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Everything posted by stirling

  1. What are the types of methods?

    Thank you for the link. _/\_ What I mean by normal is that the WORLD doesn't change (with some notable exceptions in my case) - the way it is apprehended shifts.
  2. Surrender - of ideas, of opinions, of clinging, of muscle tension... to what is really happening - this is probably one of the highest, and simplest paths, no doubt about it.
  3. What are the types of methods?

    Maps are generally an impediment in Buddhism, and I'm sure anywhere. I'm not curious because I am trying to track my progress, I am more interested in how different non-dual traditions identify and label themselves. There are expressions, and metaphors in Advaita Vedanta, for example, that I think have great usefulness and clarity. I'd be interested in hearing about the byproducts too. Some things that are thought of as "woo woo" make perfect sense seen from a different perspective... and some of them are folklore, no doubt intended to separate the pretenders from those that gnow (gnosis). Real enlightenment famously ordinary in its strange way.
  4. What are the types of methods?

    This is because of a misunderstanding about what the "self" is and its importance in experiencing. You are ALREADY always operating without a "self". The "self" is just a mistaken perspective on how things are or happen.
  5. Is your primary practice Tai Chi? That is where I started, aged 17. I still have great respect for it... could even see myself coming back to it as a body movement adjunct.
  6. Soto is the school, founded by Dogen. I am in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage. Jhana isn't prescribed as primary practice, just optional. There are a few experts in the school you can seek out. The school is very open to exploring and adopting practices from other lineages. I would say that I dissolved the "witness" consciousness. I also finally identified it as a visualized a "knot" and "pressure" behind my eyes that I "untied" one night while sitting - one of the few insight moments that have occurred on the cushion. It is no longer there. Now all sensations are not "I" or "mine", but arise and pass away where they are. Reality is experienced as centerless and self-less. What traditions/schools do you work in?
  7. I understand how that could be. I'd recommend less concentrated meditation and connecting with a teacher who can help you to process and put into perspective what comes up. It's hard work, no doubt about it.
  8. What are the types of methods?

    The illusion of being a "self" is dropped. Arhats are no longer "selves" but the patterns (favorite flavor of ice cream, etc.) linked with the story of the self still play out, they are just not chosen by a "self", or owned by an "I".
  9. Once understood, it truly doesn't get simpler than this.
  10. Definitely. You struggle because of your craving or aversion around remembered past or projected future events. This is because you are operating from a mistaken idea about who or what you are. You believe in a "self" that is an illusory construct of the mind that causes you to struggle with the realities of your life. It is possible to have insight that dispels this misunderstanding. This is accomplished by working on shifting to right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi. This is the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold path. That's it! Its easy to get lost in which practices etc. but the variations aren't that important. Meditation-wise, learning to meditate with the breath, then dropping that for samadhi is all that is necessary. Truly anyone can do it - but few will.
  11. Digging up your attachment and aversion is precisely what meditation SHOULD do. You are attempting to disabuse you mind of the mistaken idea that it is a "self' and all of the attachment and aversion that CAUSES that your suffering. Your meditation was actually WORKING. It creates space for that stuff to come up, and to process it. You can use your meditation to process that crap (or gold!) in a far less painful way. Having support from a teacher or counselor to process that stuff is highly recommended.
  12. In Soto Zen (the school I currently work in) jhana is taught and used, if there is an inclination toward it. However, the jhanas are merely "states" of mind, not seeing into any deeper insight. They are LIKE deeper insights, not the actual experience of them, so can be considered an impediment, or attachment. Zazen is an open awareness, technique-free meditation discipline, like Dzogchen, and, practiced correctly, is free of all delusions or attachments. It is literally actualizing enlightenment, though without the realization that accompanies enlightenment.
  13. What are the types of methods?

    In Buddhism I would say this maps to: Wu = Sotapanna (Stream Enterer) A glimpse of the true, non-dual nature of mind/reality. This begins the winding down of the mental pattern of the "self"/other, time, and space dualities. Like pulling the plug of a fan, and watching the blades slowly come to a halt. Shengren = Arhat Finally dropping away and seeing through the illusion of "self". This is not to say that the patterns of selfhood are gone, just that the illusion has been permanently shattered. Zhenren = Buddha I agree that this is very similar to Buddhahood, except that a Buddha has no further karmic obscurations, and so sees the emptiness of all dualities or any imagined deeper reality of physicality, and this just continues. Honestly, I am entirely sure that there ARE no real differences, only in how they are discussed, and generally would agree that it isn't productive for a student thoroughly entrenched in the dualities of self/other, space, time to think too much about, as it just seems like nonsense. I certainly wouldn't bring it up to my sangha, but I AM curious about how these things are represented in other traditions I am less versed in. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge. _/\_
  14. What are the types of methods?

    I expect to find general teachings on Daoism, and Daoists who truly understand them and are able to discuss them articulately, I guess. I will certainly agree with you about esoterica, in general. There is enough in the commonly available Dhaozang, Tao Te Chi, and Zhuangzi of any translation to enlighten anyone who truly gets it. There is nothing esoteric needed in the Buddhist canon either.
  15. Don't be disheartened... enlightenment is not solely Buddhist, and happens all the time, with our without monasteries, energy work, or training of any kind. There is no need to complicate things with worrying about adding other practices if it is Buddhism you are interested in. Buddhism generally pushes to have some balance of vipassana as well as samadhi practice. Which practices have you explored? Be sure to check out simplified the direct path samadhi-centric traditions and practices too. I would pick a tradition, teacher, or practice you are most drawn to and stick with that.
  16. What are the types of methods?

    Hahahaha! Well... I appreciate honesty. Thank you. So... there aren't any really knowledgeable "teachers" here that might be willing to share their experience? I guess I find that hard to believe. For what it is worth, my experience is that "hidden teachings" are always in plain sight, just not understood because it is always thought that there is something complicated that must be done to understand them properly. Yes, I have had access to them in both the Dzogchen and Bon traditions.
  17. What are the types of methods?

    This doesn't sound much like my (admittedly) limited readings in the Daoist canon. Setting aside the "secret teachings" where are these principles best read about and explored?
  18. What are the types of methods?

    That is interesting. So, in this sense, though abstractly, Buddhism would agree - except that it is impossible for any "person" to become immortal. It is non-dual awareness, which consciousness at its basis is, that is empty of time/space/self, and thus unitive and without past or future. What do you know about the unitive principle of the dao? Is the immorality the result of going beyond manifestations? Are you suggesting a person becomes immortal? Would I be mistaken in saying that Daoism is a non-dual philosophy? In the context of Daoism, what does that mean? Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. _/\_
  19. What are the types of methods?

    I'm here out of curiosity about Taoism, and freely admit that my background is Buddhism. How would you define "enlightenment", or is there a standing definition you are comfortable with? What lies at the furthest reaches of Taoist understanding, in your opinion?
  20. What are the types of methods?

    Who has the power? Where does it reside or accumulate? Where is it before it is accumulated?
  21. Buddhism posits that reality can be viewed from two levels, the relative and the absolute. On the relative level there are practitioners of various kinds, doing practices in an attempt to "achieve" enlightenment. On the absolute level it is understood that the story of the actions and their cumulative effect is utter nonsense. The absolute is reality as seen with "wisdom", or insight/enlightenment of/to the true nature of reality. The absolute understanding includes and supersedes the relative understanding, thus both can be seen at once though the absolute view is obviously the over-arching one. It is understood experientially, and verifiably, that the faulty way of seeing reality was never true, but nonetheless the phenomena it was constructed of persist, but are empty of intrinsic existence, meaning no "things" have ever had separate existence of their own. The difference between the two views is really just a fairly simple perspective shift, albeit an earth-shattering one - the belief in duality, including, but not limited to belief in space, time, and self/other. Taken together the absolute understanding eliminates a belief in practices done over time precipitating enlightenment. Ultimately one can be enlightened in any moment. No practice is necessary. Resting the mind in stillness (allowing it to settle out naturally without a technique), IS resting in enlightened mind, though there may not be the realization needed to see that this is the case. The difference is simply one of recognition, and experiential understanding.
  22. What are the types of methods?

    This might be the case, but it would be a mistaken pursuit. The "wisdom" gained by being enlightened to the nature of reality does not confer any power to a person, but rather illuminates the reality that the "self" is an illusion which has always lacked any real agency or power of its own. There IS no "power" as a "self" to attain.
  23. Living in the Now, vs. Dementia

    Manitou/Barbara, I understand from personal experience with others what this disease can be like, and wonder sometimes if it isn't slowly happening to me, though I don't believe I am nearly old enough to truly suffer from it. I helped my ex-wife with her grandfather and his journey with it. He was a remarkable ex-RAF Wing Commander and Spitfire pilot in World War II and he thought I was one of his war-time friends every time I entered the room. My instinct was to play along, adopting the persona and letting him fill in the details he wanted with the clarity of his past memories. He enjoyed it, though I think he sometimes knew something was off. He smiled just the same, like we were sharing a poorly defined joke. Around the same time, the grandmother on the other side of the family had been put in a beautiful manor house and had quite profound senility. A few days before she passed we visited and she told us how we had JUST missed all of her university friends, down for a day in the countryside and a rollicking pub visit. At the time I was sad and doubted her story, but now I see how wonderful the gift of this visit, in whatever guise it manifested, was for her. It can be as real as anything else... As a newbie here I don't much about your practice or level of insight, but there are a few things I have noticed, if I am speaking from my "story". I suspect that intensified meditation over the last 6 or so years after a great insight altered my short-term memory greatly. I am finishing my Soto Zen priesthood, but worked for many years in the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition, meditating in open awareness. It is now quite obvious that time/space/self are all just beliefs in illusory constructs. This understanding has brought the realization that the continued unraveling of these beliefs is altering the appearance of things from a number of perspectives - one of them is, as you suggest, the way memory and events comfortably sit in a "timeline" or with a "self" as protagonist. Things are more dreamlike now, and, in the same way a dream maps poorly to a story-line, sometimes my experiencing can be choppy when related as a narrative. This doesn't worry me in the slightest, which also seems to be how you are feeling, possibly? I would agree with the idea that the awareness you recognize shouldn't change. That is what all of this is, after all. The place I think we might get caught is in not being able to accept this moment as it is, or see it as free of self. The more of the illusion of the future or past we believe in, the more we believe in our illusory agency, the more uncomfortable things could be as memory fades. If the central premise of reality is shifted to a non-dual understanding, I doubt there would be as much struggle with things, however they appear. If I were in your shoes (and without any knowledge about your level of practice or attainment) I would immediately double down on my practice. I would work with open awareness, resting in timeless/selfless/spaceless non-duality, as much as possible. Take it on walks, washing dishes, bathing, talking, eating, even sleeping. Bathe in it, knowing that all things are only that, and work to TRUST it. I would do retreats as long as I could. I would also work with a realized teacher, if possible, who can keep redirecting you tirelessly and lovingly. My best wishes on your journey, and thank you for sharing it.
  24. Favorite sacred texts

    The full nature things in 2 pages, roughly. You don't really need anything else: The Tsin Tsin Ming by Seng-t'san The Great Way is not difficult, for those who have no preferences. Let go of longing and aversion, and it reveals itself. Make the smallest distinction, however, and you are as far from it as heaven is from earth. If you want to realize the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything. Like and dislike is the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning (of the Way) is not understood the intrinsic peace of mind is disturbed. As vast as infinite space, it is perfect and lacks nothing. Indeed, it is due to your grasping and repelling That you do not see things as they are. Do not get entangled in things; Do not get lost in emptiness. Be still in the oneness of things and dualism vanishes by itself. When you try to stop motion to achieve quietude, the very effort fills you with activity. As long as you hold on to opposites you will never know the One Way. Those who do not understand the Way will assert or deny the reality of things. Deny the reality of things, you miss its deeper reality; Assert the reality of things, you miss the emptiness of all things. The more you think about it, the further you are from the truth. Cease all thinking, and there is nothing that will not be revealed to you. To return to the root is to find the essence, but to pursue appearances is to miss the Source. The moment you are enlightened, you go beyond appearances and emptiness. Changes that seem to occur in the (empty) world, appear real only because of ignorance. Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions. Do not hold to dualistic views, avoid such habits carefully. If there is even a trace of right and wrong, the mind is lost in confusion. Although all dualities arise from the One, do not cling even to this One. When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, everything is without fault. When things can no longer be faulty, it is as if there are no things. When the mind can no longer be disturbed, it is as if there is no mind. When thought-objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes. When the mind vanishes, objects vanish. The arising of other gives rise to self; giving rise to self generates other. Know these seeming two facets as one Emptiness. In this Emptiness, the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole. When no discrimination is made between this and that, how can you prefer one to another? The Great Way is all-embracing, not easy, not difficult. Those who rely on limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go. Clinging, they go too far, even an attachment to enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way as they are, and there is neither coming nor going. Be in harmony with the Way and you will be free of disturbances. Tied by your thoughts, you lose the truth, become heavy, dull, and unwell. Not well, the mind is troubled. Then why cling to or reject anything? If you wish to move in the One Way, do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas. Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with true Enlightenment. The wise attaches to no goals, but the foolish fetter themselves. There is but one Dharma, not many. Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant. Using mind to stir up the mind is the original mistake. Peaceful and troubled derive from thinking; Enlightenment has no likes or dislikes. All dualities come from ignorant inference. They are like unto dreams or flowers in the air, the foolish try to grasp them. Gain and loss, right and wrong, abandon all such thoughts at once. If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease. If the mind makes no discriminations, all things are as they are, of One-essence. To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements. When all things are seen without differentiation, you return to the origin and remain what you are. Consider the movement in stillness and the stationary in motion, both movement and rest disappear. When such dualities cease to exist even Oneness itself cannot exist. This ultimate state is not bound by rules and descriptions. For the Realized mind, at one with the Way, all doing ceases. Doubts and irresolutions vanish and the Truth is confirmed in you. With a single stroke you are freed from bondage; nothing clings to you and you hold onto nothing. All is void, clear, and self-illuminating, with no need to exert the mind. Here thinking, feeling, knowledge, and imagination are of no value. In this world of “as it really is” there is neither self nor other. To swiftly accord with that, only express nonduality. In this nonduality nothing is separate, nothing is excluded. The enlightened of all times and places have personally realized this truth. The Truth is beyond time and space, one instant is eternity. Not here, not there- but everywhere always right before your eyes. Infinitely large and infinitely small, no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries can be discerned. So too with “existence” and “non-existence.” Don’t waste time in arguments and discussion, attempting to grasp the ungraspable. One thing and everything move among and intermingle without distinction. To live in this Realization is to not worry about perfection or non-perfection. To put your trust in the Way is to live without separation, and in this nonduality you are one with the Way Words! Words! The Way is beyond language, Words never could, can not now, and never will describe the Way. OR, the lovely: Or... have it in one: Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra (Heart Sutra) - Buddha Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, when deeply practicing prajña paramita, clearly saw that all five aggregates are empty and thus relieved all suffering. Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness, emptiness itself form. Sensations, perceptions, formations, and consciousness are also like this. Shariputra, all dharmas are marked by emptiness; they neither arise nor cease, are neither defiled nor pure, neither increase nor decrease. Therefore, given emptiness, there is no form, no sensation, no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind; no realm of sight ... no realm of mind consciousness. There is neither ignorance nor extinction of ignorance... neither old age and death, nor extinction of old age and death; no suffering, no cause, no cessation, no path; no knowledge and no attainment. With nothing to attain, a bodhisattva relies on prajña paramita, and thus the mind is without hindrance. Without hindrance, there is no fear. Far beyond all inverted views, one realizes nirvana. All buddhas of past, present, and future rely on prajña paramita and thereby attain unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment. Therefore, know the prajña paramita as the great miraculous mantra, the great bright mantra, the supreme mantra, the incomparable mantra, which removes all suffering and is true, not false. Therefore we proclaim the prajña paramita mantra, the mantra that says: "Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha." Any questions?
  25. My Transformation and Spiritual Enlightenment

    What insight into the nature of reality did you awaken to, or become enlightened to?