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About refugeindharma

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  1. Mantras

    I do the Great Compassion Mantra (GCM) and Shurangama Mantra daily. Master Hsuan Hua remarked that if one could memorize the Shurangama mantra in their lifetime then that life would not have been lived in vain Cool video showing the potential power of GCM: Also perhaps not quite mantras but I have been reciting various verses from the Quran daily for protection
  2. Mantras

    Yes there is the long form Zhunti, which is the complete. Then the short, which is the last few lines of the long starting with Om If i remember correct. You either do enough reps of the long, or get some kind of vision/dream to be able to do the short. There's also a complete ritual/sadhana one can do with the Zhunti but its best done after receiving transmission/empowerment apparently, the monk who inherited it from Master Nan at least mentioned this
  3. Questions regarding Damos books

    Don't know how useful White Moon would be from a practice perspective as that's from what I understand building on after you have established the foundations from Comprehensive Guide. The other Daoist Philosophy change book is a fair bit older and perhaps not up to scratch with Damo's views on practice these days (which is found in Comprehensive Guide) Regular practice and an in-person teacher trumps trying to practice from a book (granted the teacher is any good and teaches genuine practices), but books are good for the theory and understanding. Ideally aim to be a thinker and a doer, only thinking/philosophizing has its downsides as does solely doing... but if I were to ONLY pick one, I would almost side with just being a simple minded doer/practitioner
  4. Planning a solitary retreat

    Why do you want to do a solitary retreat? Figure that out and then you'll know what to do, or at least have a pathway to figure out what it is that you could be doing...
  5. What are Buddha 's teaching on householders

    There are many suttas directed towards lay people / householders, and there are compilations of such that can be found via Google or at Dhammawheel As some of the others have shared here, Buddha talks about the 5 precepts, as well as observing the 8 precepts on certain days and setting aside that day to practice meditation, the Buddha also shared a lot on how lay people should lead their lives essentially, how they are to interact with family, wife, husband, friends, workers etc. How they should spend one's wealth as well as earn it righteously so and so forth. One sutta that springs to mind that is interesting is when one of the Buddha's lay followers was ill and possibly close to death, the Buddha sends one of his disciples to comfort and teach the Dhamma to him and the lay follower near the end says (paraphrasing) "Wow, I have never heard such teachings before from the Buddha or the Sangha, please share this with the other lay followers as they will surely gain great benefit from it". This sutta showed that there may have been a clear difference in what the Buddha taught and shared with his monastics and lay followers (which makes sense) In terms of the heavens, that is highly dependent on the merit and virtue accumulated by the lay practitioner as well as if they had achieved any meditative attainments (or realizations in their life time) as there are heavens that only one may be reborn into if they had managed to enter the meditative jhanas. Other heavens require doing more good deeds than bad, and I suppose the greater the good karma, the "higher" in the heavens one would go
  6. Looking for good teachers

    These are somewhat unfounded claims, along with the accusations/negative points listed in the review linked above Damo often responds to people's questions in the FB group/Discord and also hosts Zoom meeting sessions (for free) for academy members, something he hasn't done in a while but has said will start up again So saying "not a single minute of his personal time" is spent into those studying his academy imo is false
  7. Looking for good teachers

    Have you considered attending the Lotus Nei Gong school/retreats in Bali? Are you in the LNG Discord? There was a new video/announcement released about month long training periods starting early next year if you're interested. Also skimmed through through the link above reviewing Damo and it's quite poorly written with some of the arguments presented being quite ridiculous. Interesting that the link/website itself is selling their own course (for more than what Damo charges too)
  8. How exactly does females drain our Jing

    Desires stir the jing. It's not just sexual. Calm the mind, worry less, live life from a state of ease. Don't seek out external stimuli excessively, look into the concept of "dopamine fasting"
  9. Skillful means (upaya) There's a story of the Buddha pretending to a child that he had candy in his hand. The child was playing near a well or somewhere dangerous where they were likely to fall and die, the child's life was saved but the Buddha didn't actually have any candy with him. Lotus Sutra introduces the concept that 4th stage arhatship is not the end of the road, and there is actually more to be done on the path of Bodhissatvahood and ultimately becoming a Buddha. The Buddha shared the arhatship model as a skilful means to get people to cultivate, with the idea being that if they were told they had to work towards Buddhahood from the beginning, they would choose not to cultivate at all So, lying to save people's lives or lying for their greater benefit at the end of the day... but the hard thing is without having some level of attainment, you don't actually know when it is best to 'lie' or apply skillful means.
  10. Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translations are imo some of the best translations of the Pali Canon into English. Or at least one that I would deem more reliable than others. I agree with the statement that for one to recognize integrity one must already live with integrity. Real recognize real - as the youngins would say - or at least, to a degree anyway... What do you mean by this, can you elaborate further?
  11. Vegetarianism

    With the current agricultural industry this really comes into question because the idea is that if you eat meat bought from a supermarket, you are indirectly related to or 'supporting' the death of that animal because it has been bred for that purpose. Indirect because you can say they raise and then kill it to be eaten, but moreso that it is killed to be sold to whoever buys it and then distributes it to supermarkets, which is then bought by the end consumer.. The Buddha proposed that monks only eat meat if it is considered pure meat, that is meat that is not seen, heard, or believed to be killed directly for them to be eaten as an offering. In this way they are not creating negative karma Devadatta, the Buddha's nemesis and cousin tried to argue that monks should be vegetarian but the Buddha didn't agree on the basis that this may not allow certain people to do dana (give alms), and also as monks should be non-preferential or show bias in what they eat/have been given. The above is the Pali Canon/Theravada view of things as I understand it. Bhante Sujato (Theravadan monk) has written an essay with his thoughts on pro-vegetarianism: Mahayana on the other hand is all about vegetarianism. I haven't dug deep into the sutras and why they espouse vegetarian though tbh, the only thing I know of first hand is the Shurangama Sutra stating that if you want to achieve or attain genuine Shurangama Samadhi, then there is no way you can do that without being vegetarian or at least not eating meat. This seems to align with Daoist teachings where eating meat will make the energy too dense, thus making it more difficult to attain higher states of meditation etc. I have more thoughts around this but I'll leave it here for now
  12. Steve Grey has 'Passed' .

    I believe this came from a guy called Drew who used to post here a lot, he shared a story that at one point he could make girls orgasm from a distance by intending it (or something to that effect)
  13. I agree with markern, I don't think "he knows he is lying", I think he genuinely believes what he is sharing and teaches. And to try to bring things back to the topic as opposed to heavily focusing on Frank Yang or Ingram. This was from the article by Bhikku Analayo breaking down Ingram's claims/book: steve's criteria earlier for using these goal posts on one's journey I thought was quite solid (to paraphrase and butcher it here): 1. Confirm with a teacher or someone further along the path if you've actually realized whatever level you think you have realized 2. Reflect on your own experience up to that point in time 3. Use the classical texts to measure up your own experience and feedback received So in Ingram's case he ignored his original teacher's feedback, and I guess went with the opinion of teachers he had from Mahasi Sayadaw's lineage (or elsewhere?). Then he reflected on his own experience, believing something had genuinely changed, however the second 'error' one could say is that he interpreted the classical texts in a way such as to fit his own interpretation and "water down" the definitions given in those texts. So one could say the blind is now leading the blind (without genuine malice in mind - or at least I don't think so)
  14. I haven't dug much into Sam Harris but I felt the same from the little exposure that I had from listening to some talks and podcasts. He has supposedly done a lot of meditation and retreats in the past. But from what I gathered, very intellectual, philosophical, and science minded materialist type of dude. Would be curious to hear from people what they think of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) as I feel these guys also have a big "market or mind share" when it comes to Buddhism/meditation in the West, but I haven't spent much time on what they teach or followed their teachers... Relating it back to the thread, do IMS teach more of a literal or metaphorical interpretation when it comes to the classics? --- And just thinking out loud for a sec, if the classics are taken to be more metaphorical, then that opens up a lot more subjectivity and individual interpretation (or distortions to filter through), thus leading to potentially erroneous interpretations. Whereas literal makes the text (if it is genuinely accurate and true) to serve as more of an 'objective' standpoint of which to measure things. But, having said that a lot of Daoist texts are more metaphorical in nature and require interpretation because of the need to hide the real meanings for safety and other reasons. Buddhism however could be taken as leaning more to the literal side of things... however you still have a ton of different traditions and lineages that interpret the same texts differently. The path of cultivation is a real shit show huh, times of the Kali Yuga
  15. Respect the dude as he has put in some serious hours into the practice but don't think he is on the mark. He's influenced a lot of people to get into meditation or Buddhism through his MCTB book. The others in this thread above have shared a good summary of him I think. MCTB was a pretty solid book at the time it came out because compared to everything else that was out there at the time, nothing quite compared. Other books were either mindfulness and light Dharma stuff OR the suttas, classical texts, Visuddhimagga type stuff (which people find dry, boring, and repetitive), but then this Western guy came out of nowhere claiming that he was an Arhat (a lay Arhat at that!!) and went into a lot of the details and nuances of his path and how he got there. On top of that, the contents within the book were well suited to our Western linear step by step progress focused minds as there was a 16 stages or steps of insights that leads one to awakening or "full enlightenment"... Alongside the promise that this is all possible within this lifetime, hell even in just a few years! Shit, I got the idea that it was even possible to hit stream entry from just doing one 10 day Goenka retreat by applying the vipassana noting technique if you're really diligent enough (This may have been from his forum though and wasn't explicitly said in the book.) I used to lurk a bit on the Dharma Overground (or when it was called Dharma Underground?) forum that he hosts. I didn't see anything that stood out to me but there were sincere practitioners found there. The ones who claimed to hit 4th path (or Arhatship) using the "Progress of Insight" stages imo never seemed to get to this stage of: Once they hit 4th path, they generally felt there was still more work to be done, and that's when they would generally shift over to energetic practices as what most of these people practiced till then was all "dry insight" with the vipassana noting technique espoused by the Mahasi Sayadaw lineage... I think due in a large part to Ingram, this led to others such as Culadasa (of The Mind Illuminated) entering into the scene and influencing a lot of people to get into meditation and so forth, especially the more rational and logical Western minded types. An issue I see with all this though is that it's watered down the dharma and shifted the goal post of enlightenment/awakening even closer, as these people have all said that it's much easier than people make it out to be to become awakened... Just check out the "streamentry" subreddit to get a feel for what I mean The first of the 8 fold noble path however is to have "right view / understanding"... Another contemporary teacher that was a part of Mahasi Sayadaw's lineage and supposedly went all the way to 4th path was Bhante Vimalaramsi, thereafter he left to do his own thing as he felt he "had not done what had to be done". (Vimalaramsi is considered a controversial monk in his own right by some however, so take this with a pinch of salt!) The whole dichotomy of hard jhanas vs soft jhanas, jhana vs vipassana viewpoints and debates etc, at least in the Western sphere, tend to stem imo from Mahasi Sayadaw's lineage and Goenka practitioners against those who are of the more "hardcore" meditation lineages such as Pa Auk, Thai Forest, or Chan traditions and so forth. I've never met Daniel Ingram, have only exchanged messages with him a few times, and read his book and posts on his forums from quite a few years back. So that's where I'm coming from for context