refugeindharma

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  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. More recent is Frank Yang, and I believe Kenneth Folk may have been in this camp too altho I'm not certain about this, he is a contemporary teacher alongside Daniel Ingram and that generation. The late Culadasa never claimed Arhatship I believe, however he did seem to allude to it in some of his prior lectures or Q&A's, this evidently however was clearly not the case after his scandals came out into the public Ingram and Folk both practiced under the Mahayasi Sayadaw lineage from Burma, which came up with the idea of the 16 stages of insight (or "The Progress of Insight"), which apparently maps out the progress and stages that leads one to Arhatship or "4th path" as they term it. The Mahasi lineage focuses heavily on vipassana or noting practice and do not place great emphasis on jhanas
  6. Mind Body cultivation

    My dumb naiive ass once thought that when I went to go stay at monasteries that all the people there would be great, kind, and awesome people. Finally, a place I can go that will be free from politics and dumb people bickering over stupid stuff! Well, well, well, I now know monasteries are just the same as any organization or place that you'd find out in big bad society, why? Well because monasteries consists of people and they come with all of the baggage that is associated with being human (and unenlightened) Monasteries where real cultivation is happening though tend to build up a genuine energy, frequency, or vibe to them that is very rare if not impossible to encounter out and about in society - feels almost magic like tbh
  7. I believe it's all literal (to a degree), or much more literal than most Westerners believe them to be. I have a hunch as to who you may be referring to in your OP, particularly those who follow a certain lineage that comes out of Burma/Myanmar, their models and ideas of enlightenment have taken quite a hold in the Western Buddhist scene. IMHO they've just moved the goal posts so that it's easier to become 'enlightened' or reach stream-entry, and imo they're just deluding themselves.. They might be awakened or have hit stream-entry (that I'm not even too sure of), but I highly, highly doubt that they have attained arhatship. Taking a hard and fast rule to any of this to me seems rather stupid, arrogant, and potentially non-beneficial. Take a stance, sure, but don't cling to it! At least in some Chan lines, I understand you are to confirm your accomplishments by getting 'certified' from someone who is genuinely attained, this approach is plastered all over The Sixth Patriarch Platform Sutra where all these monks go to Master Hui Neng to confirm that they're awakened or fully enlightened. Failing that, I recall there was a historical Chinese Master whom I'm forgetting their name right now, the story goes he apparently realized enlightenment however had no one to confirm his enlightenment, so he consulted/studied/devoured the Shurangama Sutra and that was his way of validating his accomplishments. For those teachers or seniors that validate them for you... well, hopefully in your search for a teacher or master you have come across quite a few different people and gotten a feel for who may have been phonies and those who were genuinely awakened to some degree... then you compare that to what the classics say an enlightened being is like, e.g. are they genuinely compassionate, kind people? Are they selfless? Do they have the wisdom to back it all up? Observing them over a period of time, and seeing them in positions of power, do they abuse or wield that power for their own self-benefit? (Just seeing people on interviews or reading their books doesn't really cut it... you need to spend time with them in person, and ideally over an extended period of time) Other things that aren't as reliable but could be of benefit is when being around them seeing how you feel when around them, and assessing the character of their students or disciples, have they genuinely changed for the better, are they honest good human beings? Do they have skill? (Not all of them will be, but keep a close eye out on their senior students and disciples, the people who are genuinely cultivating and practicing, not the people who are just helping out or orbiting around the master) Validating for yourself is probably not the smartest thing to do, the last chapter of the Shurangama Sutra lays out all of the reasons why, it's too easy to delude yourself on the path In terms of modern stories, I heard Master Nan Huai-Jin once in front of a materialist skeptic (who later became a devoted follower and student of his) walked straight through the skeptic, as if there were no border between their physical bodies. Master Hsuan Hua I was told by a reputable source from within his tradition, exhibited at least one of the 32 hallmarks of a Buddha, a well-retracted male organ (something that freeform has mentioned briefly on this forum before). Master Hsuan Hua is also one of the few masters - especially in the Chinese tradition - who openly used his powers for good and spoke about it as it was one of his 18 vows, however for the many years that he has taught, there doesn't or hasn't been stories or rumors about him sexually abusing students or doing weird shady shit Then there's a lot of stories from Thai Masters and so forth who exhibit supernatural powers and great compassion and wisdom. The powers don't mean enlightenment, but if true, they give credence to the suttas and sutras that it's not just all metaphors and fairy tales. I am somewhat baffled to a degree by the idea of "Rational Buddhism" and people who practice Buddhism without believing in reincarnation and even go so far as to refute it. That's the power of the religion of science and arrogance imo My approach is to keep an open mind, keep going on the Path, and if one day I have the good fortune to encounter something that truly blows my mind, well, then my mind will be blown and confirm some beliefs I hold and expand my view of reality and the "truth". I've encountered and seen some weird stuff thus far, but nothing overly crazy or outrageous, just enough to know that there's definitely more than meets the eye when it come to this reality of ours, so stay open but skeptical, just as the Buddha advises You gotta experience, know, and see for yourself to really know the truth. There's no other way. Then whenever you happen to get to that stage, make sure you look for someone who's already been there to verify that you're not fooling yourself because you are the easiest person to fool as Richard Feynman would say
  8. Mind Body cultivation

    To add on to this, there is also the case that a lot of monks actually follow the general trend of retreating into the forest, working at their practice, and after "a short while" or whatever terminology they normally use they "did what had to be done, there is no more becoming" (aka realized arhatship) There is no mention of how long that "short while" was for them. Although of course you still have seemingly a lot of the spontaneous awakenings whilst people are listening to the Buddha lecture and so forth When it comes to the Mahayana sutras, things get even wilder haha
  9. Visualisation - any good?

    Found the book, it's on his Discover Mind website for free: https://discovermind.com/static/books/Looking at No Thing - Awakening the Eye of Knowing, by Adam Mizner.pdf Also when he mentioned this in the interview and his teacher emphasizing the lokuttara Jhanna / Samadhi, it reminded me of the Shurangama Sutra where it is mentioned, taught, or emphasized that one should strive for genuine samadhi that is irrespective of causes and conditions (aka the "normal" jhanas)
  10. Interview with Adam Mizner

    I bought the film and lost access to it (and unfortunately didn't download it in time... so if anyone did manage to download it before it got taken down, please feel free to PM me) Tried contacting the owners or whoever was distributing it through multiple channels but crickets... It's not Adam's movie, he just featured in it. From what I understand Adam wasn't too happy about how they were using the movie as a marketing tool to get people to sign up for an online Taiji course that was taught by some random dude. Besides the above there may be other reasons as to why they took the movie offline. It credited Morgan Freeman as narrating the film but with recent clips of deep fake and AI voice generators, I am even more skeptical as to whether it was truly Morgan Freeman as a lot of what they've done thus far hasn't come across as being all that legit... I thought the idea for the film wasn't that bad, at least for people who are skeptical about Tai Qi or Qi itself as they had several world class athletes touch hands with Adam, and if they're all in on this gimmick (which begs to differ why?), well then perhaps it's almost impossible to open the mind of a skeptic unless they saw or experienced something mind blowing themselves
  11. Wouldn't releasing powerful yet dangerous practices out to the public - even if the risks were clearly outlined - just be plain stupid and completely reckless? Not only would potential practitioners get themselves injured or potentially die, there would be the karmic entanglement and outfall from the person who released the practice or technique. I don't think it is as simple as saying, "Hey guys, you can do this practice but make sure you don't do it unless x, y, or z because otherwise you might die, good luck!" That doesn't absolve one from the consequences of such an action... "I told them the risks and dangers, now it's out of my hands folks, if they do the practice and fuck it up, well it's on them!" If it weren't released, then there is none of the karmic involvement and potential disservice, and in retrospect, what would the upsides vs downsides be of doing this? Even if there were a few people who managed to pull off the practice, how many countless others would fuck themselves up in the process? How's the Mantak Chia crew doing these days? I strongly believe in the idea of "strong opinions held loosely", yet having strong opinions doesn't mean you need to shove it into people's faces or down their throats and completely believe this is what the entire world needs (or even wants...) Reminds me of people who first get into psychedelics, weed, or whatever and are all like "Oh my freaaking gawwdd, everyone in the world needs to fkn do this!~~~!!~ This would totally change the world for the bettuhhh" or the first-timers to Goenka 10 day retreats who are high on the euphoria of just having completed something difficult for the first time in their life and their thinking about all of the people in their life they think could benefit from attending a retreat who (a) have no freaking desire at all for something like that, nor (b) the appetite or potential to pull it off Yeah, well, that's just like, my opinion, man
  12. In praise of Thanissaro Bhikku

    Thanissaro Bhikku is as legit as they come (imo)
  13. What exactly is neidan/internal alchemy?

    I was discussing this concept with a friend of mine who isn't into cultivation and I couldn't give him a straight answer as to how those on the path are meant to avoid falling into this trap. What exactly is it that provides someone with the strength or fortitude to not fall for these tests and get 'corrupted'? Clearly one should have developed their precepts to a high level, but what exactly does that entail, and the other hand ideally have a high degree of samadhi, but I have also heard of highly skilled meditators falling for such traps. The greater the light, the stronger the darkness. So what gives? Your master and peers can't always be holding your hand and looking out for you when these tests come. Severe and frequent self-analysis of one's behaviors, actions, and intentions? Continuous work in developing the four boundless qualities? I suppose the answer itself is highly individual, based on whichever poisons one has a proclivity towards
  14. The Power of Chi movie

    Did anyone happen to download the movie? Unfortunately when I purchased it I only streamed it and didn't actually download the movie and now the website is down with no way to access the movie They aren't responsive via email or Facebook, seems like they might have done a runner
  15. Experiences with sexual qigong and daoist lovemaking

    So is the deeper meaning of 'turning the light around' to touch upon, merge, or place one's attention on spirit, or whatever it is that represents ice in the analogy you used? If not, could you please elaborate further on this concept? My basic understanding of that phrase comes from the misconception you have outlined