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About forestofemptiness

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  1. Remaining Centered - Simply Be

    The crux of the matter. It is funny, because the more I practice, the more I realize the value of the preliminaries. In Tibetan Buddhism, there are the four contemplations that turn the mind toward the dharma. In Vedanta, a lot of time is spent analyzing the problem of happiness and discussing the qualifications (viveka, vairagya, etc.).
  2. Remaining Centered - Simply Be

    I don't think there's anything wrong with it. The problem with spiritual forums is that it is always easy to say "not it, not it" because nothing really captures it. There's always another side, like with the Zen poems. As always, there is a Zen story for this: Layman Pang was sitting in his thatched cottage one day when some one asked whether Zen was difficult or easy. "Difficult, difficult," he said; "like trying to scatter ten measures of sesame seed all over a tree." "Easy, easy," Mrs. Pang said; "like touching your feet to the ground when you get out of bed." "Neither difficult nor easy," their daughter, Ling Zhao said; "on the hundred grass tips, the Great Master's meaning."
  3. Remaining Centered - Simply Be

    In traditional Shaiva tantra, and in some schools of Buddhism, the most direct, simplest techniques are traditionally given first in the event that a person has high capacity (due to cultivation in prior lives). If it doesn't take, then one goes a bit less simple and more complicated until the methods match the person. That is to say, that the quickest method for some isn't necessarily the simplest or least complicated, depending on the person.
  4. Realised Beings: Including them in your practice

    In the Tibetan tradition, there are correlations drawn with the bardos of death and the states of sleep. The transition is roughly equivalent to the bardo of becoming. Because it is a bardo, things a bit more "open." Why not? Michael Pollan did a nice write up in "How to Change Your Mind." Sometimes I wonder if psychedelics hadn't been pushed too hard by the 1960's counterculture, leading to its subsequent banning, how different things might be now. With serious science going on, hopefully these things will be back in the mainstream. Sam Harris had a pretty good experience:
  5. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    Why sadly? Two hours a day for potentially life-changing effects doesn't seem that much. It also seems fairly in line with what most teachers recommend.
  6. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    Just out of curiosity, what is the time commitment?
  7. Realised Beings: Including them in your practice

    I have two minds about this. One mind is that it would be nice to see something so mind-blasting that your sense of a solid, independent, material world is blown to bits. But then I realize that the basic experience of the world is so mind-blowing, I would be less surprised to see someone walking through a wall. By all accounts, there shouldn't be conscious experience, yet there is. The mind is formless, yet all these forms appear within and as it. There is no qualitative difference between an intense dream and the waking state. How the heck can we mistake our bodies for a self? Why do we take thoughts, which are really nothing but sculptures of light, sound and feeling, so seriously and why do we believe them? One of my favorite spiritual experiences is when I was grappling with the experience of waking and dreams. At the time, I was working through Berkeley's critique of the material world. Not just reading, but actually exploring experience to see if it was the case or not. I walked up to a rock, a la Samuel Johnson, and started stomping on it. Ha ha, it was so solid and real! How could anyone think otherwise? The idea that the world is not material was so obviously ridiculous! And as it turned out, I was actually taking a nap and dreaming. I immediately woke up, and instantly the solid rock in the solid ground vanished without a trace.
  8. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    I rented it on Vimeo. I've gotten a lot of live teachings on standing, so I cannot comment on it as a standalone.
  9. Paintings you like

  10. Amoral Dao

    Would it be fair to say that you side against Hui Neng in the poem combat? Shen Xiu: Our body is the Bodhi-treeAnd our mind a mirror bright.Carefully we clean them hour by hourAnd let no dust alight. Hui Neng: There is no Bodhi-treeNor stand of a mirror bright.Since everything is emptinessWhere can dust alight?
  11. Can it also map onto the Panchadasi's seven stages? pamara: ajnana and avarana vishayi: vikshepa jignasu: paroksha-jnana, aporoksha jnana, mukta: soka nirvritti, tripiti
  12. Realised Beings: Including them in your practice

    I agree. Kayas are slippery. They are not necessarily the same across traditions, and even within traditions may be used differently. I see where the correlate may be drawn (the bliss of the causal body and the bliss of the sambhogakaya). In some sense, I would consider the alayavijnana closer to the causal body, but even then it is not a 1:1.
  13. Ramana's Path of Inquiry and Surrender

    Yes. I'm not saying that self-enquiry is not a safe practice, but it sometimes causes the subtle body practices to kick into high gear (in my experience--- even sometimes without subtle body practice). Your description reminded me of experiences I've had, which were also accompanied by other signs of destabilization, so I thought I'd put it out there.
  14. Ramana's Path of Inquiry and Surrender

    Are you doing energy practices also? If so, I'd advise some caution as this kind of practice can kick them into high gear.
  15. I wasn't aware, but evidently Master Sheng Yen has a commentary: Faith In Mind: A Commentary on Seng Ts'an's Classic