Monday, February 23, 2015

Nothing to Attain (Aimlessness)

Chapter 49 Nothing to Attain (Aimlessness)

<Key phrases>
1. "The historical dimension is not separate from the 
   ultimate dimension. We live in the historical dimension 
   and, at the same time, we are in touch with nirvana."

* historical dimension (wave): in the world of existence and 
       nonexistence, continuation and cessation, coming and 
* ultimate dimension (water): nirvana, going beyond birth 
       and death

2. "It is because we think things are permanent and have a 
   separate self that we have ideas about existence and 
   nonexistence, one and many, coming and going, birth and 
   death. By looking into impermanence and nonself we can 
   be in touch with nirvana."

* cause of historical dimension (wave): by thinking things 
       are permanent and have a separate self (ego)
* cause of ultimate dimension (water): by looking into 
       impermanence and nonself of all that is (ex. find out 
       what a wave is made of)

* nirvana: the extinction of all ideas and notions
* impermanence and nonself: ideas designed to help us go 
       beyond the ideas of permanence and self (so, ideas 
       about impermanence and nonself must be also 

3. "The nature of imaginary construction views things as 
   permanent and having a self. In the light of 
   Interdependent Co-Arising (Interbeing), we see the 
   nature of things as impermanent and without self."

* cause of views that things are permanent and have a self: 
       imaginary constructed nature (by ego, or separate self)
* cause of views that things are impermanent and without 
       self: fulfilled nature, or Interbeing (by true self, or non-
       separate self)

4. "When we touch the wave, we touch the water. And 
   finally, when we touch impermanence, we touch nirvana. 
   That is why there is nothing for us to attain. There is 
   nothing to hold on to and nothing to release. Everything is 
   already present."

* wave, water, nirvana: already present (the same thing 
       from different angle by different subject)

5. "Everything has been nirvana from the nonbeginning.
   So why do we have to grasp one thing and avoid 

* historical dimension (wave): we usually try to hold onto 
       life and run away from death. we think there is 
       something to attain, something outside of ourselves.
* ultimate dimension (water): there is no beginning and no 
       end. everything is already here. the object we wish to 
       attain is already within us (already attained). 

6. "The teaching of non-attainment is developed from the 
   teaching of aimlessness."

* Three Doors of Liberation
(1) Emptiness (Interbeing, Interdependent Co-Arising)
(2) Signlessness (formlessness)
(3) Aimlessness (non-attainment)

7. "Our afflictions are none other than enlightenment. It is 
   on the very ground of suffering, the ground of afflictions, 
   that we can contemplate enlightenment and well-being. 
   We can become a Buddha only by being in the world of 
   suffering and afflictions."

* No mud, no lotus!

"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realizes it is water. When we realize we are not separate, but a part of the huge ocean of everything, we become enlightened." by Thích Nhất Hạnh

"Aimlessness means not setting an object or goal in front of you and running after it. That is exactly what everybody does. We want this, we want that, and as long as we haven’t got it we think happiness will be impossible. We must bring about a revolution in our thinking: we must stop. We must do as the flower does. The flower is aware of the fact that it contains everything within it, the whole cosmos, and it does not try to become something else. The wave is already water. Does the wave have to go looking for water? No. It is the same for you. You have gone within you, so you do not have to look for God." by Thích Nhất Hạnh

Every matter and energy is enfolding Buddha nature or Divine nature, so everything can become Buddha or God by returning to true self (non-separate self, or Buddha nature, or Divine nature, or unconditional love and compassion) through mindfulness, concentration and insight. It's inside.

Please refer to my theory of "Human Mystery" (page 34 - 41).

(From Chapter 49 of "Understanding Our Mind" by Thích Nhất Hạnh)

Sunshine Coast, Queensland Photo by Peter Lik