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TOPIC: Sentient Beings

Sentient Beings 10 Apr 2012 20:52 #6351

You know in some Asian countries they fight crickets and beetles? Ah, for the days when people had way too much time on their hands and no internet.
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 01:48 #6352

So, it's come to this: does a dog have Buddha nature? How about a cricket? How about Ginseng?

These are lighthearted and serious questions for me-- if there's an '-ism' that interests me, it's animism.
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 08:24 #6353

I thought everything had Buddha Nature, even a wad of used toilet paper.
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 11:55 #6354

I thought everything is Buddha Nature, even a wad of used toilet paper.
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 12:30 #6355

jinx (or half jinx)

I wonder if those perspectives are specific to certain traditions?
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 12:53 #6356

I think "everything is Buddha Nature" was put forth originally by Dogen as a response to the dualistic structure of "everything has Buddha Nature".
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 13:00 #6357

"... everything is Buddha nature..."

I think this means exactly what it says, and if you try to "interpret" it conceptually you won't be able to because the phrase is expressing something that isn't a concept. It is the essence of the realization that everything IS.
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 13:31 #6358

Yes, I suppose "is" is probably more accurate than "has."

Which tying back to the original theme of the thread, I don't think impacts the sentience thing (ie whether you think of sentience as brain-based consciousness or a more animist type of sentience that can apply to non-brain-having things).
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 14:54 #6359

"I think 'everything is Buddha Nature" was put forth originally by Dogen as a response to the dualistic structure of "everything has Buddha Nature'." -Jake2

It didn't start with Dogen, though you're correct to point out that this was his position.

Dogen, and all of the other great propounders of nonduality, didn't seem appear to start out with the "everything is" position. From what I have learned, it seems to come in three moves. In Advaita Vedanta (AV), the three moves are: (1) The world is illusion; (2) Brahman alone is real; (3) Brahman is the world.

For Dogen, it was more like this: (1) As all things are Buddhadharma, there are myriad things; (2) As all myriad things are empty of own-nature, there are no things [e.g. emptiness alone is real]; (3) Being that the Buddha way is leaping clear of 1 and 2, there are myriad things as expression/appearence of emptiness; i.e. emptiness is not other than form, so everything this Buddha Nature.

This logic doesn't follow its own course, but is derrived from the path of practice. And that's why staring out with "Everything is God/Buddha/Self" can be a road block.

*As a technical side note, what we know today as AV most likely came after Mahayana Buddhism, particularly after Yogacarin philosophical idealism. Some refer to AV as, "crypto-Buddhism," in reference to the similarity in basic framework. Alan Watts used to say that Buddhism was, "Hinduism stripped for export." If the crypto-Buddhist hypothesis is sound, AV may in fact be, "Buddhism adorned for import." ;-)

**Yes, I know, I over-intellectualize things sometimes. What can I say? I like words.
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 16:01 #6360

In this case it sets straight a rather muddled pondering, so thanks for the clear history stuff.
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 17:09 #6361

Thanks for tying it into practice, Jackson. That's not something that I made clear.

Anyone have book recommendations for Advaita Vedanta? I am interested in practical, philosophical, and historical aspects. I know very, very little about AV. I just added The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi to my Amazon Wish List.
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 18:03 #6362

For an insider's perspective, I like Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. I'm not aware of any good academic books. Most of my understanding comes from comparative studies. Transformations of Consciousness (Wilber, Engler, Brown) is a fun one. Brown does an impressive comparative study of cross-traditional phenomenological descriptions of the path (Vipassana, Yoga Sutras, Mahamudra). Wilber's work, in general, is also pretty good for this, IMO.
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Sentient Beings 11 Apr 2012 20:06 #6363

Awesome. Gracias, mi amigo.
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