I Would Like Your Thoughts On This

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    Dec 13, 2007 4:21 PM GMT
    If you want to avoid experiencing reversal, just cut off dualism; then measurements cannot govern you. You are neither Buddha nor sentient being; you are not near or far, not high or low, not equal or even, not going or coming.

    -Pai-chang
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    Dec 13, 2007 4:25 PM GMT
    what's "experience reversal"? ...like having something bad happen in your life?

    How does one "cut off dualism"?
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    Dec 13, 2007 4:33 PM GMT
    That's my question. I posted this because I'm not quite sure what to make of it.
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    Dec 13, 2007 5:46 PM GMT
    Why would you want to not be a sentient being? Does this mean becoming nothing? I must be understanding this wrong. that doesn't make sense.
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    Dec 13, 2007 6:45 PM GMT
    alright. I have a pretty rudimentary understanding of Buddhism, but I will give this a shot.

    Experiencing a reversal is to be delayed in achieving a goal. If you want to get rich then a dip in the stock market would set you back. If you want to be loved by someone, a break up would be a set back.

    You are attaching yourself to a goal, a thing, an idea.

    Buddhism stresses detachment from such things. Do not have a goal, do not want a thing, do not strive after an idea. Instead of swimming against the tide float on top of it.

    Dualism is, as the name suggests, being of two beings. The being in the present (you) and the being in the future (the being that you want to be). By creating a tangible goal we set ourself up to failure.

    So, exist in the moment. Do not fall for the illusion of an expected future and you will be that much closer to transcending your own existence.

    How's that?
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    Dec 13, 2007 7:38 PM GMT
    in plain english it means

    If you want to attain enlightenment (or out of karma; avoid reversal), then don't believe in karma; which is dualism, such as good & evil, right & wrong, have & not have, enlightenment (buddha) & no enlightenment (sentient being)), ....
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    Dec 13, 2007 10:17 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie and ebl333 are pretty damn close -

    Pai-chang Huai-hai and the Ch'an school in general
    are known for intense meditation includeing the study of kōans and ‘silent illumination’.

    Kōans involve the contemplation of a short story about past enlightened masters, or enigmatic phrases that attempt to push the practitioner to 'the limits of rationality in an attempt to break through to a direct realization of reality'.

    "Silent illumination" is often used to counter Kōan and involves simply sitting with no particular mental form or content, simply attempting to exist in a state of non existance in order to realize that one's Buddhahood is already complete and perfect as it is.

    The text sounds likke a classic Kōan.

    Amusingly Pai-chang Huai-hai was founder of one of the classic monastic "Rules" - which involved very strict adherence to that particular program for finding enlightenment. Although - I think - the Rule is extinct; it was used as the basis for many subsequent 'Rules'.


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    Dec 14, 2007 1:57 AM GMT
    Actually, from his writing style, the quote does not look like the original translation, or even taking out of anything he wrote. At best, it is just a generalized quote of theory behind Pai-chang Huai-hai's writing.

    he's believe is all existence is good by nature. As long as you stay away from desire, then you are not far from being buddha.

    At age 80, his follower one day secretly hide his farm tools, hoping he would rest. As a result, he refused to eat that day, cause he did not do work. This is claim to be his greatest influence to buddism, by pushing monks to work rather then just beg for food.

    regarding the "rule" you mentioned. due to increase of students and followers, temples need rule and regulation. hence he wrote it. it was lost in Song dynasty, and rewrote in Yuan dynasty.

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    Dec 14, 2007 2:34 AM GMT
    I also know a bit - in terms of comparative religions, but am hardly a scholar on Zen, but...

    ebl333 wrote :

    he's believe is all existence is good by nature. As long as you stay away from desire, then you are not far from being buddha.

    Yes - but it is my understanding of the Kōan that they are meant to push the very limits of rational thought, and thereby 'shock' the student into revelation - usually about something the teacher thinks the student is blind too or hiding even from themselves.

    A self revelation born from contradiction.

    At age 80, his follower one day secretly hide his farm tools, hoping he would rest. As a result, he refused to eat that day, cause he did not do work. This is claim to be his greatest influence to buddism, by pushing monks to work rather then just beg for food.

    Does not Zen attempt to make the practitioner look within, rather than at religious texts and verbal discourse on metaphysical questions? And yet here is an early dharma reintroducing just such external influence and dependency on an existential society?...

    regarding the "rule" you mentioned. due to increase of students and followers, temples need rule and regulation. hence he wrote it. it was lost in Song dynasty, and rewrote in Yuan dynasty.

    Yes - but it is the point that one who would attempt to deny a single fixed path would establish that 'Rule' that I find... discordant?

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    Dec 14, 2007 4:19 PM GMT
    your first question
    what's my summary of his theory got to do with your understanding of Kōan?

    your second question
    It just shows even he taught denial of dualism, he still have to live in it. dualism don't disappear just because you deny it.
    And that's why I'm not a zen follower. all those Kōans create a good mental fog, and the thicker the day fog, the brighter it is the day. and they judge the brightness of the fog rather then the clarity of sight.

    your third question
    I have no idea what you are trying to say.