Re: non-thought as a wrong view

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Posted by Zolla ( on November 01, 2000 at 17:44:54:

In Reply to: Re: non-thought as a wrong view posted by Michael Pollard on November 01, 2000 at 16:15:39:

In Ch'an tradition there are some sayings which are similar to that. We should bear into mind that different schools say things in different ways, so there is hardly an universal system that we can interpret what people say, it really depends on which school and how we interpret.

So it depends on in which context we talk about "no mind".

But, if we are just talking about meditation practice, i.e. any meditative state in which one feels everything stops or everything disappear--no thoughts, no feelings, no senses and so on, we can almost be certain that it is not the concern of the Dharma, because, you know, there are many situations this kind of things can happen, for example the "unconscious" state which I mentioned, or some very fine Jhanic states in which the meditators can temporarily stop their consciousnesses and the mental factors for a certain period of time. But the Buddha taught that all these cannot bring out right understanding, they're not wisdom.

The Buddhist path is very much different with all those meditative/heavenly states: in order to see things correctly, one has to work with the aggregates, so instead of entering into those thoughtless or mindless states, one must leave them. If there were no thoughts, no mind, there'd be nothing to discern, then it'd be impossible to develop insights. Remember the basics of all Buddhist practices is mindfulness.

But meditative states have some useful purposes. As Buddhists, we just need to bear into mind that they cannot bring us the ultimate liberation and are not the main concern of the Dharma. If we can make use of them to apply to our insight practice, that'll be good; if we hold on to any meditative experience and believe that we're already enlightened, that'll be very dangerous.

May all practitioners of the Buddhadharma be free from wrong understanding and be always stick with the right path. May all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas bless us.

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