Intrinsic Nature, Fundamental Transformation, Non-conceptual Wakefulness


Pemba Lama

TSTD 302

28-Mar-2016                                  Short Paper – 2

 

The differences between intrinsic nature, fundamental transformation and nonconceptual awareness is that the intrinsic nature is the reality of whole phenomena being free of all extremes form the beginning of time. The phenomena is relative truth that can be cognized or lies on the extremes of existence, while the intrinsic nature of phenomena is ultimate truth being free of conception that is referred as suchness in another word. Ultimate truth is not a separate entity apart from relative truth. Relative truth is the basement of ultimate truth, because the nature of relative truth is nothing more than emptiness that is free of duality, free of exception and so forth free of extremes. It is like that of final truth of nature revealed by Buddha after going through the final fundamental transformation of completely understanding ‘suchness’ through whopping out obscurations completely from the mindset giving arise to the nonconceptual awareness that is free of whole extremes of conception.

Intrinsic nature which is free of whole extremes and targeted as an object to be identified by bodhisattvas at the path of practices (five paths and ten grounds). The bodhisattva who had attained the path of seeing has gained the nonconceptual awareness at the time of equipoise meditation, such is the bodhisattva who has fundamentally transformed himself to the quality of noble arya with the ability of quality wisdom (nonconceptual wisdom) to enter into the equipoise meditation of direct realization of the intrinsic nature of whole phenomena. Specifically, the bodhisattvas are able to have fully active nonconceptual wisdom at the time of equipoise meditation. Bodhisattva’s realization of intrinsic nature of whole phenomena at the state of equipoise meditation is same as that of Buddha’s realization of intrinsic nature of whole phenomena. The fundamental transformation of Bodhisattva on first bhumi versus the path of no more practices (state of Buddhahood) has several differences in terms of quality of realizations of intrinsic nature. Fundamental transformation of bodhisattvas and that of Buddha is all that differentiate Buddha from those of bodhisattva. Through the fundamental transformations, the bodhisattva gains the nonconceptual awareness which is directly connected with the reality of whole phenomena (intrinsic nature). When Bodhisattva wakes from equipoise meditation and enters the stage of post-meditation, it is likely that bodhisattva on path of seeing will gain 1200 qualities, Bodhisattavas on second Bhumi (path of no-stain) gains 12000 qualities, and higher the state of realization (path of bodhisattva) greater the number of qualities. In the final path of no more learning is the state of Buddhahood where the bodhisattva from the final stage of tenth bhumi is fundamentally transformed to the stage of 11th Bhumi (Buddhahood) is permanently unmoved from the state of equipoise meditation for the numbers of qualities of Buddha is incalculable and nonconceptual wisdom is thoroughly awakened.

The nonconceptual wisdom is always there in the state of equipoise meditation. it is know through that the bodhisattva on the equipoise meditation does have direct realization of intrinsic nature and not at the state of post meditation. At the path of no more learning or no more practice is the only state in which we had no any conception of Buddha moving in and out of equipoise meditation and post meditation. In the text “The middle way” in the chapter of 11th bhumi, it is concluded that Buddha is the state of being one with the dharmakaya and doesn’t move in and out of equipoise meditation and post-meditation. Also from the “Diamond cutting sutra’s final passage”, it is said that Buddha is permanent, those person who perceives Buddha as form, sound, are the person who have fallen into the term of wrong view, such persons won’t be able to see me.

The differences of bodhisattva and that of Buddha’s realization of intrinsic nature is that of having greater and clearer direct realization of intrinsic nature. For the bodhisattva on the path of seeing, the direct realization of intrinsic is like that of a person with healthy eyesight having direct perception of human form in dark room with the help of light from immersing from out of window. The bodhisattva on 2nd Bhumi will have much clearer and greater direct realization of intrinsic nature and so forth much greater and clearer direct realization of intrinsic nature by bodhisattvas on the higher levels. The stage of Buddhahood is the only state at where the direct realization of intrinsic nature is completely clear and greatly understood with never-changing nonconceptual awakened wisdom fundamentally transformed through completion of whole merits and virtues along with abandonment of complete coarse and subtle afflictive and cognitive obscurations.

 

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Losing our Religion(Tradition vs Modernism)


Pemba Lama

BSTD 410

18-03-2016                        Learning Cell – Losing our Religion

 

In these days, when someone tries to approach Buddhism, it is likely going to end up getting piece of cake like treasure from the whole treasure island of Buddhism without being able to understand the value of whole treasure. Buddhism is most flexible religion and/or philosophy for the religious people and influential philosophers. It is also considered as science of mind and can be practiced in practical way like those of people who consider them as just spiritual and non-religious. One can find teachings on various field of daily life practices in Buddhism as it is commonly known to scholars of ancient and modern Buddhism as there is vast numbers of texts and one can rely upon specific text among those vast numbers of texts in order to verify their own assumption and practice on that.[1] The most influential part in Buddhism is that of meditation taught in every aspect of Buddhist practices is very well adapted in both pre-modern and modern age. D.T. Suzuki and other modern scholars who received modern academic education worked for bringing up Buddhism in developed countries such as USA in academic way without providing whole context of Buddhism from traditional context excluding the notion of religious practices and rebirth. Buddhist modernism has two way of ascribing themselves to be Buddhism, that of scientific matters and spiritual practices.[2] Avoiding the traditional essence of religious practices and relying upon getting deeper knowledge of traditional Buddhism, the westerners were able to live their life as Buddhist by applying limited practices and giving up onto looking into deeper meaning of Buddha’s words. It is important for someone to keep the traditional Buddhism alive and pass it to others in order to make it keep going on and on without losing essence of traditional Buddhism. If Buddhist scholars of modern age keep going on with academic method to translate and keep only partial of knowledge they acquired from Buddhist texts, then that might become the danger of losing the numerous essential texts and precious Buddhist traditions preserved from several decades ago.

 

Traditionally, Buddhism is considered as genuine religion where one do have access to wide range of Buddha’s doctrines. For the person having enthusiasm for gaining insight in Buddhism need to become an appropriate vessel to receive those teachings and follow the daily practices of Buddhists way in traditional way.[3] There are two specific mode of practices in the system of traditional Tibetan and/or Indian Buddhism. That is, in order to become genuine Buddhist practitioner, either one must have right understanding of whole teachings of Buddha or must have strong sense of non-transforming smooth faith in teacher as living Buddha and eager to give up everything or/and ready to commit any kind of deed as prescribed by his/her own teacher.[4] Generally, traditional method of becoming an appropriate vessel is through investigating the teachings of Buddha and the quality of teacher and apprehending teacher and teachings as a specific foundation of receiving appropriate teachings and instructions on method of applying teachings on practices in proper way.[5]

Hence we are living in the society where thousands of people who claims themselves to be Buddhist and notice them perform various ritual performs and engage in receiving teachings, empowerments, oral transmission and teachings. If we give a peek upon their activities from the level of academic studies of Buddhism, we might feel very weird and interesting at the same time to notice the activities of Buddhist people of traditional system. The thing that makes modern Buddhist on the level of academic Buddhist studies will go through is reading the texts available in printed version in order to understand the essence of Buddhism and Buddhist peoples of different cultures without fulfilling the requirement of having someone as genuine spiritual teacher to guide them with teachings and instructions is defined as “modern Buddhism”. The way of modern Buddhism’s freedom in having access to Vajrayana texts and practices with complete understanding excluding the instructions of spiritual traditional teacher in Vajrayana Buddhist context is considered as major risk of plunging oneself into trap of unpleasant experiences in this very life and next life.[6] Traditional Buddhist system pays major interests in practices of ethical conducts and religious practices and engagement in reading the various texts on the words of Buddha and Bodhisattvas.

Modern Buddhism is another term used as implication for the prevention of misunderstanding of being protestant Buddhism to be like that of protestant Christian movement, not relying upon the authority of priests only and notion of rebirth etc., but having viewpoint that one can have direct connection with supreme god through one’s one spiritual practices of generating connections with god through the matter of heart. Avoiding the practices of ritual performance and demands of priests thinking that these traditional stuffs might become a major obstacles for the practices of becoming one with god through spiritual practices.[7] That which can be practiced individually to give arise in having direct connection with god and understandable through the readings of texts freely available for the purpose of beneficiation of local people is the key for giving arise to influential spiritual path and such path does not require any blessings or authority from priests or the authorities of church.

 

The modern Buddhists who are engaged in specific teachings from the wide range of traditional context using scientific method like that of Cartesian’s notion of discarding everything that doesn’t stay fit with scientific matters and that of spiritual seekers who seeks freedom of picking selective partial method of tradition into their own method of practices of becoming one with divine power. As the matter of staying fit with scientific matters, modernists are keeping up with selective portion of traditional Buddhism that matches up with the theory of scientific rationalism. For example, the notion of dependent arising such as giving arise to positive thinking through single mindedly meditating upon positive emotions is undeniable for individuals, and that of cyclic existence of plants and humans lifeline etcetera are commonly accepted in both Buddhism and Scientists.[8]

The spirituality and scientific rationalism are the two main aspects of modern Buddhism as we can draw outline through investigation upon the transformed version of traditional Buddhism in this modern age.[9] Although the movement of Buddhist modernism took a huge step from 19th century onward,[10] tradition Buddhism is not severely wiped out and preserved by many of Buddhist masters of Tibet and other societies through the religious practices and monastic educations. Comparing tradition versus modern Buddhism, we get to know that traditional Buddhism is the source of modern Buddhism. If someone who picks out a selective single practices out of tradition and tries to represent themselves as Buddhism is? Spirituality comes down to the selective practices that are limited and insufficient to represent as Buddhism and Scientific rationalism excluding the religious ritual practices which have been continuously passed down from several centuries without losing its essence.

When we imagine that what might become of Buddhism if its authority is given to spirituality and/or scientific rationalism, we get the negative vibes of losing Buddha, dharma, and Sangha from the essence of New Buddhism or modern Buddhism.[11] Buddhism might not be called Buddhism or transformed into something else if it was all about personal interests and experiences. Since vast amount of traditional Buddhist texts are available in Tibetan texts which are quite hard to understand properly without having undergone task of studying in Tibetan monastic institutions for years. When a person or so tries to translate these Tibetan texts into other languages, there is the danger of the texts being translated into wrong way. For example: Phayul Pong-wa rgyal-ses lag-len yin, being translated as ‘leaving behind father’s land is the job of king’s son’ instead of ‘leaving behind homeland is the deed of bodhisattva’. Also Burnouf claimed that job of translating one text to another is difficult.[12]

 

There is huge differences in traditional and modernism, traditionalism is all that can be referred as original and modernism as the piece of or transformed or artificial form of original body. Modernism drew out the Buddhist doctrines of dependent arising of karma, cause and effects and made it available for public without traditional value excluding needs of teacher or spiritual friend in order to have insight in Buddhism. Buddhism can be transformed into spirituality or modernism, but such partial modes (spirituality and modernism) of Buddhism cannot stand as a total representation of authentic Buddhism unless supported by traditional aspects of Buddhism.[13] The role of Buddhist people to represent Buddhism in exact way is to express the Buddhism itself through having gone through rigorous studies in well-known monastic institutes like that of Namdroling monastery located in South India and Serta Larung in Tibet and so forth Sarnath University in Varanasi etcetera.[14] Thus the spiritualist and modernist Buddhist people does lack a supportive material for representation of Buddhism for the reason of modern Buddhism being the choices of individual interests out of Traditionalism. If the future generations of Buddhists were to apply spiritual practices and modern Buddhism, then traditional Buddhism will begin to come into extinction. Also the commitment of translating traditional texts in modern language without having correct understanding of both word and its meaning would lead to the degeneration of Buddhist doctrine texts in upcoming future time of Buddhism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography :

Paltrul Rinpoche

  1. ཀུན་བཟང་བླ་མའི་ཞལ་ལུང་། (Kun Zang Lamai Zal Lung)

The corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation

Hang CHouw South Road, Sec.1, Taipei, Taiwan

tel+886-2-2395-1198 Fax+886-2-2391-3415

website- www.budaedu.org, ref- http://ftp.budaedu.org/ebooks/pdf/TI098.pdf

 

  1. ཡོན་ཏན་མཛོད། (Yonten mzod)

The corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation

Hang CHouw South Road, Sec.1, Taipei, Taiwan

tel+886-2-2395-1198 Fax+886-2-2391-3415

website- www.budaedu.org, ref- http://ftp.budaedu.org/ebooks/pdf/TI387.pdf

 

  1. Andrew Cooper. “Losing Our Religion”. Interview with Robert Sharf.Tricycle, summer 2007, 44-49.
  2. Modernity and the Early Discourse of Scientific Buddhism

Authors(s): David L. McMahan

Source: Journal of the American Academy of Religion,

Vol. 72, No. 4 (Dec., 2004), pp. 897-933

Published by: Oxford University Press

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40005933

Accessed: 24-03-2016 03:03 UTC

 

[1] Andrew Cooper. “Losing Our Religion”. Interview with Robert Sharf. Tricycle, summer 2007, 44-49. P. 46

[2] Andrew Cooper. “Losing Our Religion”. Interview with Robert Sharf. Tricycle, summer 2007, 45

[3] Paltrul Rinpoche, Kunzang Lamai Zal Lung (words of my perfect teacher) , pdf p. 12

[4] Paltrul Rinpoche, Kunzang Lamai Zal Lung (Words of my perfect teacher), p 178 6th line

[5] Paltrul Rinpoche, Kunzang Lamai Zal Lung (words of my perfect teacher), p. 7

[6] Jigme Lingpa, Yonten mZod, Interpreted by Dodrub, http://ftp.budaedu.org/ebooks/pdf/TI387.pdf p.439

[7] Andrew Cooper. “Losing Our Religion”. Interview with Robert Sharf. Tricycle, summer 2007, p. 45

[8] McMahan: Modernity and the early Discourse of Scientific Buddhism, p. 901

[9] Andrew Cooper. “Losing Our Religion”. Interview with Robert Sharf. Tricycle, summer 2007, 44-49.  p. 45

[10] Protestant Buddhism, p. 1

[11] Andrew Cooper. “Losing Our Religion”. Interview with Robert Sharf. Tricycle, summer 2007, p. 48

[12] Lopez, The Science of Buddhism, p. 168

[13] Andrew Cooper. “Losing Our Religion”. Interview with Robert Sharf. Tricycle, summer 2007, p. 49

[14] Andrew Cooper. “Losing Our Religion”. Interview with Robert Sharf. Tricycle, summer 2007, p. 49

What if there’s rebirth in Hell?


hell1Today (Feb – 13 – 2016) after getting back to home from Fcube cinema watching Deadpool, without my knowing, the past image of going to Patan with Lama Nyima Tsering to check on the making of Buddha statue in 2014 or 2015(forgot the exact year/date). There, I noticed that how violent and hot does the boiling liquid substance of solid copper does appear in real life image. Starting from the moving image of tremendously hot and liquidity substance of numbers of kilograms in one real thick bucket (i think that bucket is made up of iron or something else/ don’t know exactly), I began to think of hell realm where uncountable numbers of beings are born due to their commitment of getting envolved in vast numbers of sin with and without their acknowledgement. I do not know whether if there are hell realm or not, or is there any chances of rebirth after death, or am I just going to completely disappear from this world.

According to the numbers of texts which are believed to be the words of Buddha (Supremely enlightened being), there are hundreds of ways in which Kamma, Cause, and Effects are explained in order to save the beings from taking the wrong path and guide toward the realization of the nature of one’s own mind. The most common words of Buddha mostly well known by Tibetan and Indian scholars are

  1. I will show you the method to attain liberation, follow the method or not is your own choice.
  2. Not committing any sin, thoroughly being engaged in auspicious wholesome deeds, taming one’s own min, this is my teaching.
  3. In Mahayana’s prajnaparamita context, those who sees Buddha as having form/or sound, are on the wrong track.
  4. You create your kamma, your kamma gives you the exact taste of your past kamma in the form of effects/fruition.
  5. Wholesome deed brings in happiness, unwholesome deed pours in suffering.
  6. Those who are wise and intelligent, do examine my words thoroughly, like that of goldsmith burning, cutting, and scratching gold, if you find it beneficial, then it should be put into practices, and not as altar substances for paying respect.

I had completed my studies in Namdroling shedra at the beginning of 2010 and currently doing BA in Rangjung yeshe shedra as normal student to gain aspect of western academic view into the study of Buddhism. Well, am really bad at studies and I have no gut to judge other people for their own perception into the both or any of Tradition and modern Buddhism. There’s been the several occasions in which I looked back to bed to see if my body is lying over there and all left is my soul to travel for next life after waking up from sleep. It feels good to know that am still alive and can do whatever I want to do… I kept looking back to my past and I know that I’ve committed murder of hundreds of flies and other insects plus some fishes and birds in my childhood, but I think I did spent my life with being honest and straight forward avoiding harm to others.

Being a normal human I have no idea whether am going to die soon or live for more than year or longer. Sometimes, I think that I don’t have to worry about my life after death for the reason I never seek for chances to cheat or mislead others. When I think of how I have been fooling myself, I think there is possibility of going through torture in hell after the end of this very life. I might been the one with experiences of going through several rebirth in my past lives but no power to recall those memory of past lives, or maybe it is possible that I did not came from past life, all I had is this very present life and will completely disappear after my death.

to be continued……. right now am feeling sleepy… goodnight.

 

Traits of Samsara and Liberation


Pemba Lama

BSTD 302

3 – Feb – 2016                Traits of Samsara and Liberation

 

As the text (Distinguishing phenomena from its intrinsic nature) goes on explaining the two traits of Samsara and Liberation in different ways, we have to focus on that which is the present state of afflictions in mental state and prisoned in the cell of suffering is all that is explained as traits of Samsara, and the other one which is free of such traits is known as Liberation. Meaning, that which is free of afflictions and having the state of freedom from worldly engagement and total cessation of suffering is the state that is called the trait of liberation. Khenpo la gave a lot of explanations onto the character and trait of these two (Samsara and Liberation). With some of the examples such as “ in order to realize the emptiness of table, it is necessary to realize the substantially established table, for the reason it is impossible to indicate the emptiness of table without having externally established table. One cannot point out the realization of emptiness occurred through focusing on intrinsic nature of table without having objective table as object of focus.

 

Khenpo Gyaltsen’s speech on the nature of Samsara and Liberation was quite interesting as we went through having discussion onto the consciousness and Buddha nature and Thus gone one (enlightened being). “the state of having cognitive mind (both consciousness and unconsciousness mind) is what came to be known as consciousness formed through the power of cause and conditions of wandering into delusion by failing to realize the dharmata, such consciousness is merely came to be known as ‘all ground consciousness’, functioning as the bases for afflicted mind and sensual consciousness. It is explained through the seeds (karmic imprint and tenacious thoughts), and dream. While sleeping, even though our sensory organs stopped working, our base consciousness (all ground consciousness) along with the afflicted mental consciousness explores the vast area of sensual objects in dreams and act according to that. Buddha nature is the essential core residing within every living beings covered with afflicted obscurations, when the sentient being purifies their whole karma and attains the ground of supreme enlightenment, it is known as essential core of Buddha nature being fully bloomed out of whole obscurations and shining as bright sun onto the whole vast land without any obscuration.”

 

In last semester while giving instructions on “Middle beyond extreme” Khenpo Gyaltsen pointed out that “Buddha might come or not, the essential nature of every phenomena will remain same, which is dharmata, the intrinsic nature of every phenomena, and it is one.” One major point is that we need to understand that dharmata is inseparable and it doesn’t have any level of numbers and so forth. The world might appear to be limited or unlimited based on the views of individual beings.

Just think of that everything is nothing more than just a mere appearance occurred through the power of seeds (karmic imprints/afflictions) giving arise to the perception of existence of external world and other beings abiding in that mere appearance of world vessel. When we talk of Mahayana according to the thoughts of Mind only school, it is obvious that the only mind is real and rest are nothing more than just a mere appearance of delusion projected by mind. So in this context there should be only just a one mind which entails that externally there are no other phenomena with exclusive consciousness/mind. If one says that there are countless beings with their own consciousness, then it follows that since those are nothing more than a mere appearance like those of dream and if they truly contain their own consciousness then even the elephant of dream will have the power to think and move on its own entailing that one dream is work of several individual consciousness. This is the logical reason in row to approve that either every phenomena (both living being and other such as ground, rock, mountain and so forth) should be acknowledged as having Buddha nature or just a one single mind to be having consciousness and wandering into magical dream world full of visual projections filled with vast numbers of partial consciousnesses as branches of one actual consciousness, if any of those partial consciousness contains Buddha nature in external way then it follows that whole vast numbers of visual projections should be pervaded with equal numbers of Buddha nature.

Lastly the seed of samsara is afflicted mind and having Buddha nature is the seed to liberation. The mere appearance is nothing more than just a simple reflection of one’s own karmic effects and the whole processes of Samsara and Liberation is nothing more than just a dream as spoken by the Buddha, that whole existing and non-existing dharma are nothing more than mere dream and so forth.


101610_0102_ThewayofPem3.jpg

Cycling to Sankhu


Today cycling to sankhu was tremendously unexpected experience… before leaving for sankhu, I took my cycle to cycle shop to tighten the rear wheel. Got back to home packed my red-black back-bag with kindle paperwhite reader, red bottle full of warm water and left home for Sankhu around 10:am. When i got to Apanga, i got to know that the cycle mechanic boy did something wrong with rear wheel as the one side of rear wheel began to scratch against the body frame and got real bad riding experience, but i kept going on toward Sankhu through riding and walking until i got to the old house cycle repair shop to fix rear wheel and front brake… after that i had smooth riding experience upto vajrayogini temple in Sankhu… parked my mtb (mountain bike) by locking it to solar light pillar and went inside the compound area of Vajrayogini temple… managed to get a iron stool at the front rear of main temple, took out water bottle and kindle paperwhite reader, drank warm water and started reading some pages of Dwu-ma Rgyen (the ornament of middle way) by Mipham Rinpoche).  Then i took out my note2 phone and started to take pictures of temple, while taking pictures i saw a girl in black jacket, she was not that attractive and was there with her sister and parents to visit temple… suddenly thoughts of girls appearance in facebook and in actual real struck my mind and wanted to find out the difference between person in real life and in picture, so i directed my phone camera toward her and took some snaps, i took my time to look into the snaps and found that although that girl appear just enough beautiful as a living human being in real life, in pictures she tranformed into somewhat much more attractive than her apearance in real life. Made me feel like maybe every women does appear much better in pictures than they do in real life. Looking forward to go back to home, I stepped out of temple and unlocked my mtb and got busy in preparing myself to get ready. At that moment the girl with her family left the temple by taxi, after a minute or two i left the place in hurry as usual toward my home by roughly stepping down the rocky trails for about 8 minutes, with that 8 minutes i was hardly being able to take control of cycle and making others to focus at my way of rough ride and got near that taxi with girl but unable to overtake as i was hardly getting any space for doing do; however i managed to takeover them on the way out of Sankhu upto Brahmakhel as my energy started running on low power. Got back to home around 3:pm. from Sankhu to jorpati home it took around 50 minutes to reach home which is probably much faster than usual for me. Now having Kwality suger free cream cracker biscuits with cold water as lunch being seated on thick green mat at home terrace under the warm sunlight.