steve

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About steve

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  1. Worldly experience does not provide long term satisfaction. That's fairly easy to see if we look at our own lives and those around us. I think that's a better way to think about it than "suffering." I assume we're referring to the sanskrit word dukkha. While many translate it as suffering, I've heard from scholars that "unsatisfactoriness" is a better translation. In contrast to the fact that worldly experience does not provide long terms satisfaction, spiritual experience does for some. That's the core reason behind such commentary, IMO.
  2. I'm still up for some discussion but there hasn't been much enthusiasm... going on 5 years! Dwai's link is no longer valid so we'll need another resource.
  3. A few more words about space... I don’t use it so much to denote a quantity, a region, a location, emptiness, or even a vast expanse. Certainly not to define any particular spiritual concept. It’s an instruction - be open, unrestricted, ... give space to another, make space in your life. Allow, release, host... Be like the open sky, spotless, leave it as it is. It’s a single, elegant, and sophisticated instruction that points out the view, meditation, conduct, and fruition in my tradition of practice. It really clicked for me in a practical sense, we all resonate with different clues of course so take it or leave it as you will. It’s a description - many have meditation experience that is very close to that limitless, unborn consciousness. The experience is timeless, boundless, and perfectly aware. The experience of pure awareness in deep sleep or deep meditation. Space is a very good description of that experience in so many ways. It’s also a feeling created when the observer rests - there is a freshness, an authenticity that can only be there when the one who interferes is not. Resting creates that space which facilitates connection (dissolution of subject/object). If something occupies that space, the connection is lost. Just thought that may help help me communicate better. I’m not well read enough to use the right words and we wouldn’t agree on them all that often anyway.
  4. I find it best to not limit myself too much by dogma
  5. Funny how that works...
  6. I agree that the absolute is not to be conceived simply as space. We use three terms also - Bön, Rigpa, and Tsal Bön is ultimate truth and implies enduring and indestructible, not so different from sat. Not just what things occur in but what (or whom) they occur to, as you point out. Space can be a very useful term here, not just physical space but personal space. in Bön and Buddhist circles that space also implies the empty nature. Rigpa is the quality of self-knowing that is inseparable from that "space' or Bön Tsal is the dynamic energy, the infinite potential which is often referred to as warmth or bliss.
  7. Beyond, perhaps, and yet intimately inherent and ultimately "tangible" in all such things - not other. I don't see beyond as separate from but rather underlying or encompassing... When teachings talk about what came before, I don't look at it in a temporal sense but rather a foundational sense. In Daoist ontology, I don't think of a temporal transition of wuji --> taiji --> 10,000 things. Rather all is existing simultaneously and the only separation is artificial and related to human perceptual limitations. Just my perspective.
  8. "...when it hits you feel no pain!" Marley
  9. Touche! No doubt... I wonder how much that perceived essential nature is influenced by beliefs, culture, expectation, etc... A few years ago, my teacher was talking about the fact that different people describe such experiences in very different ways. Certainly there are similarities but also important differences. His impression is that the language we use to describe such experience is precisely related to what was lacking in us before that experience. So one person may feel incredibly open, another may feel boundless, another may feel oneness, and so on. Different teachings and practices arise specifically in response to things that block us from having that deeper connection, just like laws arise as criminals become more creative in breaking the existing laws. When we feel that connection, we feel most powerfully what we were lacking.
  10. The view is neither imagination or conceptual understanding in a dzogchen context. Yes, wonderful day - flying by so far!
  11. Dependent origination can be very much a powerful and direct experience or reality. The intellectual understanding is just an attempt to put that into words... No different than emptiness or oneness... My own way of interpreting Buddhism is not that there is emptiness 'beyond' Universal Consciousness but rather that Universal Consciousness is equally empty of inherent, independent existence from it's own side, just as all compounded phenomenon.
  12. I didn't say view... And you are certainly welcome to disagree with me!
  13. It think the "massive bone of contention" comes from the perspective regarding the essential nature of Atman. Is that pure consciousness existing from its own side? Is it permanent? Is it empty? From the Aparoksha Anubhuti you referenced above: "5. Atman[1] (the seer) in itself is alone permanent, the seen is opposed to it (ie transient) - such a settled conviction is truly known as discrimination. 1 Atman - in this ever-changing world there is one changeless being as witness of these changes. This permanent, ever-seeing being is Atman." It is this common reference to a permanent, ever-seeing being that seems to be the rub. Essentially, I think both traditions are pointing at the same moon. The critical component, in my opinion, is the nature of Atman which is the nature of space. Space which has the characteristic of self-knowing. Space is the key for me. It's unique characteristics put it in an entirely different category than anything else we can speak about. It is indestructible, it is boundless, it is limitless, it has no center or edge. It can be said to be permanent and yet what is there to have permanence when we refer to space? So it boils down to the essential nature of Atman and I think the differences between Vedanta and Buddhism are probably more in the imagination and conceptual understanding of believers rather than in the life experience of dedicated practitioners.
  14. Very grateful for the good health of my children.