Sahaj Nath

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  1. Mark Griffin, 1954-2018

    Hard Light guru Mark Griffin took mahasamadhi October 24th, 2018. i don't know who hangs out around here these days, but i didn't see that anyone had posted the news, so i thought i might do so. Mark was a Godsend to me. here's a copy of something i shared on Facebook a week and a half ago: the first time i ever experienced true, deep spiritual intoxication was with this man. it was my first meditation intensive with him. i was late because of all the road blocks in San Francisco, and that made me frustrated. that wasn't the energy i wanted to walk in with, but i was already late. Lee Schwing was the lady sitting at the registration table (bless her!), and she just gave me a smile, checked my registration, and welcomed me in. my mind was scrambled. i HATED being one of the only black people there and having to be the late guy. i also hated feeling so agitated; it made me feel as if i had failed before i even arrived. so i walked into the room and the first meditation session had already begun. as i quietly made my way to where i was going to sit, Mark looked up at me, made brief eye-contact with me, smiled, then went right back into meditation. that was it. that was all he did. i had never met this man before, but with that small gesture, all of the tension left my body. all the agitated chatter in my mind just stopped. my shoulders relaxed and dropped, and feelings of love gently poured into me until i genuinely felt as if i was falling in love with this man. and the thing is, i was! it wasn't some romantic or sexual thing, but my experience of Mark was literally love at first sight. that day i reached a meditative depth i had never experienced before. a day or two later i was still processing what had occurred at the day-long intensive. confusion and doubt came flooding back in, wondering if some hypnotic trick had been played on me, trying to dispute that what had occurred that day was even possible. i was already familiar with subtle energy and healing transmission through the hands and whatnot, but the magnitude of what i had experienced, and the context (with it all beginning with a brief smile) was just on another level. so i just kept looking for reasons to doubt & dismiss it. that's when it happened. suddenly, like an eruption, i was overcome with with this incredible, intoxicating, energizing love-bliss. it was better than any mushrooms i had experimented with in my 20's. it was pure, no distortion or nausea, just heat radiating through my back, and electricity buzzing through my teeth. this lasted for about 3 days, rising and falling in waves, but present the entire time. the truly mystical events that occurred during all of this i will save for myself and my students. FB is not an appropriate place for my complete truth. i became a sincere student of Mark. i grew so quickly. so many spiritual teachings and beliefs that i thought were nonsense proved themselves to be legit. and that has been my approach: to believe only what i can experience or discern for myself to be true, reading through scriptures more for confirmation rather than information. checking my direct experiences with the writings of those who came before me. it has been an amazing journey! and it all really began with this man. thank you SO MUCH, Mark Griffin. i'll see you soon, Big Brother. Om Namah Shivaya.
  2. First Silent Retreat: Advice and Suggestions

    your 10 years experience should be more than enough to give you the confidence that you'll fair well, so the fact that you're asking sort of suggests to me that you might live in your head a bit. this may seem a bit obvious, but... don't overthink it. part of putting your whole heart into it (as roger recommended) has to mean letting your head go. YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS. no matter how neurotic the mind might become, it's just noise. energy. set it free. the vast majority of failures i've seen are from people experiencing too much physical pain, and people too invested in/identified with their stories. just show up. no expectations. and never stop showing up. day by day. breath by breath.
  3. Master of Wuji Hundun Qigong, the system from which i derived my first name on this message board: Hundun. his teachings were a powerful force in my life, both in practice and in principle. received a message the other day that he passed away on July 12th. he was 107 years old. no doubt his legacy will live on for generations to come, blessing those who are fortunate enough to learn his ways and unlock the keys. farewell to a master who continuously celebrated the elegance within the chaos.
  4. ShaktiMama

    when i saw her name, i knew immediately that she had passed. she and i had some great conversations over the years. i respected her a great deal. i'll be sure to reach out to her tonight. thanks for letting us know, Dainin.
  5. Any Ken Wilber Bums?

    hi! sorry it took me a while to get back to you. had stuff to do. hm... no matter how many times i read your first post or this one, i don't see a description of what 2nd tier thinking actually is. that's why i was hoping you'd be able to point me to a source that supports your interpretation. also, i don't think you understand what flatland is, either. i think you are posing an interesting question, but i can't access it because the terms you're using to express it don't fit. i believe that YOU understand what you're talking about, but i can't seem to get there. so... allow me to offer some descriptions of 2nd tier cognition and flatlining. 2nd tier cognition marks a departure from the focus on needs based on deficiency, i.e., "i'm missing/lacking something; i need to acquire it," to a focus on the need to express, give, teach, serve, etc., based on one's fullness or completeness, i.e., "i am whole and at peace within myself; i can't wait to share whatever i can with the world." the 2nd tier cognizer has little-to-no fear, and doesn't compete or feel threatened by the other value systems. the 2nd tier appreciates the beauty in each of them. you mentioned people wrongly convincing themselves that they've attained that integral stage of consciousness. that would most likely happen among the postmodern/pluralistic cognizers. they can appreciate that all value systems are relative and would be quick to defend those on the lower end, BUT, they tend to have a hard time accepting & dealing with the modern/materialist cognizers, who are closer to them than all the others below! the moderns see those beneath as inferior, weak, broken, whatever. and they see the postmodern as a bunch of pc hippies with irrational idealism. the postmoderns see the moderns as opportunistic, materialistic, heartless, and closed minded. the tension and disdain is evidence that the integral stage hasn't yet been realized. you tried to describe it in terms of quadrants and lines which just muddied everything up for me. and the equality of all perspectives is not something Wilber believes or supports in the slightest. he lambasts that attitude all the time because most folks who express that attitude think that they are being enlightened. just watch the video i linked in my last post. he and Surya Das touch on it and how it has this leveling effect where mediocrity rules and there is no space left for excellence, and other stuff. he gets into it deeper in other places, tho. now, onto flatlanding. rather than write an unnecessarily long explanation, i'm just going to copy/paste from A Brief History of Everything. it's a tiny clip and it's freely available online, so it should be an issue to share it here: so what he's describing is not about being stuck in one quadrant. i don't even know how that would be possible, given what quadrants are. he's talking very specifically about being stuck in materiality, where the only thing we recognize as real is what we can access with our five senses. "Flatland, the idea that the sensory and empirical and material world is the only world there is." --Ken Wilber this doesn't make any sense at all to me. what are the quadrants? 1st, 2nd, & 3rd person perspective. you get the 4 by splitting the 3rd person into sigular and plural. 1=subjective, 2=intersubjective, 3=objective, 4=interobjective. the subjectives deal with our interior whereas the objectives deal with the exterior, so maybe there's something in THAT that you were going for. but reading is ALWAYS a 2nd or 3rd person event. a letter to you might be considered 2nd person as an intersubjective dialog. a general story or informative literature is 3rd person. you may experience their impact on you as very personal (1st person), and you might consider implications for society (4th quadrant), but those types of things have NOTHING to do with cognitive development in the way that we're addressing it. again, i think you know what you're trying to talk about; i just think you're using the wrong words and concepts to do it. and until you can clarify what you mean without all the confusing jargon, i can't grasp it. i hope that was fair and not too critical.
  6. Any Ken Wilber Bums?

    actually, there really is no "most important line" in the Integral system. i'm not trying to just be argumentative here, and i'm not picking a fight. what i'm trying to get across is about understanding what integral really is. it's a map of human potential and an aid for human evolution. psych methods aren't so much prescribed as they are INCLUDED, his argument being that deep understanding of the psychological landscape is perhaps the greatest contribution of the western world to human development. it's included because there are things revealed through psych techniques that don't come up with mere introspection. so it's important, but NOT in the sense that without it integral doesn't work. it's important because we now have a map that puts the contributions of western psych on the table in a way that makes sense with everything else. just looking at its placement betters our understanding of the whole. for instance, Genpo's flaws is a good example. folks would argue that Genpo couldn't be evolved if he's still hung up on sex. the intergral framework would suggest that sexual maturity is one underdeveloped line, but that doesn't prevent a person from being highly evolved in a number of other lines. so it doesn't just explain Genpo, it explains any number of recognized masters who were sexist, racist, what have you. those flaws don't necessarily invalidate their enlightenment because the knowledge and techniques necessary to grow those traits effectively have never been part of the spiritual training. now that it can be, spiritual development should arguably be for accessible to more people and go more smoothly, if not also more quickly. i don't think you're wrong that some immaturity is present. in terms of personality types, INTPs are the weakest in the realm of emotional maturity, and i'm fairly certain Wilber is an INTP. incidentally, so am i, and yes, emotional maturity is easily my weakest trait. but being integrally informed doesn't mean i techniques to conquer that. it means i understand where my limitations are, and i can do some things to try and get stronger there, but more importantly it means i recognize my weakness and include that understanding in my decision making and recognize the need for compensation. like, i love psych theories, but i'd be an idiot to be a therapist. great teacher maybe, but not a therapist. weak example, but i'm just trying to make it simple and clear. pretty sure i've read all the stuff on the web, about Adi Da, but i've also actually studied Adi Da. too many people have dismissed his work without ever even looking into it. it makes sense to go with the consensus on general matters, but not when it comes to esoteric ones. btw, is there a reason you keep calling him Ali? doesn't offend me or anything, just curious. but i feel like you're playing kind of loose with the details. my take on Wilber's feelings about Da come from Wilber himself, not to mention the fact that a number of his close integral friends were devotees, like Terry Patten. and others of his friends were disciples of Chogyam Trungpa. they are no strangers to flawed masters over there. so the fact that he used the words "fuck up" doesn't provide any clarity at all, unless you can establish that he was expressing outrage and was losing his temper, which i'm certain wasn't the case. more likely he was just being flippant & cheeky. Genpo's reputation is in the trash now, so i won't try to argue otherwise. but "from Wilber's perspective," Genpo's work to integrate western techniques of psychology into traditional zen was bold and meant to be a pivotal move for western dharma. but yes, it failed. not because what he created was a failure, but because he was behaving scandalously and the buddhist community can't afford to associate with that kind of moral failing. it's zero tolerance nowadays, and good on them for it! i get what you're saying, but i think you're fundamentally misunderstanding what integral is. no one stands as example of expertise in every or even most lines. that was never the point. the point was about inclusion of all knowledge and a deeper understanding of what we can do and how we can do it, which will ultimately give rise to new approaches. EDITED: for clarification and grammar. i'm also re-posting the video i had originally embedded. was that erased deliberately by a moderator?
  7. Any Ken Wilber Bums?

    from where are you getting this understanding of 2nd tier thinking? i read your first paragraph a number of times, and i honestly just don't completely get it. the concept of 2nd tier thinking is derived from cognitive psych (which is why i mentioned those other thinkers with which i am familiar), but your explanation of it's meaning seems completely divorced from its intended context. in other words, i'm not sure that your pondering really has anything to do with 1st vs 2nd tier consciousness. it's possible that you're referencing some newer material of Wilber's that i know nothing about, but before i dive in, i need some clarity here. where does this definition come from, generally speaking? also, what do you mean by "one of the lines of one of the quadrants"? the lines don't at all belong to, nor are they bound by any particular quadrant. and a line is not a quality of thinking or a cognitive level, so they wouldn't be very relevant to your query at all, as far as i understand them. so if you don't mind, as best as you can, could you please clarify your meaning regarding these? i'd love to share my thoughts, but i'm somewhat confused at the moment. i'm not so sure that "maturity" is a fair measure of someone functioning at the integral level. and i'm not so sure the mere presence of insecurity equates to a LOT of insecurity. you may not like this argument, but much of what you see in Wilber's character might actually be a result of his genuine openness; he's not burning tons of energy trying to hide his shortcomings the way that most people automatically do. his entire integral movement is all the evidence necessary for Ken Wilber to be considered integral. the core principle that everyone is right and, therefore, must be included. that no system is clever enough to produce 100% error, and so we include all that is good, beautiful, true, instead of rejecting entire areas because some of it was wrong. THAT, isn't just some cool idea he came up with; it's also a reflection of the space he's thinking from, how he's experiencing the world. the way i see it, Adi Da IS a great master. or was, i should say. and while Wilber did write an essay distancing himself a bit from Da, he NEVER denounced him or came out against him. i own Da's major books and every DVD his community has produced. his lectures and satsangs are absolutely brilliant. as for the "reports of abuse," what are we talking about? some taboo & otherwise unconventional sexual practices that some of the members couldn't handle. serious tantric exercises that were only ever meant for a select few with the fortitude to benefit from them. Da's only real crime was the crime of hubris in thinking he could disseminate such highly restricted practices to such a large segment of the community. i don't doubt that some of the people who left were psychologically hurt by what took place, but even more people were healed and psychologically benefited from it. the advance stuff has some real dangers, but we can't let some television expose be the final word on something they knew nothing about. there were no children abused in Da's community. he wasn't just out there abusing his authority. he wasn't perfect, but there was a real method to his madness. but tabloids focused on the madness because that's what sells and that's all that conventional folks can understand. as for Genpo, as far as Wilber's work is concerned, he DID turn a new wheel of the Dharma by fully integrating methods of western psych to peel apart the layers of the ego through the Big Mind process. his sexual indiscretions aren't relevant to the efficacy of the techniques he developed. Wilber once called Genpo "a deeply DECENT human being, which (incidentally) is much harder than being enlightened." well, Wilber got the decency thing wrong for sure, but let's not throw out what he got right. now, Andrew Cohen. i never dug that guy. very little redeeming about him as a Guru; but as a philosopher, he's contributed some brilliant insights to what they describe as evolutionary enlightenment. Andrew's greatest contribution IMO, is that he had a ruthlessly critical eye that could expose inconsistencies & absurdities in a way that doesn't come natural for Wilber. so as a colleague in a brain trust, i get it. but otherwise, not so much.
  8. username change

    please change my username to: Sahaj Nath thank you.
  9. Any Ken Wilber Bums?

    go ahead and discuss it! post your questions or ponderings or whatever. i'm pretty familiar with ken wilber's work, as well as the theories of maslow, kohlberg, carol gilligan, and clare graves, which are relevant to the topic of cognitive development. don't know if i can answer what's on your mind, but i'd very much like to know what it is.
  10. some really important insights in this post. points that are almost always overlooked and completely lost on the overly academic and the overly religious alike. you should consider reworking this into a stand-alone thread. i would have greatly benefited from a conversation with you two years ago.
  11. Tip on how to do enquiry

    i used to have a reputation for being harsh and overly confrontational. i'm trying to be a better person these days. but i still know sniping when i see it. your attitude in that post was both perplexing and unwarranted. there's no complaint there about his rate of progress. my complaint was about his belief that self-inquiry was a good fit and the fastest path for him. i think what i'm saying there is very clear. not only did you misinterpret it, but you added a back-handed insult to it as well with the whole "maybe the student isn't the problem" bit. well, clearly you don't understand, and you're not even trying to. i never said IQ is the only measure, skip everything else. that's an asinine position. not all genius manifests the same way. i said previously that i was pointing to an innate quality of mind, and IQ is a factor, i think the most over-looked factor. i even mentioned "existential depression" as a common affliction for the type of quality of mind that i was pointing to. look up the term. like i said above, look at how often the term is paired with giftedness and then try to understand what i'm saying about quality of mind. it's not about being smarter or knowing more than others; i'm talking about a qualitatively different experience of the world. just like the video clip i posted. did you watch that? did you consider its implications? you stated that you were trying to indicate a particular predisposition that's more aligned to self-inquiry than a path like devotion. i didn't misunderstand you. i argued that your "particular predisposition" isn't enough by itself, that innate intelligence has to be a part of that disposition, and i gave an example of a student who has the disposition you outlined, but lacks the IQ. i've tried to be painfully clear throughout, and it's like you're insisting on misunderstanding me. i don't think i wish to continue this dialog, but you're welcome to have the final word if you like.
  12. Tip on how to do enquiry

    i wasn't trying to be nasty. not even a little bit. but somehow i managed to piss you off anyway.... well, go ahead and have a piss then. i didn't join this thread for a sniping session. and just to respond to your first comment, which seems to be what offended you... my comment is not even close to "riding" yours off into another tangent unless your comment had nothing at all to do with my argument, which was the subject of discussion that revived the thread. i'd apologize, but i just don't see how i did anything wrong. okay, maybe. but neither i nor anyone else in this thread complained about their students not progressing fast enough. i just wanted to express my frustration with the popularity and ubiquity of "self-inquiry" practices and get some feedback and exchanges going. i think what you just did here is more of a "riding my comment into another tangent altogether" than anything i've said so far.
  13. Ratu Bagus and The Shakers of Bali

    no, but it sounds like maybe you have. never really had any interest in meeting the guy, to be honest. i'm just grateful for the inspiration he's given me. both he and Bradford Keeney have had a major impact on my relationship to the internal arts. i would love to thank them both some day, but i'm probably not going to fly somewhere to do it. *shrugs*
  14. Ratu Bagus and The Shakers of Bali

    the video is basically an advertisement for the Ratu Ashram, which is why it focuses so heavily on transmission. the reason i overtly stated that transmission is not a necessity is simply because far too many people focus on using the perfect or exact technique rather than recognizing that it's an art. as soon as you turn it into an overly specific set of protocols, you're sure to kill the magic. i recall a couple of years back when some folks were discussing the benefits of "rebounding" here in the general discussion. people seemed to get all caught up in believing that they needed to purchase a trampoline in order to do it right, as if rebounding were somehow uniquely different from just bouncing in place or shaking practice. so my hope is that people will watch the video and focus more on the parts where it shows how everyone moves differently, where it says that nobody's ever going to come up to you and tell you you're doing it wrong, and where it talks about how YOU are actually HEALING YOURSELF. the highest technique is to have no technique. to greet each session freshly, allowing the body-mind to express anew. to approach with a sense of wonder or amusement, with no expectation of how it will turn out this time. OR just find what's comfortable for you, stick to that, and see how it goes!
  15. Ratu Bagus and The Shakers of Bali

    exactly. when i was a student back in the day, i learned shaking as just a part of the warm-up. it was pretty cool when i was able to introduce my master to shaking as its own practice, especially given that it induces spontaneous natural flow movement if you do it long enough. he was kind of blown away by it.