Friday, August 8, 2014

Ego After Realization, Precepts, Teachers

Stuffs RedTurtle
July 8

Would someone who has realized anatta still behave in an egoic way?
Entertain and enact on dualistic negative thought?
Such as affairs drug addiction, needless egoic arguing etc?
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    Joel Agee, Viorica Doina Neacsu, Eezy Isempty and 3 others like this.
    Stuffs RedTurtle My understanding is no, but some others say yes, so I just wanted thoughts
    July 8 at 2:40am · Like · 1
    Soh According to the suttas, someone who has realized anatta directly, perceived the nature of dharma and became a stream enterer, such a person would be incapable of indulging in unwholesome ways that could land himself into the lower realms, his virtues would be great, and even if he/she were to make a slight mistake they will realize it and make ammends. In other words, no, according to suttas it is impossible for someone who is truly awakened to be a drug addict. However does a stream enterer still have ego? Possibly yes - there is still some trace of the sense of self, even though a stream enterer has totally removed the view or belief in a self due to his/her direct insight into anatta, nonetheless the trace of self is present, and only the arahant has fully removed the conceit of 'I Am'.
    July 8 at 2:59am · Like · 8
    Justin Chapweske Of course you can behave in an egoic way. I do it all the time.
    July 8 at 3:34am · Unlike · 7
    Soh Hahaha.. well at least you're honest
    July 8 at 3:36am · Like · 3
    Stuffs RedTurtle Well, why I was wondering this is because some say that the habits that are due to karmic conditioning would still be active even though the ego has been seen through, ego being sense of self. What Soh posted makes sense to me, because if there is no longer a sense of subject it would seem that these conditions would at the very least be severely reduced or at least immediately recognized for what they are,
    Like anger as a defense if self: no subject no projected anger because there would be nothing to defend
    No arrogance because arrogance due to pride, which stems from heavy defense of self
    I thought maybe addictions but no I guess it couldn't because the root of addictions is escaping pain.
    Thank you all
    July 8 at 3:55am · Edited · Like · 1
    Lindsay Funk "Would someone who has realized anatta still behave in an egoic way?"

    It sure looks that way.

    IME, there's the conscious realization of view, but embodied habits rooted in separation can continue indefinitely. It seems to me that the depth and clarity of anatta insight has a lot to do with how much karma gets washed away.
    July 8 at 4:21am · Like · 4
    Albert Hong Its like walking around. So many things can seduce you.

    You can play. But you sure as hell know its not a worthy refuge.
    July 8 at 4:45am · Like · 1
    Brian Zey (Totally off topic, but Lindsay Funk I love your "Smooth Canadian" pic.)
    sorry for the interuption.
    July 8 at 4:56am · Like · 3
    Stuffs RedTurtle Another reason I ask is because my focus right now other than being mindful in the present is changing my perceptions so shitty thoughts don't fill my head and lead me astray. I'm very prone to negative outlook, and it struck me that this is due to selfishness and ungratefulness. So I thought to, if I am going to be content and reduce coveting, I should be greatful for what's in front of me, so when I am attending to remaining present I won't be overwhelmed by thoughts of future or past, wanting or not wanting, but then someone ( not in my sangha) informed me this will only reinforce sense of self, but I am wondering if that is actually the case.
    July 8 at 4:56am · Like
    Soh What you said sounds good, not sure why someone might say it will reinforce sense of self?

    Thusness told me two weeks ago: "We think too much of ourselves, "I" being central and the all. So we cannot know how fortunate we r to b just "here" even at this moment...the infinite ?? (causes and conditions) that r involved. Be grateful and reverent for all these, we will b happier."
    July 8 at 5:08am · Like · 5
    Stuffs RedTurtle Oh cool
    Their point was "who is grateful"
    But to me that doesn't get at the underlying causes for selfish behavior, thinking, if these things aren't addressed.
    July 8 at 5:09am · Edited · Like
    Stuffs RedTurtle Ha ha ha. That sucks but I can see how listening to music might create more karma thoughts, memories, rumination lol
    July 8 at 5:19am · Like
    Robert Dominik Drugs, arguments, sex, music, good food, dancing, movies...
    July 8 at 5:21am · Edited · Like
    Stuffs RedTurtle Also interesting to see the emotions and sense of self that come up during certain songs:
    Like when I listen to book of black earths first album
    Oddly, pride enjoyment and apparently a great enjoyment in songs about ancient demons letting loose on humanity
    Before I thought I really just liked metal
    July 8 at 5:23am · Like
    Stuffs RedTurtle ( those two referring to post that has disappeared) ^^
    July 8 at 5:23am · Like
    Soh There are some relative differences though. For example, the Buddha have said that intoxicants (which causes heedlessness) taken regularly and habitually results in rebirth in hell, or even if reborn as human one will suffer insanity. Sex -- Buddha has not said that an appropriate sexual activity between spouses would result in unwholesome karmas that lead to rebirth in lower realms, on the other hand, it would certainly be the case that if someone engages in sexual misconducts, that could result in rebirth in lower realms. Also, for example, listening to music and eating good food are not necessarily unwholesome deeds that result in rebirth in lower realms. However if listening to music somehow incites hatred, that would be unwholesome karma. 'Arguments' however could often end up in one of the four unwholesome speeches, so one must be mindful, but not always necessarily the case - even the Buddha debates with non-Buddhists out of compassion for them.

    The Buddha said that there the number of his students who still 'enjoy sensual pleasures' and attain the stages of stream enterer and once returner are in the range of thousand, not hundred or dozens. (Anagamis and arahants no longer seek pleasure in senses) However, their ways of 'enjoying pleasures' must not be within the 'ten unwholesome deeds': Deed - 1. Killing 2. Stealing 3. Sexual misconduct; Word – 4. Lying 5. Slandering 6. Harsh speech 7. Vain talk; Thought – 8. Covetousness 9. Hatred 10. False view, nor violate the five precepts: 1. Do not kill 2. Do not steal 3. Do not indulge in sexual misconduct 4. Do not make false speech 5. Do not take intoxicants, as engaging in or indulging in any of those above mentioned unwholesome karmas result in rebirth in the lower realms.

    A stream entrant is said by Buddha to have 'unbroken virtue', and cannot engage in deeds as to result in rebirth in lower realms, such a person has cut off the roots of lower realm and can only be reborn as a human or deva. Even if minor mistakes are made, they are recognised, confessed, and ammendments are made.
    July 8 at 5:33am · Edited · Like · 5
    Ja Nie Istnieje The answer is yes. Ego is no more, but karma is still here.
    July 8 at 5:37am · Like
    Robert Dominik About drugs and hell wikipedia suggests something interesting: "Conversely, in Tibetan and Sherpa lore there is a story about a monk who came across a woman who told him that he must either:

    a. kill her goat,
    b. sleep with her, or
    c. drink a mug of beer.
    d. All of the above.

    The monk thought to himself, "well, surely if I kill the goat then I will be causing great suffering since a living being will die. If I sleep with the woman then I will have broken another great vow of a monk and will surely be lost to the ways of the world. Lastly, if I drink the beer then perhaps no great harm will come and I will only be intoxicated for a while, and most importantly I will only be hurting myself." (In the context of the story this instance is of particular importance to him because monks in the Mahayana and Vajrayana try to bring all sentient beings to enlightenment as part of their goal.)

    So the monk drank the mug of beer and then he became very drunk. In his drunkenness he proceeded to kill the goat and sleep with the woman, breaking all three vows and, at least in his eyes, doing much harm in the world. The lesson of this story is meant to be that, at least according to the cultures from which it delineates, alcohol causes one to break all of one's vows, in a sense that one could say it is the cause of all other harmful deeds." OFC wikipedia isn't the most reliable source but IMO this story is quite educating nevertheless.
    July 8 at 6:08am · Unlike · 2
    Dannon Flynn Good thing I am not a monk, that would make the decision easier for me, unless she was repulsive... Of course, women are not coming to me telling me I either have to sleep with them, kill a goat, or drink beer.
    July 8 at 6:40am · Like · 4
    Dannon Flynn If she was repulsive I would choose to drink the beer...lol. Hopefully not get beer goggles. I would never kill a goat, drunk or not.
    July 8 at 7:18am · Like · 1
    Robert Dominik Well my personal understanding revolves around the word heedlessness. If one can behave with presence and awareness, not cause problems etc, then I think that using some intoxicants a bit might be ok - depending on the circumstances. For example in Ganapuja a little bit of alcohol is used (though only a little bit and many point to the fact that this is rather symbolical). Also Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche advocated the practice of Mindful Drinking. So I think this depends on the practitioner and the basic thing is to be present, be aware of the consequences and have developed the intention of avoiding harm etc. But who knows? Maybe I'm just being liberal because I'm a shit practitioner xD
    July 8 at 7:20am · Edited · Like
    Robert Dominik Obviously many people think they're present and they're not causing harm when it is precisely the opposite. This also has to be underlined.
    July 8 at 7:21am · Like
    Robert Dominik Leaving drugs (including alcohol) aside... When it comes to food, partying, sex music, dancing... It depends on the school and tradition we practice in and our capacity. Some would benefit more by simply renouncing such distractions. Mahayana also suggests that if we engage in these things but the intention behind our actions is benefitting others then it's something virtuous and positive (because the point is to make everything we do into a service for the sentient beings and their benefit - most importantly the ultimate benefit which is Liberation). For example we can dance with someone or sing a song if this makes the other person happier and helpes to relieve his/her suffering even if only a bit (of course this is temporary). The literature suggests that even sex with a woman one is not married with might be positive if there is some benefit in this. But... it is very, very, very easy to just delude oneself into thinking we're ok and just find tons of excuses, while having the worldly intention of induling in our passions. It is a thing I personally know too well. So honesty about one's actions is very imporant. Some basic discipline, mindfulness and taming the mind with Shamatha are sine qua non. Lasting insights obviously solve a lot of these issues naturally (but it's easier to have insights when good conditions and the merit are there...). The thing gets even more complicated when it comes to Vajrayana. But Vajrayana works when a practitioner works with a Master and his advice...
    July 8 at 7:31am · Edited · Like
    Dannon Flynn I see no problem with dancing. It is good for you, like a yoga. Likewise music can arouse devotion. All these things can be taken on the path with the right attitude. Dancing can even happen spontaneously as an expression of joy. The mahasiddhas expressed their realization with song and dance. These things are not inherently egoic or negative.
    July 8 at 12:08pm · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon Stuffs, the "who is grateful" type of view is really more along the lines of neo-nondual logic, neo-advaita and so on.

    In Buddhism it is a given that there is no inherent self who is grateful, so there's no need to further reject the apparent grateful person. Who is grateful is you, and practice/insight will reveal the true face of what an absence of an inherent self means, but it still will not contradict your ability to be grateful.

    Anyone who spouts the "who is grateful" type rhetoric is most likely someone I would take advice from with a grain of salt... or not at all.
    July 8 at 12:41pm · Unlike · 8
    Kyle Dixon Most of the time those who grasp at the "who is there to do this, who is there to do that" view are simply identifying with an idea of a lack of self.

    You can ask them the same question; who is it that is asking 'who is grateful'? Who is it that believes there is no self to be grateful? And they'll say 'there's no one!' all while not understanding cause and condition in the least.

    They don't understand that cause and condition produces the action that the conventional self is extrapolated out of. Instead they negate the conventional self and proclaim that resolves actions, never even addressing causes and conditions... which is completely backwards.

    There's a certain self-appointed Facebook guru (who teaches a faint semblance of Dzogchen dressed in neo-nondual drag), who makes these types of errors. It is a shame.
    July 8 at 1:01pm · Unlike · 5
    Robert Dominik "certain self-appointed Facebook guru" <- He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Also known as Dark Lord or as Voldemort XD
    July 8 at 1:11pm · Like · 2
    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland "I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sila/dasasila.html

    "And what six ways of squandering wealth are to be avoided? Young man, heedlessness caused by intoxication, roaming the streets at inappropriate times, habitual partying, compulsive gambling, bad companionship, and laziness are the six ways of squandering wealth.

    These are the six dangers inherent in heedlessness caused by intoxication: loss of immediate wealth, increased quarreling, susceptibility to illness, disrepute, indecent exposure, and weakened insight.

    (...)

    These are the six dangers inherent in habitual partying: You constantly seek, 'Where's the dancing? Where's the singing? Where's the music? Where are the stories? Where's the applause? Where's the drumming?'"

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.31.0.ksw0.html

    "All arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up singing and dancing, the playing of musical instruments and the watching of entertainments, which are stumbling blocks to that which is wholesome."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanavara/uposatha.html

    Gotama specifically called dancing "a madness" (but I can't find it atm. EDIT: Found it: Runna Sutta).

    There is lots more to this effect in the suttas.
    July 8 at 1:59pm · Edited · Like
    Soh Yeah, however, those precepts are usually undertaken in retreat settings. This is because to develope jhanas you will need to overcome sensuality. However for the lay person, it is standard to take only five precepts training on a non-retreat setting.

    The Buddha was against music, certainly, in fact he bans music in his monastic community. His reason was that different people have different tastes for music and secondly music causes attachments (makes sense - it creates a mental loop which can disturb meditation at first). Nowadays many monastic people are creating Buddhist music, as a 'skillful means' to attract the common lay people, but it is actually against the monastic precepts. (The Rona Sutta also notes that, in the discipline of the noble ones, singing counts as wailing.)

    That said, I do not think 'music' in itself is a cause for rebirth in hell. I know that the ten unwholesome deeds are causes for rebirth in lower realms. Interestingly I do not think that the 'stream enterer' is said to have given up singing and dancing. It is only natural that an arahant (and anagami) have given up singing and dancing as they have ended the fetter of sensual desire. They have also given up sexual activities as they simply do not have sexual desires anymore.
    July 8 at 4:31pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Soh However: an actor (who entices passions in others, and makes others focus on their passions) is said to go into an actor's hell by the Buddha.
    July 8 at 4:23pm · Like · 1
    Soh That being said, I seriously doubt that truly awakened people will be into 'habitual partying' or 'squandering wealth'. After all, they have 'unbroken virtue'.
    July 8 at 4:35pm · Edited · Like
    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland I'm undecided on how seriously I should take these specific teachings.

    On one hand, they seem rather strict and maybe those things could be acknowledged as skillful means under special circumstances (see rest of Buddhism

    Then again, Gotama spoke them for the purpose of enabling the Sangha to attain the highest good, and that's not something to take lightly, methinks.
    July 8 at 4:39pm · Edited · Like
    Soh I don't really think he was in any way 'strict'. His five precepts for lay people are only like what... 1 to 2% of the number of rules as compared to monastic community? Yes, certainly, those rules are very strict for the monastic people, but that is monasticism -- they have given up the lay life of enjoying sensual pleasures to focus completely on spiritual development and helping others spiritually.
    July 8 at 4:43pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Yes, and that was the strongly recommended way of development.
    July 8 at 4:45pm · Like
    Ahmed Abdelmeguid saw this clip today
    July 8 at 10:44pm · Like
    Ahmed Abdelmeguid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWhIivvmMnk
    July 8 at 10:44pm · Like
    Ahmed Abdelmeguid makes one wonder if (if the sexual harassment accusations are true to begin with) sogyal rinpoche is a stream enterer? no?
    July 8 at 10:47pm · Like
    Ahmed Abdelmeguid if it would really be the case that a holy person is not able to break the precepts then i guess stuff like that shouldn't happen...
    July 8 at 10:49pm · Like · 1
    Soh I would be very wary of calling someone 'stream enterer' just because one is a famous teacher. True stream enterers are frankly not that common even among teachers.

    I am disappointed with lots of teachers nowadays. One must get to know their teachings and wisdom and judge accordingly.. even the Buddha said,

    "..."Great king, as a layman enjoying sensual pleasures; living confined with children; using Kasi fabrics & sandalwood; wearing garlands, scents, & creams; handling gold & silver, it's hard for you to know whether these are arahants or on the path to arahantship...

    ..."'It's through living together that a person's virtue may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

    "'It's through trading with a person that his purity may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning...

    ..."'It's through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.'..."

    -- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.6.02.than.html
    Pa?isalla Sutta: Seclusion
    www.accesstoinsight.org
    I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at t... See More
    July 8 at 11:50pm · Edited · Like · 3 · Remove Preview
    Soh Also lets just say, I am not very impressed with Sogyal Rinpoche at all. Whether his behaviour or his teachings. I don't care if he is a lineaged teacher... one should use discernment to judge.
    July 8 at 11:37pm · Edited · Like · 3
    Alan Koek nice thread...
    @ Soh, how about venerables singing buddhist songs...? e.g. ???, heart sutra etc...? Is it an offence..?

    Is ill-will consider as a form of ego...? (i've been thinking this because it is still exist in stream-enterers right)
    How about conceit - can that be ego too?
    July 8 at 11:51pm · Edited · Like
    Soh Alan: perhaps nowadays some of those monastic community are more lax on precepts. I wouldn't judge them just on that though.

    http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/4Anguttara-Nikaya/Anguttara3/5-pancakanipata/021-kimbilavaggo-e.html

    9. Gãtassarasuttaü Ý Musical sounds
    Bhikkhus, these five are the dangers for reciting the teaching in a musical tone. What five?
    Oneself gets attached to the tone, others too get attached to the tone, householders laugh at it: In the manner that we sing, the sons of the recluse Gotama sing, the concentration of those who do not like musical notes gets destroyed. The later generation copy it.
    Bhikkhus, these five are the dangers for reciting the teaching in a musical tone.
    5:21 Kimbilavaggo - English
    www.metta.lk
    021.01. At one time The Blessed One was living with venerable Kimbila in the bam... See More
    July 9 at 12:01am · Edited · Like · 2 · Remove Preview
    Soh Ill will is always a form of egoic thought yes
    July 9 at 12:01am · Edited · Like · 1
    Soh Buddhist Monastic Code Vol. 2 by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu (p. 111) wrote:There is a dukka?a for going to see dancing, singing, or music. According to the Commentary, dancing includes going to see even peacocks dancing. It also includes dancing oneself and getting others to dance. (The Ro?a Sutta — AN III.103 — notes that, in the discipline of the noble ones, dancing counts as insanity.) Singing includes drama music as well as "sadhu music," which the Commentary to Bhikkhuni Pc 10 defines as songs sung "at the time of the total Unbinding of a noble one, connected with the virtues of the Triple Gem." The Sub-commentary to Cv.V.36 defines it as music dealing with Dhamma themes such as impermanence. Other religious music would come under this prohibition as well. The Commentary adds that singing also includes singing oneself and getting others to sing. The same holds true for "playing music." (The Ro?a Sutta also notes that, in the discipline of the noble ones, singing counts as wailing.) However, there is no offense in snapping one's fingers or clapping one's hands in irritation or exasperation. There is also no offense if, within the monastery, one happens to see/hear dancing, singing, or music, but if one goes from one dwelling to another with the intention to see/hear, one incurs a dukka?a. The same holds true for getting up from one's seat with the intention to see/hear; or if, while standing in a road, one turns one's neck to see.
    July 9 at 12:03am · Like · 1
    Alan Koek maybe... like what others say, skillful means
    July 9 at 12:11am · Like · 1
    David Vardy Things just naturally 'drop off', in a manner of speaking...
    July 9 at 2:55am · Unlike · 2
    Dannon Flynn All of this applies to the path of renunciation. It seems to me that it doesn't quite apply as much to the Vajrayana where sensuality is included in the path. For example, Padmasambhava, Tilopa, Saraha, etc etc all had Tantric consorts. Not to indulge in sensual pleasures or to become attached, but in order to transform them. Even to avoid strictly seems to be a form of attachment. I wonder if there are similar prohibitions for Nyingma or Kagyu schools?
    July 9 at 4:37am · Like · 3
    अष्टावक्र शान्ति There is also this kind of guy...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drukpa_Kunley
    July 9 at 4:52am · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon Prohibitions in tantra really depends from teacher to teacher.
    July 9 at 5:02am · Like · 1
    Dannon Flynn For example, the negative kleshas are taken onto the path and transformed into wisdom in Vajrayana, rather than renounced.
    July 9 at 5:06am · Like
    Soh Interestingly, Loppon Malcolm wrote, "...I should add, no one takes desire [or the other afflictions] as a path except for people who wish to continue to cycle in samsara. One can take sense objects into the path through using the sadhana method if you did not achieve liberation through receiving empowerment."
    July 9 at 1:29pm · Like · 4
    Logan Truthe Buddha said, only one like myself can judge others
    July 9 at 2:03pm · Like · 1
    Si M Ba The second of the Four Seals, states that all emotions arising from ego lead to suffering. A person who has realized Anatta would therefor not be acting from ego fixation but could get emotional without the emphasis on ego. Perhaps then, emotional display can happen for other reasons. however, if some practitioner is claiming to have realized anatta and also claims that expressions of emotions are then ok--is just trying to make an extra million...
    July 9 at 5:21pm · Like · 1

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