Dharma Questions: Miscellany — Part 6

This irregular “Dharma Questions” series deals with “dharma” meaning both the truth of the nature of reality and some Buddhist teachings. Please see this post on the intensions for questioning and not questioning. Amongst other things these questions can be, but not necessarily:

  • thought experiments
  • borderline musings not meant to be answered
  • from laziness of not contemplating or researching them yet

“Lotus Flower — Padma – Symbol of Purity. Can be any color except blue
  1. For the (early) non-personal Buddhist symbol of a lotus, why is it said a blue one can’t be used?
  2. Are there any trickster(s) (archetypes) in Buddhism? Perhaps Mara or Devadatta? Why or why not?
  3. Can techniques leading to a non-dual state also provide a condition for susceptibility to unwholesome mind control especially if and when discernment is inadequate? (For example, someone might say “oh that’s just an illusion, there is no separateness, since everything is one it’s all good.”)
  4. How to best inform audiences that the great Mahayana teachings — or any teachings for that matter — are not:
    1. to a certain extent, for pacification of past unwholesome actions
    2. to justify, uphold and maintain (righteousness of) unwholesome/unskillful/unwise ideologies, beliefs, institutions, systems, etc.
    3. for bypassing
    4. for chastisement
    5. for belittlement
    6. for superiority
    7. to be considered as complete, ultimate, and total unchanging teachings
    8. to support past, present or future unwise lifestyles
    9. (adult) bedtime stories
  5. While this body is not me not mine what about other claims of ownership on it? [the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claims the power to assign ownership of your DNA to private companies and universities who apply for patents on your genes….To date, more than 4,000 genes have been assigned ownership to corporations and universities by the U.S. patent office…. you cannot transfer ownership of something unless you first own it yourself]
  6. Hypothetically, say someone without any meditation instructions chose the breath as meditation object, and without any further intent, how long then before one starts going towards Samatha-like practice versus Anapanasati? Would someone realizing awakening with the breath naturally discover Anapanasati the way the Buddha taught it? How can we know?
  7. If/Since the goal of establishing/attending to mindfulness of the body is:
    “Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: ‘The body exists,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.”
    . . . Could it then be possible — since the Buddha clearly laid out six contemplations of the body in the Satipatthana Sutta quite sometime ago — that the (the various physical manifestations and beings associated with of the forces and armies of) Mara have deeply studied and carry out countermeasures against this? If so, would it make sense to keep an open mind about refining and expanding on these six body contemplations as well as considering additional new ways to continually achieve bodily insight of body to “the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.”? Why or why not?
  8. If/when (conscious) awareness of the boundless nature of the Brahma viharas (momentarily) lapses, do the Brahmaviharas temporarily cease being boundless? Why (not)? How is this known?
  9. How did the Nagas get the teachings they gave to Nāgārjuna?
  10. Why does Mahayana add Nirvana to the the three characteristics and call them Dharma Seals?
  11. With all Buddha’s (psychic) powers and skillful means, why couldn’t he (directly) stop the battles/wars that he tried to stop?
  12. Do the defilements have a discernible origin? If so, what? If not, why not?
  13. Can seeds of/in alaya consciousness be destroyed? Why or why not? Where are these “seeds” stored and how?
  14. Could the following be one reason the Buddha put such emphasis on mindfulness of breath: It is said by some that certain “higher” beings are constantly observing and monitoring every moment. What if we were one of those types of monitor beings doing the same to/with our breath from a place of (secondary) inbuilt purpose, power, effortlessness, and joyful duty — observing and monitoring our each and every moment with and through breath including breath itself? Also, if this human body is designed to confine the spirit and/or be tethered to it, could the Buddha have went along with this, not fighting or changing, but mastering it by what’s mentioned above?
  15. Is waking up from being lost in thought(s) the only reference point for reestablishing mindfulness?
  16. How and why does this sense of “I” seem to be bound to (the perception of) a/this body, instead of say a submarine, spring (time) or an angel wing?
  17. What calls forth our (given) names (into identification)? And how? In other words, how do I know I’m “josh” and to say “josh” when asked for my name or someone says my name?
  18. If truth is so obscured due to being entrenched, engulfed, enmeshed, and mired in deceptions — and next to impossible to ascertain in such a state — would it make sense to consider (propagating) more wholesome, skillful and wise deceptions in order to ween off such extreme deceptions to arrive at truth? Why or why not?

Published by josh dippold


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