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  • hardie karges 11:16 am on July 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ajahn Chah, , , Heart, , , mental formations   

    Buddhism, Mental Formations, and Defilements of the Heart and Logic… 

    Who says you can’t go home again? Home is a warm place in your heart, and mind. And if that’s a ‘mental formation’ as is often said in Buddhism, then that’s not such a bad one, but I’m not sure. I’ve studied Buddhism for several years now and I’m still not certain of the proper translation for the Pali/Sanskrit words sankhara/samskara that usually gets translated as the rather cryptic ‘mental formations’. But I do know that when Ajahn Chah, the great Thai forest master, used the term ‘arom’ อารมณ์ , which in normal speech means ‘feeling, emotion’, the translator rendered it as ‘mental formation’, so I figure that’s a valuable clue, notwithstanding the fact that the term may also have sexual connotations, depending on who says it, under what circumstances, and at what time of the day or night, in case you’re feeling sleepy. But that’s just the random white noise of mental idling, before or after an actual coherent thought, since I’m sure Ajahn Chah had no sexual connotation in mind, he one of the few post-Buddha (non)-personalities who I might credit with genuine Enlightenment. But feeling preceded linguistic thought, certainly, and I’ve heard Buddhist monks opine that ‘thought is a defilement’, so language falls flat, and that may be the point. In the beginning there was silence; and then there was noise. That’s all I know…

     
  • hardie karges 5:03 pm on May 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , mental formations   

    Happiness, Ego and Buddhism… 

    Happiness and sadness are not so different, really, just blips on a screen often better off blip-less. And this is one of the more difficult lessons of Buddhism, especially for a Westerner, who often define their lives by their passions, and their willingness to ‘go for it’ without ceasing, regardless of the odds of ever achieving the goal in question–or not. But these emotions are mere ‘mental formations’, coming and going, and morphing into their opposites, not to mention the multifarious increments that lie between in search of a sweet spot. But to me this seems more like an ego formation than a mental formation, a vestige of an eternal soul and pernicious self that constantly and consistently leap off the pages of linguistic convenience and into the safe-deposit vaults of human connivance, looking for godliness and settling for larger-than-life Big Manliness, with which to slay the dragons and dominatrices of human existence. This seldom ends well, of course. Life is too short to waste time with all the fussing and fighting involved in ego-promotion…

     
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