Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
zan
Posts: 540
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by zan » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:23 am

To my knowledge there are not. Does anyone know?
edit: sorry for any confusion due to my poor wording. By the Theravada being "not non-dual", I meant that the Theravada school is not one of the non-dual schools.
Last edited by zan on Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1849
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:25 am

zan wrote:To my knowledge there are not. Does anyone know?
Most mainstream Mahayana teaches non-dualism as well. I was under the assumption that non-dualism of one variety or another was a common Buddhist staple of most presently existing schools, sects, and dispensations.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:51 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
zan wrote:To my knowledge there are not. Does anyone know?
Most mainstream Mahayana teaches non-dualism as well. I was under the assumption that non-dualism of one variety or another was a common Buddhist staple of most presently existing schools, sects, and dispensations.
Wellllll. Maybe. See what a bit Herbert Guenther will do for your sense of humor:
The Dawn of Tantra; Herbert V. Guenther, Chogyam Trungpa; ed. Michael Kohn, illustrated Glen Eddy and Terris Temple; The Clear Light Series; Shambala; Berkley & London; 1975 pp. 74-76
Guenther: The term advaita, as we use it, stems from Shankara's Vedanta. The Buddhists never used this term, but used rather the term advaya. Advaya means "not-two"; advaita means "one without a second." The conception of "one without a second" puts us at once into the realm of dualistic fictions. Rather than remaining in immediate experience, with the idea of "one" we posit a definite object. This would then necessarily be over against a definite subject, which is the implication Shankara wanted to deny with the "without a second." By saying "not-two" you remain on solid ground, because "not-two" does not mean "one." That conclusion does not follow.

In the works of Saraha and other Buddhist teachers, it is said that it is impossible to say "one" without prejudgment of experience. But Shankara and his followers were forced by the scriptural authority of the Vedas to posit this One and so were then forced to add the idea "without a second." What they wanted to say was that only Atman is real. Now the logic of their position should force them to then say that everything else is unreal. But Shankara himself is not clear on this point. He re-introduced the idea of illusion which had previously been rejected by him. Now if only Atman is real, then even illusion apart from it is impossible. But he was forced into accepting the idea of illusion. So he was forced into a philosophical position which, if it were to be expressed in a mathematical formula, would make absolute nonsense. So intellectually, in this way, it could be said that the Vedanta is nonsense. But it had tremendous impact; and, as we know, the intellect is not everything. But as the Madhyamika analysis showed, the Vedanta formula simply does not hold water. And Shankara himself, as I said, was not completely clear on this point.

In translating Buddhist texts, it is necessary to take great care with the word "illusion." Sometimes it appears in what is almost an apodictic or judgmental sense. This happens especially in poetry, where one cannot destroy the pattern of the flow of words to make specific philosophical qualifications. But the basic Buddhist position concerning illusion, as prose works are careful to point out, is not the apodictic statement made by the followers of Shankara that the world is illusion. The Buddhist position is that the world may be like an illusion. There is a huge logical difference between saying the world is an illusion and saying the world may be like an illusion. The Buddhist position suspends judgment.

So while it has been suggested that Shankara was a cryptoBuddhist, because, in fact, he took over almost the entire epistemological and metaphysical conception of the Buddhists, there remains this very crucial difference.


from this thread.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16498
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:08 am

zan wrote:To my knowledge there are not. Does anyone know?
In which sense is Theravada non-dual?

Many would argue that it is not non-dual in an Advaita Vedanta or Mahayana sense:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gling.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_27.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ation.html

However, there may be some other meanings of non-dual, so perhaps it would be good to provide a definition.


:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:01 am

In addition to the link in my msg above, there is this one: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5208
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Phena
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:40 am

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by Phena » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:15 am

Below is what Ven. Analyo had to say on non-duality from an early Buddhist perspective in his benchmark publication, Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization:
  • XIV.4 NIBBANA: NEITHER ALL-EMBRACING UNITY NOR ANNIHILATION

    In order further to clarify the distinctive character of the Buddha's conception of Nibbana, in the remainder of this chapter I will set it off against the realization of all-embracing unity (as envisaged by the "non-dual" religious traditions), and also against annihilationism. While early Buddhism does not deny the distinction between subject and object, it does not treat this distinction as particularly important. Both are insubstantial, the subject being nothing other than a complex of interactions with the world (object), while to speak of a "world" is to speak of what is being perceived by the subject.[57]

    Unity, in terms of subjective experience, entails a merging of the subject with the object. Experiences of this kind are often the outcome of deep levels of concentration. Nibbana, on the other hand, entails a complete giving up of both subject and object, not a merger of the two.[58] Such an experience constitutes an "escape" from the entire field of cognition.'[59] Although Nibbana partakes of non-duality in so far as it has no counterpart,[60] its implications nevertheless go far beyond experiences of oneness or unity.[61]
  • Footnotes:

    [57] Tilakaratne l993: P-74.

    [58] e.g. S IV 100 speaks of a cessation of all six sense-spheres, an expression which the commentary explains to refer to Nibbana (Spk II 391). Another relevant reference could be the standard description of stream-entry (e.g. at S V 423), which speaks of the insight into the fact that whatever arises will also cease, an expression that may well hint at the subjective experience of Nibbana, whence all conditionally arisen phenomena cease. Similarly the declarations of realization at M III 265 and S IV 58 point to a cessation experience. Realization as a cessation experience is also reflected in the writings of modern meditation teachers and scholars, cf. e.g. Brown i986b: p.205; Goenka 1994a: p.113, and 1999: p.34; Goleman 1977b: p.31; Griffith 1981: p.6io; Kornfield 1993: p.291; Mahasi 1981: p.286; and Nanarama 1997: p.80. Cf. also footnote 30, page 257 above.

    [59] M 138; this "escape" from the whole field of cognition is identified by the commentary with Nibbana (Ps 1176). Similarly Thi 6 refers to Nibbana as the stilling of all cognitions.

    [60] The question "what is the counterpart of Nibbana?" (at M I304) was a question which according to the arahant nun Dhammadinna, cannot be answered. The commentary Ps II 369 explains that Nibbana has no counterpart.

    [61] This much can be deduced from a statement made by the Buddha (M II 229-33) that with the direct experience of Nibbana all views and standpoints related to an experience of unity are left behind and transcended. Cf. also S II 77, where the Buddha rejected the view "all is one" as one of the extremes to be avoided. Furthermore, according to A IV 40 and A IV 401, in different celestial realms either unitary or diversified experiences prevail, so that a categorical statement like "all is one" would not accord with the early Buddhist description of cosmic reality. Cf. also Ling 1967: p.167.
Analayo (2010) p.262. Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization. Windhorse Publications.

zan
Posts: 540
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by zan » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:22 pm

I just added an "edit" to the OP to explain my poor wording. Apologies for my lack of articulation.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

User avatar
Javi
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:40 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by Javi » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:53 pm

Since what is now termed as 'non-dual' came about with with the works of Nagarjuna and his interpreters as well as later Yogacara thinkers, I would say that any early Buddhist schools like Sautrantika and Sarvastivad are also not to be seen as 'nondual'.

However just because it would not be proper to describe a Buddhist tradition as non dual does not mean that it is dualistic. That would be a false dichotomy, to say that 'you are either non-dual or you are dualistic'. As we can see in the suttas, the Buddha refused such speculative questions.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

chownah
Posts: 7598
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by chownah » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:42 pm

I can give an explanation which does not address all the blind alleys and arabesques of the intellectual discussion.

The buddha saw people who thought they were selves living in some external world whose existential paradigm was just that. It only makes sense that the buddha would speak to those people in a way which they could understand and that way would be a dualistic way...so he describes the world the way he did and he gives the anatta discussions to help guide people out of their delusions. The buddha teaches anatta...anatta is not dualism and it is not nondualism. The buddha teaches the renunciation of the world...renunciation of the world is not dualism and it is not nondualism. So....the buddhism describes things sometimes in a dualistic manner because that is the common delusion of the his students....but neither dualism nor nondualism is his message.

Also, the buddha only teaches the end of suffering. An exposition similar to the above can be constructed around the end of suffering showing that the dualistic element of the suttas are directed at the delusional space inhabited by his students...but....that his message (the end of suffering) as he teaches it is neither dualistic nor nondualistic.

chownah

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by davidbrainerd » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:04 pm

Anatta is dualism, and so is speaking of the end of suffering. If there is no one to suffer there is no suffering to end. That's why he teaches anatta (not-the-self, an adjective referring to all that is distinct from the self) and not nathatta (a statement that there is no self). The discrimination between self and not-the-self is the path. He emphasizes everywhere that the body is not the self for this very reason.

If anatta were a non-dual statement, i.e. if anatta were the same as nathatta (there is no self) then discrimination of form as anatta would be unnecessary as there would nothing non-anatta to discriminate it against. So those who confuse anatta with nathatta, those who think Buddha actually said there is no self, are Advaita Vedantists teaching that everything is one thing.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:18 pm

Javi wrote:Since what is now termed as 'non-dual' came about with with the works of Nagarjuna and his interpreters as well as later Yogacara thinkers, I would say that any early Buddhist schools like Sautrantika and Sarvastivad are also not to be seen as 'nondual'.
Nagarjuna used the term "non-dual?"
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
Javi
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:40 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by Javi » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:23 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Javi wrote:Since what is now termed as 'non-dual' came about with with the works of Nagarjuna and his interpreters as well as later Yogacara thinkers, I would say that any early Buddhist schools like Sautrantika and Sarvastivad are also not to be seen as 'nondual'.
Nagarjuna used the term "non-dual?"
No, as your source points out, he used advaya not advaita, unfortunately, that kind of careful distinction is not made today and the term 'non dual' is tossed around by people to refer to Mahayana Buddhism. That is why I said 'what is now termed as' non-dual'.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:26 pm

Javi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Javi wrote:Since what is now termed as 'non-dual' came about with with the works of Nagarjuna and his interpreters as well as later Yogacara thinkers, I would say that any early Buddhist schools like Sautrantika and Sarvastivad are also not to be seen as 'nondual'.
Nagarjuna used the term "non-dual?"
No, as your source points out, he used advaya not advaita, unfortunately, that kind of careful distinction is not made today and the term 'non dual' is tossed around by people to refer to Mahayana Buddhism. That is why I said 'what is now termed as' non-dual'.
Actually in the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā Nagarjuna does not use the term advaya, not does he talk about "nonduality." If advaya is used in terms of the Madhyamaka, it is a much later development. Also, unlike the Hindu Advaita that advocates for an ontological substantive monism, which is to say, all things are essentially the same substance -- Brahman; the Nagarjuna is essentially advocating an epistemological stance, stating that there is no underlying substance, all our experience is empty of any self-ness, of any being. In stating this one also needs to keep in mind that by the time we get to Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 23: 19-20 there are 24 chapters qualifying it.

As for the non-duality stuff, much of it that we have to contend with is likely modern Western stuff. And as far as Yogacara is concerned most of that I would ignore most of it unless it comes from Lusthaus or others such as Waldron who are not tied into the Tibetan tenet system or who are using old Western sources.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by davidbrainerd » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:52 pm

Everything is brahman, everything is nothing; either way he's still saying everything is the same thing.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Are there any other schools of Buddhism, besides Theravada, that are not non-dual?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:06 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:Everything is brahman, everything is nothing; either way he's still saying everything is the same thing.
"[E]verything is nothing" is not what Nagarjuna is saying. And even if he were "Everything is brahman, everything is nothing; either way he's still saying everything is the same thing" is not an accurate statement.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], fornoxe and 63 guests