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December 17, 2014


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Well, it's good to know that after thousands of years of people studying Buddhism with single minded devotion and diligence toward salvation, we finally have Gui Do to sort it all out for us.

The Palicanon contradicts the Lankavatara Sutra, too, as well as other sutras from the Mahayana tradition because the Lanka calls for vegetarianism. The contradictions are one main topic I always point at, for those who think there is only one way to understand "Buddhism" or "Buddha".

Of course there are different notions of "mind", but the best we can do with the mind that looks at the mind, the world, the Buddha-teaching, is called "mushin no shin" in Japanese Zen and means to be open to everything and not attach to any thought or concept or feeling. This mind is the prerequisite to understand/experience the void or shunyata. I bet that such a mind will make it impossible to state that there is ongoing consciousness (Buddha as mind) linked to reincarnation (s.th. that has a "re" like a "return" or "again"). That is why - as I just learned from the "Chan Whip" by Broughton - even the famous Zhuhong (1535-1615) who practiced the Nembutsu-chant besides Zen denied rebirth(wangsheng

The same Jeffrey Broughton translated from early Chan texts in the "Bodhidharma Anthology" that if you understand correctly, the five skandha right here and now are the full and pure Nirvana! Please read that book. Those are the origins of Chan.

The Buddha is not the author of anything. This ("the Buddha said") is just a figure of speech for me, it means: Someone has said or written s.th. that he believes a/the Buddha Shakyamuni has said (or wants us to believe he said).

The quote from Buddhaghosa is also reflected in Samyutta Nikaya 12,15: "For one who sees the cessation of the world with correct wisdom, there is no idea of existence in regard to the world." Neither existence nor non-existence, or, to use your words, neither reincarnation nor materialism.

Note, in my comment I meant "Gui Do" contradicts the Lanka, not that the s.n. verse cited contradicts anything. I will stay out of this because the Zennist is demolishing Gui Do ' s discourse, but I did want to make sure it is clear what I meant to state.

Mind is not a "magic trick" in the Lanka. I think gui do refers to the habits of seeing things in the world as having a separate reality, thus giving rise to the idea that mind arises from atoms or has a creator. The magic trick is that things look real and alive on their own, but are not, in Mahayana, separate from mind. Accordingly, such a position actually contradicts what the Lanka is saying.

It is important to remember vijnana means life force in sanskrt as well as "mind" in the conventional western sense.

Actually "mind" is a problematic concept for the westerner who is unfamiliar with various kinds of mind referred to in Buddha's teachings on the topic (citta, mano, vijnana etc). D. Suzuki commented upon the different terms for "mind" in the Lanka.

From Buddha's discourses on mind in the Lanka:

"What are these erroneous teachings accepted generally by the philosophers? [Their error lies in this] that they do not recognise an objective world to be of Mind itself which is erroneously discriminated; and, not understanding the nature of the Vijnanas which are also no more than manifestations of Mind, like simple-minded ones that they are, they cherish the dualism of being and non-being where there is but
[one] self-nature and [one] first principle."

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