Buddhism: index II
Hui-neng: The Platform Sutra
Good friends, I have a hymn on the formless. Listen to my hymn:
Communication by speech and communication by mind
are like the sun in the sky,
only transmitting the teaching of seeing essential nature,
emerging in the world to destroy false doctrines.
The truth has neither immediacy in gradualness,
but delusion and enlightenment have slowness and speediness.
This method of seeing essential nature
ignorant people cannot comprehend.
Explanation may be of myriad kinds;
if they accord with truth, they are ultimately one.
In the dark abode of affliction,
we always should produce the sun of wisdom.
When falsehood comes, there are afflictions;
when truth comes, afflictions are eliminated.
when neither falsehood nor truth are employed,
purity reaches remainderlessness.
Enlightenment is our original inherant nature:
Excite the mind, and there is confusion.
Be pure of mind in the midst of illusion;
just be true, and there are no barriers.
If people of the world practice this Way,
nothing will present an obstacle.
Always see your own mistakes by yourself
and you will be fit for the Way.
All kinds have their own paths,
which do not interfere with each other:
if you leave your path to seek another way,
to the end of your days you will never see the Way.
Passing a whole lifetime in ups and downs,
wherever you are you will still be tormented in yourself.
If you want to actually see the true Way,
acting rightly is the way,
if your eyes have no mindfulness of the Way,
you go in the dark, not seeing the way.
People who really practice the Way
do not see the faults of the world;
if you see the errors of others,
your own error abets them.
if others err but you do not,
your own error is still faulty.
Just get rid of your own wrong mindedness,
eliminate the affliction:
With hatred and love not affecting the mind,
stretch your legs and sleep.
Buddhism is in the world;
it is not realised apart from the world.
seeking enlightenment apart from the world
is like looking for horns on a hare.
True seeing is called transcendence;
false seeing is worldliness:
Set aside both right and wrong,
and the nature of enlightenment is clear.
This hymn is of the doctrine of immediacy,
also called the ship of the great teaching.
If you listen confused, it takes eons on end;
when you are enlightened, it takes about an instant.
An introduction to my studies of Buddhist thinking:
I grew up in Europe - in the middle of the 20th century. My parents indoctrinated me with Christian morals, and for the first twenty years of my life I suffered, I was an unworthy sinner, unable to obey God's Commandments. It took me another twenty years - from 20 to about 40 - to overcome all belief in a personal God.
For the past thirty years I have studied many religions without any “belief” whatsoever. I came to “believe” that belief is a social illness that developed in highly complex societies that were stratified, societies with a ruling elite which established “belief” as a form of control: One has to believe the same as all the other believers, one has to obey orders that come from above, one must not think, one must not doubt Authority.
The belief-systems of the past three thousand years that I studied helped me to realise that all belief-systems, all so called “Religions”, were invented by human beings, by thinkers who believed that they had a special relationship to Truth.
They do not just talk about plain everyday truth that we humans need to survive, but that very special kind of truth called “Eternal Truth”, which is known only to the real believers, the priests, the theologians God-describers. Most of what these God-describers have written theology is always in writing - has to do with God-given order, with God’s commandments, with “Morality” that is dictated from beyond.
Neural Buddhism: The real challenge is going to come from people who feel the existence of the sacred, but who think that particular religions are just cultural artifacts built on top of universal human traits. It’s going to come from scientists whose beliefs overlap a bit with Buddhism.
In unexpected ways, science and mysticism are joining hands and reinforcing each other. That’s bound to lead to new movements that emphasize self-transcendence but put little stock in divine law or revelation. Orthodox believers are going to have to defend particular doctrines and particular biblical teachings. They’re going to have to defend the idea of a personal God, and explain why specific theologies are true guides for behavior day to day.
For me morality is the result of a long evolution of social animals who have to coordinate their behaviour (Humberto Maturana). Social animals from reptiles to birds and mammals develop processes of cooperation that are based on trust and altruism. The speaking primate - we humans invented story-telling to be able to spread the good and bad news about “who-did-what-to whom” - we tell moral stories to learn behaviours that help us to live together, to feel together, suffer together and enjoy the company of other humans.
During my lifetime - the second half of the twentieth century - societies (which are groups of people communicating (Niklas Luhmann)) have changed rapidly, new media of communication - from radio and television to the WorldwideWeb - have changed the way we organise our lives, changed the way we think about ourselves and about the others. And it will change the way we can think about Religion. Religions in the future will no longer be belief-systems, they will be knowledge-systems, that develop new basic ideas.
One religion that I have studied - Buddhism - has from its beginnings been such a knowledge-system. What the Buddha taught was a highly developed psychology, a way to overcome ignorance (avijja), to find true knowledge (vijja). The Buddha was the first thinker who warned that it is not by believing that we find peace of mind - peace of mind is found in living experience, here and now. All you have to do is to wake up.
Buddha (Sanskrit, m., buddha, wörtl. „Erwachter“, auch „Erleuchteter“) bezeichnet im Buddhismus jemanden, der Bodhi (wörtl. „Erwachen“, auch „Erleuchtung“) erfahren hat. (Wikipedia) Bodhi
Keizan Zenji, Denkoroku Aufzeichnung über die Weitergabe des Lichts
"Beim Anblick des Morgensterns erfuhr Shakyamuni Buddha Erleuchtung und sagte: Ich und die grosse Erde und alle Lebewesen haben gemeinsam Erleuchtung erlangt.“
A Buddhist monk who was born in Amerika and studied Buddhist meditation in Thailand - Ajahn Sumedho - helped me to understand the teachings of the Buddha: Waking up to knowledge. In his book "The Way it is" Ajahn Sumedho talks about meditation:
Buddhist meditation is a way of looking at the conditions of the mind, investigating and seeing what they are, rather than believing in them. Memory is "condition of mind" that arises and passes away. That condition is dependent upon another condition, memory is what we have experienced, and the future is unknown. But who is it that knows the conditions of the moment? I cant find it: there is only the knowing, and knowing can know anything that is present now - pleasant of unpleasant - speculations about the future or reminicences of the past - creations of yourself as this or that. You create yourself or the world you live in - so you cant really blame anyone else. If you do do, it is because you are still ignorant.
The One Who Knows we call Buddha - but that does not mean that Buddha is a condition. Buddha is the knowing.
In order to do away with unawareness, craving, attachment and kamma, we must first of all practice abandoning the elementary evils of word and deed by observing the principles of morality that corresponds to our station in life.
The next step is to train the mind to develop concentration (samadhi) and absorption (jhana) through the practice of Tranquility Meditation. Once the mind is adept at maintaining a steady focus, we can then develop clear insight (vipassana) based on an understanding of the Three Characteristics of inconstancy, stress and not-self.
This will lead us to pure knowledge and vision of things as they really are.
Dogen : Dōgen Zenji (
The Sutra of Hui-neng
The realisation that all things change is one of the key insight experiences that the Buddha had; that all things are impermanent. For Buddhists, the important thing is not to just understand that all things are impermanent, but to live your life in this way, and experience the world as impermanent. This is what Buddhist call wisdom. The Buddhist word for wisdom is "Prajna". The other key insight that the Buddha had was that all things are conditioned. The idea that all things are conditioned is sometimes called the doctrine of pratityasamutpada or Conditioned Co-production. The outer rim of the Bhavachakra represents the functioning of Conditioned Co-production. It says that all things come about because of a set of conditions that are in place. If the conditions are not in place then that event or state of affairs will not arise. This was what the Buddha discovered in his experience of Enlightenment.(wiki)
Conditioned Coproduction (wiki)
Peter Fuchs Die Psyche pg 9 : Ein System ist das, was es ist, durch das, was es nicht ist, und das, was es nicht ist, ist das, was es ist: durch das System. Weder System noch Umwelt sind ohne einander irgendetwas. Man kann also auch sagen, daß das System nicht ausgedrückt ist durch das Zeichen System und nicht durch das Zeichen Umwelt, sondern durch das Zeichen der Differenz, durch die Barre in: System/Umwelt. Eine Barre ist aber kein Ding, kein Moment der Welt als ein Etwas, auf das sich zeigen ließe anders als nur auf ein Zeichen1. Sie ist kein Objekt, das als Forschungsgegenstand in klassisch cartesischer Manier aufgegriffen werden könnte. Sie ist nichts als die Markierung eines Unjekts2. Oder - wie man es auch formulieren könnte: die Markierung einer konditionierten Koproduktion. Darunter kann man die laufende Ver-zweiung einer Einheit verstehn, bei der es keine Eins ohne die Zwei gäbe ohne beides: die Eins und die Zwei.
Das Eins - Zwei - Eins Problem
Die Meisselschrift vom Glauben an den Geist
in dualistischen Anschauungen;
ihnen zu folgen.
Existiert auch nur ein wenig
Richtig und Falsch,
dann wird der Geist
in Verwirrung verloren.
abhängig vom Einen,
aber man darf auch nicht
beim Einen verweilen.
In Nanking, der Hauptstadt des chinesischen Südreiches, machte Bodhidharma Halt, um den Kaiser Wu aufzusuchen, der als besonders frommer Buddhist galt. Der Kaiser war entzückt darüber, in berühmten indischen Lehrer zu Gast zu haben, und brüstete sich sogleich mit seinen eigenen Ruhmestaten.„Ich habe zahlreiche Tempel erbauen lassen.Ich habe Abschriften von den heiligen Suttren anfertigen lassen. Ich habe viele Menschen zu Buddha geführt. Ich frage dich: Was ist mein Verdienst? Welche Belohnung habe ich mir verdient?“
Bodhidharma, so heißt es, brummte darauf: “Nicht die geringste.“ Der Kaiser war betroffen, doch er beharrte:
„ Dann sage mir - welches ist der höchste Sinn der Heiligen Wahrheit?“
„ Offene Weite - nichts von heilig“, erwiderte Bodhidharma, womit er die Lehre des Nicht-Haftens meinte. Der Kaiser fragte nun schon weniger freundlich:
„ Wer bist du, der mir hier gegenübersteht?“ „Das weiß ich nicht.“, erwiderte Bodhidharma.
Urs Boeschenstein Offene Weite Ein Gedankenweg