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About styrofoamdog

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  1. Feels like Death -shamatha before bed

    Those who read the Buddhist sutras will know that none of these things qualify as samadhi or dhyana.
  2. Sutra of Complete Enlightenment, Han Sha commentary

    Charles Luk's works are all excellent, not to mention master Hanshan's commentaries. I would try getting this book through an inter-library loan. It appears that some libraries do have this book, so you can probably borrow it for free, although it may take some time for the book to arrive. WorldCat results: Ch'an and Zen Teachings #3
  3. Favorite Quotes from Buddha.

    The original term may be a common Sanskrit one that means something like "ordinary ignorant person." The equivalent Chinese term is fan fu (凡夫). The key component fan (凡) means "ordinary," "common," or "worldly."
  4. Favourite Buddhist Books

    Yes, these books are very different, and Working Toward Enlightenment and To Realize Enlightenment are also packed with useful information (but they definitely assume familiarity with cultivation methods and meditation). William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin have pretty different teaching styles, and if you become familiar with the materials of one, it will help you appreciate the other. Nan Huai-Chin's teachings are steeped ancient Chinese culture, and his teaching style is very traditional and poetic. William Bodri is more modern, and has the perspective of a westerner. They are kind of from two opposite worlds, but of course the basic teachings of Zen, meditation methods, and the stages will not be radically different. It's more like two physics professors with different teaching styles.
  5. Favourite Buddhist Books

    The Samdhinirmocana Sutra (Scripture on the Explication of Underlying Meaning) is really excellent. I can't recommend that one enough. The Numata Center version in the link above is the best translation so far.
  6. So little of this thread has any bearing on the actual practice of the Dharma in meditation, and most of the comments here are speculation. What was spoken by this teacher is correct to some extent, but if you do not actually follow that path and cultivation the realization of these truths, then it's just a poison. Again, no matter how enlightened someone is, if they give you instructions, and you do not actually carry through with them, then your practice is in vain. No intellectual understanding can take the place of true realization through practice.
  7. Buddhist Sutras online

    There are three principle translations that I am aware of: Translation by Charles Luk. This is available in PDF format online for free (legally), but is a bit older, and is not in a very convenient format for reading. Some notes by Hanshan Deqing from the Ming Dynasty are included. First translation by the Buddhist Text Translation Society. This is just the sutra text, and there are some 8 or 9 additional volumes available of Master Hsuan Hua's commentary, which were published in the same "series". Second translation by the Buddhist Text Translation Society. This is meant to replace the previous version, and is a completely new translation. It includes a little commentary by Master Hsuan Hua. Of the three texts, I like #3 the most. It is in a very nice format, and represents the "latest and greatest" of the Shurangama Sutra translations. When it came out, it was even given a little website:
  8. My Buddhists workmate

    This is actually very typical for laypeople in the Theravada tradition. If you check out the old Pali suttas as well, laypeople are often just given the simplest instructions, and not expected to meditate, or have any interest in meditation. In other words, if you are a layperson, your traditional role is mostly to make merit by supporting the monastic community. In East Asian and Tibetan traditions there is little difference between the ideals for monastics and laypeople. This is because Mahayana teachings often do not draw any distinction between the two, and both are expected and encouraged to practice the bodhisattva path, which includes meditation. As a result, meditation is more common and encouraged for laypeople.
  9. Analysis of the Translation of the Three Treasures.

    I think a lot of this has to do with the interpretation of "transforms." If someone understands this as meaning that it has 100% transformed, then that may be a problem. "Transforming" would emphasize the continuation of the process, and that might be one possibility. The way I see it, jing actually does transform into qi, qi into shen, and shen into emptiness. Otherwise these things would always be there, and to become an immortal, it is necessary to refine coarse energy (e.g. jing) into ever more subtle and perfected energy spiritual energy (e.g. shen). But this is a continuous and lengthy process. And even if someone attained immortality in this life, they would still have some jing and qi. In the Buddhist view as well, through meditation one refines sustaining qi to reward-body qi, and then to seed qi (the qi of karmic seeds in the Alayavijnana). Each level is progressively more difficult to access, more rarified, and more powerful. Still, even after attaining the highest levels of dhyana, life in the ordinary world means that some sustaining qi will always be present. Since the body contains tens of thousands of qi channels, there is always some movement or flow. I would regard emptiness as being similar to clear and empty consciousness. All the previous stages are defined by forms of matter and energy that were in duality with the mind of the meditator. Emptiness then refers to a stage in which the three previous forms of energy merge with the mind ("returning"), which then operates in such a unified and luminous clarity that it seems utterly "empty." I do not believe that this refers to any "disappearance" of energy.
  10. 'New' Enlightened Master On The Scene?

    A real enlightened master doesn't put up a website that constantly claims that he is an enlightened spiritual master. This is basic to all Buddhist schools, including Jodo Shinshu. In no less than the Diamond Sutra, it is stated quite bluntly that even a srotaapanna will not go around claiming to be a srotaapanna (much less an arhat, an advanced bodhisattva, or a buddha).
  11. 'New' Enlightened Master On The Scene?

    Guys, this guy is NOT an enlightened master. Energy healing? Spiritual protection circles? Does a supremely enlightened being teach the New Age topics on his website? Apparently he was enlightened after attending a "personal growth seminar." I guess someone needs to be the new Max Christensen or David Verdesi, though.
  12. Analysis of the Translation of the Three Treasures.

    Even over a thousand years ago, the word hua still meant "transform" or "change." Also, I just want to point out that there is no past tense in this passage, so I would not translate hua as "transformed," but rather as "transforms." It may just be clumsy wording in the original Chinese work, as these matters are not always easy to convey. Ideally, every part of a text is understood when translating, but interpretations should not stray from the original language. That is the problem with so many coffee table Daodejing translations, all saying something completely different. The interpretations of this passage seem to assume that it's an all-or-nothing affair. That is to say, when jing transforms into qi, there is no jing left. That is not the case at all. The same goes for the third line. When shen transforms into emptiness, it's not that all the shen is gone. It just means that shen is transforming into emptiness. Shen returning to emptiness seems to just describe the end result of all the previous transformations.
  13. should thusly know, thusly see, and thusly believe, not giving rise to notions of dharmas.

  14. Will the Real Healing Tao please stand up

    The version of the White Skeleton Meditation that William Bodri teaches is the one taught by Nan Huai-Chin, which in turn comes from a dhyana manual that was translated by Kumarajiva in the early 5th century, Chanmi Yaofa Jing (禪祕要法經). Not sure what the original Sanskrit title was, though. The method is not quite the same as the formula used in some sutras that are in the Pali Canon. It is more complex and there are many variations and different ways to practice.