to be received by the six vijnanas (six sense-consciousnesses六識). So the transmitted internal images of sense-objects are displayed on the corresponding area of the brain, just like the function of a monitor screen. We enjoy (the conscious mind意識) the sensations and excitements that derived from the displays of our brains, while in fact, our minds stay inside our physical bodies all the time, and have never been out and truly contacting the sense-objects in any way; we are merely seeing the transmitted reflections on the brains.

It is the same way as the captain of a submarine, he steers underwater via his monitor screen, and he does not actually touching the outside world. In other words, whole our life experiences are limited within the transmitted internal images of sense-objects on our brains. Moreover, every individual perceives his/her internal images of sense-objects differently in accordance with his/her own karmic seeds stored within the Alayavijnana (teachings of the third round of dharma transmission).

That is also why everyone could react so differently to one single matter in daily life. For example, like my posts on the threads, the readers’ reactions vary from extreme minus to real plus. The reactions purely reflect a person's own minds. (part 4)
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 17 Jun 2012, 23:12

Thanks to our healthy physical bodies that we are able to receive all sorts of images and messages, and throughout our lifetimes, we rely so much on our conscious minds that we consider the conscious minds to be the eternity. But the conscious mind is an impermanent mind, which will cease to exist every night during sleep and cease to exist as well after we have passed away.

In terms of Buddhism, the worldly phenomena are called emptiness-appearance 空相, because all of these will eventually cease to exist, but within every and each mortal living being, the eighth vijnana, Alayavijnana, coexists with every temporary physical body, and it is immortal. This is the target for the Mahayana practitioners to dig out the origin of life utilizing this unceasing temporary existence (periodic births-and-deaths 分段生死).

The overall manifestation of emptiness-appearance does have its worldly function and mission, if one grasps the correct concept of true Buddhism, he/she will is able to make the best of them for Buddhist cultivation to attain liberation or Buddhahood, or the other way around, submerging endlessly in cyclic births-and-deaths by karmic force. Logically, your fate and life is in your own hands, mind you, not only this some dozens of years, but can be all eternity! (part 5 end)
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 26 Jun 2012, 12:36

Presumably we already grasp the basic concepts of Buddhism, now we fit them together like the jigsaw puzzle, of course, please do not forget the zoom lens mind. The goal is set to find the eternity in ourselves - the Buddha nature, and we know Its distinguishing characteristic as well (p. 4).

The conscious mind that we constantly rely on could not be it, because the former is a dependent-arising dharma that needs supporting conditions to bring forth its existence; the conscious mind of this life will cease to exist after our death (nobody remembers his previous life, normally speaking), so it is a impermanent dharma, it cannot be the Buddha nature. If we are truly able to realize and accept this fact that the conscious mind is not the “everlasting and indestructible self,” with this right view, we are called the ones with “eliminating self-view 斷我見.” In terms of Buddhism, self-view refers to considering the mind associated with seeing, hearing, perceiving, and knowing as the “everlasting and indestructible self.” and this right view is the very first accomplishment for both the Hinayana and Mahayana practitioners. (If we are also able to eliminate the skeptical view 疑見and the meaningless precept 戒禁取見, we could be qualified as srotaapanna 須陀洹, the first grade of arhatship)

(p.4)
Buddhism wrote:Tathagatagarbha: The true entity that each sentient being has, which is something other than the conscious mind known by ordinary people. It is the eighth one of a sentient being’s eight vijnanas. Tathagatagarbha possesses the intrinsic natures of neither-arising-nor-ceasing [permanently existing], neither-increasing-nor-decreasing [not creatable or destroyable], neither-defiled-nor-cleansed [no conceptual judgment], neither-seeing-nor-hearing [no sensation functions], neither-perceiving-nor-knowing [no logical thought or understanding], etc., and is the core doctrine of Buddha Sakyamuni’s sutras. According to the Buddha’s teachings, it, together with the Tathagatagarbhas of other countless sentient beings of collective karma, is the original first cause of the world where all sentient beings live.
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby SauLan » 26 Jun 2012, 14:23

Buddhism wrote:As you stated, sex and food are the basic requirements for spicies to pass on, and this is a worldly issue 世間法; while the Bodhi way is just the opposit, it is a transcendental issue 出世間法, about how one can liberate oneself from reincarnation. In this regard, sex would add to a practitioner's craving for emotion and sensation which will hinder the cultivation mind state (explained in a simply way); so it is relatively spoken that sex is a sort of defilement.


However, using union practice is not "sex," any more than prostrations are "exercise," or chanting mantras is "music."

Mantras may appear to be music, prostrations may appear to be physical exercise, and union practices may appear to be sex, but that doesn't make it so. We are human beings, and anything at all that we do may be therefore mistaken for mere, ordinary activity; but it is our motivation and reasoning which determines whether our activity is actually mundane or spiritual.

A person may appear to be simply walking; but if they are engaged in walking meditation, they are actually meditating, not simply walking.

A clearer example might be a person who is fasting, taking only water, and no solid food: when taking a drink, someone from the outside may say, "Look, that person is drinking, and fostering a craving for satisfying thirst," when in fact the practitioners is avoiding food, specifically to reduce his craving for food overall. Again, it's the motivation, especially over time, which makes the difference, rather than the superficial appearance of one, specific act.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 01 Jul 2012, 21:30

To summarize the Bodhi way: The Buddha taught both the Hinayana Way of Liberation showing how to break the bonds of cause and effect in order to cease cyclic rounds of birth and death, and the Mahayana Way to Buddhahood. As most Buddhists already know, we live in the desire-realm. It is only natural that we are inclined to cling to all sorts of sensations and temptations. In terms of Buddhism, these are called greed for the five mundane desires 五欲 (namely, the greed for wealth, sex, fame, food and sleep), which are also the root causes for sentient beings to unceasingly cycle through births and deaths.

In order to facilitate the cultivation path for Buddhist disciples, the Buddha summarized the essence of the two major Ways both of which are based on cutting off desires 斷欲; this means that abandonment of the five mundane desires (including sexual lust) is a prerequisite to achieve both cultivation goals. Apart from the main Dharma teachings, there are Buddhist precepts to be abided by for Sangha who are supposed to pass down the Buddhist lineage. The basic five precepts are no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no lying, and no taking of alcohol.

The Liberation-Way consists of the Sound-Hearer 聲聞 (sravaka) Bodhi, and the Solitary Realizer 獨覺(pratyekabuddha) Bodhi; together with the Buddhahood-Way 佛菩提, altogether these are called the “Three-Vehicle Bodhi.” All three vehicles are based on the theory of eight vijnanas. The Buddha established an expedient teaching method, which allowed His disciples to start with the basic contents, and once they gained sufficient confidence, they could progress towards profounder dharma.
(part 1)
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 01 Jul 2012, 21:46

adikarmika wrote:
buddhism wrote:The Buddha dharma is not based on skillful wording, languages, or phrases; it is not worldly games or techniques.

That's what you always say when I point out the self-contradictions, illogicalities and absurdities (not to mention downright falsities) that routinely occur in your posts. What a cop out!

From the very start of both threads, I already made it clear that my statements will focus on the Buddha dharma, not playing around with words.

Buddhism wrote:This thread is titled “The Bodhi Way,” so the discussions here should provide the info to the True Reality. The Buddha did assure us that every sentient being has the potential to cultivate to see the Truth, and He did pass down the dharma-gates (practice methods); the rest is left to us, if we are indeed the blessed ones.

The essential teachings here are of Chan School (禪宗). As our ancient Chan Buddhist patriarchs oftentimes stated, “I point with my finger to show you the moon up there, you should grasp the moon (The Truth), not my finger!” The chart to the Treasure Island is never the treasure itself, so all the spoken words and explanations cannot be the Truth itself, but they lead to the Truth.

In a way, we have been used to the daily routine of going-on living, so an actual Buddhist cultivation is a sort of swim against the life enjoyment. In Buddhism, we have to use terms to express certain meanings or conditions to simplify the process, because all terms will be repeatedly coming into use in the future.
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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