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About taoguy

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  1. Can I seek some advice on what practices teach remote healing, and are particularly useful? My mother is warded in hospital after a hip fracture operation and has terminal stage lung cancer. Just wondering what I can do for her, since she is basically filled with tubes, bed-bound and can't do any qigong exercises.
  2. Lol. The master is funny! The Heart Sutra is not something you should "study". It was meant to be a direct pointing instruction towards liberation. You are supposed to read it and find yourself unable to grasp onto anything. It should go something like this... Monk: Everything should be just Form. Everything exists. Heart Sutra: Form is Emptiness! (refutes existence) Monk: Oh, so I was wrong. Everything is actually empty. There is no form at all, no existence at all. Form is actually just emptiness. I have been thinking about Form as a tangible reality and that alternative never occurred to me. I get it now, there is actually no Form. All the five skandhas are empty! Heart Sutra: Emptiness is Form! (refutes non-existence) Monk: Okay... I'm getting confused. How about this, I know! Both Form and Emptiness are combined together, like milk and water. There is both existence and non-existence, they are mixed together. Heart Sutra: Emptiness is not other than Form! (refutes both) Monk: What?? Okay, so what you're saying is that they are equivalent... Grasping onto form is the same as grasping onto emptiness. Okay, so I will NOT grasp onto them. I should not be grasping onto both, so there is none of them! There is none of the two. Heart Sutra: Form is not other than Emptiness! (refutes neither) Monk: ??????????????????????????? *Gives up* Heart Sutra: Hurray! Cross the shore, Cross the shore quickly! Move up the five paths just like that! The zen master twisted his student's nose because this student is trying too damn hard. He's being too damn nosy.
  3. -sorry, please delete, double post!
  4. the Diamond Sutra

    I once heard this quote something along these lines, and I loved it. A treasure gem appears like shit to those whose eyes of wisdom are unopened. I'd recommend you to take a read of the book Diamond Sutra Explained (non-referee link) by the enlightened master Nan Huai Chin. Then maybe you can see how even Subhuti didn't even realize the Buddha finished his lecture within the first few stanzas.
  5. Mind only

    Thank you for that quote, it gives it more context. What is strange is that in the previous quote, he elaborated on what the great death was as "losing the breath and then coming back to life". Perhaps the discrepancy comes from an incongruent translation into English, but I may be wrong in that part of the interpretation. However, I still stand by my stance that it is not a "suffocation response", not a state of No-Thought where you suppress thoughts, but rather the cessation of the actual breath itself. That is where I do have a bit of a problem reconciling my experience with that. For example, when we enter lucidly the dream-body, we immediately know that the way to manipulate a dream-body is no longer 'muscular' in nature, but the use of pure mental intention. For example, if I wish to move to a certain sphere of reality, I intend to move towards it, instead of trying to utilize muscular force to 'walk'. If I wish to see something, I intend it. Also, the senses become like a 'sphere', but is yet not limited by space or time and is hence "omnipresent". There is always somewhat a 'center' in that sphere that does not move, whereas phenomena is like a projection on the inner side of the sphere, appearing around the center. My description is a little bad, but I hope it gets across. That is very true. One master that I corresponded with said that the heart-beat also stops after fourth dhyana, especially when he leaves the body in the manomayakaya. He actually said that he was sent to the hospital for missing a pulse, thinking it was a heart attack or something, and woke up unpleasantly in the hospital bed with no recollection of what happened to the body in that period of time. What he says is that when you leave the body, like a snake shedding its skin, in a mind-generated body, you do not have the corporal senses of the physical body, as such, it is almost as if the body is dead, except it retains warmth. Perhaps I was wrong at determining the 'great death' to the indicator of the kundalini arising. Maybe I should have been clearer - the breath-stopping that I mean is actually a sensation of the external breath (air movement) stopping. The breath inside the body continues to move, being pumped by the dan-tian, just like a fetus. The 'breath' doesn't stop yet because there is still the Wind Element interacting inside the body. The “activities” are defined as volitive or “determinate” bodily deed, speech, or thought (AN III 415, Vol III pg 294 and SN II 3, Vol II pg 4; the cessation of the activities, meanwhile, is identified with the cessation of speech, the cessation of “inbreathing and outbreathing”, and the cessation of “perception and feeling”, SN IV 217 Vol IV pg 146). By "Activities", I think that you meant "sankhara" or "samskara", which are more appropriate words. In the Anapanasati Sutta, there is this step called "He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily sankhara.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily sankhara." The question is, what exactly is this bodily sankhara? Sankhara actually means conditioning that is formed from impressions, ideas, actions, etc. In the Anapanasati Sutta, which I assume we are talking about now in breath-meditation, the Buddha listed two forms of sankharas that are dealt with: Bodily Sankhara & Mental Sankhara. I do agree with you that they can be somewhat 'activities'. So when we feel all sorts of interactions in the body like itching, pain, warmth, coolness, etc - these are somewhat part of bodily sankhara, and the goal is to "calm them down" along with mindfulness of breath. There is no question that thoughts are linked to the breath. For example, when the mind is restless or sluggish, the breath becomes shallow. When mind is relaxed, breath is deep. When the mind is free from gross-thoughts, the breath becomes subtle. When mind is utterly freed from thoughts and afflictions, breath naturally stops. For example, if a SWAT team were to suddenly crash into your home through the window, at that moment, you would be entirely shocked and your mind would be wiped blank. When you are shocked, you don't breathe. At extreme states, the breath doesn't move. There is a very intricate and nearly-integral connection between breathing and thoughts. Therefore, on reflection, I do agree with you that until mental sankhara is completely eliminated as in the fourth dhyana, the breath cannot entirely cease. However, when they are indeed eliminated, the breath does cease, and the reason for that is that the body is already in a 'death' if you leave with the spiritual-body or enter the immaterial/arupa realms. This is interesting, thank you for sharing. I don't know and don't claim to know the answer to the koan. From my perspective, 'reaching everywhere' means the Wind Element which is part of what makes up the All. It is found in every organism, soil, mountains, atmosphere, etc. The problem with this is that the suffocation response (which you describe to be tachycardia, tachypnoea, dyspnoea, choking, chest pain, feelings of impending doom, faintness) is not supposed to happen during the process where you move towards a still mind. What should happen is a gradual change in relationship between breath and thoughts. On the external-breath, firstly becoming deeper, then flipping 'opposite', then becoming subtler and subtler until it appears to vanish. Then the internal-breath, the calming down of the Wind just like how you open up the windows to a room, the wind moves and gushes (chi movement), and then it eventually callibrates with the external atmosphere (true opening of chi channels). We can only talk about truly moving past the bodily sankhara when all the chi channels are opened and the body is transformed...
  6. Chundi mantra

    The master who first brought this mantra to popularity also said that it can be used before any other practice. He said that when he did zhunti mantra, he did not even need to 'contemplate on koans', the koans solved themselves (I believe he meant doing it in the Dzog-rim/Completion stage, not the Kye-rim/Generation stage though). He also said that it greatly enhances any kind of type of cultivation practice that you choose to do after it, like other mantras/dharanis, anapana, and so on.
  7. Mind only

    Okay, I understand what you are getting at with 'relative' vs 'absolute' wisdom, or mundane vs supramundane wisdom. Also, thank you for posting a link to what you mean, I just read through it. However, I'm not sure about your interpretation as written inside your page. I suppose you can interpret it that way for now, but I have a somewhat different take on it. The way I interpreted what you quoted by the Zen master on your 'suffocation response' page is very different. This is the quote in question: The way you interpreted it seemed to me, correct me if I'm wrong, to be: The cutting off of mental-processes that distort sensory data from the sense-organs, hence allowing the senses to become 'heightened in acuity' and be "as open as empty space". I do agree with that. The senses turn from being filtered by a mind that classifies it as 'pain' or 'pleasure' (feelings), which subsequently leads to craving and aversion, subsequently allowing the birth of thoughts, allowing a whole mass of suffering to arise. This is very clearly supported by an understanding of Dependent Origination. So just to be clear, I completely support your understanding in what you wrote. However, the quote itself seems to be talking about something else, especially this: "Be like a person who has died the great death: after your breath is cut off, then you come back to life." Actually, this Zen master is talking about it literally. He's not trying to talk metaphorically, because it is literally what happens. When you do meditation, eventually the external-breath seems to stop, as if you have died. It becomes extremely still, as if there is no breathing occurring at the nose. The entire body feels as if it was recharged or rejuvenated completely, so filled with energy that it cannot 'intake' anymore. At this point, the latent energy in the body, the Kundalini, bursts forth, surging through the entire body's channels, unblocking blocked channels. This is what is known as the "great death", and also what it means to "come back to life" after the "breath is cut off". It literally happens when you go deep enough in meditation, and you should know this if you've really gone that deep into samadhi, it's something everyone should go through particularly if you cultivate the Wind-Element. In the I-Ching, this is associated with the Hexagram of Stillness, which actually indicates growth, rejuvenation and restoration. When things rest, they are actually growing. For example, when a boy in puberty goes to sleep, it is during sleep that he experiences sudden bursts in height and body-mass. Or inside a seed where germination occurs, etc. Due to the mind and body becoming so still, to the point where it becomes nearly like it's dead (hence "great death"), this potential bursts forth suddenly, like how the seed of Yang appears when things become too Yin. Then the master followed with these words "Only then do you realize that it is as open as empty space. Only then do you reach the point where your feet are walking on the ground of reality". What he means is that at this point, you've finally reached true stillness of the mind, and hence you see how 'open it is as empty space', and you've touched reality with pure perception. Therefore going back to your statement: Yes, there is habitual activity of the breath. However, which comes first... Breath or mind? Mind is the forerunner of all things, declared by the Buddha - Mind is what comes first, which then lends a support for other things to occur, even the movement of chi or Wind. That's why in dependent origination, the Buddha starts the first cause/platform as Ignorance, then the production of a Consciousness, and only later on leading to the Five-senses and so on. It's because phenomena is really mind-created, it is "inside-out", not "outside-in". Without consciousness as a platform, there will be no condition for an experience of a body etc. When mind is silenced in samadhi, the breath will naturally stop. If you've experienced it before, it is as if there is an invisible energy that suddenly manifests, suppressing thoughts, straightening the body as if it was magnetic. The lower dan-tian will be pulsating, as if you were a fetus inside a mother's womb still connected to the umbilical cord. Then this energy just bursts forth without warning, cleansing your entire body's channels, pushing out the junk-blockages, allowing rejuvenation, cleaning and restoration. You're right though, the thinking-mind is like a sense. It's a little different from the other five-senses though. The five-senses are like neutral gates that allow things in through sensory contact, and are also shaped by karma according to their bodily structures. The thinking-sense has an additional discriminatory function that likes to group things into name-and-form. Also, it receives habitual thoughts from the memory of the Alaya-consciousness (Fundamental mind ground that stores karmic seeds), so it is like a bridge between the experience of the five senses and past-habit-formations. I know I probably wrote more than I had to, but what I'm trying to get across (and possibly not doing well at explaining my pov) is that it is not that easy to dissolve karmic-energies just like that. Karmic-energies are countless-of-aeons old, from an innumerable beginning, and they arise when there are appropriate conditions present. Meditation allows the disengagement of perpetuating habit-energies, they do not completely sever them. When karma ripens in the Alaya, it can appear through the thought-sense. At this point, most people become overly-involved in the narrative that it is playing, self-identifying themselves as the habit-thought, and this produces even more karmic-seeds that go back into the Alaya, awaiting future ripening again. It is like a fruit-tree that produces seeds, and then nothing is done to stop the seeds from growing into more fruit-trees that continue to produce even more seeds, and so on. As for the MN19 quote on supramundane-wisdom, the keyword there is actually "latent conceits". The difference between mundane and supramundane in my very humble opinion, is as follows: Mundane wisdom is intellectually-understood wisdom, merely on the conscious level. Supramundane wisdom is possibly far beyond just a consciously-understood or consciously-experienced level, with the elimination of the self-view completely. I know some people who have said that they suddenly experienced the absence of a self, and it just came suddenly, after years of meditation. It was a very sudden insight into selfless nature, a spontaneous occurrence when the self-view suddenly stops. Just like how a Zen master awakens just looking up at flowers, or countless other people like that. However, it's not without cause - their previous meditation experiences obviously had something to do with this. Again, this is just my understanding, I may be wrong, but maybe this helps you understand my pov.
  8. Mind only

    It is not about stopping the mind's function of thoughts. We don't stop the heart, the kidneys, the lungs or intestines, why do we want to stop the brain? The reason is because we are excessively identified with the thoughts in the mind, therefore we wish to get rid of it. We are less conscious of our kidney functions, so we can't be bothered with them. The biggest identification is taking impermanent things as the "I", and this is the one really huge factor that prevents a person from truly "non-dwelling". Even if you think you are non-dwelling, you are doing it consciously, whereas subconsciously you are holding onto a notion of an experiencer, a "person" that carries out that non-dwelling, and the self does not completely vanish. The subject-object duality is really deeply-rooted and this has been one of the hardest things for me to see through in my own practice. The biggest benefit of Buddhism is that it does not simply chase a realm or state, it doesn't chase a samadhi or a no-thought state, or a realm of non-dwelling. It uses wisdom to liberate - by discerning things as impermanent, detaching from them the notion of a self, etc.
  9. Mind only

    It is very similar to how Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev explains it. 'Psychological drama' has become the main emphasis of our life. It is like a tennis-game that we have become unable to stop playing. If we are able to immediately stop playing it, it can become a tool of mastery, etc. But we have made this 'psychological drama' to be so important that it has overtaken everything else about us in life. Instead of just living in pure perception, drinking tea while drinking tea, eating while eating, drinking while drinking, urinating while urinating, walking while walking, we live in completely 'different worlds within our minds' while doing daily tasks, prancing between future and past, clinging onto a falsely-conceived continuity of self from moment to moment, thinking of mental/physical accumulations as a continuous-self, without realizing that they are all phenomena, perfect projections within mind, floating mirages that are only supported by endless causes and conditions, but ultimately stemming from the I-thought.
  10. Methods of Inner Silence

    Instead of watching your thoughts... Try this: Listening to your thoughts. Pure listening, no commentary, no subvocalization. Hearing both external and internal sounds. Just hearing.
  11. A book that changed my life

    Om Ami Dewa Hrih! It is actually a practice that leads to Phowa!
  12. Chundi mantra

    I just thought it would be a good alert to others to never disperse any Mudra found inside the zhunti sadhana carelessly. All of them must be scattered above the crown, if not it is considered a serious offence... (According to the article I am translating.) Also never show the mudra to other people who do not cultivate... Use a cloth to cover, or do it where no one else can see.
  13. Chundi mantra

    They seem different according to what I've read from certain explanations. She's regarded as a Buddha-Mother. The terminologies in Buddhism are quite long to explain. However, yes, the terminologies for the 'feminine' principle are also reflected in Avalokitesvara's female emanation, Guanyin and other emanations like Tara. A Chan master talked about how the 'feminine' principle allowed the highlighting of "mercy" as a feminine force, whereas "compassion" was a more masculine force. There's no actual seniority between Buddhas, just a difference in their vows and hence their mind-field, for example, Amitabha Buddha compared to the Medicine Buddha, or even Samantabhadra who is considered the mind-ground of all Buddhas with the largest Buddha-field due to the expanse of his 10 Great Vows. Sorry to make a tiny plug here, but I am attempting (very miserably, slowly and amateurishly) an English translation of a Chan master's explanation of the Zhunti sadhana here. I have to proclaim that I am quite ineffective, slow and sometimes even inaccurate in translation, which I repeatedly stress in the start of my posts above. The reason why I do it is also to help me to understand the lectures at the same time, both for sharing and educational purposes. Please do your own research and investigate accordingly, don't rely on my writings. Thank you.
  14. Chundi mantra

    Pinkies down. No comment about the rest.
  15. Does music deplete qi/jing?

    I always thought 'five tones' meant not literally listening to music, but turning hearing inwards and away from the 5 tones.