# the eight winds

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Tarvaa, Nov 26, 2013.

1. ### TarvaaRegistered Member

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4
Hello,

This is my first post.

I came across a story or a teaching that concerned the eight winds that a wise man would not be swayed by. Does anyone know this?

Basically, in life we encounter eight different winds constantly, and these winds divert us away from the "true path" towards (I guess) enlightenment. My goal here is to talk about the eight winds individually, and perhaps discuss some examples or hypothetical scenarios where each wind affects us. The eight winds were four positive reactions to everyday life events, and four negative ones. If I recall correctly they are: honor, praise, prosperity, pleasure, disgrace, censure, decline and suffering.

How do each one of these statuses or reactions cause overall negativity in our life?

I am not a Buddhist and have no connection to the religion. Often when discussing the Buddha, the word enlightenment is often thrown about willy-nilly, which to a non-Buddhist can be very frustrating because all arguments or statements revert back onto that idea; if one doesn't understand the concept of enlightenment, all ideas whose foundations rest upon it quickly fall back to nothing. One day, I would like to discuss the meaning of the word "enlightenment", but for now I would rather like to avoid and concentrate on the aforementioned eight winds.

Thanks

3. ### spidergoatLiddle' Dick TaterValued Senior Member

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53,883
Enlightenment is something that can't be fully understood from the outside. It has to do with being free from the tyranny of your own mind. The winds you mention all reinforce our sense of self, which in Buddhism is not thought of as a real thing.

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interesting

7. ### Buddha12Valued Senior Member

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2,862
Code:
How do each one of these statuses or reactions cause overall negativity in our life?
Each of us must find our way through life and do what we must to find peace of mind and contentment within ourselves. We each travel different roads and will only choose what we want from life.

8. ### YazataValued Senior Member

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5,218
Welcome to the board, Tarvaa.

I'd never heard of the 'eight winds' idea. A quick Google suggests that it might be native to Japanese Nicheren Buddhism.

Yeah, we're all buffeted by those kind of winds.

I guess that positive and negative reactions are kind of flip sides of the same coin. We always seem to be pursuing things that we want and trying to avoid things that we don't.

The second four seem to be the reverse of the first four. So there seem to be four pairs, each with its positive and negative variant.

honor-disgrace, praise-censure, prosperity-decline and pleasure-suffering.

The states of enjoying the positive ones and successfully avoiding the negative ones is impermanent. If we get pleasure from possessing something, we are going to just as surely suffer when we lose it.

Buddhism kind of bases its whole psychology on this idea of craving. Buddhists see it as what drives and motivates people from birth and makes us what we are. We are constantly, at every moment, trying to acquire something that we imagine will finally make us happy and give us bliss. Food, sex, power, money... We're always chasing something, it's the human condition.

So this inner... neediness... kind of becomes existential. We're always not-quite-right, and we're always trying to rectify that.

I guess that Buddhism is a method to attack that at it's source, instead of always trying to feed it something, in hopes that we might feel satisfied for a few fleeting moments, before we start madly chasing after something else.

So one of the dangers that the Winds seemingly represent is that they hold out the promise of things they can't really deliver. And not only that, they divert a person's attention away from addressing what Buddhists would say is the real underlying problem, that constant never-ending inner neediness.

9. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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15,058

Lokavipatti Sutta: The Failings of the World

"Monks, these eight worldly conditions spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions. Which eight? Gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. These are the eight worldly conditions that spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions.

"For an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person there arise gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. For a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones there also arise gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. So what difference, what distinction, what distinguishing factor is there between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person?"

"For us, lord, the teachings have the Blessed One as their root, their guide, & their arbitrator. It would be good if the Blessed One himself would explicate the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from the Blessed One, the monks will remember it."

"In that case, monks, listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "Gain arises for an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person. He does not reflect, 'Gain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.' He does not discern it as it actually is.

"Loss arises... Status arises... Disgrace arises... Censure arises... Praise arises... Pleasure arises...

"Pain arises. He does not reflect, 'Pain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.' He does not discern it as it actually is.

"His mind remains consumed with the gain. His mind remains consumed with the loss... with the status... the disgrace... the censure... the praise... the pleasure. His mind remains consumed with the pain.

"He welcomes the arisen gain and rebels against the arisen loss. He welcomes the arisen status and rebels against the arisen disgrace. He welcomes the arisen praise and rebels against the arisen censure. He welcomes the arisen pleasure and rebels against the arisen pain. As he is thus engaged in welcoming & rebelling, he is not released from birth, aging, or death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, or despairs. He is not released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"Now, gain arises for a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones. He reflects, 'Gain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.' He discerns it as it actually is.

"Loss arises... Status arises... Disgrace arises... Censure arises... Praise arises... Pleasure arises...

"Pain arises. He reflects, 'Pain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.' He discerns it as it actually is.

"His mind does not remain consumed with the gain. His mind does not remain consumed with the loss... with the status... the disgrace... the censure... the praise... the pleasure. His mind does not remain consumed with the pain.

"He does not welcome the arisen gain, or rebel against the arisen loss. He does not welcome the arisen status, or rebel against the arisen disgrace. He does not welcome the arisen praise, or rebel against the arisen censure. He does not welcome the arisen pleasure, or rebel against the arisen pain. As he thus abandons welcoming & rebelling, he is released from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing factor between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person."

Gain/loss,
status/disgrace,
censure/praise,
pleasure/pain:
these conditions among human beings
are inconstant,
impermanent,
subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don't charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

If one wishes to explore things from the Buddhist perspective, then some basic knowledge of Buddhism is usually necessary.

10. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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3,210
"1) Each of our lives contains both pleasure and pain.

2) Much of that pain comes from our choice of attachments.

3) We can control our choice of attachments.

4) Buddhist practice can help us do that."

Isn't it coincidental that there are 8 winds trying to blow the practitioner off the 8 - fold path?

11. ### lightgiganticBannedBanned

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16,330
If the self doesn't exist there would be no possibility of experiencing being free from it.
:shrug:

12. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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15,058
Didn't notice this:

Only in some Buddhist schools / by some Buddhists.

The topic of nature of the self is one of the most hotly disputed topics among Buddhists of different schools.

13. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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15,058
Indeed, Classical Theravada, many Mahayanist schools and much modern Buddhism run into many problems with their doctrine of there being no ontological self.

14. ### DougroatRegistered Member

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3
I'm glad I found the site.

I've searched for a good resource of info on this subject.
Thanks for making this site available.

15. ### wellwisherBannedBanned

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5,160
Relative to the eight winds; in Jungian psychology, the center of the conscious mind is called the ego. While the center of the unconscious mind is called the inner self. Enlightenment would be when one has aligned consciousness with the inner self. Since the inner self is the center of the unconscious mind, it can process data much faster (subliminal osmosis) and uses more of the brain.

In the Jungian system of psychology, the human personality is composed of layers. At the surface, is the persona or mask of the ego. This is the outer image you show strangers; make-up, hair style and swagger.

Below that is the ego proper, which includes what close friends will also see. This may contain contains things of a personal nature that may not be included in the mask. The mother would see below the mask to her little baby who is trying to act cool. Below the ego, is the personal unconscious, which contains your memories, habits and quirks. This is subject to retrieval via hypnosis.

Below the personal unconscious of the ego is the shadow. This is beginning of the collective unconscious or aspects of the human personality that are common to all and define us as human; genetic based. It is like the shadow in the daylight sun, in that is follows us around. It appears to be centered on fear which is the strongest motivator making the shadow first. Beyond the shadow, there are others layers of the personality firmware, leading finally to the inner self. To reach enlightenment you need to work your way through all these layers or winds.

Air is symbolic of spirit and intuition. When the wind is still, one has a tough time knowing that the air has substance just by looking at it since one cannot see it. But as the air moves via the wind, one can feel the pressure to know it is there. As you go deeper, you get the invisible (to the superficial eyes) winds in motion, so what appears to be invisible, can be inferred by impact.

When Buddha says to separate from the world, this is like running a controlled experiment where you start to eliminate variables to help isolate other variables so particular components of the wind become more distinct. Finally when the inner self is isolated and one can become one with this center, one has achieved enlightenment.

16. ### RajagopalsRegistered Senior Member

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167
I am only a beginner with enlightenment, so I want to cover the 'pleasure' topic. There is a practice that reverse the wind that is connected to the feeling of pleasure via genitals. This is permanent and there is no reversal to that

This wind is very much located near the belly button. In most of the eastern martial arts practitioners are strictly suggested to protect their hip (loin) area with a tight band of cloth and not so strict on genital protection cloth. Once this wind is reversed, in a way that increase the awareness of other sensory receptors in the body, is some sense it increase devotion and activities relating to 'sahasra dala padma'.

A good place to start the 'modern' study of body wind would be at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_receptor

17. ### cornelRegistered Senior Member

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137
I can't think of many concepts that do not work that way.
And what also goes for most concepts, if you(buddhists?) can't explain it you probably don't understand it well enough.
People can(will) very easily mean different things with enlightenment, btw.

Yup, if i was to go with buddhism i 'd just believe those are 8 natural winds keeping me on the (right?) path.
Then again, that doesn't sell well ...

18. ### Arne Saknussemmtrying to figure it all outValued Senior Member

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1,353
What exists is the illusion of self-hood.
source:
Code:
http://reluctant-messenger.com/gospel_buddha/chapter_12.htm