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About Bruce

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  1. I'm starting to question myself

  2. The story is all over the net, but there's no substantiation that I can find. Apparently, Clinton urged the Chinese to continue investing in the US, citing US/China interdependence. I remember similar doomsday stories back when Japan was the leading investor. It will be interesting to see if there's any government response.
  3. tongling breathing

    Is that tonglen used within another practice requiring empowerment? I've not heard of empowerments being given for the practice of tonglen itself.
  4. Questions about Wu Wei

    I would venture to say that if the mind moves we are not in accordance with the Tao. If the mind does not move then we can't help but be in accordance with the Tao. Thus, it is not easy to be in accordance with the Tao so we cultivate toward a mind that does not move. In the Shurangama sutra, the Buddha says that trying to add light to enlightenment creates our phenomenal world.
  5. tongling breathing

    To my knowledge, that's not the purpose of the practice. As to whether it can, I've no clue.
  6. God / Enlightenment = SEX

    That's more clear NW. Me thinks I'm getting too damn Buddhist fundamentalist again! I'm trying to be more open. Btw, don't think I have anything against sex.
  7. tongling breathing

    Tonglin is both. You can use tonglin to "heal" yourself by dredging up a lot of hate and resentment and looking at it head on. Tonglin is also a practice to actualize the feeling at least of compassion for others, if not actually realize the real deal. In a way it's a fake it 'till you make it practice, but it's very effective if followed through. It's part of the preliminaries in vajrayana.
  8. God / Enlightenment = SEX

    Maybe you didn't read my first post mate. I was right up there with the best of them chasing after it, and in retrospect it did nothing to enlighten me, except maybe as to how not to live my life. Now that was just sex for sex. Sex in a loving relationship is different, but I still can't agree that it's enlightening or even part of a path to enlightenment. If it reduces stress then that's good, but one might look at the source of that stress. Fulfilling an instinct isn't enlightening. Neither is eating. If I'm reading what you're writing correctly, you're equating constant happiness with sex. That's equating happiness with something that is very impermanent. Isn't the point of this spiritual quest to find what brings real happiness - the happiness that's beyond emotional happiness or emotional love? In the end, it's just you and what's inside you. Eventually the lovers are gone, or just old. Whatcha gonna do then? Use the memories on your path? Maybe I'm reading too much into what your saying. I do agree that the monastic system takes away some things that are natural, and there are good arguements both for and against that. Having been in that system for a time, I think I can understand both. The highest tantric approach uses sex for the control of energy or that vital essence that's talked about. It isn't about "getting off", and in fact as Lin mentioned, they don't. It isn't about love or any other emotion, and it isn't about removing blockages or healing. It's just another form of meditation or qigong, albeit at the highest level, and I mean the very highest of levels. So, sorry. We can agree to disagree.
  9. God / Enlightenment = SEX

    Hey NW, I agree that it's interesting, I just don't agree that it's enlightening. There would be a hell of a lot of enlightened people walking around if that were the case. Then again, I suppose it depends on ones definition of enlightening.
  10. God / Enlightenment = SEX

    Ok. Maybe I was too flippant in my answer, but there was a reason for it. To me, spiritual sex is along the lines that Lin is thinking. I'm thinking of real tantric sex, which is a bad label given what people think of nowdays. I'm referring to the highest of tantras in the vajrayana, for the most accomplished of practitioners of which there are or have been very few. All of us have felt a "union" when in love and having that session of perfect sexual love. There was a spot on the floor in a house I used to own that I considered "sacred" for one of those times. OK, minutes have just gone by as I relived that. IMO though, that's not enlightened sex. It's just love and love is an emotiion. As good as it feels I wouldn't label it enlightened or spiritual. I guess it depends on where your mind was when doing it. In the highest tantra, my understanding anyway is that the union is occuring in emptiness. It's not at all about sex, but about union with the ultimate, thus all the iconographs of Buddhist or Hindu saints in consort. I do understand where you're coming from. I just don't happen to agree, but that's ok too. Have fun. Us old married guys with kids can remember from time to time.
  11. The root of my fear was marriage and it's offspring is called Josh. Sorry. Just trying to lighten this up. I must be more bored than I suspected.
  12. I don't know the answer to this question. It would be easy to say love or some other sentiment, but more often than not I don't see it demonstrated. We could all find some commonality in scripture if we tried, but sometimes it's a stretch. What all religions do have in common are people; people who wrote the scriptures, commentaries and papers, claiming devine inspiration of course. Writings by people with a set agenda. Preaching or teaching by people with a set agenda, a set dogma, sometimes a set political leaning and agenda, and their idea of the devine that they intend to make you believe whether you want to accept it or not, and if you don't they'll condem you themselves. In my experience people from some religions are easier to have a meaningful conversation with than others. Fundamentalists, by definition, tend to be closed minded. They're taught that their way is the way and everyone else is wrong. You can't have a productive discussion with someone like that. Others are much more open and a joy to speak with.
  13. Is a Guru/Master/etc needed?

    For practices like qigong or other energy moving practices, I think one is advised to stay close to a teacher. I've done a bit, but heeded the warnings about preceeding too far without expert advice. For spiritual practice, I believe that old saying: when the student is ready the teacher will appear. My best teachers have been normal, everyday people who had nothing to do with religion. I do think having a formal teacher, at various points in life, is beneficial. I've had a few. Often my geographic location has made having a formal teacher on a regular basis impossible, at least without a lot of travel. Once you get some experience in your practice, I think most know when they're "doing it right" and don't need a teacher there to tell them so. In vajrayana, you get an empowernment from your teacher then go off and practice it. You could spend 3 years doing some of those practices with very little need for direct contact with a teacher. It might be hard to do koan practice without a teacher. I've never done koan practice myself. My practice of Shikantaza is just a practice of sitting every day. Once you get what it is, you just do it, and once you've discussed some "experiences" with your teacher and they've told you in no uncertain terms that they're just experience, and "just keep sitting", you stop getting all excited about it and just sit. So for now I'm teacherless, and content with it. There will probably come a time again when I really feel the need for one, or maybe one will just appear. What I have been missing is being around other like minded people to talk about this kind of thing, and the other things we talk about here. I actually like this a bit better though. In a sangha, or group with a specific teacher, others often just reiterate what the teacher says. You don't get any differing views. I like having differing and sometimes divergent views. I tried some Buddhist forums, but never really enjoyed them. I like it here.
  14. God / Enlightenment = SEX

    Sex? I vaguely remember that ....... You know, 20 years ago I was obsessed with it. As time has gone on, sex now seems such a triviality in the scheme of things. I now think about how much time and energy I wasted on thinking about it and the pursuit of it, and all of the problems, some small and some large that it caused. It was truely a waste of time! I don't think god/enlightenment = sex, but I think I know where you're coming from. That's just good sex. Personally, I think new age tantric sex is bullshit. Yeah it's more loving and tender and that's great. Spiritual? I don't think so. It's just good sex, unless you like it some other way. Bloody hell I feel old after writing that.
  15. I second Matt's call of spot on! No matter how much religious or spiritual practice one engages in, if they still have hate in their hearts they've learned nothing. Way too often, I'm one of those who has learned nothing. Thanks for reminding me to put my bodhisattva vow first. If I can't do that, all the meditation in the world will get me nowhere. Gasho