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About Apech

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  1. Can jing be replenished?

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand'ring bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me prov'd, I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
  2. What made YOU laugh today/tonight ?

    Discussing non-dualism on DaoBums:
  3. I don't think it is so much 'pretending' as 'acting as if' ... which is not quite the same thing. My teacher once said to me of his teacher that 'I know he is just a Tibetan monk but I still think of him as the Dharmakaya'. There is also a story told of a great practitioner who on achieving enlightenment through Guru Yoga looked back to see that his master, who he had regarded as a Buddha, still had several lifetimes to go through before he achieved awakening. So the pupil was more advanced than the teacher! Strange indeed. That's very kind ... but I think I'm too dim to be a beacon
  4. Thanks @steve ... I think there are some similarities in the approach of Buddhism and Bon but maybe some differences also. In the practice of Guru Yoga (which I think is tricky for Westerners to grasp or accept (see below)) the great Jamgon Kongtrul stresses that it is important that the practitioner has 'an unshakable conviction that his guru really is the Buddha'. (This is from a book called the Torch of Certainty the subject of which is the ngondro.) Guru Yoga is the fourth and final stage of ngondro. Similarly to what you wrote all gurus are understood to be Vajradhara - a deified form of Buddhahood itself - and Vajradhara is seen as the head or origin of the lineage of teachings and as the present teacher of the lineage. All teachers in that they are teaching are Vajradhara. And it is from Vajradhara that you receive the four empowerments or transmissions. This is in the Kagyu school, in other schools this figure would be replaced by Guru Rinpoche perhaps or Samantabhadra. But to say that the source of blessings is solely a disembodied eternal buddha image, rather than the living master, would be a kind of watering down of the key idea. And would side step the difficulty of this practice - which is very challenging and also dangerous. It's really in this 'zone' of teacher / lama relationship which great conceptual and actual difficulties arise. As all teachers without exception are also humans with faults - how on earth are you to see them as living Buddhas? and if you don't see them as living Buddhas how do you receive the blessings of same? I don't present myself as an expert in this field or pretend to understand it properly. But I thought it important to make this point in the light of what you posted.
  5. Excellent post over all, thank you. Theravada would not recognise Dzogchen as legit as far as I know. My experience is of Mahamudra teachings which do blend hinayana, mahayana, vajrayana and then Mahamudra into one continuum of teachings. The distinction being not the truth of each stage but more the breadth of what is being taught. For instance the importance of keeping vows increases with tantra and does not diminish as some suggest (ignoring the crazy wisdom mish mash which is sometimes introduced to confuse). I think that Guru Yoga is misunderstood. It is true that you are told to regard your Lama as a Buddha - because if you do then you can receive a Buddha's blessing while if you regard him/her as an ordinary person then you will receive an ordinary persons blessings (which are more or less worthless). Obviously there have been notable cases where this kind of thing went drastically wrong - so it has to be treated with care. There's a couple of things I say about it from a practitioner point of view. 1. We are encouraged to put maximum effort into practice (one of the paramitas in fact) and so this is important. However there are limitations, natural ones, on how far one's will or intellect can penetrate. In a sense effort becomes a block as it is inevitably egoic. Like someone who say 'I will destroy my ego-mind' ... well 'I' can't do this technically. So there is a need as some stage to recognise that the basis. path and fruit is not mind based effort but actually is buddha-nature itself. Buddha-nature perfect in itself needs nothing to be added or taken away. Seeing your guru as the personification of buddha-nature allows you to open to receiving blessings from them. Replacing effort with devotion if you like. 2. Is Guru Yoga necessary? No. Because it is a yana below rigpa, if you like. Is Guru Yoga helpful? Yes. Does you actual teacher have to be a realised Buddha to do it. No. Ultimately you could regard anyone as a Buddha (or potential one). But if you have a Lama in whom you have confidence because they have demonstrated wisdom and ability - with whom you have a relationship based on Dharma - then it is 'easier' to practice Guru Yoga with them. Shamatha and vipassyana are helpful. I have never been very convinced by Allan Wallace but that might just be me. Me too
  6. Hold your reindeer Santa there’s still a month to go.
  7. That is culturally true and the same could be said for Chinese Buddhism or Japanese Buddhism ... or even Sri Lankan Buddhism. However if you study the subject in terms of the content and consistency of teachings great efforts were made by great masters like Sakya Pandita and many others so that the lineages were preserved and the essence of the Dharma remained.
  8. Do you mean the Pali Canon says nothing?
  9. True meaning of Non-Dual

    But if the cake is a chocolate cake then can we say that the cake can exist independently of the chocolate - or should we say it is not real chocolate but a chocolate taste that substantiates the cakes nature???????
  10. Karma

    I find lo- jong ( mind training) specifically sending and receiving ( tonglen) the best way to work on karma - that and prayer of course.
  11. True meaning of Non-Dual

    I would just like to put it on record that in none of my discussions on non-dualism did I consider my self in a teacher student relationship.
  12. Taoism according to.....

    Despite what some have said about this the main problem is that we have created categories like 'religion', 'secularism', 'superstition', 'philosophy', 'folk religion' and so on and then try to fit various ways into them. For instance people look for pure original Daoism (or Buddhism) - these never existed. Most of these labels are not useful or even unhelpful.
  13. "Non-dual" misnomer

    That's well argued @Daniel and I don't disagree with most of it. A couple of comments though. You distinguish between awareness and the real - but we haven't made any attempt (unless I missed it) to say what 'real' means. Some Buddhist schools - Yogacara for instance - would say that mind/awareness is the real. That's why it's sometimes called Citta-mattra (Mind-only). There is only mind in their opinion. And it is this mind which produces the subject/object duality - but that it is not a monism of mind (although it sounds a bit like it) as mind is not a thing in any sense apart from what you might call pure sentience. In contrast we in the West, us moderns, tend to use 'real' to mean the concrete objective world - and that anything else including consciousness is an epi-phenomena resulting out of interactions of matter - such as electrical flow in the brain and wot not. So then there is a tendency to abstract awareness as apparent but not real in any fundamental sense. Of course if one considered matter to be the only thing that actually exists then that would be a materialist monism I guess. If again as a Westerner you accept both the existence of an objective world and the reality of Spirit - you have a duality - and Western religious thought does appear very dualist to Easterners - light/dark, good/bad, God/Satan(evil) and so on. In fact, certainly in Christianity life is seen as a struggle between good and evil, a battle in which we have to choose a side. For a monotheist (a form of monism) this creates the problem of the existence of evil - as if God is good and is (and made) everything how and why did He make evil?
  14. "Non-dual" misnomer

    I thought I had explained this already.
  15. "Non-dual" misnomer

    Because it is specifically not monism.