be free, be happy, be peaceful

May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thoughts sharing about the wheel of birth and death... (part 2)

"I agree, again. Ultimately, there is no difference between the path of the Arhat or the Bodhisattva. One is the stepping stone for the other to develop and manifest. I believe that you have to be an Arhat first to become a Bodhisattva next.

My own Blog should be viewed strictly in the context of an Expedient Means, just like your Blog serves the purpose of pointing people towards the exist in your own understanding of this vital issue… nothing else matters in the end, since we can not show them what this Reality is really all about.

But I also believe that we truly have to show them the exit – no comeback! That would be the Bodhisattvas job, right? To tell them that leading a Happy go Lucky Life today is only going to prep them for yet another Happy go Lucky Life tomorrow. However, that would in my understanding be a deception, since it is obviously too easy to achieve a happy transition through the Intermediate State of Reality and Rebirth by perpetuating a happy life in this reality? That is straight forward Cause & Effect going absolutely nowhere.

There is no future in this reality; happy or otherwise! We must defeat fundamental Ignorance! One mishap, downfall, misconception, accidental evil deed and we are doomed for a million life times – happy or not. The Tibetan Book of the Dead – Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese ZEN in general – are quit clear about the basic function of the Causes & Effects we generate in this life and as represented by our Karma.

I understand that there are Buddhist teachings/ directions/ schools of thought that proclaim that the Six Classes of Beings combined with the Intermediate States exist in the same place and time, perfectly visible to all of us right here, right now. It is possible and probably even likely, as in my understanding, all of these State of Minds are driven by specific Modes of Perception and we can see from just a human point of view how vastly different these Modes of Perception can be.

Sorry, I hope I am not being a bother but my favourite teachers are ZEN Masters Huang Po, Ma Tsu, Hui Hai or Lin Chi…whose approach towards the Teaching of Mind in the context of this Reality is a bit like… a Sledgehammer?

Love & Peace!" - Elk Arne Clausen


"Yes, happy feelings have got nothing to do with whether we will exit the wheel of birth and death or not. A being can be doing a lot of selfish and evil actions and can still be very happy with himself. But that “happy” state of mind doesn’t stop the cause and effect to be effective. “Today” we cause pain for others (whether we are happy about it or not), “tomorrow” we will get the pain upon ourselves. It doesn’t matter if we are being “happy” committing lots of evil doings, we will still have to reap the karma that we had created for ourselves through our thoughts, actions and speech. It doesn’t mean that as long as we are “happy” at the moment of “death”, all our bad karma doesn’t count and we will be reborn into a new happy life without unhappiness and be happy forever… I think that is a great misunderstanding about escaping our karma by being “happy” at the moment of death… Whether being happy or not at the moment of death, we will still have to come back again to reap the karma that comes from our past thoughts, actions and speech.

There must be a reason why Buddha taught us about “don’t do bad” and “do good”, and the law of cause and effect. If we planted a mango seed, a mango tree it will become. If we planted an apple seed, an apple tree it will become. If we don’t want any trees, we don’t plant any seeds…

To annihilate ignorance is the meaning of our practice or the end of suffering. Ignorance is the root of suffering.

The point is, once ignorance is annihilated, or when wisdom is present, “suffering”, “the cause of suffering”, “the path of removing suffering” and “the end of suffering” disappear. What is there to be exit? This body is still going to experience old age, illness, pain and death, the mind is still experiencing pleasant and unpleasant experiences, but the observer of all these experiences is free from disturbance or suffering.

It is not about running away from suffering, but it is to know the truth of suffering and to observe and to accept the truth as it is, without craving or aversion. Even this perception of the existence of “suffering” also is part of the the perception in the mind. At this present moment now, observing this body and this mind as it is. It is not something “suffering” nor “not suffering”. It is just being what it is.

If at this present moment now, this is what my body and mind is going through due to my past karma, I accept this present moment now as it is, no craving towards the “good” and “pleasant” happenings, no aversion towards the “bad” and “unpleasant” happenings.

When names and forms disappears, what is “beautiful”? What is “ugliness”? What is “happiness”? What Is “unhappiness”?

There is nothing wrong with people try to retain good health and youthfulness or maintain a good quality of life as long as if we know the truth about all these things are subject to impermanence and they are not who we really are. When all these things change and are not the way that we want it to be, there is no disappointment, frustration or unhappiness. It is the craving and aversion that cause us suffering. The objects with names and forms don’t have the intention or attribute for being “the cause of suffering” or “the cause of happiness”, or to make us happy or unhappy. It is all come from our own mind, when our mind attached to names and forms and recognized or labelling them with qualities of good and bad, and generates reaction of craving and aversion.

If we don’t know what is the truth of all these impermanent/transitory names and forms (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thoughts), and are being over-powered by the craving and aversion in our mind, being over-powered by the likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants that come from the ego, and are attached strongly to this life existence and all the experiences of “good” and “bad” things that happen in our lives, in our body and in the world due to the law of karma, then we will be experiencing suffering either when we get the things that we want or when we get the things that we don’t want.

We will be troubled by discontentment, fear and worry all the time, no matter if we have “something” or don’t have “anything”. We are constantly being disturbed by the impurities in our own mind (anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, lustful desire, expectation, judgment, comparison, disappointment, dissatisfaction, doubt, anxiety, confusion, depression, aggression, agitation, irritation, frustration and etc…). “We are suffering” is because of the attachment/clinging towards all the “good” and “bad” qualities of names and forms. And this is due to being ignorant (in the absence of wisdom).

The world (whether being peaceful or unpeaceful) doesn’t make us suffer nor make us not suffer.

This body (whether being strong and healthy or weak and ill) doesn’t give us suffering nor take away suffering.

This mind (whether being pure or impure, happy or unhappy) doesn’t change who we really are.

It is when we attached to all the names and forms and are identified with all the experiences that our body and mind is experiencing, and thus, “suffering” manifests.

When there is no attachment, “suffering” disappears. It doesn’t matter if the body is still experiencing extreme pain, illness and death. Or when the mind is being disturbed by “this” and “that”.

It is because our true Self (the knower or the observer or the witness) is beyond the body and the mind. We are the knower or the observer or the witness that is being aware of all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences, but all these experiences don’t change who we really are, nor will be affected by them. Even though this body and this mind will still be experiencing pain and agony, but the true Self is never increase or decrease, never gain or loss, never become purer or less pure, never become more peaceful or less peaceful…

Realizing our true Self and be free, not just by hearing or reading about it, not by understanding or knowing about it intellectually but truly identifying with the Self and attain oneness/non-separateness with the universal consciousness (selflessness).

Yes, to be truly liberated from birth and death, and be free from the endless restlessness (due to dissatisfaction and endless craving that come from the worldly conditioned mind along with the selfish ego and the limited intellect), is the ultimate goal of all our practice, but it is not because we want to escape the cycles of birth and death or to run away from “suffering” because we are dissatisfied and unhappy with what we are now, but it is by realizing who we really are and realize all “suffering” are nothing but being attached to all the transitory names and forms that are subject to impermanence, including this body, this mind, and the life existence, as well as the never ending craving that generates the chain reactions of cause and effect (endless cycles of birth and death). The more that we “don’t want” to have “birth and death”, is actually reflecting on how strong is the attachment towards “birth and death”.

“Suffering” exists in our mind, and will dissolve in the mind as well when wisdom arise. Wisdom is always there, never disappeared nor does it become more or less. It is the veil of ignorance that hinders us from realizing the wisdom in us. The ego creates the wrong identification that “I” am “this” or “I” am “that”. When we realize the wisdom in us (when ignorance disappears), this “I-ness” disappears, there is no “I”. Then who is “suffering”?

“Suffering” has a beginning, it will definitely has an end. “Happiness” has a beginning, it will definitely has an end. “Good and evil” has a beginning, it will definitely has an end. This body has a beginning, it will definitely has an end. This life has a beginning, it will definitely has an end. Everything that has a beginning will definitely has an end. But the knower that is knowing everything has a beginning and has an end (even before “the beginning” and after “the end”), who is observing and witnessing all the births and deaths taking place, “that” is causeless, attributeless, beginningless and endless. “That” is Satchidananda – pure existence, pure knowledge, pure bliss, eternal, untainted by cause and effect, good and evil, positive and negative, unaffected by impermanence, names and forms, and elements…

This world exists because the mind exists. When there is no mind, there is no world. Without the mind, we don’t perceive all these names and forms. Happiness and unhappiness come from the mind, and will end in the mind. Good and evil come from the mind, and will end in the mind. Fear and worry come from the mind, and will also end in the mind. Everything springs from the mind, will also dissolve in the mind. Suffering comes from the mind, and will also end in the mind.

Om.

When our mind is full of hatred and aversion towards "suffering" and "the cause of suffering", how could we be possible to transcend suffering? When our heart is full of love and peace, free from hatred and aversion, then that is already transcending suffering...

Thank you for sharing great wisdom with us here. Truly appreciate it." - Meng Foong

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