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  1. ∞ SHIQIN ∞ In fact, everything we encounter in this world with our six senses is an inkblot test. You see what you are thinking and feeling, seldom what you are looking at.
  2. Where is Jeff? I would like to contact him

    But vegans lurve marrows!!
  3. ∞ THE 14TH. DALAI LAMA ∞ The reason why we find so much discussion of epistemology, or how, in Buddhist writings, to define something as a valid cognition is because all our problems, suffering, and confusion derive from a misconceived way of perceiving things. This explains why it is so important for a practitioner to determine whether a cognitive event is a misconception or true knowledge. For it is only by generating insight which sees through delusion that we can become liberated. Even in our own experience we can see how our state of mind passes through different stages, eventually leading to a state of true knowledge. For instance, our initial attitude or standpoint on any given topic might be a very hardened misconception, thinking and grasping at a totally mistaken notion. But when that strong grasping at the wrong notion is countered with reasoning, it can then turn into a kind of lingering doubt, an uncertainty where we wonder: "Maybe it is the case, but then again maybe it is not". That would represent a second stage. When further exposed to reason or evidence, this doubt of ours can turn into an assumption, tending towards the right decision. However, it is still just a presumption, just a belief. When that belief is yet further exposed to reason and reflection, eventually we could arrive at what is called 'inference generated through a reasoning process'. Yet that inference remains conceptual, and it is not a direct knowledge of the object. Finally, when we have developed this inference and constantly familiarized ourselves with it, it could turn into an intuitive and direct realization -- a direct experience of the event. So we can see through our own experience how our mind, as a result of being exposed to reason and reflection, goes through different stages, eventually leading to a direct experience of a phenomenon or event.
  4. Who likes tea? I like tea.

    Anyone tried butter tea? Traditional Himalayan drink. Just wondering about the taste. I've not tried. Butter coffee is nice though.
  5. SAMADHI AND INSIGHT NO MATTER HOW DEEP OR CONTINUOUS, samãdhi is not an end in itself. Samãdhi does not bring about an end to all suffering. But samãdhi does constitute an ideal platform from which to launch an all-out assault on the kleshas that cause all suffering. The profound calm and concentration generated by samãdhi form an excellent basis for the development of wisdom. The problem is that samãdhi is so peaceful and satisfying that the meditator inadvertently becomes addicted to it. This happened to me: for five years I was addicted to the tranquility of samãdhi; so much so that I came to believe that this very tranquility was the essence of Nibbãna. Only when my teacher, Ãcariya Mun, forced me to confront this misconception, was I able to move on to the practice of wisdom. Unless it supports the development of wisdom, samãdhi can sidetrack a meditator from the path to the end of all suffering. All meditators who intensify their efforts to develop samãdhi should be aware of this pitfall. Samãdhi’s main function on the path of practice is to support and sustain the development of wisdom. It is well suited to this task because a mind that is calm and concentrated is fully satisfied, and does not seek external distractions. Thoughts about sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and tactile sensations no longer impinge upon an awareness that is firmly fixed in samãdhi. Calm and concentration are the mind’s natural sustenance. Once it becomes satiated with its favorite nourishment, it does not wander off where it strays into idle thinking. It is now fully prepared to undertake the kind of purposeful thinking, investigation and reflection that constitute the practice of wisdom. If the mind has yet to settle down—if it still hankers after sense impressions, if it still wants to chase after thoughts and emotions—its investigations will never lead to true wisdom. They will lead only to discursive thought, guesswork and speculation—unfounded interpretations of reality based simply on what has been learned and remembered. Instead of leading to wisdom, and the cessation of suffering, such directionless thinking becomes samudaya—the primary cause of suffering.
  6. An opinion or observation of madness

  7. The Nyingma and Kagyu Explanations of Tantra. All four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism – Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug – accept as a meaning of tantra the everlasting successions of moments of interwoven Buddha-nature factors. The special explanations of each tradition shed further light on the topic and complement each other. Let us look first at the general presentation common to Nyingma and Kagyu, since it specializes in discussing tantra in terms of Buddha-nature in general. Their presentations derive from Maitreya's Furthest Everlasting Continuum. Maitreya explained that although successions of moments of Buddha-nature factors continue forever, they may be unrefined, partially refined, or totally refined. The distinction derives from whether successions of moments of all levels of confusion and their habits accompany the mental continuum without a break, only some of them do for some of the time, or none of them accompany it ever again. These three conditions of the everlasting continuities of Buddha-nature factors are the basis, pathway, and resultant tantras. As basis tantras, the always-available continuities of Buddha-nature factors are the working materials for achieving enlightenment. From this perspective, the factors are unrefined or "impure" in the sense that successions of moments of all levels of confusion and their habits interlace with the factors at all times, limiting their functioning to varying extents. On the path to enlightenment, practitioners work to remove the limitations by stopping, in stages, the continuities of the various levels of confusion and their habits that interweave with their bodies, communication, minds, good qualities, and actions. Consequently, during the purification process, the continuities of Buddha-nature factors, as pathway tantras, are partially refined and partly unrefined. Sometimes, periods of full understanding accompany the factors; at other times, periods with merely the momentum of understanding ensue. Occasionally, successions of moments of confusion temporarily cease. Afterwards, continuities of some levels resume, but gradually none of them ever return. Similarly, the habits of confusion occasionally stop giving rise to moments of confusion; but eventually, the continuities of the habits cease forever. On the resultant level of Buddhahood, the continuities of Buddha-nature factors, as resultant tantras, are totally refined in the sense that they are completely free, forever, of accompanying periods of any levels of confusion or their habits. Thus, the Buddha-nature factors function everlastingly at their full capacities as the interwoven enlightening facets of a Buddha, for example as a Buddha's enlightening physical, communicative, and mental faculties, good qualities, and activities. The Role of Buddha-Figures in Tantra Buddha-figures represent the Buddha-nature factors during refined or "pure" phases when successions of moments of full understanding accompany their continuities. Because Buddha-figures have bodies, communication, minds, good qualities, and actions that work together like an integrated network, they are fit to represent these Buddha-nature factors. Moreover, the figures often have multiple faces, arms, and legs. The array of faces and limbs represent themes from sutra, many of which are also among the Buddha-nature factors. Tantra practitioners use the figures in meditation to further the purification process. The Sanskrit term for Buddha-figures, ishtadevata, means chosen deities, namely deities chosen for practice to become a Buddha. They are "deities" in the sense that their abilities transcend those of ordinary beings, yet they neither control people's lives nor require worship. Thus, the Tibetan scholars translated the term as lhagpay lha (lhag-pa'i lha), special deities, to differentiate them from worldly gods or from a Creator god. The more common Tibetan equivalent, yidam (yi-dam), denotes the intended meaning more clearly. Yi means mind and dam stands for damtsig (dam-tshig, Skt. samaya), a close bond. Tantra practitioners bond with male and female Buddha-figures, such as Avalokiteshvara and Tara, by imagining themselves as having the enlightening facets of physical appearance, communication, mental functioning, good qualities, and activities of these figures. More precisely, while the continuities of their Buddha-nature factors are still partly unrefined as pathway tantras, practitioners bond or mesh them with continuities of the factors imagined as the totally refined facets of Buddha-figures. Even when practitioners have gained only incomplete understandings of how things exist, imagining their partially unrefined Buddha-nature factors functioning as totally refined Buddha-figure facets is the general tantra method for removing the fleeting stains of periods of confusion and its habits from everlasting continuities of Buddha-nature factors. In short, the Buddha-nature factors remain the same factors whether they function as basis, pathway, or resultant tantras. The mental continuum always manifests some form of physical appearance, communication of something, and mental functioning, as well as some level of operation of good qualities and some activity. The only difference is the extent to which successions of moments of different levels of confusion and their habits accompany the continuities of the factors and limit their functioning. According to the Nyingma and Kagyu presentations, then, the subject matter of tantra is the intertwining of the basis, pathway, and resultant conditions of everlasting continuities of Buddha-nature factors to weave a method for achieving enlightenment. Specifically, tantra concerns methods for working with periods of the Buddha-nature factors as pathway tantras to purify successions of the factors as basis tantras so that they ultimately function as the everlasting continuities of resultant tantras. Tantra practice effects this transformation by bonding continuities of unrefined Buddha-nature factors with successions of moments of their refined situation as represented by the enlightening facets of Buddha-figures. The Sakya Presentation The Sakya presentation of the meaning of tantra derives from The Hevajra Tantra, a text from the highest class of tantra. This presentation elucidates the relation between Buddha-figures and everyday beings that allows for a bonding of corresponding facets of the two in tantra practice. An exclusive topic of highest tantra is the clear light continuum (clear light mind), the subtlest level of everyone's mental continuum. All mental continuums have clear light levels of experiencing things, which, as the ultimate Buddha-nature, provide them with deepest everlasting continuity. Coarser levels of experiencing things, such as those at which sense perception and conceptual thought occur, do not actually continue without a break from one lifetime to the next. Moreover, they stop forever with the attainment of enlightenment. Only successions of clear light levels continue without interruption, even after becoming a Buddha. If individual beings are analogous to radios, then the coarser levels of their mental continuums are similar to the radios' playing on different stations, while their clear light levels resemble the radios' simply being on. The analogy, however, is not exact. Radios can stop playing, whereas mental continuums never cease their flow. Regardless of the level at which it occurs, the mere, individual, subjective experiencing of things entails giving rise to appearances of things (clarity) and mentally engaging with them (awareness). In other words, one does not directly perceive external objects, but merely appearances or mental representations of them that arise as part of the act of perceiving. Appearances, here, include not only the sights of things, but also their sounds, smells, tastes, and physical sensations, as well as thoughts about them. Western science describes the same point from a physical perspective. In perceiving things, one does not actually cognize external objects, but only complexes of electrochemical impulses that represent the objects in the nervous system and brain. Although all levels of experiencing things entail the arising of appearances of them, the clear light continuum is the actual source that gives rise to all appearances. Mentally engaging with appearances means to see, hear, smell, taste, physically sense, or think them, or to emotionally feel something about them. The mental engagement may be subliminal or even unconscious. Further, giving rise to appearances of things and mentally engaging with them are two ways of describing the same phenomenon. The arising of a thought and the thinking of a thought are actually the same mental event. A thought does not arise and then one thinks it: the two mental actions occur simultaneously because they describe the same event. The Sakya discussion of tantra focuses on a specific Buddha-nature factor, namely the everlasting succession of moments of the clear light continuum's innate activity of giving rise to appearances from itself. The appearance-making is automatic, nondeliberate, and unconscious. One may deliberately look at something; but when one sees it, one's clear light continuum does not deliberately construct an appearance of it. Moreover, the appearances that arise from the clear light continuum may be of the continuum's physical basis – one's body – or of any other objects that it perceives. Here, the main point is that appearance-making occurs inseparably on two levels: coarse and subtle. Inseparably (yermey, dbyer-med) means that if one level validly occurs, the other level validly occurs as well. In this context, coarse appearances are of everyday beings and their environments; subtle appearances are of Buddha-figures and their surroundings. Everyday beings and Buddha-figures are like quantum levels of clear light continuums. Subatomic particles have several quantum levels of energy at which they resonate equally validly. At any moment, the level at which a particle is resonating is a function of probability: one cannot say for sure that the particle is resonating at only one level and not the other. In fact, according to quantum mechanics, a particle may resonate at several levels simultaneously. Similarly, because the level at which a clear light continuum is appearing at any moment is a function of probability, one cannot say that at a particular moment an individual being has only one appearance and not another. The everlasting continuity of mental activity producing this innately bonded pair of appearances may be unrefined, partially refined, or totally refined, depending on the successions of moments of confusion and its habits that accompany it. The process whereby a continuity of practice with Buddha-figures purifies this factor of Buddha-nature so that it produces an everlasting succession of appearances completely free of accompanying periods of confusion and its habits is the primary subject matter of tantra as discussed in the Sakya school. The Gelug Explanation The Gelug tradition follows The Guhyasamaja Appendix Tantra in explaining the meaning of tantra as an everlasting continuity. The main aspect of Buddha-nature emphasized here is the voidness (emptiness) of the mental continuum – its absence of existing in impossible ways. Mental continuums do not exist as inherently flawed and impure by nature. They never have and never will. No everlasting continuities of innate features accompany them that, by their own powers, make them exist in that impossible manner. Because this total absence is always the case, when practitioners fully understand this fact, they can stop continuities of confusion and its habits from accompanying their mental continuums so that their Buddha-nature factors may function fully as the enlightening facets of a Buddha. Since mental continuums go on forever as everlasting continuities, their voidness remains always a fact enabling purification and transformation. The purification method refers to the stages of practice with Buddha-figures. Unlike ordinary people, Buddha-figures do not grow from fetuses, age, or die. Because they are always available in the same form, meditation with them may form an everlasting continuity. The result of the purification process is the everlasting continuity of Buddhahood. In short, through an everlasting continuity of meditation practice of bonding with Buddha-figures, tantra practitioners attain the everlasting continuity of Buddhahood, based on the everlasting fact of the voidness of their mental continuums. Because tantra practice entails producing appearances of oneself as Buddha-figures that resemble the resultant state of enlightenment, tantra is called the resultant vehicle. Summary The subject matter of tantra concerns everlasting continuities connected with the mental continuum. The continuities include such Buddha-nature factors as basic good qualities, a clear light level of experiencing things, its activity of producing self-appearances, and its voidness. The continuities also include Buddha-figures and the enlightened state. The four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism explain varied ways in which successions of moments of these everlasting continuities intertwine as bases, pathways, and results. They share the feature that tantra involves a pathway of practice with Buddha-figures to purify a basis in order to achieve enlightenment as the result. They also agree that the physical features of the Buddha-figures serve as multivalent representations and provide the warps for interweaving the various themes of sutra practice. The term tantra refers to this intricately interwoven subject matter and the texts that discuss it.
  8. Who likes tea? I like tea.

    A true connoisseur 🍾👍😉
  9. An opinion or observation of madness

    Wasn't he and epstein accused twice of raping a minor back a few years? Davies or something. The court filings are on snopes, verified as authentic. So no compliments from this corner.
  10. An opinion or observation of madness

    Thats not exactly a bad thing. Any future trump wannabes (Stosh was rooting for Ivanka to be president?) will have something to think about.
  11. Are you positing here that the outer world of forms reflected by the mind is awareness, bliss and the I, and for that reason practice is required to 'chase' such reflections down despite knowing that such effort is ultimately futile and exasperating? An interesting, radical perspective which seems to imply that reflectivity is a siddhi of some sort, key to eliminating the ignorant belief in an experiencer and actor, both of which are impediments to *true* reflectivity? Is this what you're conveying? And also, how does *false* reflectivity manifest, and how would one know the difference? Cheers, thanks
  12. ∞ GURU PADMASAMBHAVA ∞ As for this apparent and distinct phenomenon which is called 'mind':In terms of existence, it has no inherent existence whatsoever.In terms of origination, it is the source of the diverse joys and sorrows of cyclic existence and nirvāṇa, In terms of philosophical opinion, it is subject to opinions in accordance with the eleven vehicles. In terms of designation, it has an inconceivable number of distinct names: Some call it 'the nature of mind', the 'nature of mind itself', Some eternalists give it the name 'self', Pious attendants call it 'selflessness of the individual', Cittamatrins call it 'mind', Some call it the 'Perfection of Discriminative Awareness', Some call it the 'Nucleus of the Sugata', Some call it the 'Great Seal', Some call it the 'Unique Seminal Point', Some call it the 'Expanse of Reality', Some call it the 'Ground-of-all', And some call it 'ordinary unfabricated consciousness'. *The classification of the 11 vehicles begins with the teachings of human and heavenly beings, followed by the nine significant Buddhist vehicles https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/alak-zenkar/nine-yanas, and culminating in Ekayana, or the path of manifesting nature.