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Buddha Mind?
Posted: 24 September 2011 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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To denounce something one doesn’t understand as woo, just because the words seem exotic, is a version of the Error of Scholars.

Turning from Buddhism to Sufism, the watchword phrase is “be in the world, but not of the world.”  When you encounter the mean dog, respond appropriately (which will depend on the specifics of the encounter).  Maybe you shoot the dog, maybe you shout blankty blank, maybe you tell it’s owner that he is crusin for a brusin and you will be consulting an attorney because you know a wild mad dog Texas lawyer who will help you sue his ass.  But whatever the external behavior you manifest, you remain internally detached (even while observing yourself experience anger, fear, etc.) so that your actions remain appropriate to the situation. 

There is an analogous case with people in emergency situations where immediate action is required.  Some people scurry about and seem to automatically do the wrong things out of panic, other people react appropriately and those are the ones who survive and perhaps help the others to survive. 

And thanks Khong Minh for the very clear descriptions.

[ Edited: 24 September 2011 08:08 AM by burt ]
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Posted: 24 September 2011 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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burt - 24 September 2011 08:04 AM

To denounce something one doesn’t understand as woo, just because the words seem exotic, is a version of the Error of Scholars.

Turning from Buddhism to Sufism, the watchword phrase is “be in the world, but not of the world.”  When you encounter the mean dog, respond appropriately (which will depend on the specifics of the encounter).  Maybe you shoot the dog, maybe you shout blankty blank, maybe you tell it’s owner that he is crusin for a brusin and you will be consulting an attorney because you know a wild mad dog Texas lawyer who will help you sue his ass.  But whatever the external behavior you manifest, you remain internally detached (even while observing yourself experience anger, fear, etc.) so that your actions remain appropriate to the situation. 

There is an analogous case with people in emergency situations where immediate action is required.  Some people scurry about and seem to automatically do the wrong things out of panic, other people react appropriately and those are the ones who survive and perhaps help the others to survive.

Sorry, but when you start stating that it can take “lifetimes across aeons” you are leaving piles of woo in the yard.

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Posted: 24 September 2011 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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saralynn - 24 September 2011 05:07 AM

Hey, I appreciated Khổng Minh’s posts.  The guy seems to know what he is talking about and his explanations make sense to me.  I think the terms used in Buddhism are what are turning you guys off, not the basic premises.


Yeah, I think that happens a lot. Sometimes it’s just confusion over what the terms really mean (or can mean), but it seems to me it’s usually oversensitivity. Sometimes that’s quite understandable (a traumatic apostasy, particularly if recent), otherwise it’s a kind of egocentrism/selfishness—a failure to consider what’s actually being communicated rather than the words that are being used (form over substance).

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Posted: 08 October 2011 11:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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burt - 21 September 2011 07:13 AM

But getting rid of all the poisons means getting rid of the self-centered part of things, or more accurately detaching from them so they don’t have any control over behavior.

This is a mistake. Buddhism does not hold that one should detach from things (detachment and non-attachment are two distinct things). It actually points out the flaw in such dichotomous thinking—that the self-other dichotomy is an illusion. In order for there to be attachment, you need two things—the attacher, and the thing to which the attacher is attached. In other words, “attachment” requires self-reference, and it requires seeing the object of attachment as separate from oneself. The Buddha taught that seeing oneself and everything else this way is a delusion. Further, it is a delusion that is the deepest cause of our unhappiness. It is because we mistakenly see ourselves as separate from everything else that we “attach.” We might think that the way not to cling to something is to avoid it, but avoiding can be another form of clinging. If you avoid something because you don’t like it or are afraid of it, you’re still creating a separation based on self-reference.

In an interview, “positive” psychologist Jonathan Haidt (a dear friend of Sam wink ) claimed the Buddha taught that happiness requires disassociation from things in the external world. And Haidt disagrees with this: “Some things are worth striving for, and happiness comes in part from outside of yourself, if you know where to look.”

We “pursue” happiness because we think it comes outside of ourselves. But it’s also because we think things are outside of ourselves that we are stressed about them and worry about them. Whatever can be found can also be lost.

Seeing through the delusion of separation means we no longer give “external things” the power to make us miserable. The ideal is equanimity, free from the compulsion to chase what we want and run from what we don’t want. Realizing non-attachment is not easy. It’s not a matter of going to a weekend retreat and being released from anxiety the rest of your life. Buddhism is a life practice, not a quick fix. Ironically, it’s a practice that requires giving up ideas about goals and rewards, or escaping to a better place.

Buddhism teaches that the better place is right here, and the reward is already yours. Realizing this is non-attachment.

A beginner resource I recommend to understand Buddism is about.com

[ Edited: 08 October 2011 11:51 PM by queefsr4quitters ]
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Posted: 09 October 2011 05:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Thanks Q4Q.  I found this with Haidt interview extremely interesting…..

It may not have anything to do with Buddhism, so I may start a new thread.  Or not. 

http://www.happinesshypothesis.com/sommers.interview-with-haidt.pdf

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Posted: 09 October 2011 05:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I found the interview interesting, as well.  Especially when Haidt found himself in the position of moral justification.

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Posted: 15 October 2011 10:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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queefsr4quitters - 08 October 2011 11:45 PM
burt - 21 September 2011 07:13 AM

But getting rid of all the poisons means getting rid of the self-centered part of things, or more accurately detaching from them so they don’t have any control over behavior.

This is a mistake. Buddhism does not hold that one should detach from things (detachment and non-attachment are two distinct things). It actually points out the flaw in such dichotomous thinking—that the self-other dichotomy is an illusion. In order for there to be attachment, you need two things—the attacher, and the thing to which the attacher is attached. In other words, “attachment” requires self-reference, and it requires seeing the object of attachment as separate from oneself. The Buddha taught that seeing oneself and everything else this way is a delusion. Further, it is a delusion that is the deepest cause of our unhappiness. It is because we mistakenly see ourselves as separate from everything else that we “attach.” We might think that the way not to cling to something is to avoid it, but avoiding can be another form of clinging. If you avoid something because you don’t like it or are afraid of it, you’re still creating a separation based on self-reference.

In an interview, “positive” psychologist Jonathan Haidt (a dear friend of Sam wink ) claimed the Buddha taught that happiness requires disassociation from things in the external world. And Haidt disagrees with this: “Some things are worth striving for, and happiness comes in part from outside of yourself, if you know where to look.”

We “pursue” happiness because we think it comes outside of ourselves. But it’s also because we think things are outside of ourselves that we are stressed about them and worry about them. Whatever can be found can also be lost.

Seeing through the delusion of separation means we no longer give “external things” the power to make us miserable. The ideal is equanimity, free from the compulsion to chase what we want and run from what we don’t want. Realizing non-attachment is not easy. It’s not a matter of going to a weekend retreat and being released from anxiety the rest of your life. Buddhism is a life practice, not a quick fix. Ironically, it’s a practice that requires giving up ideas about goals and rewards, or escaping to a better place.

Buddhism teaches that the better place is right here, and the reward is already yours. Realizing this is non-attachment.

A beginner resource I recommend to understand Buddism is about.com

I used detachment when I ought to have used non-attachment, thanks for the correction.  In Sufism there are the terms annihilation which is followed by annihilation of annihilation.  First, the annihilation of attachments and then the annihilation of the division between identity and reality, without further attachment.  The Stoics sought to achieve a state of indifference to externals, but still allowed that within the field of externals one could allow for preferences (e.g., good health is preferable to ill health), even while recognizing these as mere superficials.

[ Edited: 15 October 2011 10:36 PM by burt ]
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Posted: 16 October 2011 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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burt - 15 October 2011 10:34 PM


I used detachment when I ought to have used non-attachment, thanks for the correction.  In Sufism there are the terms annihilation which is followed by annihilation of annihilation.  First, the annihilation of attachments and then the annihilation of the division between identity and reality, without further attachment.  The Stoics sought to achieve a state of indifference to externals, but still allowed that within the field of externals one could allow for preferences (e.g., good health is preferable to ill health), even while recognizing these as mere superficials.

It seems very hard to practice non-attachment in the midst of a busy life.  Different religions have traditions of monks devoted to study and practice.  However, monks do not have families.  In most religions, it is a choice—devotion to the philosophy or family.  Is it possible to be truly non-attached and involved in the day-to-day world?

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Posted: 16 October 2011 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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hannah: It seems very hard to practice non-attachment in the midst of a busy life.  Different religions have traditions of monks devoted to study and practice.  However, monks do not have families.  In most religions, it is a choice—devotion to the philosophy or family.  Is it possible to be truly non-attached and involved in the day-to-day world?

It seems like I can be neither detached nor non-attached when it comes to politics. I just seethe when people disagree with me.  I try to look at events historically, from a great distance, but it only works for a little while. 

Most of my family and I have agreed not to talk about politics in order to maintain family unity.  It’s going to be a challenge as the election approaches, but love conquers all.

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Posted: 16 October 2011 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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saralynn - 16 October 2011 08:42 AM

hannah: It seems very hard to practice non-attachment in the midst of a busy life.  Different religions have traditions of monks devoted to study and practice.  However, monks do not have families.  In most religions, it is a choice—devotion to the philosophy or family.  Is it possible to be truly non-attached and involved in the day-to-day world?

It seems like I can be neither detached nor non-attached when it comes to politics. I just seethe when people disagree with me.  I try to look at events historically, from a great distance, but it only works for a little while. 

Most of my family and I have agreed not to talk about politics in order to maintain family unity.  It’s going to be a challenge as the election approaches, but love conquers all.

I find myself totally non-attached to this coming presidential election.  I feel there are no good choices. I do think it would be interesting to hear Ron Paul debate Obama.

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Posted: 16 October 2011 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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hannah: I find myself totally non-attached to this coming presidential election.  I feel there are no good choices. I do think it would be interesting to hear Ron Paul debate Obama.

I wish I could say the same.  Besides the political issues, I am quite fond of Obama and relate to him like a mother, which, as we all know, is totally unobjective.  “Stop picking on him!  He doing the best he can!”  I never felt that way about George Bush.  I was sorry the shoe didn’t hit him.

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Posted: 16 October 2011 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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saralynn - 16 October 2011 01:46 PM

hannah: I find myself totally non-attached to this coming presidential election.  I feel there are no good choices. I do think it would be interesting to hear Ron Paul debate Obama.

I wish I could say the same.  Besides the political issues, I am quite fond of Obama and relate to him like a mother, which, as we all know, is totally unobjective.  “Stop picking on him!  He doing the best he can!”  I never felt that way about George Bush.  I was sorry the shoe didn’t hit him.

I too like Obama, the man.  I hear that now he’s committed to getting our troops out of Iraq by year’s end.  News like that may help reinvigorate his base.

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Posted: 16 October 2011 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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saralynn - 16 October 2011 08:42 AM

hannah: It seems very hard to practice non-attachment in the midst of a busy life.  Different religions have traditions of monks devoted to study and practice.  However, monks do not have families.  In most religions, it is a choice—devotion to the philosophy or family.  Is it possible to be truly non-attached and involved in the day-to-day world?

It seems like I can be neither detached nor non-attached when it comes to politics. I just seethe when people disagree with me.  I try to look at events historically, from a great distance, but it only works for a little while. 

Most of my family and I have agreed not to talk about politics in order to maintain family unity.  It’s going to be a challenge as the election approaches, but love conquers all.

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Posted: 16 October 2011 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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saralynn - 16 October 2011 08:42 AM

hannah: It seems very hard to practice non-attachment in the midst of a busy life.  Different religions have traditions of monks devoted to study and practice.  However, monks do not have families.  In most religions, it is a choice—devotion to the philosophy or family.  Is it possible to be truly non-attached and involved in the day-to-day world?

It seems like I can be neither detached nor non-attached when it comes to politics. I just seethe when people disagree with me.  I try to look at events historically, from a great distance, but it only works for a little while. 

Most of my family and I have agreed not to talk about politics in order to maintain family unity.  It’s going to be a challenge as the election approaches, but love conquers all.

I don’t think non-attachment means you don’t seethe, I think it means you have a witness that is not attached to the seething.  So you see yourself seething rather than letting the seething screw up your seeing.  Seethe what I mean?

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Posted: 17 October 2011 04:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Burt: I don’t think non-attachment means you don’t seethe, I think it means you have a witness that is not attached to the seething.  So you see yourself seething rather than letting the seething screw up your seeing.  Seethe what I mean?

Yes, I see that I seethe as I seethe because I see that I can’t cease to seethe. It’s quite clear to me now.

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