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What is the Middle Way

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What is the Middle Way

Postby Jage on Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:13 am

Buddha said that we follow the path of the Middle Way. And the Middle Way is always talk about especially in Zen. But wondering what really is the Middle Way. Is the middle way the life of always being good. Is it by always being positive. Is it by being always humble. Is it by always being loving. Is it living accordingly with the moral codes and conduct.

I guess some inputs may clarify this Middle Way. :rbow:
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Anders on Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:34 am

"Whatever is dependently co-arisen
That is explained to be emptiness.
That, being a dependent designation,
Is itself the middle way."
--- Nagarjuna

"Whoever knows that the mind is a fiction and devoid of anything real knows that his own mind neither exists nor doesn’t exist. Mortals keep creating the mind, claiming it exists. And Arhats keep negating the mind, claiming it doesn’t exist. But bodhisattvas and Buddhas neither create nor negate the mind. This is what’s meant by the mind that neither exists nor doesn’t exist. The mind that neither exists nor doesn’t exist is called the Middle Way."
--- Bodhidharma
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"
--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby bubuyaya on Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:42 am

Jage wrote:Buddha said the Middle Way.
But wondering what really is the Middle Way.



When Buddhas do something, that's middle way.
Middle way is the other name of nonduality of Buddha-nature.

When whatever opponents are melt away to be nondual, then there middle way completed.
Next is also, Jesus'(Thomas gospel, translated by Lambdin, "opponents" input by bubu).
Jesus said, "If two (opponents) make peace with each other in this one house, they will say to the mountain, 'Move Away,' and it will move away."

There are some Sutras, which say Middle way.
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Ted Biringer on Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:16 am

Jage wrote:Buddha said that we follow the path of the Middle Way. And the Middle Way is always talk about especially in Zen. But wondering what really is the Middle Way. Is the middle way the life of always being good. Is it by always being positive. Is it by being always humble. Is it by always being loving. Is it living accordingly with the moral codes and conduct.

I guess some inputs may clarify this Middle Way. :rbow:



Hello Jage,

Thank you for your post.

In general, Buddhist teachings and expressions on the “middle way” present the nature and dynamics of the interdependence of the “form” of things and the “emptiness” of things (i.e. the nondual unity of the “appearance” and the “reality” of dharmas). At the same time, there are a variety of “particular” ways in which the "middle way" is portrayed by different Buddhist traditions.

In Zen literature, however, teachings expressed in the traditional Buddhist terms of the "middle-way" are relatively rare. When the classic records of Zen do use it, the “way” of “middle way” is usually employed in one of two senses; the first is to illumine the ultimate unification of “extreme” views and practices (i.e. approaches), for example:

Q: What is the significance of the term ‘middle way’?

A: It signifies the extremes.

Q: I enquired about the middle way; why do you say it signifies the extremes?

A: Extremes are only valid in contradistinction to the middle way.
Hui Hai, The Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening, John Blofeld


The second sense of “way” is used to illumine distinctions between three or more views (i.e. vehicles), for example:

One day, Chih Ch'ang asked the Patriarch, "Buddha preached the doctrine of 'Three Vehicles' and also that of a 'Supreme Vehicle'. As I do not understand this, will you please explain?"

The Patriarch replied, "(In trying to understand these), you should introspect your own mind and act independently of things and phenomena. The distinction of these four vehicles does not exist in the Dharma itself but in the differentiation of people's minds.

To see, to hear, and to recite the sutra is the small vehicle.

To know the Dharma and to understand its meaning is the middle vehicle.

To put the Dharma into actual practice is the great vehicle.

To understand thoroughly all Dharmas, to have absorbed them completely, to be free from all attachments, to be above phenomena, and to be in possession of nothing, is the Supreme Vehicle.

Since the word 'yana' (vehicle) implies 'motion' (i.e. putting into practice), argument on this point is quite unnecessary. All depends on self-practice, so you need not ask me any more. (But I may remind you that) at all times the Essence of Mind is in a state of 'Thusness'." Chih Ch'ang made obeisance and thanked the Patriarch.
Huineng, Platform Sutra of Huineng, A.F.Price and Wong Mou-Lam


Like the (madhyamika) teaching on “the two truths” (or two natures), teachings on the middle way had (and continue to have) a tendency to be misunderstood dualistically (and often nihilistically). Even the (Tendai) teaching of the “three truths” (or three in one) – which comprehensively dealt with most of the subtle (dualistic) loopholes of “the two truths” teachings – found less favor among the classic Zen masters who evidently preferred more metaphorical (thus less prone to literalism and reification) expressions for transmitting the wisdom of nonduality and interdependence (e.g. the “four prajnas of Buddhahood,” the “positions of guest and host,” the “five ranks,” and of course the hallmark characteristics of Zen – the great koan collections).

When the Zen masters did teach in traditional terms of the middle way it was often done in a manner that emphasized the obstructive, hindering effect of adopting any kind of literal understandings, fixed views or practices, or dogmatic codes. For example:

Those clinging to the Middle Way suffer from Middle Way psychosis; those grasping at extremes suffer from a dualist psychosis. You do not comprehend that that which manifests itself right now is the unequalled Dharmakaya.
Hui Hai, The Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening, John Blofeld


Hui Hai’s final point about “that which manifests itself right now is the unequalled Dharmakaya” is an excellent example of Zen’s preference for “pointing directly” to the reality of the middle way – the reality of of our own true nature – the ever present, ceaselessly arriving here and now. The great master, Hongzhi, reveals that this truth “occurs within your own house,” it is “one wholeness” that is “without middle” (or edge)

When you reach the truth without middle or edge, cutting off before and after, then you realize one wholeness. Everywhere sense faculties and objects both just happen.The one who sticks out his broad long tongue transmits the inexhaustible lamp, radiates the great light, and performs the great buddha work, from the first not borrowing from others one atom from outside the dharma. Clearly this affair occurs within your own house.
Hongzhi, Cultivating the Empty Field, Dan Leighton


Thank you Hongzhi – being so close, it is hard to see!

Peace,
Ted
The seeming paradox of the teacherhood issue... according to... Pai-chang, Lin-chi, Yun-men, and Fo-yen, someone who claims to be a Zen teacher is not. Classics of Buddhism and Zen, 3:3, T. Cleary, p.236
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Huifeng on Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:57 am

Jage wrote:Buddha said that we follow the path of the Middle Way. And the Middle Way is always talk about especially in Zen. But wondering what really is the Middle Way. Is the middle way the life of always being good. Is it by always being positive. Is it by being always humble. Is it by always being loving. Is it living accordingly with the moral codes and conduct.

I guess some inputs may clarify this Middle Way. :rbow:


Hi,

In order to answer that question, one must naturally ask what this "middle" lies between.

Basically, there are two types of the "middle", one with respect to ethical behavior; the other with respect to view.

Viz behavior, the middle is between the extremes of self mortification and sensual indulgence. Self mortification was a popular religious practice in ancient India, esp. among the Jains, where people literally believed that pain burnt away bad karma. Sensual indulgence was pretty much the same in ancient India as it is now, ie. sense pleasures of sights, sounds, etc. The "middle" means not indulging in sensual pleasures, which are a root stimulus for craving and aversion; but also not deliberating seeking painful experiences either.

Viz view, it refers to avoiding the two views of eternalism and annihilism. Eternalism is the belief in some eternal, unchanging entity, such as a "self" (atman), or creator god. Annihilism is the belief that after death of the physical body, there is no continuity of mind. The "middle" indicates that there is continuity after physical death, but without any eternal unchanging entity. Or, the explanation of cyclic existence given through the teaching of dependent origination. Indeed, dependent origination is known as the "middle teaching". Parallels to these two extremes of view include the extremes of identity and difference, arising and cessation, self and other, etc.

Note that the "middle" in both cases avoid both extremes. It is not a combination of the two extremes, or some attempt to harmonize them together. It avoids them fully.

From the above, one can see that this notion is quite specific. It is not some general "golden mean" type of idea, but has specific referents.

~~ Huifeng
Bhikṣu & Mahāyāna bodhisattva ordination by Ven Master Hsing Yun (星雲大師) et al, Foguang Shan Monastery (佛光山寺) Taiwan.
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby ed blanco on Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:48 pm

Wonderfully simple and clear. Thanks Huifeng.

:O:
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Omoi Otoshi on Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:12 pm

ed blanco wrote:Wonderfully simple and clear. Thanks Huifeng.

:O:


+1
Thank you.

Gassho,
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you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Omoi Otoshi on Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:45 pm

Sometimes I hear that as buddhists, we should avoid all extremes and instead take the middle way. But as Hui Hai says in Ted's quote, clinging to an idea of the middle way can easily become middle way psychosis, another rabbit hole to get ourselves stuck in. Constantly trying to avoid extremes when life is full of extremes to me is aversion. Constantly trying to hold on to the middle in an ever-changing world is clinging. When there is pleasure or pain, let there be pleasure or pain. No need to seek it. No need to always avoid it either. Experience it for what it is, without adding anything extra, without clinging or aversion, and the extremes may not seem so extreme anymore. When the extremes are transcended, when there is complete freedom from extremes in the midst of all of life's extremes, perhaps this can be called the middle way?

Gassho,
Pontus
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you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Jok_Hae on Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:22 pm

Omoi Otoshi wrote:
ed blanco wrote:Wonderfully simple and clear. Thanks Huifeng.

:O:


+1
Thank you.

Gassho,
/Pontus


+2 Very well said Venerable, fwiw. :)

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith
You make, you get

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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby bubuyaya on Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:49 pm

Jage wrote:Buddha said the 8 path of the Middle Way.


When Sakia Buddha say Middle way of right path, that's 4 noble truth of 12 co-relates.
Avija vs vija. Doing vs nodoings..... Birth vs nonbirth, Death vs nondeath,
so suffering practicing vs pleasing practicing also,
so whatever possible opponents in people's 5 skandhas.
Huineng P. explain that by 36 major opponents,
Matsu M. say that by sunface buddha and moonface buddha.
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:55 pm

Huifeng wrote:Basically, there are two types of the "middle", one with respect to ethical behavior; the other with respect to view.

Viz behavior, the middle is between the extremes of self mortification and sensual indulgence. Self mortification was a popular religious practice in ancient India, esp. among the Jains, where people literally believed that pain burnt away bad karma.

My very favorite example of this is the Kukkuravatika Sutta (MN 57, PTS: M i 387) known as the "Dog-duty Ascetic Sutta". This hilarious Sutta has two ascetics Punna and Seniya who are like an Abbot and Costello or Laurel and Hardy of ascetics and who believe they will be saved by imitating animals. Punna imitates an ox and Seniya imitates a dog. They are best friends practicing together, but each believes his practice is better than the other's practice and will be the more efficacious. Together they ask Buddha to tell them their future karma rewardds from their practice with each one expecting the Buddha to say their practice will result in liberation instead of the other's practice. Buddha tells them that generally there are four kinds of results of karma:
Kukkuravatika Sutta wrote:Punna, there are four kinds of kamma proclaimed by me after realization myself with direct knowledge. What are the four? There is dark kamma with dark ripening, there is bright kamma with bright ripening, there is dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening, and there is kamma that is not dark and not bright with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening that conduces to the exhaustion of kamma.

But he goes on to tell each ascetic that, instead of liberation, acting like a dog will just result in a future birth as a dog and acting like an ox will only result in future birth as an ox.

Huifeng wrote:Note that the "middle" in both cases avoid both extremes. It is not a combination of the two extremes, or some attempt to harmonize them together. It avoids them fully.

From the above, one can see that this notion is quite specific. It is not some general "golden mean" type of idea, but has specific referents.

~~ Huifeng


While I don't disagree with the above, I see it as a good teaching for beginners keeping it simple with just two types of dualities: (1) asceticism-sensuality and (2) nihilism-eternalism. The more comprehensive view from Zen as taught by Sixth Ancestor Huineng (and other Zen masters) is definitely about the Middle Way in the context that includes all forms of opposites, not just the two types of opposites found in relation to "behavior" and "view." Huineng gives 36 representative pairs of opposites distribued across three general categories related to (1) the external phenomena of the insentient, (2) the language of the characteristics of things (dharmalaksana), and (3) the arising and functioning of one’s own-nature. In this way, all opposites of any kind become opportunties to realize the Middle Way.

Platform Sutra Chapter 10 wrote:You who are ranked [as Dharma heirs], if you awaken in accord with this explanation; in accord with this functioning; in accord with this practice; and in accord with these doings; then you do not lose the root of the lineage.

“If there is a person asking you about a meaning, and asks about existence, go to the paired opposite of nonexistence; if asking about nonexistence, go to the paired opposite of existence. If one asks about the worldly, use the paired opposite of the sage; if asking about the sage use the paired opposite of the worldly. The mutual causation of the Way of dualities, gives birth to the meaning of the Middle Way. So, for a single question, a single pair of opposites, and for other questions the single (pair) that accords with this fashion, then you do not lose the principle.

_/|\_
Gregory
Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:02 am

Ted Biringer wrote:Hello Jage,

Thank you for your post.

And thank you Ted for your post.
_/|\_
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:13 am

Jage wrote:Buddha said that we follow the path of the Middle Way. And the Middle Way is always talk about especially in Zen. But wondering what really is the Middle Way. Is the middle way the life of always being good. Is it by always being positive. Is it by being always humble. Is it by always being loving. Is it living accordingly with the moral codes and conduct.

I guess some inputs may clarify this Middle Way. :rbow:

The issue is clouded by the nature of our cognitive consciousness that organizes everything in relation to dualities. The Middle Way in itself is ineffable so it can't be cognized. However, to speak of it for the benefit of beings we end of saying such things like "the Dharmakaya is pure" when "purity" then seems to fall on one side of the "pure-impure" opposites and therefore by definition would not be in the Middle Way. The solution to this problem of cognition can only be found in the experienc beyond cognition of opposites. In that experience, it becomes clear for oneself why even though the opposition of pure-impure does not apply, the ineffable nature of the Dhamrakaya had to be described as "pure" for expedient means. Likewise for the terms "good" and "loving." True Suchness is True Love, but since the term "love" is commonly cognized within the duality of "love" and "hate" is it confusing to simply say "True Suchness is True Love" wiitout further explication and direct pointing to the realization of "True Love" to be had on one's own by seeing true nature without the mediation of cognition.

_/|\_
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Huifeng on Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:17 am

There are also relationships between the aforementioned ethical practices and views.

Sensual indulgence is usually associated with annihilism, as those who think that physical death is the end have no basis to worry about whether or not sensual indulgence will lead to some negative rebirth.

Self mortification is usually associated with eternalism, because those who posit a soul entity which is entirely dissociated from matter often believe that one must somehow liberate this soul from its material bonds through such physically self destructive behavior.

The Buddha taught a very fascinating psychology of views. Worth looking into.

These basic principles seem (in my mind at least) as applicable today as they must have been some 2500 years ago.

PS: And thanks everyone for your encouraging comments on my earlier post.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby bubuyaya on Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:35 am

bubuyaya wrote:
Jage wrote:Buddha said the 8 path of the Middle Way.


Matsu's :daisy:


Kuji's :peace:

And people's :)X
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby ed blanco on Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:00 pm

Huifeng wrote:There are also relationships between the aforementioned ethical practices and views.

Sensual indulgence is usually associated with annihilism, as those who think that physical death is the end have no basis to worry about whether or not sensual indulgence will lead to some negative rebirth.

Self mortification is usually associated with eternalism, because those who posit a soul entity which is entirely dissociated from matter often believe that one must somehow liberate this soul from its material bonds through such physically self destructive behavior.

The Buddha taught a very fascinating psychology of views. Worth looking into.

These basic principles seem (in my mind at least) as applicable today as they must have been some 2500 years ago.

PS: And thanks everyone for your encouraging comments on my earlier post.

~~ Huifeng



From my Catholic background I can add to self mortification the element of "pleasing the omnipresent God: "don't do evil so as not to be kicked out of Heaven for all eternety." The European Middle ages are a pagent of mortificantion carried on even by today's Easter penitents. The all seeing eye of God can really put fear in a soul, flagelation a way to atone for sins.

Mardi Grass, or Fat Tuesday, is a telling holiday where we go nihilists for one last day berfore giving up fun and frolic for the 40 days of Lens. What contrast, no middle there, from nihilism to eternalism in 24 hours. Ideally. Modern Mardi Grass is all nihilism, no absolution. Ash Wednesday should remind the penitent that flesh is transcient but few really care or think of it.

In contrast Buddhism seems to be easier, at first. Sure, no all seeing eye of a vincitive superbeing, but then we get the eons of introspection looking for what should be obvious but isn't. All in all The World Honored One left a much more satisfactory way of looking at sentient being's predicament in an emty universe. Understanding and compassion are far more effective values to live by than fear. My favorite part is how we are all interdependent, none of this save yourself, let your neightbor worry about eternal damnation.

:O:
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Seeker242 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:19 pm

Huifeng wrote:
Jage wrote:Buddha said that we follow the path of the Middle Way. And the Middle Way is always talk about especially in Zen. But wondering what really is the Middle Way. Is the middle way the life of always being good. Is it by always being positive. Is it by being always humble. Is it by always being loving. Is it living accordingly with the moral codes and conduct.

I guess some inputs may clarify this Middle Way. :rbow:


Hi,

In order to answer that question, one must naturally ask what this "middle" lies between.

Basically, there are two types of the "middle", one with respect to ethical behavior; the other with respect to view.

Viz behavior, the middle is between the extremes of self mortification and sensual indulgence. Self mortification was a popular religious practice in ancient India, esp. among the Jains, where people literally believed that pain burnt away bad karma. Sensual indulgence was pretty much the same in ancient India as it is now, ie. sense pleasures of sights, sounds, etc. The "middle" means not indulging in sensual pleasures, which are a root stimulus for craving and aversion; but also not deliberating seeking painful experiences either.

~~ Huifeng


This is what I have always viewed as "the middle way". However, I have encountered people who think that "not indulging in sense pleasure" is equal to "seeking painful experience" because lets say, abstaining from alcohol is painful for them. So they cleverly say something like "it's ok to get drunk, after all, it's the middle way". They take the view that abstaining from sense pleasure is, itself, seeking pain. What do you say to something like that? Perhaps these people just need to figure that out for themselves.
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Carol on Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:41 am

Seeker242 wrote:
Huifeng wrote:
Jage wrote:Buddha said that we follow the path of the Middle Way. And the Middle Way is always talk about especially in Zen. But wondering what really is the Middle Way. Is the middle way the life of always being good. Is it by always being positive. Is it by being always humble. Is it by always being loving. Is it living accordingly with the moral codes and conduct.

I guess some inputs may clarify this Middle Way. :rbow:


Hi,

In order to answer that question, one must naturally ask what this "middle" lies between.

Basically, there are two types of the "middle", one with respect to ethical behavior; the other with respect to view.

Viz behavior, the middle is between the extremes of self mortification and sensual indulgence. Self mortification was a popular religious practice in ancient India, esp. among the Jains, where people literally believed that pain burnt away bad karma. Sensual indulgence was pretty much the same in ancient India as it is now, ie. sense pleasures of sights, sounds, etc. The "middle" means not indulging in sensual pleasures, which are a root stimulus for craving and aversion; but also not deliberating seeking painful experiences either.

~~ Huifeng


This is what I have always viewed as "the middle way". However, I have encountered people who think that "not indulging in sense pleasure" is equal to "seeking painful experience" because lets say, abstaining from alcohol is painful for them. So they cleverly say something like "it's ok to get drunk, after all, it's the middle way". They take the view that abstaining from sense pleasure is, itself, seeking pain. What do you say to something like that? Perhaps these people just need to figure that out for themselves.


It's a very good question what not"indulging" in sensual pleasures means? If it means attempting to cut off sights, sounds, etc., it's not the "Middle Way," it is extremism. In our Zen training we are taught to leave all the senses open during zazen ... eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind -- seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking ... all come into awareness, without clinging and without rejection, i.e., without craving and aversion. So pleasurable sensations arise and pass away, and so do painful ones. One neither seeks nor avoids sensual pleasure and pain ... that is the meaning of the teaching "The great way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose," and also "Every day is a good day," i.e., we take reality as it is as it comes to us without wishing for a different life than the one we have. I think that is what Huifeng may mean by "view."

In the moral sphere, IF one's view is the Middle Way -- not just intellectually understanding the concept, but actually seeing and experiencing the world in this way -- THEN one's conduct would naturally be "moral," i.e., not doing harm, doing good, doing good for the benefit of others. HOWEVER, for most of us, we are caught up in our reactions to pleasure and pain (especially in our thoughts) much of the time. This is called delusion or ignorance of the true nature of reality. Therefore our conduct is often faulty. The precepts help us as guideposts while we are developing/practicing. But practice is necessary, otherwise we're just following rules in a rather dull state of consciousness, rather than realizing and actualizing the Middle Way.
Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Huifeng on Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:09 am

Seeker242 wrote:
Huifeng wrote:
Jage wrote:Buddha said that we follow the path of the Middle Way. And the Middle Way is always talk about especially in Zen. But wondering what really is the Middle Way. Is the middle way the life of always being good. Is it by always being positive. Is it by being always humble. Is it by always being loving. Is it living accordingly with the moral codes and conduct.

I guess some inputs may clarify this Middle Way. :rbow:


Hi,

In order to answer that question, one must naturally ask what this "middle" lies between.

Basically, there are two types of the "middle", one with respect to ethical behavior; the other with respect to view.

Viz behavior, the middle is between the extremes of self mortification and sensual indulgence. Self mortification was a popular religious practice in ancient India, esp. among the Jains, where people literally believed that pain burnt away bad karma. Sensual indulgence was pretty much the same in ancient India as it is now, ie. sense pleasures of sights, sounds, etc. The "middle" means not indulging in sensual pleasures, which are a root stimulus for craving and aversion; but also not deliberating seeking painful experiences either.

~~ Huifeng


This is what I have always viewed as "the middle way". However, I have encountered people who think that "not indulging in sense pleasure" is equal to "seeking painful experience" because lets say, abstaining from alcohol is painful for them. So they cleverly say something like "it's ok to get drunk, after all, it's the middle way". They take the view that abstaining from sense pleasure is, itself, seeking pain. What do you say to something like that? Perhaps these people just need to figure that out for themselves.


What do I say to them? Well, first one needs to be clearer about what "sensual pleasure" and "sensual pain" is. The absence of the former is not equivalent to the latter.

Either way, most people are engaged in seeking some kind of sensory stimulus, whether pleasant or painful. The Buddha's middle way is not seeking either of them.

But, people will always be sophistic or just plain disingenuous for the sake of justifying their behavior.

~~ Huifeng
Bhikṣu & Mahāyāna bodhisattva ordination by Ven Master Hsing Yun (星雲大師) et al, Foguang Shan Monastery (佛光山寺) Taiwan.
Teaching: http://buddhist.fgu.edu.tw/main.php Blog: http://prajnacara.blogspot.com/
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Re: What is the Middle Way

Postby Huifeng on Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:15 am

i.e., we take reality as it is as it comes to us without wishing for a different life than the one we have


Hi Carol,

While I agree with your former statements, I think that this one can possibly be a bit problematic, but I'm not entirely sure what you mean here.

The potential problem is, is that most people's regular life is already totally filled with picking and choosing, totally filled with craving and aversion. Thus, while they claim that they are "not seeking" something special, they are still seeking this and that left, right and center. It is a lot like the common misperception of "non-attainment", used as a justification to not cultivate the path, where such people still "attain" all that "me", "mine" and "I" of their daily life. I am assuming that you do not mean this sort of misinterpretation, but thought it probably worth clarifying nonetheless.

Hence, I find the ideas of "not seeking sensual pleasure" and "not seeking sensual pain" are clearer and less ambiguous.

~~ Huifeng
Bhikṣu & Mahāyāna bodhisattva ordination by Ven Master Hsing Yun (星雲大師) et al, Foguang Shan Monastery (佛光山寺) Taiwan.
Teaching: http://buddhist.fgu.edu.tw/main.php Blog: http://prajnacara.blogspot.com/
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