What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Dan74
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by Dan74 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:42 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Buddha nature, everlasting luminous minds, the One who knows are all terms which can lead to great confusion, as the listeners will immediately project their nicca, sukha, atta delusions on to them.

No one who has seen the cessation of arising and passing away (ie suffering) would mistake this for enlightenment.

With metta

Matheesha
Yes. It is a term of, at very best of limited use. It really need to be let go of.
All sorts of things need to let gone of, but some of the ones to be let gone of later help to let go of the whole bunch of earlier ones. In this way, they are useful.

(Edited for typos)
Last edited by Dan74 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_

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tiltbillings
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:27 pm

Dan74 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Buddha nature, everlasting luminous minds, the One who knows are all terms which can lead to great confusion, as the listeners will immediately project their nicca, sukha, atta delusions on to them.

No one who has seen the cessation of arising and passing away (ie suffering) would mistake this for enlightenment.

With metta

Matheesha
Yes. It is a term of, at very best of limited use. It really need to be let go of.
All sorts of things need to let fone of, but some of the ones to be let gone of later help to let go of the whole bunch of earlier ones. In this way, they are useful.
And as we have seen buddha-nature is not really very helpful, with all the confusion surrounding it. The Buddha did not teach it.
>> 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

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Dan74
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by Dan74 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:32 pm

Not helpful to whom?

Why then do these eminent teachers use it?
_/|\_

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Aloka
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by Aloka » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:45 pm

Dan74 wrote:Not helpful to whom?
Certainly not helpful to me. I found it confusing when I was a Vajrayana practitioner, wondering if ''all sentient beings have Buddha Nature" how this could apply, for example, to slugs.

...and its irrelevant to my practice in the here and now.

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Lazy_eye
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by Lazy_eye » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:01 pm

Aloka wrote: if ''all sentient beings have Buddha Nature" how this could apply, for example, to slugs.
Reworded slightly, and with a different choice of animal, that's one of the most famous Zen koans. :)

PeterB
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by PeterB » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:29 pm

Zen koans.....yet another superfluous mound of baggage from a Theravadin perspective...

Buddha Dhatu.....KOANS yet... :lol:

Does anyone log onto DW to find out about the Theravada ?
Or do they see it as a fruitful field for missionary work..?

Koans... :lol: Come on guys, be real.

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tiltbillings
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:48 pm

Dan74 wrote:Not helpful to whom?

Why then do these eminent teachers use it?
Good, question, and then look at all the confusion this unneeded notion engenders.
>> 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

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Dan74
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by Dan74 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:29 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Not helpful to whom?

Why then do these eminent teachers use it?
Good, question, and then look at all the confusion this unneeded notion engenders.

Which of the Buddha's teachings never engender confusion? To my mind, the Buddha Nature teachings are a great encouragement, but I prefer the way Zen teachers like Linchi and Tungshan use it, rather than the approaches like Nirvana Sutra. Horses for Courses.
_/|\_

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tiltbillings
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:42 am

Dan74 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Not helpful to whom?

Why then do these eminent teachers use it?
Good, question, and then look at all the confusion this unneeded notion engenders.

Which of the Buddha's teachings never engender confusion? To my mind, the Buddha Nature teachings are a great encouragement, but I prefer the way Zen teachers like Linchi and Tungshan use it, rather than the approaches like Nirvana Sutra. Horses for Courses.
Yes, well; however, it is the Nirvana Sutra version that wins out, given that it appeals to delusion.
>> 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

darvki
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by darvki » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:01 am

PeterB wrote:In other words its OK for Theravadins to use terms like Buddha Nature as long as they use them in a way that is essentially meaningless.
If you want to call poetic devices meaningless, I suppose yes. I personally find such devices to be far from meaningless.
Aloka wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Not helpful to whom?
Certainly not helpful to me. I found it confusing when I was a Vajrayana practitioner, wondering if ''all sentient beings have Buddha Nature" how this could apply, for example, to slugs.

...and its irrelevant to my practice in the here and now.
Personally, it has never confused me, as a literal doctrine (which I do not subscribe to) or metaphor, and I do not find it irrelevant to my practice here and now. I think that it's perfectly helpful and if handled right does not have to cause additional delusion.
PeterB wrote:Zen koans.....yet another superfluous mound of baggage from a Theravadin perspective...

Buddha Dhatu.....KOANS yet... :lol:

Does anyone log onto DW to find out about the Theravada ?
Or do they see it as a fruitful field for missionary work..?

Koans... :lol: Come on guys, be real.
LE posted that mention of koans to point out a similarity, not to introduce them to the discussion.

No one has engaged in "missionary work". I find this allusion to be highly misplaced. If trying to support a minority view of something constitutes missionary work, then I'm probably most guilty of it out of everyone who's participated in this thread, and I resent the label. Buddha nature, even as no more than a poetic device, does not feature greatly in my thoughts on practice, and it has never been used, even as a poetic device, by my teacher.

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Aloka
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by Aloka » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:35 am

darvki wrote:.
Aloka wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Not helpful to whom?
Certainly not helpful to me. I found it confusing when I was a Vajrayana practitioner, wondering if ''all sentient beings have Buddha Nature" how this could apply, for example, to slugs.

...and its irrelevant to my practice in the here and now.
Personally, it has never confused me, as a literal doctrine (which I do not subscribe to) or metaphor, and I do not find it irrelevant to my practice here and now. I think that it's perfectly helpful and if handled right does not have to cause additional delusion.

.
That's absolutely fine if its meaningful for you, Darvki. I was simply expressing one of the reasons why it used to puzzle me -and stating that it has no relevance in the here and now for me.... it wasn't a suggestion for anyone else.

Does it help me overcome Dukkha ? No it doesn't. Seeing all beings as if they were brothers and sisters has a lot more relevance for me.

Different strokes for different folks as they say, !

with metta,

Aloka :)

darvki
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by darvki » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:38 am

Aloka wrote:That's absolutely fine if its meaningful for you, Darvki. I was simply expressing one of the reasons why it used to puzzle me -and stating that it has no relevance in the here and now for me.... it wasn't a suggestion for anyone else.

Does it help me overcome Dukkha ? No it doesn't. Seeing all beings as if they were brothers and sisters has a lot more relevance for me.

Different strokes for different folks as they say, !

with metta,

Aloka :)
My apologies, Aloka. I thought the format of that reply might not be clear and I was right. It was more a reply to Dan74's comment to give a contrasting answer. There's various statements being thrown around about how buddha nature is "confusing" and "unhelpful", which are false absolute statements I would like to show as being such.

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Dan74
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by Dan74 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:51 am

I'm just reading an essay linked by bodom from the forest ajahns:
http://www.forestsangha.org/index.php?o ... &Itemid=25

And the following quote from Ajahn Sumedho caught my attention:
“After teaching in the West for a very short period of time, I began to see
that many people were disappointed both in materialism and theistic religions. To
them Buddhism had great appeal but, lacking any fundamental sense of, or faith in
the transcendent, the practice of Buddhism became almost a dry, technical
procedure – intellectually satisfying but strangely sterile as well.

“They had largely rejected the idea of an Ultimate Reality from their
thoughts as being intrinsically theistic nonsense so I realized that people needed
to be aware that there was also such a principle in the Buddha’s teachings, without
there being any hint of a creator God in the picture. In Thailand, because there is
already such a broad and strong basis of faith in these transcendent qualities, there
is no need to talk about Ultimate Reality, the Unconditioned and so forth – for
them it can be a distraction. Here, I saw that people needed something to look up
to – that’s why I talk about it all the time. It goes a long way to cultivating faith
and it gives a much more living and expansive quality to their spiritual life; there is
a natural joy when the heart opens to its true nature.”
Again, as is often the case, the Forest ajahns teach from experience using skillful means rather than expounding tenets of truth. So of course, "true nature" should not be taken as something out there to get hung up on. But nevertheless, it is used.
_/|\_

alan
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by alan » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:08 am

Ok, nice point. We need to find something transcendent to give juice to the practice. Contemplation of the Buddha's awakening is a good place to start.

fragrant herbs
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Post by fragrant herbs » Thu May 19, 2011 11:26 am

So since we do not have Buddha Nature, when we become enlightened and die, we are just dead? Is Buddha now dead? And what is reborn? What about Heaven or Hell?

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