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 exit? This body is still going to experience old age, illness, pain and death, the mind is still perceiving pleasant and unpleasant experiences, but the witness that is untainted by ignorance or egoism witnessing 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” is also part of the perception in the selfless mind. At this present moment now, observing this body and the modification of the mind as it is. It is neither something “suffering” nor “not suffering”. It is just being what it is.
If at this present moment now, this is what this body and mind is going through due to its past karma, then respect this present moment now as it is, no craving towards the “good” and “pleasant” experiences, no aversion towards the “bad” and “unpleasant” experiences. All are impermanent. Pleasantness or unpleasantness are all impermanent.
When names and forms disappears, what is “beautiful”? What is “ugliness”? What is “happiness”? What Is “unhappiness”? What is "heaven"? What is "hell"?
There is nothing wrong with people trying to retain good health and youthfulness or to maintain a good quality of life as long as 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 being the way that we would like it to be, there is no disappointment, frustration or unhappiness. It is the craving and aversion that causes the mind perceiving suffering. The objects of 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 coming from the mind under the influence of ignorance and egoism, when this mind attached onto names and forms, and recognizing or labeling them with the qualities of good and bad, and generates reaction of craving and aversion.
If the mind doesn’t know the truth of all these impermanent/transitory names and forms (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch/sensations, thoughts), and are being over-powered by the desire of craving and aversion in the mind, being over-powered by the likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants that come from the idea of 'I', and attached strongly onto this life existence and all the experiences of “goodness” and “badness” in life, in the body and in the world due to the law of cause and effect, then the mind will be experiencing suffering either when it gets the things that it desires or when it gets the things that it doesn't desire.
The mind will be troubled by discontentment, fear and worry all the time, no matter if we have “something” or don’t have “anything”. The perceptive thinking mind is constantly being disturbed by the impurities in the mind (anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, lustful desire, expectation, judgment, comparison, disappointment, dissatisfaction, doubt, anxiety, confusion, depression, aggression, agitation, irritation, frustration and etc…). “I am 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) towards the truth of "the mind"/"who I am"/"names and forms".
The world (whether being peaceful or not peaceful) doesn’t make us suffer or make us not suffer.
This body (whether being strong and healthy or weak and ill) doesn’t give us suffering or take away the existing suffering.
This mind (whether being pure or impure, happy or unhappy) doesn’t change the truth of selflessness and impermanence.
It is when the perceptive thinking mind attached onto all the perceived names and forms and identifying with all the experiences that the body and mind is experiencing, and thus, “suffering” manifests as part of the modification of the mind.
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”.
Even though this body and this mind will still be experiencing pain and agony, but the selfless consciousness beyond the impermanent existence and function of the body and mind never increase or decrease, never gain or loss, never become purer or less pure, never become more peaceful or less peaceful.
Realizing the truth of selflessness and impermanence, and be free, not just by hearing or reading about it, not by understanding or knowing about it intellectually, but attaining oneness/non-separateness with the universal consciousness (selflessness) upon the annihilation of the idea of 'I', or the ego.
Yes, to be truly liberated from birth and death (the selfless impermanent modification of the mind), and be free from the endless restlessness (due to dissatisfaction and endless craving that come from the worldly conditioned ignorant 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 think we are/what is this 'I', and realize all “suffering” are nothing but the attachment and identification towards 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 in the form of ceaseless thought current). The more that we “don’t want” to have “birth and death”, the stronger the aversion towards "birth and death", is actually reflecting on how strong is the ignorant attachment and identification 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/the mind from realizing the wisdom in us. The ego creates the wrong identification of “I” am “this” or “I” am “that”. When we/the mind 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.
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 itself is already transcending suffering...
Thank you for sharing great wisdom with us here. Truly appreciate it." - Meng Foong