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About forestofemptiness

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  1. The neophyte’s mind is like a dog’s tail

    In addition to stability, there is also the dimension of penetrative depth. I am amazed by the sheer number of objects in increasing subtlety the mind can find and cling to--- mostly because this is what I did. From formed objects to formless ones, subtle ones, feelings and sensations. It is amazing how very deeply ingrained this object orientation is, and how it is reflected at various levels-- for example, as physical tension, energetic blockages, firm mental concepts, etc. Even our eyes are used to either looking at specific objects or scanning for objects rather than resting in a relaxed, open gaze. Which is why in many Buddhist traditions, simply keeping the eyes open, relaxed and not focused on anything is often a first step. There is probably an important intermediate level between 1 and 2--- being undistracted or collected. It is one thing to be completely caught up and swept away mindlessly, and another to have some initial presence even while still being caught up identifying as various objects.
  2. The neophyte’s mind is like a dog’s tail

    You mean you couldn't undo eons of conditioning in a few conversations? As a neophyte myself, I am always sensitive to the plights of the neophyte. I think Vivekananda describes the mind well as a monkey --- that has gotten drunk--- oh and stung by a scorpion--- and then possessed by a demon. And this was before computers and "smart" phones. It is interesting that Western psychology now has a term for this: cognitive fusion.
  3. The neophyte’s mind is like a dog’s tail

    Well, there is the notion that perhaps these things should not be discussed without some preliminary meditation or other work. On the one hand, the sages have often given the most direct teachings first, so that those with the requisite karma (or grace, or the proper causes and conditions, however we wish to put it) could "get it" immediately. On the other hand, nonduality is often either inscrutable or easily intellectualized, such that it ether makes no sense, or people think they have sufficiently gotten it when there is still work to do. In this case, it may be useless, or even a great disservice. Accordingly, in many traditions, such things are withheld until there is sufficient preparation. I am always a bit curious about the "evangelical nonduality" I often see online, wherein people attempt to actively convert others, even those who are disinterested or resistant to the notion.
  4. Living In Freedom

    This is actually the Swami S video to start with IME where he goes into this:
  5. Vedic Christianity

    Well, we can also consider from the opposite direction. What is Brahman? Well, Brahman is unlimited being--- unlimited in time, space, and all objects depend on Brahman. So Brahman is omnipresent--- even here and now. In fact, Brahman is who we really are. Despite this universality of Brahman, are we really to believe the only people who know about this universal and foundational truth, not only of every human experience but also of the entire cosmos, is a handful of Advaitins? That every Christian, Buddhist, Daoist, --- and not just the ones alive today, but everyone who was ever born and died--- out of the untold millions and millions of practitioners over many millennia--- many of whom are intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and/or meditative geniuses--- well, they all got it obviously wrong? Every Single One? And that I, somehow despite my failings in every way, and my limitation to a narrow time, space, and culture--- that I am in fact more discerning then all of of them combined? Well, that truly boggles the mind.
  6. Vedic Christianity

    I think by "traditional" you mean "common" or "popular." Just as the sky is more apparent at the peak rather the base of the mountain, so too is it with spiritual traditions. Check out this passage from Nicholas of Cusa from the Vision of God: "And since Your love Is always with me and is nothing other, Lord, than You Yourself, who love me, You Yourself are always with me, 0 Lord. You do not desert me, Lord; You safe-guard me on all sides because You most carefully watch over me. Your Being, 0 Lord, does not forsake my being, for I exist insofar as You are with me. And since Your seeing is Your being, I exist because You look upon me. And if You were to withdraw Your countenance from me, I would not at all continue to exist. But I know that Your gaze is that maximal goodness which cannot fail to impart itself to whatever is capable of receiving it. Therefore, You can never forsake me, as long as I am capable of receiving You. Hence, I must see to it that, as best I can, I be made more and more capable of receiving You. But I know that the capability which conduces to union is only likeness; but incapability results from unlikeness. Therefore, if by every possible means I make myself like unto Your goodness, then according to my degree of likeness thereto I will be capable of receiving truth. 0 Lord, You have given me being; and my being is such that it can make itself more and more capable of receiving Your grace and goodness." And the idea that the way to God is through Christ is really not different from saying that the way to Brahman is through wisdom. There are many traditional Christian mystics and traditions that in fact put forth that Christ is wisdom, or gnosis, which performs the same function as the Sanskrit jna-, as in jnana or prajna. Surely there is no less a tolerant form of spirituality than universalism in Christianity, based on such Biblical passages as: “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:18–19, ESV) “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22, ESV) “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11:32, ESV)
  7. Vedic Christianity

    I agree with Michael. The truth is the truth, it is reflected through different cultural lenses. No doubt some people reflect the truth more clearly, but it must be based on common ground. How can it be otherwise?
  8. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    Where do you live? Tibet? Finding people even interested in nondualism seems fairly rare IME.
  9. Vedic Christianity

    The idea of reverse influence, from Tibet to India and China has never really held up in my opinion. But you do see a melting pot of Shavite and Buddhist Tantra in India, sharing practices and even plagiarizing scriptures, and such influences clearly show up in Vedanta as well. India is to the East what Greece was to the West in my opinion (and may have even influenced Greece). But let's not let such academic opinions clutter up the 'Bums.
  10. Vedic Christianity

    I thought this was an outstanding talk that combines the insights of Vedanta with the Christianity. We have a Christian who converted to Vedanta, and rather than losing his Christianity found it very much enhanced. It is also very practical, very loving, and spoken well from the heart. He also raises interesting questions about dual-belonging: can one be a member of two religions? His answer may surprise you (especially since it come in the second lecture ).
  11. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    Well, there's another duality for you to be melted and unbounded--- the duality of emptiness and compassion. Realizing the underlying similarity of all sentient beings causes a natural compassion for them to arise, and this can drive action.
  12. The Power of Chi movie

    If so, I would find it more convincing if some one who practiced his program X or whatever could demonstrate what they learned. Presuming Mizner is legit (and I have no reason to think otherwise at this point, despite his marketing), if whatever he is showing is possible only after many years of full time practice, then it seems that engaging in seminars and online programs would be a waste of time/money. That's how it seems to me with most of these martial applications--- a form of soft body physics.
  13. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    Not sure it is even an argument--- the terms still have not been properly defined or agreed upon.
  14. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    That sounds like a very Tantric, as opposed to Vedantic, take on in my mind. From an Advaita Vedanta POV, creation is usually characterized as the power of Maya wielded by saguna Brahman. Brahman would remain unaffected by the seeming change just as a rope remains unaffected by the imposition of a snake upon it. However, the Tantric point of view as I've come across it is much different, and the expressive nature is quite important. Interestingly, in both cases, there is a connection between ignorance and creation. Ignorance, which often in the dharmic religions plays the role of original sin--- the cause of all our problems. But in another sense, it is the expressive creative power responsible for all the glory of creation. This is one reason I like the Tantric Buddhist paradigm. The goal is not to escape samsara, but to take part in its expressive creativity as a Buddha.
  15. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    For us Gen Xers, InnerSpace!