Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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CedarTree
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Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:54 pm

Imagine I am sitting at Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery in America, or Wat Pah Nanachat (Ajahn Chah Monastery) in Thailand, or Panditãrãma (Sayadaw U Pandita-Mahasi Sayadaw Center) in Burma, or at some 3-year silent retreat in the tradition of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu or Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

A lot drops off (Anatta), Nonduality is experienced, with wisdom one awakens (Nirvana).

There is a dynamic with multiplicity (Individuals), Emptiness, Awareness, Etc.

How is awakening related to the individual?

This is to be open to all traditions and view points. There may be members with not as much formal knowledge as others that yet have diamond tidbits of wisdom.

Let us be encouraging and delve into what each other presents with a lot of respect so this discussion can draw out important understandings and content.
Don't hold out on practice!

Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery in America

Ajahn Chah Associated Monasteries

Practice, Practice, Practice

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by m0rl0ck » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:29 am

Ok then :)
Individuality - at best a convenience for dealing with consciousness on a level that cant be accessed in other ways and by individuality i mean the sense of singular identity.

Nonduality - a meaningless concept. Same for its opposite duality. It seems to me that polar opposites of this kind are pretty much invented mental bullshit designed to flatter or demean or exclude individual egos.
It is what it is, like they say in zen, not two but not one. Concepts like nonduality are for philosophers and flim flam artists and have to be laid to rest by those interested in finding out who they are or who are interested in the truth of human existence and who want to pursue genuine practice.

Anatta - Same thing as for non duality except from the discussion i see on the subject some seem to take it as some sort of arid non existence, sort of a tranquilizer for the ego. I can hardly imagine anything more likely to stunt good practice than having a concept like this buzzing around your mind.

Nirvana - iirc huang po likened ritual to painting leaves to delight children. I feel the same way about nirvana. I guess a carrot is better than a stick :)



Standard Disclaimer: I am not a teacher and may be completely full of it, the above is just my current view, based on a few years of practice, subject to change at a nano second
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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CedarTree
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:22 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:Ok then :)
Individuality - at best a convenience for dealing with consciousness on a level that cant be accessed in other ways and by individuality i mean the sense of singular identity.

Nonduality - a meaningless concept. Same for its opposite duality. It seems to me that polar opposites of this kind are pretty much invented mental bullshit designed to flatter or demean or exclude individual egos.
It is what it is, like they say in zen, not two but not one. Concepts like nonduality are for philosophers and flim flam artists and have to be laid to rest by those interested in finding out who they are or who are interested in the truth of human existence and who want to pursue genuine practice.

Anatta - Same thing as for non duality except from the discussion i see on the subject some seem to take it as some sort of arid non existence, sort of a tranquilizer for the ego. I can hardly imagine anything more likely to stunt good practice than having a concept like this buzzing around your mind.

Nirvana - iirc huang po likened ritual to painting leaves to delight children. I feel the same way about nirvana. I guess a carrot is better than a stick :)



Standard Disclaimer: I am not a teacher and may be completely full of it, the above is just my current view, based on a few years of practice, subject to change at a nano second
Well said!

Another poster from a different forum said:
Awakening is clearly something that happens to a living being, altering their perspective or revealing fundamental truths, however you wish to express it, and, while those fundamental truths might be expressed in ways that involve words like "empty of a self", still, it is the sensations that previously made up both self and other that are revealed in some very vivid, clear, immediate, transformative way.

Thus, when they awaken, from their vantage pointless vantage point, the whole field of their unique experience is awakened, but, as basically everyone who has awakened and asked other people if their awakening suddenly awakened everyone else, the answer is "no".

So, while it can't really quite be called an "individual thing", still, it clearly happens to an individual, or a unique sense field, or however you wish to put it. When the Buddha awakened, for example, he still clearly noticed that his awakening didn't awaken everyone, as everyone else also noticed.

I am curious to know the background to your question and what practical value you hope the discussion will have for yourself as well as others. Thoughts?
I think there is something about understanding the dynamic of the "Individual" or "Specificity" that sometimes we often rush over due to a focus on Anatta.
Don't hold out on practice!

Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery in America

Ajahn Chah Associated Monasteries

Practice, Practice, Practice

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DNS
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by DNS » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:41 pm

CedarTree wrote: Another poster from a different forum said:
Awakening is clearly something that happens to a living being, altering their perspective or revealing fundamental truths, however you wish to express it, and, while those fundamental truths might be expressed in ways that involve words like "empty of a self", still, it is the sensations that previously made up both self and other that are revealed in some very vivid, clear, immediate, transformative way.

Thus, when they awaken, from their vantage pointless vantage point, the whole field of their unique experience is awakened, but, as basically everyone who has awakened and asked other people if their awakening suddenly awakened everyone else, the answer is "no".

So, while it can't really quite be called an "individual thing", still, it clearly happens to an individual, or a unique sense field, or however you wish to put it. When the Buddha awakened, for example, he still clearly noticed that his awakening didn't awaken everyone, as everyone else also noticed.

I am curious to know the background to your question and what practical value you hope the discussion will have for yourself as well as others. Thoughts?
I think there is something about understanding the dynamic of the "Individual" or "Specificity" that sometimes we often rush over due to a focus on Anatta.
That's a very good answer. And good topic too. I have been moving more toward that direction in my own thinking. I think too many focus on anatta too soon along the path and then don't make much progress. See my comment in another, similar thread:
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 21#p431278

There is clearly no full-blown atman, no soul, but still there is some sense of individuality in terms of who gets enlightened, who accumulates bad kamma, who accumulates merit, who sends metta, who receives metta, who is reborn, etc.

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CedarTree
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:01 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
CedarTree wrote: Another poster from a different forum said:
Awakening is clearly something that happens to a living being, altering their perspective or revealing fundamental truths, however you wish to express it, and, while those fundamental truths might be expressed in ways that involve words like "empty of a self", still, it is the sensations that previously made up both self and other that are revealed in some very vivid, clear, immediate, transformative way.

Thus, when they awaken, from their vantage pointless vantage point, the whole field of their unique experience is awakened, but, as basically everyone who has awakened and asked other people if their awakening suddenly awakened everyone else, the answer is "no".

So, while it can't really quite be called an "individual thing", still, it clearly happens to an individual, or a unique sense field, or however you wish to put it. When the Buddha awakened, for example, he still clearly noticed that his awakening didn't awaken everyone, as everyone else also noticed.

I am curious to know the background to your question and what practical value you hope the discussion will have for yourself as well as others. Thoughts?
I think there is something about understanding the dynamic of the "Individual" or "Specificity" that sometimes we often rush over due to a focus on Anatta.
That's a very good answer. And good topic too. I have been moving more toward that direction in my own thinking. I think too many focus on anatta too soon along the path and then don't make much progress. See my comment in another, similar thread:
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 21#p431278

There is clearly no full-blown atman, no soul, but still there is some sense of individuality in terms of who gets enlightened, who accumulates bad kamma, who accumulates merit, who sends metta, who receives metta, who is reborn, etc.
I commented back on Dharma Wheel were this subject is taking off :)
Don't hold out on practice!

Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery in America

Ajahn Chah Associated Monasteries

Practice, Practice, Practice

SarathW
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by SarathW » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:37 am

Individuality, non-duality, Anatta and Nirvana are all mental constructs.
The difference is that Noble Eight Foldpath is the path to end all mental constructs.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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CedarTree
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:59 am

SarathW wrote:Individuality, non-duality, Anatta and Nirvana are all mental constructs.
The difference is that Noble Eight Foldpath is the path to end all mental constructs.
I mean "Individuality" outside of a conceptual framework.

Read the quote I posted about what another poster said and really delve into it.

The Buddha being enlightened was not me being a Buddha.
Don't hold out on practice!

Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery in America

Ajahn Chah Associated Monasteries

Practice, Practice, Practice

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CedarTree
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:59 am

Or was it....... :sage:
Don't hold out on practice!

Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery in America

Ajahn Chah Associated Monasteries

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Bundokji
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Bundokji » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:02 pm

I am not awakened, but the more i practice the more i see the individual as unique, and the less i see him in terms of better or worse.
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

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