monism: oneness

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
form
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monism: oneness

Post by form » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:00 am

Based on information in MN, if the original buddhism is not about oneness, then some modern buddhism is obviously not buddhism.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by JamesTheGiant » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:11 am

form wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:00 am
Based on information in MN, if the original buddhism is not about oneness then some modern buddhism is obviously not buddhism.
Which schools of Buddhism are keen on oneness?

form
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by form » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:57 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:11 am
form wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:00 am
Based on information in MN, if the original buddhism is not about oneness then some modern buddhism is obviously not buddhism.
Which schools of Buddhism are keen on oneness?
Correct me if i am wrong. Could be the interbeing concept. There should be many others, in tibetan buddhism and some chinese buddhism schools that has traces of taoism or natural concepts. I will give more specific examples later when i come across them in my readings.

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Sam Vara
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:42 am

One of the main difficulties in talking about oneness or monism as a philosophical doctrine is that there are (paradoxically!) lots of different varieties and people can mean different things by the terms. Discussions often go adrift when people start talking at cross-purposes: one person thinks that oneness is a feature of subject and object; another that it is a feature of the entire universe; or an individual's experience; or of samsara and nibbana; or that there is an underlying substance to certain phenomena; etc.

I'm involved with a meditation and discussion group who often "mix and match" concepts from different strands of Buddhism with things like advaita and non-duality. After emerging from one of their sessions, I often find this little essay by Bhikkhu Bodhi to be steadying:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/au ... ay_27.html

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Pseudobabble
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by Pseudobabble » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:17 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:42 am
One of the main difficulties in talking about oneness or monism as a philosophical doctrine is that there are (paradoxically!) lots of different varieties and people can mean different things by the terms. Discussions often go adrift when people start talking at cross-purposes: one person thinks that oneness is a feature of subject and object; another that it is a feature of the entire universe; or an individual's experience; or of samsara and nibbana; or that there is an underlying substance to certain phenomena; etc.

I'm involved with a meditation and discussion group who often "mix and match" concepts from different strands of Buddhism with things like advaita and non-duality. After emerging from one of their sessions, I often find this little essay by Bhikkhu Bodhi to be steadying:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/au ... ay_27.html
Just to :stirthepot: a little:

How could oneness be a feature? If it was a feature, it would be distinguishable from other features, and thus not be one.

EDIT: I'm not questioning your understanding, more the idea of oneness itself.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Manopubbangama
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by Manopubbangama » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:56 pm

I think they had monistic exercise practices by ninja clans featured in a film if my memory serves me correct:



When one's subjectivity has melted into one's objectivity there is no place to cut such a great ninja warrior. It is said that even a Buddha on the road cannot be foretell from whence this ninja will next strike.
If you meet a Buddha on the road; note it, and continue to focus on the breath.
"Buddha on the road"
"Buddha on the road"

https://www.dhammaboard.co

dharmacorps
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:56 pm

Thanissaro Bhikkhu has much to say about this-- the idea that the Buddha taught oneness has roots in the western Romantic interpretation of Buddhism, but there isn't any basis for this in the canon.

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Sam Vara
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:40 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:17 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:42 am
One of the main difficulties in talking about oneness or monism as a philosophical doctrine is that there are (paradoxically!) lots of different varieties and people can mean different things by the terms. Discussions often go adrift when people start talking at cross-purposes: one person thinks that oneness is a feature of subject and object; another that it is a feature of the entire universe; or an individual's experience; or of samsara and nibbana; or that there is an underlying substance to certain phenomena; etc.

I'm involved with a meditation and discussion group who often "mix and match" concepts from different strands of Buddhism with things like advaita and non-duality. After emerging from one of their sessions, I often find this little essay by Bhikkhu Bodhi to be steadying:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/au ... ay_27.html
Just to :stirthepot: a little:

How could oneness be a feature? If it was a feature, it would be distinguishable from other features, and thus not be one.

EDIT: I'm not questioning your understanding, more the idea of oneness itself.
Yes, I entirely agree, and that's why I don't take advaita seriously. Technically, there could be a number of qualities that are shared by two different entities, and sameness can be one of those qualities, providing the entities are names for the same referent (eg, "The morning star" and "The evening star"; and "The US President" and "Donald Trump".) It might make sense to say that apparent differences are merely different ways of labelling the same thing, such that the universe is divided up differently by different consciousnesses, but is at some deeper sense the same thing.

But your objection rightly implies that there is a problem with "oneness". If, at some level, the "one" appears to be "many", then why are there different levels?

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DooDoot
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by DooDoot » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:46 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:56 pm
Thanissaro Bhikkhu has much to say about this-- the idea that the Buddha taught oneness has roots in the western Romantic interpretation of Buddhism, but there isn't any basis for this in the canon.
"Oneness" ("ekatta") appears mentioned in the suttas.
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:11 am
Which schools of Buddhism are keen on oneness?
Mahayana, naturally.
The Great Way isn’t difficult
for those who are unattached to their preferences.
Let go of longing and aversion,
and everything will be perfectly clear.
When you cling to a hairbreadth of distinction, heaven and earth are set apart.
If you want to realize the truth,
don’t be for or against.
The struggle between good and evil
is the primal disease of the mind.
Not grasping the deeper meaning,
you just trouble your mind’s serenity.
As vast as infinite space,
it is perfect and lacks nothing.
But because you select and reject,
you can’t perceive its true nature.
Don’t get entangled in the world;
don’t lose yourself in emptiness.
Be at peace in the oneness of things,
and all errors will disappear by themselves

Hsin Hsin Ming https://terebess.hu/english/hsin.html

form
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by form » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:36 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:46 pm
dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:56 pm
Thanissaro Bhikkhu has much to say about this-- the idea that the Buddha taught oneness has roots in the western Romantic interpretation of Buddhism, but there isn't any basis for this in the canon.
"Oneness" ("ekatta") appears mentioned in the suttas.
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:11 am
Which schools of Buddhism are keen on oneness?
Mahayana, naturally.
The Great Way isn’t difficult
for those who are unattached to their preferences.
Let go of longing and aversion,
and everything will be perfectly clear.
When you cling to a hairbreadth of distinction, heaven and earth are set apart.
If you want to realize the truth,
don’t be for or against.
The struggle between good and evil
is the primal disease of the mind.
Not grasping the deeper meaning,
you just trouble your mind’s serenity.
As vast as infinite space,
it is perfect and lacks nothing.
But because you select and reject,
you can’t perceive its true nature.
Don’t get entangled in the world;
don’t lose yourself in emptiness.
Be at peace in the oneness of things,
and all errors will disappear by themselves

Hsin Hsin Ming https://terebess.hu/english/hsin.html
The oneness u mentioned from the sutta is it translated as unity?

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DooDoot
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:12 am

form wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:36 am
The oneness u mentioned from the sutta is it translated as unity?
In the context of sutta, 'oneness/unity' is something distinguished from Emptiness (Sunnata) in MN 121 and from Nibbana in MN 1. The 'oneness' referred to in MN 121 is said to be something 'conditioned/abhisaṅkhato' (rather than 'unconditioned'). For example:
He directly knows oneness as oneness .
ekattaṃ ekattato abhijānāti

He directly knows extinguishment [Nibbana] as extinguishment [Nibbana].
nibbānaṃ nibbānato abhijānāti;

MN 1
Furthermore, a mendicant—ignoring the perception of the dimension of nothingness and the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception—focuses on the oneness dependent on the signless immersion of the heart.

Puna caparaṃ, ānanda, bhikkhu amanasikaritvā ākiñcaññāyatanasaññaṃ, amanasikaritvā nevasaññānāsaññāyatanasaññaṃ, animittaṃ cetosamādhiṃ paṭicca manasi karoti ekattaṃ.

Their mind becomes eager, confident, settled, and decided in that signless immersion of the heart. They understand:

‘Even this signless immersion of the heart is produced by choices [conditions] and intentions.’
‘ayampi kho animitto cetosamādhi abhisaṅkhato abhisañcetayito’.

They understand: ‘But whatever is produced by choices [conditions] and intentions is impermanent and liable to cessation.’

Knowing and seeing like this, their mind is freed from the defilements of sensuality, desire to be reborn [becoming] and ignorance.
Tassa evaṃ jānato evaṃ passato kāmāsavāpi cittaṃ vimuccati, bhavāsavāpi cittaṃ vimuccati, avijjāsavāpi cittaṃ vimuccati.

When they’re freed, they know they’re freed. They understand: ‘Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence.’
‘Khīṇā jāti, vusitaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, kataṃ karaṇīyaṃ, nāparaṃ itthattāyā’ti pajānāti.

MN 121
Thus, it appears "oneness" ("ekattaṃ") in MN 121 is equated with the "signless" ("animitto "). It appears to be a state or illusion of "non-duality" created from non-thinking or non-labelling or non-conceptualising; similar to what Mahayana teaches.

Where as "emptiness" & "Nibbana" are the ending of "self-views".

Both "oneness" & "emptiness" are types of "liberation" (MN 43) or "harmony" however MN 43 says "emptiness" is the foremost.

form
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by form » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:03 am

Ok. Thank you. I will go look at the suttas u mentioned.

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Sam Vara
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:29 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:12 am
form wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:36 am
The oneness u mentioned from the sutta is it translated as unity?
In the context of sutta, 'oneness/unity' is something distinguished from Emptiness (Sunnata) in MN 121 and from Nibbana in MN 1. The 'oneness' referred to in MN 121 is said to be something 'conditioned/abhisaṅkhato' (rather than 'unconditioned'). For example:
He directly knows oneness as oneness .
ekattaṃ ekattato abhijānāti

He directly knows extinguishment [Nibbana] as extinguishment [Nibbana].
nibbānaṃ nibbānato abhijānāti;

MN 1
Furthermore, a mendicant—ignoring the perception of the dimension of nothingness and the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception—focuses on the oneness dependent on the signless immersion of the heart.

Puna caparaṃ, ānanda, bhikkhu amanasikaritvā ākiñcaññāyatanasaññaṃ, amanasikaritvā nevasaññānāsaññāyatanasaññaṃ, animittaṃ cetosamādhiṃ paṭicca manasi karoti ekattaṃ.

Their mind becomes eager, confident, settled, and decided in that signless immersion of the heart. They understand:

‘Even this signless immersion of the heart is produced by choices [conditions] and intentions.’
‘ayampi kho animitto cetosamādhi abhisaṅkhato abhisañcetayito’.

They understand: ‘But whatever is produced by choices [conditions] and intentions is impermanent and liable to cessation.’

Knowing and seeing like this, their mind is freed from the defilements of sensuality, desire to be reborn [becoming] and ignorance.
Tassa evaṃ jānato evaṃ passato kāmāsavāpi cittaṃ vimuccati, bhavāsavāpi cittaṃ vimuccati, avijjāsavāpi cittaṃ vimuccati.

When they’re freed, they know they’re freed. They understand: ‘Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence.’
‘Khīṇā jāti, vusitaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, kataṃ karaṇīyaṃ, nāparaṃ itthattāyā’ti pajānāti.

MN 121
Thus, it appears "oneness" ("ekattaṃ") in MN 121 is equated with the "signless" ("animitto "). It appears to be a state or illusion of "non-duality" created from non-thinking or non-labelling or non-conceptualising; similar to what Mahayana teaches.

Where as "emptiness" & "Nibbana" are the ending of "self-views".

Both "oneness" & "emptiness" are types of "liberation" (MN 43) or "harmony" however MN 43 says "emptiness" is the foremost.
:goodpost: Excellent post - thank you.

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Manopubbangama
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by Manopubbangama » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:15 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:11 am

Which schools of Buddhism are keen on oneness?
Semantic wordplay aside, there is a oneness in Theravada, and that is one; all beings need food to survive.
If you meet a Buddha on the road; note it, and continue to focus on the breath.
"Buddha on the road"
"Buddha on the road"

https://www.dhammaboard.co

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bodom
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Re: monism: oneness

Post by bodom » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:39 pm

Staying at Savatthi. Then a brahman cosmologist [1]went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Now, then, Master Gotama, does everything [2] exist?"

"'Everything exists' is the senior form of cosmology, brahman."

"Then, Master Gotama, does everything not exist?"

"'Everything does not exist' is the second form of cosmology, brahman."

"Then is everything a Oneness?"

"'Everything is a Oneness' is the third form of cosmology, brahman."

"Then is everything a Manyness?"

"'Everything is a Manyness' is the fourth form of cosmology, brahman. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. F+rom the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."

"Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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