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  1. Do women want to drain men's life force?

    I think Dr Strangelove was one of the most brilliantly accurate pieces of film satire ever made. Thanks for the clip and its refreshing of my memories of some of its content. This particular excerpt that you provided a link to was absolutely spot on with regards to this topic. Some of the threads and ideas posted in response to the OP strike me as being completely equal in nuttiness to any of that found in Dr Strangelove. However, there seems to be so much seriousness here about our particular beliefs that few people seem to see how utterly ridiculous much of the pseudo wisdom that gets bandied about here, looks to an outside observer. This thread is an absolutely perfect example. I think that just as doctors must take the Hippocratic oath before they are allowed to practic, all of us wannabe-philosophers here should have to repeat Socrates piece of perennial wisdom before we post our ideas so liberally : "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." .
  2. How to read books like.....

    Zen can actually be very simple. If you are looking for straight forward wisdom in bite-sized chunks, I think the story below may well provide everything you need to know about that particular pathway. (And, in point of fact ... probably most religious paths). * * * An old, much revered Zen roshi lay dying, surrounded by loving disciples. “Roshi, can I ask one last question please! What is life?” “ like a river.” “What do you mean by that, Roshi?!?” “OK,.... it is not like a river.” And he died. .
  3. Real taoist semen retention practices

    Over the years I've belonged to a number of different forums like this, trying to see if spiritual seeking could be carried on in this, (for me), new world of internet 'spiritual forums.' Questions and interests like yours have come up relatively frequently on every forum that I've come across so far. Sometimes, when I came across what I took to be a truly exceptional and informative exchange between posters, I would copy and paste it all as a word doc. Below I've added just about the very best advice I've ever come across for questions like the ones you have just asked here. These responses have all been extracted from a now defunct forum called "Buddhachat", way back in 2006. I feel that the second person who replied has nailed the solution perfectly. Follow his advice and I believe you'll never need to write to forums like this again with problems of this nature. Hope it helps * * {Opening Post } : Okay, so this is probably in the wrong section, forgive me if it is. Anyways, I have had an addiction, if you will, to internet porn for a while, and I know it has to do with the ego. I know this, because I have become obsessed with downloading it and all that, just having it on my computer satisfies me. Anyways, I know of a Christian website that could help me get free, but are there any Buddhists websites that could help me get free ? {First Reply } : You could pose some restrictions on yourself. Step 1: Delete all the porn you have on your computer. ALL of it. Step 2: Turn on the "parental filters" on yourself. I'm sure this is possible. If you come across a website that you think should be let through, I believe you can give yourself access to that specific site. (Optionally, you can entrust the password to this system to a friend who you trust to help you overcome your addiction. If you want to go to a blocked website, you'll have to ask him. And he should only give you access if it's appropriate) Now those are steps I think everyone could take. I personally have been on and off this addiction, and here's my personal advice : Step 3: Get a hobby. I found when I had something constructive to do, I would usually do that instead of downloading porn. But if I had, say, a couple hours to burn with nothing to do, I would be more likely to look at it. Also, will yourself, do everything mentally in your power, to not look at anything for a week. Try it. If you fail, don't worry about it, just try again. If you succeed, great, try it again. The last advice I have is to, before you start searching the internet, just get off the computer, leave the room, go sit down, and think: "Do I really want to do this? What is driving me? Is it my brain that's telling me to do this, or something else?" Sit for at least 5 minutes. If you think you are capable of sitting down and not looking, then you can go back. Since you are off the computer anyway, if you think you have a chance of looking, instead of going back to the computer, go watch TV. Go make a sandwich. Go take a run around the block. I'm sorry I can't suggest any websites. But I do have personally experience with the issue, and know that you can do it! The longer you can go without doing it, the less you'll want to. {Second Reply} : Just jerk off as fast as you can and stop delaying the gratification. You'll save time and energy. *
  4. Sometimes I feel/think that...

    Your clarification of "true paths" above made a real connection with me. Thanks very much for the different slant on an idea that I've been fruitlessly fumbling around with for a considerable number of years now.
  5. Sometimes I feel/think that...

    Spotless, You've raised some interesting points in your post. Before I express anything further about them I just want to say that the thought behind most of the things I say is not coming from some kind of assumption that I think my beliefs are in some way "better" than anyone else's. I think it's pretty safe to assume that anyone who spends their time hanging out in an internet chatroom on spirituality like this one, is someone who is still looking for the meaning of life - not someone who's found the answers. And that tars me completely with the same brush. So, just take this as puzzled questions coming from a fellow questioner along the road of life. * But after reading your post there were immediately two points that I couldn't agree with, based on my current set of beliefs. I'll reply to the second one first, (where you made the statement that I have extracted from your post in the box above). Here, if I was to take an extract from my earlier extract by Wayne Liquorman and substitute in a section taken from what you said - I think you'll see immediately where the problem lies for me : "The presumption involved in saying, “ all that is required to Awaken is a shift in awareness ,” is that you have some position on which to stand to effect that kind of change, that you have some sort of power that you can exercise to create that change in your life." * Now, to turn to the first point in your post where I found my beliefs diverging from your own, it was where you said, "This is not the underlying message in every true practice." The problem for me lies in this idea of a 'true' practice. Again, because I don't make any claim to know any answers first hand, the best way I can explain my uneasiness with this idea is to quote someone who is not only far more eloquent and clear in his words, but who also claims to have had personal experience of what he's talking about. I'll leave you here with another extract from WL. * "For those of you who are hearing me for the first time I want to emphasize that nothing I say is the Truth. I make no claims whatsoever that one word comings out of my mouth is the Truth. Now I am not unique in this. None of the teachers that you've either read or heard are speaking the Truth. Truth can't be spoken. All of these concepts are simply pointers, indicators of a Truth that is right here - that is ever-present - as clear, and as unmasked as it could possibly be. So, I personally have no trouble with anybody else’s teachings. If one teacher says you exist and another one says you don’t exist, and this one says that you’re God incarnate and this other one says that you’re nothing, I don’t care. They are all understood to be relative teaching tools. There is never a question of the hammer being Truer than the screwdriver. What I find objectionable (in an aesthetic sense) is when someone says, “What I am saying is the Truth and what the other teaching is saying is bullshit.” Such an assertion lacks the essential clarity of understanding that it’s all bullshit, and that a given teacher’s teaching is a matter of enculturation and personal programming that determine how their teaching is expressed. Ramana Maharishi used the image of a concept, (or religion, or philosophy), as being like a thorn that is used to remove some other thorn that is, let's say, embedded in your foot. So you have a thorn (which is some concept about how things are) and it's embedded in you. The sage comes and uses another concept in the hopes of removing that embedded concept with this second concept. If the embedded concept is removed both concepts become superfluous - they get discarded. The thorn that's being utilised to remove the other thorn has no intrinsic value. After it has done its job you don't wax rhapsodic over what a great thorn it was. Its value was only as a tool. The purpose of all religions and philosophies is exactly the same. Generally, by the time you've gotten here you've read a lot, you've been to a lot of teachers, you have absorbed a vast number of concepts, and many of them are contradictory. How do you reconcile what this teacher said with what that teacher said ? I mean, you've sat with this teacher; you know that this person is a genuine teacher. There's no question of him scamming you. And yet he's saying something that is utterly and completely different from what this one over here is saying. How do you reconcile these conflicting explanations ? The way you reconcile them is to understand that none of these teachers' concepts are true. All concepts, religions, and philosophies are simply tools, and their applicability is only in the moment." *
  6. What is the Ego?

    Karl, your take on every spiritually-based question presented here seems to veer so relentlessly straight into the writhing snake pit of politics that I cannot help but wonder if you are really in the type of forum that best suits your personal interests. I think most people who end up here, scrolling through the pages of this cyberspace hang-out, are here because they find the endless deliberate deceptions and self-serving partial truths of politics and materialism ... to be deeply unsatisfying.
  7. Sometimes I feel/think that...

    Thank you for taking the time to thank another person. Perhaps like yourself, I find the pointers given out in Non-Duality teachings to be strangely compelling. For me, the attraction only came after many years of following various gurus and spiritual paths, looking for the 'key to unlock the golden door.' It took me a long time to be able to actually hear the personal message behind the very low simmering awareness that, every spiritual path has inbuilt into it two central, (but double-edged), themes. One,... that we are fundamentally imperfect right now, and Two,... that perfection always lies 'just ahead', through following this practice ... (fill in the blank with the 'ism' of your choice.) On a strictly personal level there were two books that stood out above all others when I found myself drawn towards the pointers and explanations of Non-Duality. The extract above is from "Acceptance of What Is" by Wayne Liquorman, (a Californian teacher in his mid-sixties from LA), and "I Hope You Die Soon" by Richard Sylvester, (an Englishman of the same age, from a small county town in Kent.) I'll throw in an extract from Richard's book below, just so you can get a feel for the somewhat different flavour his style of cooking imparts to the same ingredients " * * Some of the questions we have been having, like “What is liberation ? What is it like for you ?" are very natural questions. We are often inclined to think that what we are talking about here is something special. Sometimes we think that the person who is reporting on it is also special. Neither of these ideas is true. This isn’t special. This is the natural state of being and the character reporting on it here is just an ordinary character. But because we deny our own adequacy, we sometimes project that adequacy that we deny in ourselves onto a teacher or guru or some other authority figure. We make them special. Then, if the guru or teacher thinks that they themselves are special, (as they often do), a wonderful collusion is created between the guru and the devotees. The more special the guru is, the more special the devotees become,… because they must have been particularly spiritually evolved to be able to see the qualities of their great master. It is a game. It is the great game of projection that humans play so much of the time. It can be a very entertaining and colourful game, but it is still just a game. What you are listening to here is just a very ordinary chap reporting on the natural state of being. *
  8. Mushin

    You want your purveyors of Truth To look and act special. You want them different And special And powerful. You prefer to imagine them Cloaked in light Rather than sitting on the toilet. You like them passionless, sexless, Mellow, gentle and kind. You like the idea of miracles And will invent them when necessary. Your strategy is to keep them Out there Far away from you Exotic and mysterious. You revel in the myth Of the Enlightened individual Hoping to someday be so empowered. What you can’t tolerate Is for them to appear As ordinary as you. Ram Tzu knows this… You always miss the Truth Because it is just too plain to see. Wayne Liquorman *
  9. Mushin

    Setting out on a spiritual search is a very sensible thing for a person to do. When everything else has failed us, why not try that ? The car, the house and the job didn't make us happy, the soul mate didn't make us happy, God didn't make us happy. Even healing our 'inner child' didn't make us happy. I could go on listing for the whole evening the things that we accumulate to try to finally make ourselves happy, but I will stop there. When all else has failed and we still feel separate, we still feel that something is missing, it is intelligent to start searching spiritually. It can also be very exciting and colourful to change our name to something exotic like Devananda and put on orange robes, shave our head and eat alfalfa sprouts rather than go on being Jim Brown with a suit and a mullet eating hamburgers. But nevertheless, after ten or twenty years of spiritual searching we may well still feel separate and inadequate. I would even suggest that spiritual searching fuels our sense of inadequacy. The very fact that we are on a spiritual path indicates that we feel inadequate as we are right now. And if we are on a path looking for liberation, (whatever we think liberation might be), we cannot possibly notice that everything is already liberation right here, right now. If we are looking for liberation over there, we can't see that it is already right here. The awful reality is that we will never find liberation either over there or right here,... because 'WE' will never find liberation. We could say that 'WE' are the problem. But there is even a problem in saying, "We are the problem" because it sets our mind thinking that we must do something about ourself. This feeds our sense of inadequacy once more. We start to think, "I haven't meditated for long enough", or, "I haven't cleared my chakras sufficiently", or, "I haven't shown enough dedication to the guru - perhaps I have held back just one little bank account from him", or, "I haven't spent enough time in countries without toilets - I haven't had enough diarrhoea in the Himalayas." We feel, "It must be my fault. There has to be something wrong with me, because I can't find liberation." Yet the awful joke is that there is not only nothing for me to find,... but there is also no "me" to find it. That is why sometimes, when the person disappears and this is simply seen for what it is, as 'already liberation',....there can often be so much laughter. It can be seen as such a joke that we were always looking for this, yet this was always what we were. For some people this creates despair as they contemplate the ruins of their spiritual life and begin to wish that they hadn't sold their house and given the proceeds to their guru. But often it causes laughter, or at least a quiet smile, because it is such a joke that what I was searching for was always closer to me than I am to myself. There is no "I". There is no "self". When this is seen, it is suddenly realised that all the incomprehensible philosophical sayings such as "I am that", "There is only oneness", and "Everything is unconditional love", are not philosophical sayings at all. They are simply descriptions of what is seen in the natural state of being when the person isn't there getting in the way any more. Richard Sylvester *
  10. Sometimes I feel/think that...

    An extract relevant to the central point of this thread, from a talk given by Wayne Liquorman : * * {Q} : After far too many years of dedicated spiritual seeking without any visible progress, insights, or changes in myself,… I’m virtually on the point of giving up this whole search from sheer, endless frustration. {W} : Well, we’ll have to see if those things are ready to give you up ! Because until they’re ready to give you up, your opinion on whether you’re ready to give them up is irrelevant. It’s only when your decision to give them up coincides with their decision to give you up that they disappear. {Q} : So a person can’t say, “Okay, I’m going to give up. I’m just going to be That.” {W} : Wouldn’t you have done it by now if you could have ? {Q} : I never thought of it that way. {W} : The presumption involved in saying, “I think I’m about ready to give this up,” is that you have some position on which to stand to effect that kind of change, that you have some sort of power that you can exercise to create that change in your life. And I’m sure that you’ve often experienced that in your life, where you’ve made decisions such as “Okay, goddamn it, I am not going to do this for another day. I have decided I am going to give this up !” Yet, you find yourself continuing to do that thing despite the fact that you have decided to give it up. It has not given you up, therefore it keeps happening. Now what we usually say in those situations is, “ I just didn’t want to give that up badly enough. If I really had, in my heart of hearts, wanted to give it up, it would be gone.” {Q} : I did that once. I gave up smoking. {W} : Yes, as I said, when the confluence of the two is such that it gives you up at the same time as you give it up, then there’s every appearance that you have got some kind of control. And you will use that one example to sustain the notion that you have some kind of power, despite ten other examples to the contrary. *
  11. split from "sometimes I feel that" thread

    You mean like the massively powerful American gun lobby which is passionately against any form of government interference whatsoever ? This is presumably so that they can continue to provide the "Perfect service to fellow man and increasing peace and prosperity for everyone",that they did in venues like Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum.
  12. split from "sometimes I feel that" thread

    Aahhh yes, the kindness of free market capitalism. It must be the dream of millions to be cared for by the tender mercies of companies like Monsanto, Shell Oil, McDonald's, Kraft Foods, etc., etc. I take it your statement about a system like this providing for the needs of others, was so thickly coated with irony that the only truth in it was the full stop at the end ?
  13. Chinese army day, today 8.1.15

    What an extraordinary coincidence. Yesterday was Chinese Air Force Day .... Flyday.