Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nature?

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fivebells
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Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nature?

Post by fivebells » Sat May 25, 2013 5:20 am

I read that Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Buddhadhasa would often talk about just letting go of the objective realm altogether and just being in the knowing, and that they used to use the phrase “sawang sa-aht sangoup” to speak about the mind's intrinsic nature as empty, lucid, awake and bright. If this is true, I'd be grateful for pointers to some supporting translations of their work.

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cooran
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by cooran » Sat May 25, 2013 5:53 am

Hello fivebells, all,

Quoted from here?:
Being the Knowing
It is also important to extend from the objective realm to the subjective one and to the quality of knowing. Various masters
in Thailand, such as Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Buddhadäsa, and Ajahn Brahmamuni, as well as other leading meditation teachers,
would often talk about letting go of the objective realm altogether and just being the knowing. In Thai, there's an expression, "yoo
gap roo," which literally means" there with the knowing."
It seems that the practice of rigpa deals with something very similar. It includes a specific turning away from the object. We deliberately do not pay much attention to it. Instead we put most of our attention on the nature of the subject. There is an inclining away from the seductive pull of the senses and a focus on, and a nonidentification with, the subject.

Similar to the Thai forest teachings, rigpa is ultimately about emptying out both the subjective and objective realms. The aim
of the practice is subjectless, objectless awareness. The heart rests in rigpa, the quality of open, spacious knowing and there
is the recognition of the mind's own intrinsic nature: it is empty, lucid, awake, and bright. The Thai people love alliterations, and Ajahn Buddhadäsa and Ajahn Chah used to use the phrase II sawang sa-aht sangoup" to speak about this quality.
Sawang means "radiance" or "bright light." Sa-aht means "pure." Sangoup means "peaceful." Sawang sa-aht sangoup: radiance, purity, and peacefulness.

http://archive.org/stream/smallboat00am ... ararch.txt

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Crazy cloud » Sat May 25, 2013 5:55 am

Hi, not sure if this might suit your needs - just started reading myself ...

http://www.amaravati.org/home

Have i nice day :)
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

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Aloka
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Aloka » Sat May 25, 2013 6:49 am

Hi fivebells,

There's 'Emptiness' (from'Heartwood from the Bo Tree') by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha196.htm

You might also like to have a look at Ajahn Chah's"A Still Forest Pool"

excerpt from Part I - Studying and Experiencing:
The Buddha saw that whatever the mind gives rise to are just transitory, conditioned phenomena, which are really empty. When this dawned on him, he let go, gave up, and found an end to suffering. You too must understand these matters according to the truth. When you know things as they are, you will see that these elements of mind are a deception, in keeping with. the Buddha's teaching that this mind has nothing, does not arise, is not born, and does not die with anyone. It is free, shining, resplendent, with nothing to occupy it. The mind becomes occupied only because it misunderstands and is deluded by these conditioned phenomena, this false sense of self.

Therefore, the Buddha had us look at our minds. What exists in the beginning? Truly, not anything. This emptiness does not arise and die with phenomena. When it contacts something good, it does not become good; when it contacts something bad, it does not become bad. The pure mind knows these objects clearly, knows that they are not substantial.
and from Part 7
The original heart / mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and no self, beyond birth and death. To see a self to be reborn is the real trouble of the world. True purity is limitless, untouchable, beyond all opposites and all creation.

We take refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. This is the heritage of every Buddha that appears in the world. What is this Buddha? When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... ealization

with kind wishes,

Aloka

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Mr Man
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Mr Man » Sat May 25, 2013 8:14 am

Hi fivebells,
I think it is worth remembering that Ajahn Chah was always just teaching dhamma rather than creating "work". His teaching was about a way of practice rather than about a doctrine.
Last edited by Mr Man on Sat May 25, 2013 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Zenainder
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Zenainder » Sat May 25, 2013 12:04 pm

How does the Theravada tradition understand the concept of Rigpa?

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Aloka
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Aloka » Sat May 25, 2013 12:45 pm

Zenainder wrote:How does the Theravada tradition understand the concept of Rigpa?
In "Small Boat, Great Mountain" by Ajahn Amaro (Theravada Thai Forest Tradition), in the glossary. it says that the Pali word "vijja" is the equivalent to "rigpa".

Vijja = transcendent knowing, true knowledge.

"Rigpa" and similarities in Theravada are also mentioned in the book " The Island - An Anthology of the Buddha's Teachings on Nibbana" by Ajahn Passano & Ajahn Amaro.

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Zenainder
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Zenainder » Sat May 25, 2013 1:15 pm

Aloka wrote:
Zenainder wrote:How does the Theravada tradition understand the concept of Rigpa?
In "Small Boat, Great Mountain" by Ajahn Amaro (Theravada Thai Forest Tradition), in the glossary. it says that the Pali word "vijja" is the equivalent to "rigpa".

Vijja = transcendent knowing, true knowledge.

"Rigpa" and similarities in Theravada are also mentioned in the book " The Island - An Anthology of the Buddha's Teachings on Nibbana" by Ajahn Passano & Ajahn Amaro.
Thanks for the info! How does the concept of rigpa compare with Tibetan Buddhism (that's originally where I became familiar with term). I've read Sogyal Rinpoche's book "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" and that's where I've learned of it since. Curious as to how it is different from how Theravada teaches it.

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Aloka
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Aloka » Sat May 25, 2013 1:36 pm

Zenainder wrote:
Thanks for the info! How does the concept of rigpa compare with Tibetan Buddhism (that's originally where I became familiar with term). I've read Sogyal Rinpoche's book "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" and that's where I've learned of it since. Curious as to how it is different from how Theravada teaches it.
In Tibetan Buddhism, ' rigpa' is a Tibetan word refering to the true nature of the mind. I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say how does the concept of rigpa compare with Tibetan Buddhism.

I was a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner myself for a long time, until I gave it up after discovering the teachings of Ajahn Chah and then the western branch of the Theravada Thai Forest Tradition.

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Zenainder
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Zenainder » Sat May 25, 2013 1:43 pm

Aloka wrote:
Zenainder wrote:
Thanks for the info! How does the concept of rigpa compare with Tibetan Buddhism (that's originally where I became familiar with term). I've read Sogyal Rinpoche's book "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" and that's where I've learned of it since. Curious as to how it is different from how Theravada teaches it.
In Tibetan Buddhism, ' rigpa' is a Tibetan word refering to the true nature of the mind. I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say how does the concept of rigpa compare with Tibetan Buddhism.

I was a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner myself for a long time, until I gave it up after discovering the teachings of Ajahn Chah and then the western branch of the Theravada Thai Forest Tradition.
I am sorry I was not clear. How is the concept of "rigpa" reflected upon in the Theravada tradition?

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Aloka
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Aloka » Sat May 25, 2013 1:54 pm

Zenainder wrote: I am sorry I was not clear. How is the concept of "rigpa" reflected upon in the Theravada tradition?
I think that this might takes us back to the OP #1 again ;)

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reflection
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by reflection » Sat May 25, 2013 4:27 pm

I don't know Thai, and I don't think many here can, so your question could be a bit specific in asking us to provide specific talks without knowing the ways that phrase could be translated.

But it could refer to "the one who knows" which I see in translations Ajahn Chah used as a description of awareness. As Mr Man also said, Ven. Chah seems to talk in terms of practice most of the time and "being the one who knows" is to me like a practice instruction. But some of Ven Chah's talks may seem to contradict each other at the surface. Sometimes it seems more like a meditation instruction and then in other talks it does not. I think he was very skilled in teaching different students, so approached them at different levels. At times trying to inspire, trying to explain practice, and sometimes explaining the nature of things. Even if your phrase does not translate as "the one who knows", it could very well be he was using it on different levels as well.

I don't know much of Buddhadhasa's teachings.

Either way, if you are interested in those two Venerable's teachings, I'd just start reading translations of their talks instead of looking for some on specific topics, or containing specific lines.

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Mr Man
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by Mr Man » Sat May 25, 2013 5:45 pm

sawang means light (as opposed to darkness). sa-aht means clean & sangoup means peaceful - I imagine it is used to describe the quality of a stilled mind.

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reflection
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by reflection » Sat May 25, 2013 6:03 pm

Thanks! Missed that, I now see it was posted before in a quote. No talks I read spring to mind specifically.

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fivebells
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Re: Teachings of Ajahns Chan & Buddhadasa:intrinsic mind nat

Post by fivebells » Sat May 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Cooran: Yes, it's from Small Boat. I left out the citation this time in an attempt at consideration for the people disturbed by my questions about it. I'd like to find support in the writings of Buddhadhasa and Chah specifically, because I'm really interested in the book's attempts to reconcile Mahayana ontologies with early Buddhist practices, but don't entirely trust it.

Aloka: Interesting quote from Ajahn Chah.

reflection: Thanks, googling for "ajahn chah the one who knows" turns up a lot of interesting stuff.

Mr Man: Thanks, my main question is whether they represented these qualities as intrinsic to the nature of mind.

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