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Thread: Way to end of suffering.

  1. #1

    Way to end of suffering.

    May I have your comments pls.

    Is Buddhism the 'Word of Siddhartha'?

    The Buddhist Path to the end of suffering.

    Looking for a way out of suffering?
    Don’t suffer trying to find this elusive ‘way out of suffering’,
    The harder you try, the more you suffer
    So, why suffer any more
    In this world of duality, where there is suffering, there is bliss
    And where there is bliss there is suffering
    You cannot have one without the other
    Don’t you see this path is a bottomless hole?
    A fool’s paradise where angels fear to tread.

  2. #2
    Hello Bradley.

    I am pretty new to this forum but will jump in on this anyway, not having much familiarity with previous discussion. As I understand in theory and through personal meditation practice, bliss and suffering are coarse expressions on a continuum. Bliss is not happiness anymore than suffering is unhappiness . They are both simply mental fluctuations which we go on to interpret as pleasant or unpleasant according to our conditioning in samsara. The middle way is the way in which we do grab onto either. Believe it or not, with concentrated focus in meditation, one can actually step out of dual perceptions such as suffering and happiness, pleasure and pain, hot and cold, agitation and calm, and see these as they are without attaching any interpretation whatsoever.

    Speaking only for myself, following the Buddha’s path has not been an endeavor of suffering. To the contrary, as I have learned to regard mental fluctuations as impermanent, stressful and not –self, I have had a great ease, feeling that a great burden is becoming lighter and lighter as I continue practicing throughout the day and in seated and walking meditation. I wouldn’t worry much about the quote you cited because it seems to be based more on a viewpoint or opinion than on direct experience while attempting to sincerely follow Buddha’s path. This is just my take based on experiencing less “suffering” and greater “freedom” since taking up this practice. Perhaps this talk of Ajahn Chah, The Middle Way Within will be helpful.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ysNrhpUs7g

    It is a little long, but even if you just listen closely to the first 5 minutes, I think you see that what you cited, is a distortion of the Buddha’s teachings.

    With metta,

    Marcia

  3. #3
    Correction: The middle way is the way in which we do NOT grab onto either.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mara Pacers's Avatar
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    Beautifully expressed Marcia

    With Metta

  5. #5
    Hi Marcia,
    Thanks for your comments. When the middle way becomes a way out of suffering it becomes meaningless. I certainly agree with you, what I quoted was a view point an opinion. So is every quote one comes accross in so-called sacred books, discourses and even the talk by Ajhan Cha you were thoughtful enough to forward me. It makes interesting reading no doubt. Based on my understanding, we are in Samsara due to delusion. Hence, all what we perceive as reality with our deluded mind while meditating or not is nothing but creations of our own deluded mind.
    Middle way is not about avoiding extremes but for neutralizing our dualistic Dhamma the thought process, the creator of ‘I’.
    As to meditation, I hope you will find the following Zen story useful. Best regards. Bradley
    Becoming a Buddha.
    Following is an interesting ‘Zen’ story to evoke questions on common religious and ascetic meditation practices that have no relevance to a seeker of Dhamma. It is a must read for all those meditation freaks who attend so-called meditation ‘Retreats’.
    ‘Ma-tsu sat in meditation for long periods every day outside his little hut. His ‘Zen’ master noticing his enthusiasm, thought he could become a worthy person but right now he is stuck and needs some help.
    One day he asked him “what are you trying to get by sitting in meditation”? “I am trying to be a Buddha” replied Ma-tsu. On hearing his reply, the master picked up a rough tile fallen from the roof of the temple and began rubbing it against a rock. “What are you doing master, how can I meditate?” asked Ma-tsu. In reply, the master said, “I am polishing this rough tile to make an extremely valuable diamond out of it”. “How can you turn a roof tile into a diamond?” asked Ma-tsu.
    “Ah! how can you become a Buddha through sitting in meditation when you have not even understood the ‘Way’ to begin with? Walking, standing, lying down and sitting, who are you in each of these positions and do they make any difference? Real ‘Zen’ is not confined to any of them. Live Buddhas are not just found in lotus posture”.
    Hearing this, Ma-tsu felt as refreshed as if he had just drunk the most delicious drink’.
    ‘Just as a rock cannot be polished into a precious diamond, so is the ignorant*
    mind that has not understood the profound ‘Word of Siddhartha’ the only
    ‘Way’ to deliverance’.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mara Pacers's Avatar
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    Hi Bradley, Who is it that you are quoting re 'the word of Siddharta? Is the person affiliated with or been ordained as a monk and in which tradition. It would help put these quotes in some kind of context.

  7. #7
    Just some information, because this Forum is mostly Theravada-Orientated:
    Zen-Buddhism draws its roots in Mahayana Buddhism, is originated in China where it is (was) known as "Chan" and "wandered" lateron to Japan. It is very "Abhidhamma-heavy" in my opinion. Western Zen-interested people are often not aware, that traditional Japanese Zen-Teachers are normally all ordained ... meaning: they are actually confessing (Mahayana) Buddhists, even though, reading about their teachings it often does not sound so. Another specialty about Zen-Buddhism is, that back in early history a Japanese emperor found that Zen-Buddhism was rather hard to control. In order to change that, he forced Zen-Monks to marry hence: have a family and with that some "hook" to have them under better control, as back in that times, it was quite normal to let a whole family suffer for a mishap of one male. Monks who didn't marry got killed. This is up to now as far as I know only a Zen-Buddhist.... occurence (married Buddhist monks).
    There are two mainstream directions of Zen, which is Soto and Rinzai. Soto focusses on Shikantaza (just sitting and focusing mainly on the posture, breath etc). Rinzai is more focussed on the "koan" practice... than there is the Sanbo Kyodan, which is a very, very small sect in Japan, but rather popular in Germany (I was a part of that initially). As far as I know, this is the only Zen-Sect, that allows non-Buddhist teachers. It is a mix between Rinzai and Soto.
    Enough of boring you and back to my daily jobs.
    Have a nice day

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mara Pacers's Avatar
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    Thank-you Ruth. Very interesting! Not a bit boring

  9. #9
    Hi Mara, Here is the reply to your Thread. Thank you and best regards. Bradley
    Who we are at ‘DHAMMA SEEKERS’
    Please understand our articles are purely meant to share our comprehension of the ‘Word of Siddhartha’ but not ‘Buddhism’, with others. Therefore, they are not intended to offend the sentiments of the Buddhist world.

    The ‘Dhamma’ is exclusively about you, your world. However, to the ignorant world obsessed with religions the ‘Word of Siddhartha’ is Buddhism or at least that is the way it has always been projected throughout the history by self-seekers although they have absolutely nothing in common. Buddhism is a religion run by a handful of men known as ‘monastics’ or holy men a blind faith boasting many traditions whereas the ‘Dhamma’ is unique the ‘Universal Law’ or ‘Dependent Origination’. Being the ‘Ultimate Truth’, it is one and to be experienced within each and every one of us.

    When revealed for the first time the ‘Dhamma’ came in a form so strange the ignorant world preoccupied with religious fervor never really understood it for what it is ‘A something never heard before’. Professor Suzuki an authority on Zen, believes Siddhartha could not have disclosed what he realized to the world deeply engrossed in blind faith due to its extremely complex nature. The saying of Confucius “Rotten wood cannot be turned” says it all.

    As seekers, we have no uniforms and are not dependent but independent, earn our living, carry no religious labels and do not engage in frivolous practices inherent in them. Living as a monk in Buddhist temples and monasteries in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma for many years, the writer not only acquired a thorough knowledge of Buddhist scriptures but also experienced first-hand bitterly unpalatable happenings behind the curtains of those so-called ‘sacred’ precincts. It was a pill he was not prepared to swallow anymore. Nonetheless, wiser from his experience he realized Buddhism is just a religion similar to the one he left behind, with no sense of direction using the ‘The Word of Siddhartha’ as a commodity to ply their trade. Thoroughly dissatisfied and feeling let down he abandoned his life as a monk determined to seek the sublime ‘Way’ sought by Siddhartha which he realized could be found strictly within himself.
    We at ‘Dhamma Seekers’ are a few independent individuals all former so-called monastics who have dedicated ourselves to seeking the ‘Way’ revealed by Siddhartha. We are not ‘holy men’ for they are creations of the ignorant. One becomes a seeker within not without. Nor are we teachers or preachers as ‘Dhamma’ is to be sought within. We avoid the limelight as ego is our biggest enemy. Hence, no one knows who we are and never will. Siddhartha as a seeker never pretended to be a holy man, a teacher or a preacher but remained virtually unknown as he realized the negative aspects of such a life would have in his quest for the final deliverance. Had he ‘jumped the gun’ so to say, he could not have achieved his goal.
    We invite you to share your understanding of the ‘Way’ disclosed by Siddhartha for our mutual benefit. You may agree or disagree with our views, it is perfectly alright. After all, we are all mere seekers of Dhamma. So, let us compare our notes to learn from each other. ‘Dhamma’ is strictly for self- realization. Don’t let so-called sacred books, suttas, teachers and preachers lead you astray. They are your ‘Satan’. - Paul Hess.

  10. #10
    Thanks Bradley for your thoughtful reply. I also appreciate what you posted more recently in response to Mara regarding the Word of Siddhartha and the Dhamma Seekers. The following just pertains to our initial exchange and includes some personal experiences which shape my understanding. I really think we are basically on the same page. Truth is truth no matter how it is packaged! In the following, your statements are in bold.

    Based on my understanding, we are in Samsara due to delusion. Hence, all what we perceive as reality with our deluded mind while meditating or not is nothing but creations of our own deluded mind.

    Yes! I understand that some delusion exists all the way to the point of enlightenment. The mental formations have to cease completely. So as I sit to meditate or as I reflect while going about my daily duties (most of my practice is done as I go about the day) I am working at stilling formations and restraining reactions, because these processes, as you stated, are “nothing but creations of our own deluded mind.” The monk who instructed me in meditation always stressed that one is to TRAIN THE MIND. After 3 years of steady practice and reflection, I am just beginning to understand how this works and how I have been doing this. Drawing conclusions based on personal practice, I feel that delusion (or defilements) lessen as one reduces thoughts, profilerations and reactions.

    …what I quoted was a view point an opinion. So is every quote one comes accross in so-called sacred books, discourses and even the talk by Ajhan Cha you were thoughtful enough to forward me.

    Yes! Every quote is a view point or opinion unless and until it is experienced directly. The monk who instructed me actually discouraged me from reading much. I used to bring my huge volume of Mahhjima Nikaya and ask questions pertaining to it. One day he just looked at me and said, “You know, Marcia, you cannot learn everything through reading.” He just wanted me to meditate and master present moment awareness. He wanted me to gain direct experience, and by following his polite and kind advice, I did experience much directly and this has formed the foundation for continued, independent practice. Also, many experiences I had, I would read about at a later date, usually in books written by monks who practiced in the Forest tradition. I became increasingly confident by that, because I had the experience FIRST and then learned that others had experienced similarly.

    Following is an interesting ‘Zen’ story to evoke questions on common religious and ascetic meditation practices that have no relevance to a seeker of Dhamma. It is a must read for all those meditation freaks who attend so-called meditation ‘Retreats’.

    My practice began by doing an 8-day meditation retreat. About 10 older women and myself were the retreatants. We were allowed to talk, but the day was long, with about 10 hours walking and sitting meditation daily. I knew something in me had transformed, but I knew nothing about suttas or the monastic tradition at that time. I did not continue the practice but carried in me a desire to do another retreat. Years later I was in proximity to a monastery and did a couple weekend retreats, a two-week retreat, and returned about a year later and lived at the monastery for 2 months. In all these retreats, I followed the daily routine of limited meals, 4 hours group meditation, and managed the remaining free time on my own. Most of the group instruction was in Thai or Burmese. We were all told that meditating at the temple was good and helpful but that it was very important to cultivate mindfulness in all activities, especially as lay people who have many more distractions and duties outside the temple life.
    I did very much enjoy the Zen story you cited:

    ‘Ma-tsu sat in meditation for long periods every day outside his little hut. His ‘Zen’ master noticing his enthusiasm, thought he could become a worthy person but right now he is stuck and needs some help.
    One day he asked him “what are you trying to get by sitting in meditation”? “I am trying to be a Buddha” replied Ma-tsu. On hearing his reply, the master picked up a rough tile fallen from the roof of the temple and began rubbing it against a rock. “What are you doing master, how can I meditate?” asked Ma-tsu. In reply, the master said, “I am polishing this rough tile to make an extremely valuable diamond out of it”. “How can you turn a roof tile into a diamond?” asked Ma-tsu.
    “Ah! how can you become a Buddha through sitting in meditation when you have not even understood the ‘Way’ to begin with? Walking, standing, lying down and sitting, who are you in each of these positions and do they make any difference? Real ‘Zen’ is not confined to any of them. Live Buddhas are not just found in lotus posture”.
    Hearing this, Ma-tsu felt as refreshed as if he had just drunk the most delicious drink’.
    ‘Just as a rock cannot be polished into a precious diamond, so is the ignorant*
    mind that has not understood the profound ‘Word of Siddhartha’ the only
    ‘Way’ to deliverance’.


    I practice on the basis that the ignorant mind must be trained in virtue, concentration and wisdom. And finally even the well-trained mind, the purified mind, must be realized as MIND, and LET GO OF. The identification with the I, the EGO, must be abandoned, even in the most refined and subtle states of consciousness (I haven’t reached that yet in y own practice). It seems that the mind does not become enlightened but becomes increasingly empty. That is what I think at this stage of my practice, and it is subject to change.

    So as you see, I do appreciate the suttas and the writings of meditating monks. But in meditation I try to put all that aside because viewpoints that are harbored in the mind just fuel mental formations which are an obstacle to experiencing emptiness (enlightenment?)

    So let’s just keep looking inside the mind in search of ultimate realities. We each have to look and know for ourselves. We each have our own conditioning in samsara and will have to understand the practice and the path on that basis. At least we can surely agree on the Four Noble Truths as the “Word of Siddhartha”, and then respect all who try to cultivate a way out of suffering.

    1) There is suffering (trauma, stress, unsatisfactoriness).
    2) There is the cause of suffering (trauma, stress, unsatisfactoriness).
    3) There is the cessation of suffering (trauma, stress, unsatisfactoriness).
    4) There is a path leading to the cessation of suffering (trauma, stress, unsatisfactoriness).
    Last edited by Marcia Beloved; 17th-October-2017 at 11:39 PM.

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