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About OneSeeker

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  1. Mantak Chia

    Actually, some trees bloom in the summer. Camellias bloom in the autumn. The question is whether stripper-chasing mayhem-threateners bloom in August every year, or whether this was a unique and miraculous occurrence, or occurred at all. The tree is judged by its fruit.
  2. Mantak Chia

  3. Regarding Dao Zou

    I had never heard of this Matt Furey person before, so I Googled him. Ay caramba! First thought: Anyone who would refer to himself as "Zen Master of the Internet" has no idea what Zen is and no respect for anyone who does. Second thought: He exemplifies Oscar Wilde's definition of a cynic as "A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." If anyone's interested in reading a fairly crazy/funny rant about Furey, there's one here. Edit: Well, my first attempt at a link doesn't seem to be working. Workaround: Google "Matt Furey" and look for the hits from sadlyno-dot-com.
  4. Meditation Mastery

    This has that "too good to be true" smell about it: money-back "guaranteed" results substituting passive use of external devices (questionable technology) for real inner work. "Instant Karma," as John Lennon said. The testimonials read to me like they were all written by the same person, and some Google searching turns up what looks like forum spam: fake unsolicited endorsements from satisfied users. A lot of the most veteran multilevel marketing sharks in the U.S. (Hieu Doan seems to be based in Australia) have switched in the past few years to pushing New Age-type DVDs as the "product" that allows them to get around the laws against pyramid schemes. Before that it was investment "education," which lost much of its allure when the economy tanked. This is all just my personal opinion, of course, and I could be completely mistaken. If so, I would welcome constructive correction. But for me, the bottom line (if you'll pardon the expression) is that real masters serve wisdom, they don't sell it.
  5. What happens when you meditate?

    Ouch, that seems a bit immoderate. There may be some confusion here because of the use of the English word "meditation." In Western practice, there's a clear distinction between meditation, which maintains the dualistic subject-object relationship, and "contemplation," in which that relationship is transcended. In general usage, however, the word meditation is applied willy-nilly to all of the meditative and contemplative practices of West and East, and misunderstandings can arise. From this perspective, in meditation properly speaking, the object of meditation can, indeed, be a concept; Marcus Aurelius and Descartes provide outstanding examples of this approach. Other objects can include images, visualizations, words (mantras, the Jesus Prayer) and so on. Contemplation, in contrast, is like the non-directed awareness sought in zazen and similar Eastern methods. That's my understanding of the topic, anyway, so it could be way off the mark.
  6. I was thinking about this whole question today and the issue of "conceptualization" and the rest, and then I was reading Cleary's translation of Wen-Tzu this evening when I hit this passage (in chapter 98) that seemed apt: "Knowing it [i.e., the Way] is shallow, not knowing it is deep. Knowing it is external, not knowing it is internal. Knowing it is coarse, not knowing it is fine. Knowing it is not knowing, not knowing is knowing it. Who knows that knowing is not knowing and not knowing is knowing?" I found that pretty difficult, though I don't think I'd call it "hellish." But the very next chapter clarified things, sort of: "Wen-tzu asked: Can people speak of the subtle? "Lao-tzu said: Why not? But only if you know what words mean. Those who know what words mean do not speak with words." If you'll pardon a gloss from Western philosophy, the Platonists hold that a statement (logos) is an image/reflection of a thought, which to them means that the statement is less real than the thought, which, in turn, is an image/reflection of something even more real, the eternal Form or Idea, which in turn, etc. etc., until you reach the Ultimately Real, which obviously is beyond thought and way, way beyond speech. I'll stop speaking now.
  7. Apologies in advance, here comes some of my usual historical-intellectual blather: I'm inclined to rephrase the question to, Does anything exist which is the cause of its own existence? My answer would be no. We are very accustomed to thinking in terms of cause and effect. In physical terms, certainly, we take it for granted that every object or phenomenon exists because of some chronologically prior cause. And in metaphysical terms, many of us accept the concept of karma, which also is often described as cause and effect. Either way, the idea essentially is that something exists or occurs, and certain other things come to exist or occur as a result. This type of thinking leads naturally to the idea that there exist "chains of causation" that can be traced backward in time. One result of this approach is the Big Bang theory, which claims that all these chains in the universe can be traced back to a single point of origin. The problem, however, is how one is to answer the question, what is (was) the cause of that point of origin, and what is (was) the cause of its sudden change into something else? Regrettably, the standard answer of scientists seems to be, there's no way to answer those questions scientifically, so don't ask. Aristotle already saw the issue and posited the existence of a First Cause, the Unmoved Mover. To avoid having everything turn into an infinite regression, however, it's necessary to presume that this First Cause was itself either uncaused or self-caused. Both of these possibilities raise obvious conceptual difficulties. "Self-caused" suggests that something nonexistent brought about its own existence. "Uncaused" suggests that it came to exist for no reason, purely randomly, and might just as well not have come to be at all; that may be possible, but it seems pretty unsatisfactory from a human point of view. The answer Plotinus proposed, and which also appears to me to be the answer of Taoism and Buddhism, is that the ultimate Cause of Everything is neither existent nor nonexistent, but transcends such categories. Because it is the source of everything that can be said to exist, it is "before" time, space, matter, energy, universal laws, change, causation, existence or nonexistence. Thus it is not caused, not uncaused, not self-caused. Obviously, this approach also raises conceptual difficulties, some of which have been discussed in the "limitless" topic here. What the philosophers east and west say in general is that if we insist on trying to talk about the Source, it's better to talk about what It is not than to talk about what It is, and any understanding of It in its transcendence requires us to find the transcendent in ourselves.
  8. I like those, and would like to add one that has been on my mind a lot: Crude oil in a cavern inside the Earth is very yin compared with the extreme yang of refined oil being burned to power cars, airplanes, cities.
  9. Steam mentioned Jung's personality types without actually naming them. They're familiar to anyone who has taken the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. Here's the list and corresponding elements: Sensing type, earth Feeling type, water Thinking type, air Intuitive type, fire Jung was to some extent a crypto-Platonist, and his types correspond to the four divisions of ancient psychology: Earth/sensing: body Water/feeling: irrational soul (subdivided into appetitive and emotive) Air/thinking: rational soul (dianoia) Fire/intuitive: spirit (Nous) There are online versions of the Myers-Briggs test, for anyone who's interested; just Google "Myers-Briggs".
  10. What happens when you meditate?

    The following doesn't refer to true meditation, but maybe it's the sort of thing you're talking about: Hypnotist Succumbs to His Own Routine The Daily Telegraph, Jan. 7, 2010 A circus performer stood locked in a trance for hours after he accidentally hypnotised himself while practising his routine in a mirror. Sword swallower Hannibal Helmurto, 38, whose real name is Helmut Kichmeier, stood transfixed in front of the mirror for five hours until his wife Joanna found him, The Daily Mail reports. Unable to rouse him, she was forced to phone her husband's mentor, hypnotherapist Dr. Ray Roberts, who trained him on an intensive course recently. Dr. Roberts spoke to Helmut over the phone and he slowly came out of the trance. Helmut said a person under hypnosis only responds to a voice of authority. Joanna, 22, said, "I was really shocked when I found him, he was just like a zombie starring at himself in the mirror. His pupils had gone really small, which is a sign of someone under hypnosis." Helmut, who has performed in the Circus of Horrors for four years, had recently learned how to put himself into a somnambulistic trance - a way of hypnotising yourself - to enable him to swallow multiple swords in the infamous circus. The performer, who is originally from Germany but now lives in London, said, "I underestimated the techniques and how powerful they were. I put myself in a very deep state and lost all sense of time around me."
  11. What happens when you meditate?

    I am unanimous in that.
  12. limitless

    Shaolin, I have a feeling that you're trying to give birth to something and you're having a difficult labor. I want to help, but all I can do is apply what I know from my own experience and learning. So it's a little like telling you, "Breathe in, breathe out," like in a LaMaze class. Because I only know what I've given birth to, and it may not be anything like what's trying to be born in you. Whatever it is, it's you and your existence that matters. If you're in the birthing room, don't let the doctors tell you what it all is. They may know all the correct procedures, but you're the one whose life is about to create new life, and no one but you can do that.
  13. A begginers book to tao anyone?

    I'm a big fan of the I Ching, and I think learning to throw the coins and read the hexagrams can be a useful way of getting acquainted with the dynamics of the Tao. On the other hand, depending on the kind of Christians you're living among, they might see it as some kind of diabolical witchery. The Legge translation is available online, but its language is kind of old-fashioned and sometimes pretty obscure. Thomas Cleary has done a couple of different versions from different points of view that are very readable and widely available in bookstores. There are also some online versions (Google "online I Ching") that allow you to throw the coins "virtually" and then read the resulting hexagrams, though the ones I've seen don't offer much help with the interpretation. I would also not dismiss the Wikipedia information on Taoism, especially the "External Links," which connect to some online collections of Taoist writings. The Wikipedia entry itself is a bit dry and academic, but the "Beliefs" section isn't a bad introductory summary, sort of a Cliffs Notes version. I hope you're successful in your search.
  14. limitless

    I contributed two cents' worth to this discussion back near the beginning of it by suggesting that defining something is automatically limiting it. Here's a couple more pennies: I still think that means your approach to this question is self-contradictory and, thus, doomed to failure. "Applying ... attributes" is applying limits: It's saying "This thing is like this, not like that." Calling something "an actual thing" means "this thing with the attribute of actuality, not that thing which is not actual." Even saying "unlimited" means "something to which the attribute of limitation does not apply," which of course is a limitation. It is, indeed, "unavoidable" because the truly "unlimited" is something beyond words or the restrictive mental pigeonholes they represent. That's why I keep scattering quotation marks around, because I'm hoping you won't take the words as exact representations of the realities we're trying to talk about. And I think that's why people who have experienced the Tao or the transcendent One or whatever use words to point, not to define: They use names, images, analogies, symbols, metaphors and, yes, poetry. They use them to point us toward "something greater," not to capture the "beyond being" and cage it within the grasp of the limited rational mind. That would be like trying to catch a cloud with a mousetrap. The hope is that the "higher," non-dualistic mind will recognize the truth toward which these pointers point, even if the rational mind doesn't, because the "limitless" is the higher mind's home. But to really get there and "see" for oneself whether the transcendent "exists," it's essential to get the rationalizing mind to sit down and shut up, at least for a while.
  15. What happens when you meditate?

    Interesting line of thought, something that never crossed my mind: meditate and erase your brain patterns. Personally, it doesn't worry me much. Maybe I've already turned off too many circuits. But I don't believe that brain = mind or vice versa. I think mind -- soul, to be more precise -- creates the body, including the brain, as a vehicle for operating in the physical world. The fact that thinking actually helps determine the structure of the brain could be evidence of this. And maybe what happens in meditation is the mind returns to itself in its non-physical mode of existence, leaving the brain to keep operating the vital bodily functions until the mind comes back and starts stirring up thoughts again. Thoroughly "unscientific," I know. Everyone should ignore me, probably.