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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Buddhism

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  #441  
Old 21-09-2020, 05:53 PM
Phaelyn Phaelyn is offline
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I can maybe make the two truths doctrine easier for people to understand by using a simple real life example.

You walk into your kitchen and find a giant pile of dirty dishes and a big mess. The kitchen counters littered with dirty plates and silverware and trash, a moldy orange, pots and pans with crusty food in them etc.

This produces a "not so great" feeling in you. You sigh. "It's never ending," you think to yourself feeling discouraged.

Ok this is the first truth. Normal life as we live and experience it. The conventional truth. The two truths are about understanding what is going on here so here is the explanation of the convention truth or reality.

Why did we encounter "a not so great experience" when we walked into the kitchen and saw the big mess? There are actually a lot of reasons why this occurred. It is very complex but I will try to keep it simple.

#1. There is programming in our brains. Simple. Your brain produced a bunch of thoughts in response to what you encountered, that big mess in the kitchen. These thoughts are a result of our conditioning, habits, memory and on and on. We really don't have to get too much into this as it is over our pay grade. We don't have to understand everything about the computer that is our brains, just be aware of where it impacts us, what is on the screen and the feelings those come with. It starts with thoughts. That's where the connection first occurs. But then with those thoughts come "feelings." This is not rocket science either. The brain makes chemicals. Chemicals that make us feel sensations of various kinds. It's how the brain makes thoughts more real. Thoughts produce a feeling as well. They are linked, the thought and the feeling that comes with it.

So that's the first truth, our normal lives. Now there is also the ultimate truth. What is that about?

It's basically someone who understands the conventional truth and thus, is unaffected by it. (Understanding is not just intellectual, it has to be experience based as well.) Let's imagine someone who is aware of that whole mechanism of "normal life" and prefers a life without those up's and down's in feeling.

They walk into the kitchen, see the mess, and have no interest in interpreting it in any kind of "personal" way. Why? Because they have had some insights into this whole conventional process. They understand though some experiences they have had, that life without these bad feelings is better. Every moment can be light and happy no matter what we are doing or encountering externally.

Imagine you are walking on a beach in Hawaii or doing that pile of dirty dishes at home..... what makes one better than the other? This may be hard to accept, but it is true, there is no real difference. The mind makes the difference. The brain, using thought and chemicals. There is zero real difference. One can see no difference, experience no difference, but to do that, one has to live free of the conventional truths that are presented to us.

So one walks into the kitchen, happy and light, sees the big mess, a thought may come, one is aware of it's unreality, and so it produces no effect, no feelings, one is not judging the mess as good or bad, it just is, like everything just is, one remains happy and light and gets to work cleaning that kitchen. That is living with ultimate truth.

The two truths are just that. These Buddhist teachers get into more complexity like...

saṁvṛti - elements of conventional truth:

complete covering or the 'screen' of ignorance which hides truth
existence or origination through dependence, mutual conditioning


In other words, not understanding what is going on in normal everyday living modes, conditioned habitual thinking etc.....

Then also, this idea of "emptiness" as it relates to the "ultimate truth" but this is just about the fact that one walks around aware of the "ultimate truth" life unidentified with manufactured conventional.

Also, unstated in these types of explanations, is we are love, compassion etc. That is important to understand as well. When we discard being an ego, (conventional truth) we project what we are free of such, a being in harmony with all else.
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  #442  
Old 21-09-2020, 06:04 PM
Phaelyn Phaelyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentient
Buddhism being about understanding the nature of Reality ….

Which includes understanding ourselves and our experience. Understanding the relationship between what we are aware of, or focusing on, and our experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sentient
But once we understand the nature of Reality as the Two Truths, it changes what we take refuge in ….

*

Yes, we don't take refuge in the habitual and conditioned mind anymore. That is no longer our "home."
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  #443  
Old 22-09-2020, 04:13 AM
sentient sentient is offline
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Apparently it is recommended by some schools, that one should first learn the two truths in order to then understand the 4 noble truths – and only after these are properly understood - to take refuge.
https://studybuddhism.com/en/tibetan...he-four-truths

*

I’ve been listening to both of these lectures:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LqSNMcm_4U
(only starts at 38:10)

And
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YD557hey0E

Both have valuable information to learn from.

*
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  #444  
Old 22-09-2020, 05:29 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by sentient
^
You already made your dismissive position about the Two Truths clear:



But now you have heard of it.

And it is not for me to convince you about the truthfulness of that statement/pointing, but for you to find out for yourself – by yourself ….. if it indeed is “what is”.

How would you go about finding that out?

*




In my case, since there is no relative and absolute truth within the Buddhist philosophy, which is mostly about the 4NT's and the universal truth of Dhamma, and quite right to say that I dismiss the 'Two Truths' without bothering to look into it. But that's just me. It's perfectly fine and people who find it interesting should go into it. I still maintain that some smartypants monk just made it up for sake of something else to say, but that's also OK, maybe it's better than saying the same old thing over and over again.
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  #445  
Old 22-09-2020, 05:49 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by Phaelyn
Peacefulness is also the absence of conflict, or elements of harm, whether imagined or real. To not harm or be harmed, as the sole focus, or motivation in presence. So in each moment, be aware if harm or conflict in some form is present, directed at self, directed towards others, directed from others, and find an effective way to be that eliminates all of those.

I keep my attention off of my thought stream, so no conflict or harm is directed at myself, I allow others to be what they are, so no conflict or harm is directed at others, and I am simply aware of what is with no personal involvement, so no conflict or harm is directed from others.




Agreed. Best to think in terms of 'absence of' and 'cessation of', and it follows logically that immorality is motivated by reactive dynamics of aversion and desire. Of course people will argue that it's ok to be adverse toward ill-will and desire good-will, but that doesn't stack up. If adverse to attrocious actions then your reaction is your kamma, and to desire goodwill just ends in tears when such is not forthcoming. Better to understand the fact that atrocities can be viewed in terms of ignorance: "they know not what they do", and let it remain as a fact. Similarly if there is kindness, that's great, but if it isn't forthcoming, no worries. In this way the mind can remain balanced: It is as it is.



The philosophy is very clear in saying that goodwill brings positive outcomes and ill-will creates the conditions for harm, but we aren't children, so that goes without saying, and most of us understand the value of honesty and other virtues, and that we'd be wiser to avoid deception and people and places that hold a harmful potential. However, the delusion that 'spiritual masters' are special fools people into thinking that they must be OK, safe, worthy of refuge, even though there are so many instances of perpetration by such revered ones. Hence I suggest the notion of 'special people' is a senseless and dangerous delusion.


In the formal practice of meditation, it's best to keep the mind on the experience as it is - rather than dwell on what you think - but we find in practice that observation of the body, which is attention to the feelings, enlivens conscious awareness of what the mind is doing, and tends to do. For example, if you are aware of discomfort in the body you will also be aware of your adverse reactivity, and very likely become conscious of the respective desire for some nice feelings, and soon realise that this is your tendency, and see how it is how you create your own misery. Through the insight, the issue can be resolved.

Last edited by Gem : 22-09-2020 at 08:03 AM.
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  #446  
Old 22-09-2020, 07:16 AM
sentient sentient is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
In my case, since there is no relative and absolute truth within the Buddhist philosophy, which is mostly about the 4NT's and the universal truth of Dhamma, and quite right to say that I dismiss the 'Two Truths' without bothering to look into it. But that's just me. It's perfectly fine and people who find it interesting should go into it. I still maintain that some smartypants monk just made it up for sake of something else to say, but that's also OK, maybe it's better than saying the same old thing over and over again.
Heh.

And here I’ve been saying to others on this board – not to assume ….

Yet I assumed - took it for granted, took it for given, that everyone was into Buddhism, because of the Two Truths!

*
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  #447  
Old 22-09-2020, 07:40 AM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaelyn
Peacefulness is also the absence of conflict, or elements of harm, whether imagined or real. To not harm or be harmed, as the sole focus, or motivation in presence. So in each moment, be aware if harm or conflict in some form is present, directed at self, directed towards others, directed from others, and find an effective way to be that eliminates all of those.

I keep my attention off of my thought stream, so no conflict or harm is directed at myself, I allow others to be what they are, so no conflict or harm is directed at others, and I am simply aware of what is with no personal involvement, so no conflict or harm is directed from others.



' I allow others to be what they are, so no conflict or harm is directed at others '

Does that include Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche .....
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  #448  
Old 22-09-2020, 08:00 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by sentient
Heh.

And here I’ve been saying to others on this board – not to assume ….

Yet I assumed - took it for granted, took it for given, that everyone was into Buddhism, because of the Two Truths!

*




I'd never heard of it before it was mentioned on this thread .
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  #449  
Old 22-09-2020, 02:13 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentient
There is that saying – “Don't put all your eggs into the same basket”.
But in order to elevate one’s consciousness onto a higher spiritual level – one has to integrate.
Don’t they call it an ‘integrated ego’ – when one doesn't contradict one's self at every turn? - heh.


I’m not much for rituals myself. But a ritual done in genuine devotion enables one to enter into “the zone” with the devotees.

It does sound like a contradiction that first one has to become an integrated ego – in order to enter into (one-pointed) devotion to de-centralize that ego hold, but it isn’t.

*

But of course, if there is no genuine spiritual dimension to devote to, then the relative dimension, the ego-centeredness is all there is and it can only mimic/pretend spirituality.

And this “assemblage-point-of-awareness” (Castaneda) compulsively needs to maintain, fortify and defend/secure its position. That is all ego centeredness ever does – that is its pattern, its blind bondage.

Which is where the Vajrayana 5 Buddha Families come in and nobody is excluded, left out - we all have our own ego-games in place.
https://www.tibetan-buddhist-art.com/5-buddha-families/

They are our personal styles of blind bondage – the spiritual dimension (when found) liberates us from.

*

I too am not particularly drawn to rituals but my teacher did point out that I should not criticize them since, as you duly noted, a ritual done in genuine devotion enables one to enter into “the zone” with the devotees.
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  #450  
Old 22-09-2020, 02:16 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Originally Posted by sentient
So much has been posted about the 4 Noble Truths but not about the Two Truths:

Nāgārjuna's point:
"The teachings of Buddha lie upon the two truths and you have to know these two truths to understand Buddhist teaching.
You need the conventional in order to point out the ultimate and you need the ultimate in order to attain liberation".

*

Buddhism being about understanding the nature of Reality ….
But once we understand the nature of Reality as the Two Truths, it changes what we take refuge in ….

*

I had not heard of the Two Truths, as stated in your post, though I am aware of being able to shift between the immanent and the transcendent. Both are necessary. I think that we are talking about the same thing albeit with different terminology but am not totally sure of that.
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