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About forestofemptiness

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  1. Two Steps to Not Two

    A condensed presentation of Shankara's Advaita presentation: Even more condensed version---
  2. Always look on the bright side of life...
  3. Regular joke at my house:
  4. Reading through this thread, I notice I have (perhaps temporarily) attained a siddhi: the ability to NOT respond to posts I profoundly disagree with. Not yet sure if due to meditation, or vaccine.
  5. The "lab leak" theory presents an interesting dilemma for non-vaccination people: take your chance with a manufactured or modified virus, or a manufactured vaccine.
  6. Most Buddhist teachers teach that virtuous conduct is not sufficient. The mother of all buddhas is prajna or wisdom.
  7. From a Buddhist POV, the emphasis is on renunciation no matter what one's outer role is. One can be a wandering begger full of clinging, or one can be a householder without. Atmananda Krishna Menon would be a good example in the non-Buddhist world. I do find that aging, despite its flaws, is very nice in this area. Getting older and knowing the ephemeral nature of things directly has been very beneficial. Is a single glimpse of one's nature sufficient to undo all the binding vasanas and samskaras? There was a nice phrase I came across recently that keep reverberating in my mind: Like an ice cube which has been dropped into an ocean, it is melting and becoming the ocean itself.
  8. What does speed have to do with neidan?
  9. Probably the Mantak Chia effect. It is interesting to get a different perspective on the Tian Shan. Is it mostly a power generating?
  10. Martial Arts - Realm of the Insecure

    Sure. Let's take a recurring dream pattern for me--- the many vs. the few. I am alone, or with a few other people facing an opposing group of some sort--- it can be a group of criminals, aliens, zombies, a Nazi/fascist government, whatever. My old habits, especially when I was a kid, would be to run and hide. When I take up a martial art, there is less running and hiding. As I practice more, and it steeps into my mind/body, the practices start to show up in dreams. Maybe I'll fight one or two of the "enemies." Over time, as I continue to do MA, I eventually stop running and fight, sometimes an entire group. It can get so intense that I will wake myself up. Now in other circumstances, when I'm working on bodhicitta or compassion, the whole tenor of the dream changes. The opposing group is often an apparent enemy, but I don't see them as a threat. The threat level is usually tied directly to my resistance. If I am afraid or resisting them in some way, they usually become scary and violent. But if I am more open and accepting, they tend to become either friendly or they don't engage at all. So usually my dreams manifest in some way according to the habits I am building during the day.
  11. Martial Arts - Realm of the Insecure

    I've had an on-again, off-again relationship with martial arts. I was always drawn by the promise of fitness, self-defense, and spirituality, but for me I have found they tend to fail on all counts. There seems to be a triangle here--- the more you focus on one dimension, the others tend to suffer. So for self-defense, the best would likely be some MMA training, but there is no spirituality there. The more spiritual arts strike me as useless for other aspects. The main issue I have with MA though is the violent/aggressive mentality. I have a hard time avoiding that, and judging by my other students, so do most of them. For me, it usually shows up in how I handle conflicts in dreams.
  12. If we who have taken up the spiritual path cannot even get along, then it doesn't bode well for the world.
  13. Light of the Golden Sun - a Bon gift

    Simple, but not necessarily easy. One of my teachers used to be a bit bemused at modern Westerners who think we can accomplish in our spare time (some even in a weekend) what it took the old masters many years in isolated retreat, despite the stress and distraction of modern living. I think there is something in the modern Western mentality that thinks we can easily achieve whatever, but it generally tends to lead to a watering down of the practice and fruit (presuming folks even get the base correct, which in IME is trickier than supposed). But I guess we'll find out--- the older generation of Western students should be about to go rainbow.
  14. After Self-realization, what else needs to be done?

    To fall again on Chan paradigms, there is what you are, and that never changes. This is the essence. What changes is how it (not that there's an "it") expresses. That is the function. So the work is not the change the essence, but the function. I would go further and say that while the essence is unchanging, the recognition of that does change, as does the depth and stability, of that recognition (which is actually at the experiential point outlined above). So it's one thing to be the Self (so to speak) and another thing to recognize or forget that you are the Self. Just like in a dream, I may recognize I'm dreaming and be free, or forget I'm dreaming and be bound by it. And this recognition comes and goes in the dream. But even when recognized, the mere recognition is not enough--- one's entire being should be reorganized around that recognition, so that one lives it moment to moment. Like in the dream, once I recognize I'm dreaming, it can be a lot of work to bring my actions in line with that recognition-- such as learning to fly or put my arm through a wall.
  15. After Self-realization, what else needs to be done?

    From the Chan point of view, it is often said that just because the sun is out it doesn't mean all of the ice is melted. Usually, there is a twofold process: 1) removing ignorance and 2) cultivating the positive expressions. The second is used to benefit sentient beings. In addition, from a Tibetan Buddhist POV, you have levels of insight. the first level is the understanding level, where you get it mentally. The second level is experiential, where you have experienced, but there is no stability. The third level is realization, which is unchanging. There is a saying that goes: From this level, people will confuse 1/2 with 3. Often what prevents the progression are mental/energetic habits, and one's capacity. At any rate, this is an ongoing debate in Buddhism, usually revolving around two axes: 1. Gradual vs sudden. The most common compromise in Chan/Zen is sudden enlightenment, gradual cultivation. But there are other schools with different combinations. 2. Easy vs. complex. In Buddhism, this comes up all the time. There is always skepticism of the orthodox school about the new schools. Many of the arguments in this thread have been leveled at the Chan/Zen school, Dzogchen, etc. I see these same points argued again and again, but often each side fails to see the other, until some realized master comes along and fuses them together.