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About TranquilTurmoil

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  1. Telekinesis, Remote Viewing, Out of Body

    *I should clarify, she is just my friend (not a mentor) whom I met as she is the girlfriend of one of my childhood best friends (and he is a very conventional person!), other than having one reiki session with her a year and a half ago. Reiki Teacher/master teacher is just the title they give to people in Reiki who learn it as far as I understand... she isn't a spiritual teacher whom I'm promoting. And after re-reading the last comments on the Reiki thread on the Taoist subforum, I would strongly discourage anyone from practicing Reiki. I only shared that bit because the thread was curious about telekinesis, it is not very important for people to believe it, and I agree that other than defying conventional laws of physics to people, I'm not sure how it could serve any purpose other than entertainment. _/\_
  2. Telekinesis, Remote Viewing, Out of Body

    My friend who is a Reiki teacher/reiki master teacher can bend spoons through channeling energy. (I had read the thread about Reiki and have no idea if it is or can be a trustworthy practice, but she isn't making it up or fabricating it.) As far as all of the other esoteric stuff regarding consciously living in a way to induce lucid dreams, obe's, astral projection, etc... I think it's wonderful to open our minds to realize how limited our views of reality are growing up in our cultural or psychological conditioning... but it can be quite a false allure messing with these things. And you can't necessarily turn them on and off very easily too if they start happening regularly. I'm sure they have their values, especially within the context of the guidance of a qualified teacher in a system where the techniques are used for clear purposes... but otherwise I would be very wary of thinking it a worthwhile route to pursue haphazardly.
  3. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    David Hinton, I think Chapter 6, if not chapter 5!
  4. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    @old3bob @steve "He's changing yet he knows the Changeless! He's Changeless yet he knows Change!" -Zhaungzhi
  5. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    I wrote about it quite a bit a year ago, so apologies to anyone who is tired of hearing me talk about my long, strange journey in samsaric cycles here! My I Ching devotional consultation life wasn't altogether seperate from my daily practice. Very early on in my meditation (and yoga) practice, I started developing injuries... first to the neck, and then to the knees from sitting seiza/kneeling. Very early on in my I Ching path, I started yielding over massive amounts of freedom, and my life essentially became sitting meditation (in a chair), walking meditation, laying down meditation, over and over and over. It wasn't like I was picking it over other activities or hobbies, I didn't have (wasnt permitted to have) any other activities. Eventually it just became sitting meditation and an increasingly austere life (including a brief 34 month stint in a psychiatric facility from Jan 2015-Nov-2017!). The austerities combined with sitting for hours and hours a day combined with no exercise other than walking the halls to get meals, use the phone, and see visitors (my family) eventually made my bones start to give out altogether. After being discharged from the hospital with severely deteriorated bones, my practice became laying down meditation and walking meditation in alternation (which was sooooo much nicer!). I regained a lot of freedom and quality of life in the year before breaking from the I Ching, but fell into a severe energetic imbalance in July 2021, a month before breaking away from it. In the Fall I started doing Damo Mitchell's anchoring the breath practice as my daily sitting, and I would walk in nature, and do what I could to rehabilitate my body. In January, a zen teacher I had been working with since August unexpectedly assigned me a koan, which started out great, but within two weeks it had severely re-aggravated my energy imbalance worse than it had been before and I had to use my discernment and drop the koan (my teacher didn't have much experience with subtle energy). I went back to Anchoring the breath, but after starting to work with my Taoist Teacher in April, I stopped doing it everyday, then altogether, in favor of intuitively practicing and adapting practices and methods to where I'm at and what I need... with the emphasis being on getting my energy, mind, anxiety, fear, and projection: grounded, rehabilitating my body, restoring my body awareness and connection with the breath (I lost that part when I snapped into energy imbalance a year ago), and learning how to relate to + navigate the living experience of my body. This consists of a lot Self-Massage Qigong, walking, finding creative ways to gently exercise that aren't so habitual that I do them unconsciously, and returning thought, mind, energy, breath, awareness down into my body from my head... as best as I can given my hyper-vigilance and the perpetual anxiety, fear, and trauma that I carry with me. I don't actually have a formal sitting practice anymore, although I think it would be great if I got in the groove of it again. It's kind of like my life is a constant shallow meditation, where there is no point i'm not meditating in some way, but I never enter conventional concentrations... my awareness is perpetually mindful yet scattered. I meet with a handful of mentors, dharma friend, and a buddhist therapist weekly too, and try to sit with a sangha once a week. So that's that I suppose, I really miss sitting cross-legged but my feet can only endure sitting occasionally for brief periods of time. It will take either a miracle, or the miracle of losing my health before I turned 30 having a generally good prognosis for long-term recovery to even sit burmese one day!
  6. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    As someone who followed essentially a cult of one (+ whatever I was contacting when consulting the I Ching everyday) for 8 years, I think it's very possible to make genuine spiritual progress even if following a path that is harmful or misleading. And if the two combine, it's extremely confusing to be able to discern if that path is harmful or misleading. But I can't tell from my examination of different paths if there is anything that is valuable or unvaluable in ultimate reality anyway. But to people like us who are perpetually dwelling (at least that's how I percieve myself) in relative/historical reality, I certainly have preferences as does everyone else I have encountered I believe. So while steve shared most of the things I could think of, I guess the ultimate measure of a path for me is if it helps me and others become the people we would want to become if we were pure of heart, with deep aspiration, and an open, caring, inclusive mind... and especially if the teacher/teachers seem to embody these qualities. As I don't have a traditional path, and as I have deep traumas, limited access to residential training, and for whatever reason working online (reading, teachings, zooms with mentors) causes me discomfort... the best I can figure out for myself is to make the most of what is accessible to me and seems trustworthy. One can grow a lot in the midst of confusion, discomfort, imperfect people. And I tend to get stagnant when I start ruminating on my dissatisfaction and disillusionment with others, with teachers, with life itself, or on the seeming futility of my own efforts. But it's still really hard to navigate that dissonance... but nothing else seems more truthful or worthwhile in such an impermanet and fragile world.
  7. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    Thanks Steve I don't think comparative religion speculation is productive in most circumstances outside of willing and humble participants in a small or closed circle. I ask because the people who have the most context for my experience are Taoists (and have helped me quite profoundly in a much shorter time frame than the Buddhist mentors I have worked with over the last year tbh), and my heart is very much with the aspiration of Mahayana Buddhism. I'm glad to see that it doesn't seem to me that these two things are incompatible... but it gets blurry when the views on empathy from Taoists I have been in touch with seem to go so far in contrast with my heart's intuition... or concerning myself about the suffering of others beyond in a way of responding to what is directly in front of me. And I can't tell if their is a view that one cannot really decide to be any of these things: an arhat, an immortal, a bodhisattva... if that just happens naturally when one harmonizes with one's Truth. I also am currently going to a Theravada monastery that is half a mile from my house once or twice a week over the past month, and they tend to be anti-anything that is not dhamma/dharma. And they certainly emphasize dhamma over dharma. Regardless, I think what resonates with me most is living from the heart, with great devotion, and great commitment to rooting out blindspots... even when it goes contrary to my emotional attachments, or even when it makes me bear discomfort I would never want to re-live. So I think in that sense a natural evolution occurs, and the most important thing is returning to what is genuine and sincere, and not getting lost in excessive introverted mind-contemplation. To be continued.... however that unfolds. _/\_ <3
  8. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    In brief, @Mark Foote I think of the quote from Dharma Drum's translation of I believe Song of Mind (Xin Ming) "Now it is non-abiding, Now it is Original Mind. Originally it did not exist, "Origin" is the present moment". Interestingly enough, Thich Nhat Hanh had as his most essential sutras the Sutta on the Full Awareness of breathing (which had 16 steps) and the Sutta on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness (Satipathhana I believe)... I neglected both of those all of these years until it hit me how essential and profound of a door the Four Establishments are, and how much there was to be benefitted potentially from skillfully reciting "Breathing in, I am aware of my body... Breathing Out, I smile to my body.... Breathing In, I am aware that I am breathing in, Breathing out, I generate a feeling of joy!" If i feel up to it, I'll check out what you pointed to later.
  9. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    @steve Thanks for sharing that. Chuang Tzu was my favorite from the moment I started reading the first inner chapter, but I was always a bit saddened, perplexed, disturbed by some of the implications of the work of his that I read, which I have an incomplete context to understand. From what I have heard or read about the story/myth of Lao Tzu, he left the world broken-hearted, because essentially people were unwilling or unwanting to be taught, saved, genuinely given wisdom+compassion. Zhuangzhi seemed to recognize this, and adapted to it from my perception, and he taught to see through the illusions of the transformations and changes of phenomena/life. But he also seemed indifferent too. There is a profound wisdom to such radical acceptance, but I figure why would sages, immortals, arhats, saints still need to protect themselves from harm, and wouldn't such people be indifferent to the temporary gain or loss of attainment as well that may come from being muddied by samsara? If we are all one body ultimately, what's the point of developing a heart to perfecton just for it to (from my limited vantage point) leave the body it was intertwined with behind... bringing other parts with it undoubtedly but still letting most of it fend for itself? That doesn't mean I don't absolutely need a healthy amount of Zhaungzhi, living in a way where I'm not blindly following sentiment that seems true or good, but is merely a product of my conditioning that perpetuates a lack of clarity, wholeness... which is absolutely necessary to manifest genuine compassion, and love in it's truest and purest forms. But there has to be some difference in perception of what is Right View (between differing paths) I would infer... because I doubt that Zhaungzhi or Ajahn Chah have any less devotion to truth, any less inherent goodness than those who aspire to the bodhisattva path... and there is a difference between being a tree that bears fruit for all without discrimination and returns to Nibbana or a celestial abode at the end of their last physical lifetime (although I know next to nothing about the xian tian path, it just seems that the attitudes are similar from my limited vantage point), and being a tree that repeatedly plants itself again and again in undesirable places. But it seems wholly compatible with "Flowing in the low places that others disdain" "If you wish to ascend, first you must descend". So it brings me back to wondering what the difference in view between these paths are. I'm open to any response, I hope my sincerity in curiousity and humility comes through. And the last thing I could possibly want to do is have anyone disparage any path or get into argument.
  10. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    ^I'm not sure I know the teaching on the empty boat. Feel free to inform me. (I've only really read David HInton's translation of the Inner Chapters, although I've read it many times). In brief moments a few months ago I felt like I had the capacity to glimpse some of what the Diamond Sutra alludes to, what Thich Nhat Hanh/Thay called signlessness... that just how my concept of myself is a illusory fabrication/radical conflation of phenomena that leads "me" to a deluded misperception of "myself"... that the same must be true of all others, that when someone is talking to me, their five skandahs come together in their particular way in that particular moment in time without clarity/genuine self-awareness, and we both take them to be their historical representation, in whichever way our perception seems to orient us. I can remind myself of that, and maybe use a bit of intentional effort to cultivate that insight or hold it in difficult moments, but I certainly have yet to gain sufficient stability and concentration to live that insight, or fathom it's larger implications. I do know that just a few years of intense suffering was unbearable in the midst of it, even with a spiritual path and aspiration. Unless all suffering is illusory, and one day it is all reconciled for all of us beings (whether illusory, provisional, or whatever) I still struggle with it. And yet, I struggle with it much much less when I have a certain quality of well-being that seems to come from a sense of belonging, connection, purpose. Maybe my need for those specific roots of well-being are provisional given what I am currently attached or averse to. But maybe not... I hope not.
  11. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    @Mark Foote I very much appreciated that message. As someone who has struggled over the past year extremely willfully to get my awareness out of my head... even willfully trying to let go and unstructure my excessive willful, the quotes there were very poignant! When I was a young seeker at Blue Cliff Monastery at age 20 before everything took a turn towards the crazy and absurd, I asked a monk I referenced in the Thich Nhat Hanh appreciation thread, "How do you let go?" Brother Phap Vu responded, "Well first you actually have to accept it (what you are trying to let go of). I have found it is more easier for me to either struggle or resign myself to things both internal and external than it has been to accept it. It seems to be the task of a lifetime, that culminates in a gladdening of experience, and a stabilizing of experience, a detachment from the constant fluctuation and apparent turmoil of experience, and opens the profound door towards humor, light-heartedness, and gratitude.
  12. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    I guess this is where my metaphysical inquiry/inner conflict always seems to get stuck. I assume what you are alluding to is the Nature of Mind and/or the Source, depending of my limited understanding of what these words point to, and my inner conflict is seeing it contrasted with samsara, which also seems to mean different things to different people, teachers, traditions, whether it is acknowledged or not. It just seems like samsara goes on for such an unfathomable amount of time for the overwhelming majority of beings... including almost all of the beings I have known and loved in this lifetime. I see the fullness of experience regularly enough now to make life worthwhile, which is an immeasurable gift even if it doesn't hit home yet. But I don't know how to make sense of all the relationships and bonds I have shared thus far, or how to reconcile a spiritual path that seems either resigned to the way things are, or has a deep trust in the way things are. I don't have nearly enough insight to have a deep trust in the way things are for all beings (or to understand no-self/nonself on a deeper level than I do in my discombulated state), and I don't know how to make sense of life experiencing pleasantness, wonder, reclaiming a sense of purpose in a vast ocean of suffering if it comes from a place of resignation to the way things are. It took so much forbearance, effort, perseverance, and lack of any other reasonable option just to get help before, during, and after breaking from the I Ching, and the only reason I had enough of that to survive and keep going was because of the absurdity I had to bear during that 8 year period. Most of the deeply suffering folks I have met in my journey don't have causes and conditions to get real help even if they wanted to I feel, and seemed bound to prolonged suffering. It's not my fault or spiritual teacher's and friends fault that that is thier current condition, but I find it all confusing to the point where I just release thinking about it with my surface mind and become inwardly focuses in a hyper-vigilant way. Without overly contriving it, I want to find a way to end this post in a light-hearted or joyful way that I haven't yet figured out... "A Pilgrimage Can't compare to a Good Laugh A good laugh can't compare to simply Letting Yourself Go Once you are at peace, letting yourself go And leaving Change Behind Only then do you enter the Solitary Mystery of Heaven" -Zhaungzhi *Shrugs _/\_
  13. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    My most overwhelmingly positive spiritual experience came when I was 21. In the midst of the spontaneous unfolding of peace, insight, and potent vitality, my heart filled with love. This love itself arose spontaneously, but given my relatively unique causes and conditions, this experience came into being with a fully intact ego (which swelled immediately during and after the experience). The love I felt was both within me and directed outwardly to anyone in front of me and anyone from my past on my mind. As I was so severely traumatized in the year and specifically 6 months or so prior to the experience, had become misdiagnosed with schizophrenia at that time (which stuck with me for the next 6.5 years) and lost all of my relationships I had formed in this lifetime... even though the experience was profoundly healing, and opened a window into a world/realm I had only read about in books... I didn't actually feel whole from it. It was inspiring and wonderful, but I still felt I needed objects for my love to become whole again. I have only found objects for that love in fleeting moments, weeks, months experiences in the 8 years that followed, and my heart is still quite open given minimally supportive conditions that my conditioned mind doesn't irrationally reject in a spirit of grasping what I feel I was deprived of/aversion to what I feel I wanted/needed all of these eyars. In the midst of that experience I could see that what manifested in me was beyond the limited self I had identified with for 21 years, and yet the limited self grabbed it for it's own pride and ideation. In the last year, after painfully breaking from my life as a solitary devotee to the I Ching after people on this forum thankfully convinced me that I had been led astray by my experiences and translation I relied on, the more positive identities of my limited self largely dissolved or were at least buried underneath the pain of all of that, and all that i endured in a spirit of self-sacrifice, faith, hope, extraordinary use of will... bursting through without genuine spaces to help me process, intergrate that experience in a spirit of genuine care, curiousity, loving-kindness, compassion. My discriminating consciousness/ego/manas/"I,Me,Mine" is still quite intact though. In the past couple of months, since starting to work with a Taoist teacher in combination with the Buddhist mentors, therapist, and dharma friend or two I have connected with, and learning how to honor my experience and not minimize myself in a contrived and self-negating fashion, I have made profound leaps toward re-integration, while still maintaining the lack of a solid identity. This was coincidentally preceded by an excruciatingly painful breakup with my first girlfriend in a decade, and I have found in these past couple of months, in the midst of experiences of wonder, open-heartedness, spontaneous pleasure/happiness/appreciation... the pleasant experiences don't stick or take root in my psyche, whilst the painful ones leave a disproportionately large imprint. I think my middle way right to now is to recognize that my attachments to people, ideas, identities, come from the false discriminating mind (xi shen in small fur's post), and that love arises spontaneously when causes and conditions are fertile enough for it to bloom... which sometimes are quite minimal. And yet, I don't know as of yet how to skillfully to seperate the arising of love from the objectification process, and that overly willfully trying to be independent of my attachments (as I recognize on some level their futility and continual collapsing into unsatisfactoriness) leaves me in a state that feels nihilistic and without loving connection to me. I'm sure this situation will evolve over time. Thanks to everyone who responded, shared, and cared.
  14. Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

    If there is compassion then, must non-self also be realized and embodied in the practicioner? I understand and much appreciate @blue eyed snake 's post/viewpoint on compassion (and the shoutout to Guan Yin )... yet this is such a point of confusion for me. A year ago I confined in a Theravada monk who I befriended that I felt bad that I wasn't wholeheartedly suffering with my brother when him and my sister-in-law lost their first daughter to stillbirth... my friend asked me, "Why in the world would you cultivate dukkha?" in a way to encourage me and re-assure me that this was beneficial for me to me emotionally removed. I said Thich Nhat Hanh use to say karuna translates to compassion in english but in reality means more "To Suffer With". I was listening to the audiobook "Being Peace" by Thich Nhat Hanh a month or two ago and he said when he would write letters to Vietnamese orphans... first he would Become Them. At the one retreat I was at where he was in physical attendance in the Summer of 2013, he would talk to the audience as that he was also us, that he was also a tree, that he was also a cloud. He talked about the hardest thing being "not to get lost in despair". HIs poetry (Call me by my True Names is a book/collection of his poetry and also a super powerful poem of his touching on the non-seperation of self and other) seems to reflect this, and the absurd amount of suffering witnessed living so many of his formative years during the Vietnam War, him, his people, and his spiritual kin being persecuted in many different directions. At the intro of the book "Call me by my True Names" he has a brief poem: "If you deeply touch the historical dimension, You touch the Ultimate Dimension. If you deeply touch the Ultimate Dimension, You never left the historical dimension". (I quoted that from memory so might have missed a thing or two). My other favorite teacher, Sheng Yen seemed to have the very same devotion and aspiration and seriousness about the suffering of others and all beings, but from what I remember he seemed to say that enlightened/enlightened bodhisattvas don't suffer, they just spontaneously respond to causes and conditions out wisdom and compassion... seeing through appearances in the midst of appearances, reflecting emotions without letting them solidify or getting lost in them, staying rooted in clarity and wisdom. Besides the metaphysical inquiry, It's curious for me how to relate to this still in my life, probably about a year after I made the initial post. I can see how getting lost in the suffering of others debilitates me, leads me to fearful self-negation, and ends up depleting me of my capactites to help others or myself, and thus in a very real way is harmful. But the flipside of this seems to be a protective detachment/emotional withdrawal, which also depletes me of feeling love... for myself or others, or without object. I end up in this very self-involved loop of trying to make myself good enough in whatever confused way that is to compensate for my yearning for purpose and love.... that is tangible, has roots, and makes life seems viscerally meaningful, as it feels like I have limited capacity to keep all things in a natural uncontrived harmony. All of my emotions and mind and aspiration get so entangled, ensnarled, confused. But even in the midst of profound transformation, healing, growth... it continuously has a baseline of "Is this it?" and the relative emotional resignation that comes with it, and the repression of nearly a decade of intense suffering that is hard for me to make sense of, and thus integrate. Going back to Guan Yin in conclusion, I think of the story of Miaoshan (who is sometimes seen as a manifestion of Guan Yin i think)... skipping a lot of the details of the story, she ends up sacrificing herself to her father who was a greedy, unkind king, plucking out her own eyeballs to cure him or something like that. After her physical death, the story goes that she either plunges into or visits the hell realms, sees the unfathomable suffering that is there, gives away all of her merit boundlessly... to the point where Yama (the king of hell I think) starts pleading with her to stop, that her doing this could empty the hell realms, which he would not like! Whether I summarized that succinctly and accurately or not, and whether it be inspirational fable rooted in non-wisdom, or inspiration parable rooted in genuine aspiration, the point is the same and my confusion remains. One last last thing! I think of the quote my a famous Tibetan teacher from centuries ago, "To view all sentient beings As your only child Falling into a pit of fire" And the image by another Tibetan teacher that the rareness and preciousness of encountering the Dharma is like a turtle drifting through the ocean getting his head caught in a golden ring. So I hope to understand, treasure, enjoy my rare opportunity, and I hope to figure out how to navigate the confusing and messy universe of love, empathy, kindness, compassion, detachment, independence, inner and outer truthfull/clarity/wisdom, and equanimity+peace. -Elliot _/\_
  15. Thank you for your service, Thich Nhat Hanh

    Skandha-rific x5!!! lol I joke, but yes. The historical self being neither both/neither/both+neither real/nor real. But still. 🙏🏼