Reply To: The permanent, unitary and independent self

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Home Forums Discussion topics In-Depth Meditation Training (EN) The permanent, unitary and independent self Reply To: The permanent, unitary and independent self

Amrita Klop

What makes the teachings of the Buddha special and difference then other religions? All the actions – ethical conduct, concentration, the various actions that come out of meditative absorption, patience, charity and meditation on deities, mantra’s etc, what is special?
If these actions are all enlisted within the understanding of mutual dependence. If one understands this interdependent nature of things, one is able to go beyond grasping at autonomy or independent existence. Autonomy stands strongly in other religions. If one is able to go beyond that, one is able to perfect whatever action one is doing. We talk about the six perfections or paramitas. This is to go beyond. Whatever it applies to – meditation and so on – that goes beyond. It goes beyond this fundamental misinterpretation, this projection of autonomy and subsequent reification and adherence, grasping thereafter. If these activities- ethical conduct, mediation, whatever – are then engaged with this understanding, thereby one can go beyond. That is what is often termed as great bliss. Great bliss in other religions is only for the God of that religion and not to experience by a human in this life. Great Bliss in Buddhism is a name for completely going beyond the grasping mind and that which it grasps at. When you have the two functioning – what we call duality – so going beyond the duality, one experiences then what is known as the great bliss. Great bliss of going beyond duality through understanding mutually dependent nature of things. This is the extraordinary feature of the teaching of the Buddha. Everything is to be understood within the confines of mutual dependence. This is ‘simple’ the nature of things as it was observed by the Buddha. And when the Buddha observed this, He came familiar with it and He Awoke to it through familiarity with it.
Awakened, or Buddha is its translation. The Buddha is awakened from the nature of things. That is simply the mutual dependent or empty way things actually abide. And it is this understanding of interdependence that will allow us to achieve the state of Awakening cause we are simply beings awake to that nature.
On the way to become Buddha, we must reflect upon others, cause we are mutually connected. We are interdependent with others. Other sentient beings have a huge role in this life and in pasts lives. In other religions humans can be used to bring someone to – for example – conversion and if u have done that, you go to the next human. You pray for people to please your God, so humans are then a useful object. In Buddhism sentient beings are innumerable and every sentient being has been our mother. So when we reflect upon this incredible kindness each sentient being has showed us, or in this life: giving us the body that we have, to nurture us, bringing us up and so forth: brings naturally the wish forth to repay it. And how to repay that leads to understanding of Love, Compassion. And the way to that leads to the special thought or intention to awaken. That is the only way to really repay the kindness of sentient beings, by awakening. As to awaken or give each and every one of them methods and wisdom to awaken themselves. Similarly we can reflect upon others and their relationships to us. We can reflect upon equalizing and exchanging oneself with others, recognizing the benefit of doing that, recognize the demerit of avoiding it, etc. It is the above which remarks the Buddha or Buddhism different than other religions. Only the Buddha taught mutual dependence and no other. So when we look at other religions , spiritual traditions, we can see both within in the secular world and also in the spiritual world methods and wisdom to calm the mind, of meditation on deities or colors and shapes and spheres, etc. Meditation on channels, drops and winds in the body. But all of this is done with an understanding that something exists autonomously, truly of itself. Accordingly any result is going to be similarly seen or thought of at least as being independent. And then thereby one is blocking or distorting the reality is mutual dependence and because of this fundamental distortion, there is not the liberation. Liberations in means off leaving this duality that will mark
our awakening or our thorough cessation of the experience of dukkha.
Many religions acknowledge that the soul is changeable and you can grow and purify. Also karma in Asian religions or in other religions the law of causes and effects stands strongly. Not the way it is in Buddhism though.