2010.09.02 - Prajna

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    Dao Yheng: Hi Eliza :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Dao :) Hi Gaya :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Dao and Eliza :)
    Dao Yheng: Hi Gaya!
    Eliza Madrigal: Just a reminder that I will have to pop out about twenty minutes in, to attend an Open House
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Sorry to leave the log hanging again
    Dao Yheng: Back to school :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus is Offline
    Gaya Ethaniel: np :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Heloise :)
    Dao Yheng: I could take care of it for a while if you like Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: I think aside from these events occasionally it should be fine
    Eliza Madrigal: but thank you for offering :)
    Dao Yheng: You've been posting for us for a while now
    Dao Yheng: ok, np!
    Dao Yheng: Hi H!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Heloise :)
    Heloise Toussaint: Hello
    Eliza Madrigal: brb... have to read rest of reports...
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... did I forget sending out notices yesterday?
    Gaya Ethaniel checks her alarms ...
    Mitsu Ishii is Online
    Dao Yheng: Gaya, I liked your report again this week -- short and sweet and to the point
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks :) Just reading yours now :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus is Online
    Gaya Ethaniel: My understanding is very limited still ... I wanted to write them out first before reading Red Pine's commentaries.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Mitsu :)
    Mitsu Ishii: hello all
    Heloise Toussaint: Hiya
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Mitsu :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Yaku :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey everyone
    Eliza Madrigal: Lovely report Gaya, and Dao, I find yours really beautiful... thought provoking as well. Oh Mama! :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: mama mia!
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Ya
    Dao Yheng: (sorry, work thingy -- brb)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Steven mentions that faith [shraddha] leads to wisdom in one of his ethics classes in RL.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok
    Eliza Madrigal: say more?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: mm ... let me check ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: "This faith in the Buddhist case goes on immediately to connecting you to a kind of vigorous, deeper investigation, more, more exploration, more probing. So we call that vigour, very. And that vigorous further investigation helps you be more mindful, more aware. And that mindfulness leads to more concentration of focus, and that concentration of focus leads to eventually what they would call wisdom. "
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, it's faith not in ideas but faith that it is worth investigating
    Eliza Madrigal: mmm, and vigour is a better word than 'energy' to describe the expression of pure motivations...
    Mitsu Ishii: or faither that there is something profound to investigate
    Gaya Ethaniel: So more investigations, excavations ... to uncover the living beings where wisdom is accessible.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: excavating from the heart?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Probably I'm just skimming at this stage though :)
    Mitsu Ishii: the heart sutra always struck me as funny in a way because
    Mitsu Ishii: Buddhism is one of the only religions with a central text which kind of negates the path itself
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes, just relax and enjoy life :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Of course, it's not that simple :P
    Eliza Madrigal: What I was struck by in Dao's report, which I'll say here in case it might be picked up on later cause I have to go already, is the connection of heart sutra to Knowing
    Eliza Madrigal: I'd love to hear more about/of that :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :::pulling myself away:::::
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye Eliza :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye for now :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks :))
    Eliza Madrigal is Offline
    Mitsu Ishii: bye
    Gaya Ethaniel: I guess there are different ways of knowing presented in the text, through the different aspects of reality ie duality and then through wisdom, which is beyond the form/emptiness.
    Mitsu Ishii: Dao do you want to talk more about the relationship to knowing?
    Mitsu Ishii: you mentioned in your report
    Dao Yheng: Hm, it's a bit hard to say...
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Dao Yheng: I guess it's the sense that at some point, normal categories break down -- emptiness isn't different from great knowing isn't different from compassion etc
    Dao Yheng: but I guess my own sense of emptiness is that it's a bit of an inbetween step
    Dao Yheng: that in some sense, it's not quite exactly co-equal even if it is also exactly what it is...
    Dao Yheng: well, I don't know
    Dao Yheng: it might not be a distinction that needs to be made
    Mitsu Ishii: I think the two different directions are quite crucial
    Mitsu Ishii: form -> emptiness, emptiness -> form
    Mitsu Ishii: for me, I sort of "got" the first one before the second, the second was a huge leap
    Mitsu Ishii: that is to say, it's fairly easy to get a sense that things aren't really the solid things we think they are
    Mitsu Ishii: that they're empty somehow
    Mitsu Ishii: but what's really beautiful (to me) is that that same empty ground is the basis for all the beauty of life and phenomena
    Dao Yheng: yes, that's a helpful way of coming at it, Mitsu
    Dao Yheng: thanks for mentioning it
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes this reminds me of Stim's comments on limit.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Without limit [form], no potential ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: I can't be sure of his exact words though ... ^^;;;
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, that's a good point
    Mitsu Ishii: limits create value in a way
    Mitsu Ishii: meaning
    Mitsu Ishii: if we lived forever as individuals, it would destroy life
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: Like having a human life that is fragile and impermanent ....
    Mitsu Ishii: (it's interesting that vampires are seen as immortal but also dead)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes
    Dao Yheng: sort of the impermanence angle
    Gaya Ethaniel: heh :) feel like we are saying same things at the same time.
    Mitsu Ishii: I'm curious Yakuzza or Heloise, do you have any thoughts about the Heart Sutra? or anything else that comes to mind?
    Mitsu Ishii: or not :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: Maybe we could talk about the Diamond Sutra vs the Heart Sutra, from your comments, Dao
    Mitsu Ishii: why was the Diamond Sutra more compelling to you at first
    Gaya Ethaniel listens.
    Dao Yheng: (sorry, back again)
    Gaya Ethaniel: np :)
    Dao Yheng: it's hard to say about the diamond sutra -- I first read it only a few years ago
    Dao Yheng: whereas I had at least heard the heart sutra almost from the beginning of my investigations
    Dao Yheng: so it could have been a matter of timing
    Mitsu Ishii: but I do think the diamond sutra and heart sutra have different content
    Dao Yheng: somehow, the diamond sutra felt like a bucket of water getting dumped on my head
    Mitsu Ishii: the heart sutra is saying really radical things that seem to make no sense on the surface
    Mitsu Ishii: so what about the diamond sutra seemed to connect more
    Mitsu Ishii: for you
    Dao Yheng: the little thing about belief in a self, a person, a life span, etc --
    Dao Yheng: it's repeated several times throughout, sort of parallel to gate gate
    Dao Yheng: a refrain you could say
    Mitsu Ishii: you mean in the heart sutra?
    Dao Yheng: that particular refrain struck me
    Mitsu Ishii: or in the diamond sutra
    Dao Yheng: in the diamond sutra
    Mitsu Ishii: can you say more about that?
    Dao Yheng: Maybe because it was pointing at something I could very easily recognize in myself -- belief in a self, a person, a living being, a life span
    Mitsu Ishii: ah I see
    Dao Yheng: whereas form is emptiness, emptiness is form
    Dao Yheng: it took me many years to expand out what I could understand emptiness to be
    Dao Yheng: (or not to be as the case may be :)
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, I think in some ways the Heart Sutra is more abstract
    Mitsu Ishii: it's always shocking to me because for me it brings tears to my eyes
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: but to have it in a religious text really affects me
    Mitsu Ishii: I think for me what is so moving about it
    Mitsu Ishii: is that it is saying "there is no path", it denies itself, it denies in some ways Buddhism itself
    Mitsu Ishii: but then it says PRAJNA PARAMITA
    Mitsu Ishii: and this moves me because people always want to react to fear and uncertainty by grabbing onto something certain
    Mitsu Ishii: and yet this is saying the opposite: that true, unshakable confidence can flow from a source which denies all ordinary notions of certainty
    Dao Yheng: we're attracted to the same point, then -- though for me, it's noticing belief in my own ideas that really surprises me :)
    Mitsu Ishii: to me that is such a beautiful thing that I can't help but have tears
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: I suppose the difference is that one sutra focuses on specific things that we can be mistaken about
    Mitsu Ishii: like ideas about the self and so on
    Gaya Ethaniel: When I first read it, what stood out for me was re: hidrance, well still does.
    Mitsu Ishii: whereas the Heart Sutra says that even the path itself isn't a solid thing
    Mitsu Ishii: even the Eightfold Path, even the Four Noble Truths, etc.
    Mitsu Ishii: it says you can't hang your hat on anything at all, even the teachings
    Mitsu Ishii: and yet THAT IN ITSELF is the source of abiding prajna paramita
    Mitsu Ishii: and it can be vocalized as gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Dao Yheng: but if you don't know what the teachings are to begin with... you see my initial dilemma?
    Mitsu Ishii: and that brings everything back in. it's not a denial of anything at all, it includes everything
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, right
    Mitsu Ishii: that's true
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well I think it may at least help with the mind that is heavily focused on concepts.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Like a koan almost ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Step back from what words mean in narrow sense etc.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I guess that's the radical part :)
    Dao Yheng: Gaya, could you say more about "When I first read it, what stood out for me was re: hidrance, well still does."?
    Gaya Ethaniel: heh :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well ordinary mind is very quick to judge ... things that appear to be obstacles can turn out not to be but that mind wants to make things solid.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Fear and suffering comes from this tendency I think.
    Gaya Ethaniel: The mind that sees someone as enemy etc. divisive thinking ... all of those stuff that ordinary mind does.
    Dao Yheng: Hmm, yes -- any kind of characterization at all, in a sense
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's useful, we need it but maybe not for everything :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Re: your question Dao ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Why is the mind consciousness considered the sixth a sense gate?
    Gaya Ethaniel: This one ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: That's the ordinary cognition part of the mind?
    Dao Yheng: I assume so, yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok
    Gaya Ethaniel: Like a dream architect :)
    Dao Yheng: how so?
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... :) well the dreaming mind is an obvous example I think.
    Mitsu Ishii: it's a traditional notion in Buddhism
    Mitsu Ishii: Stim talked about it once
    Mitsu Ishii: the mind is another sense in a way
    Gaya Ethaniel: What's 'it'?
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Gaya Ethaniel: It makes sense to me, yes.
    Dao Yheng: Maybe you'll remind me of it Mits :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Also boundary between mind and other things aren't clear cut anyway.
    Dao Yheng: boundary between mind and other senses isn't so clear to me either
    Mitsu Ishii: well in a way the mind is feeding itself with sensations that sort of bounce off of earlier thoughts and so on
    Mitsu Ishii: so it takes into account the explicit way the mind generates feedback into itself
    Dao Yheng: so, to me, the mind creates sense impressions and vice versa --
    Gaya Ethaniel: A few minutes left now ...
    Mitsu Ishii: so shal we agree to talk about this one more week? I know Zen wanted to talk about it :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes ok :)
    Dao Yheng: sounds good
    Dao Yheng: I downloaded Red Pine's book on my kindle!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Also we are going to resume the weekly homework meeting from this Sunday.
    Gaya Ethaniel: It will be in voice and hope you can all attend.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think it's 9 am SLT?
    Dao Yheng: Will you be able to attend then, Heloise?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I will attach landmarkd for it in a group notice.
    Heloise Toussaint: What time is that GMT?
    Gaya Ethaniel: 5 pm
    Gaya Ethaniel: 6 pm in Germany for Yaku ...
    Heloise Toussaint: Just checking my calendar
    Heloise Toussaint: I'm busy this sunday
    Gaya Ethaniel: Actually I can't make it either ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: But others can meet up :)
    Dao Yheng: Is there another time that is better for everyone? or are these one time things?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well Heloise and I have an event to attend :P
    Dao Yheng: OK, so we'll see you week after next then :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: But is the time usually ok for you Heloise?
    Heloise Toussaint: Yes generally, although Sundays can be busy as tend to travel on weekends to see family etc
    Heloise Toussaint: so bit tricky for next month
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well make it when you can :)
    Heloise Toussaint: OK cool
    Dao Yheng: OK, thanks everyone!
    Dao Yheng: nice to see everyone!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you, see you soon :)
    Heloise Toussaint: Thank you

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