JustARandomPanda

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  1. The 5 Preliminaries

    Can anyone tell me the exact Sutra or Sutras that Buddha gave of the 5 preliminaries before moving on to the 4 foundations of mindfulness?
  2. Chundi mantra

    BTW, Because Sadhguru's talk finally made the lightbulb turn on for me about the levels of mind (and Cundi mantra) I've decided to practice it again and pair it with the Vairocana mantra that Bodri says goes very well with it.
  3. Chundi mantra

    I wanted to pop in and add something to this thread. I think I now understand a little bit why the Cundi mantra is so powerful. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says the yoga tradition teaches there are 16 overarching aspects of Mind. The deepest, most powerful and most subtle is the aspect right before one reaches Nirvana like a Buddha (or since he's Shaivite, Shiva). He said when this aspect of one's mind is awakened its as if all of life and life energies within and without arranges itself according to one's wishes. He said without one's self even asking the Divine for 'this or that' [insert Desire here] - Life will seemingly simply arrange itself so it manifests. He said before you ever ask for it - it will already be so - (from this talk came my understanding: Cundi is that aspect of Awakened Mind that is the All-Wishes Fulfilled Jewel - interestingly I've heard the name Siddhartha translated into English also means "all wishes fulfilled"). Sadhguru says Everything...inner and outer begins to manifest great good fortune when this final and most subtle part of your mind is finally awake and functioning. It is this Mind - the deepest and most subtle (right before it crosses over into Shiva/Buddhahood) - that has the 32 Major marks and 80 minor ones. The level of good fortune this kind of Awakened Mind creates is astounding in its auspiciousness. Of course this talk implies there are other methods for awakening this deepest and most auspicious aspect of Mind. It's just that the Cundi mantra targets this part of Mind directly like a guided missile. That's its goal and aim. This is why Cundi is known as the Mother of Buddhas for 7 Kotis. Beyond Cundi (in Hindu teachings at least) one finally crosses into the realm of Shiva (masculine). In Buddhism, beyond Cundi is Nirvana like the Buddha's Parinirvana. Because of Sadhguru's talk about it I now understand why Bill Bodri (and thus Master Nan Hua-Chin since Bodri got it from Master Nan) said this one mantra is beyond comprehension in its ability to confer vast good fortune - to the point of making even really horrible karma not be nearly so bad while its working itself out as it otherwise would have been. Not to mention the vast good fortune on tap via one's fully Awakened Mind (ok, may take some folks 800,000 single-pointed repetitions to get fully Awakened Mind on tap but at least it's possible).
  4. Rebirth in Pureland Mantra - story + video

    Namo Amitabhaya - Homage to Amitabha Tathagataya tadyatha - Homage to the Thus Come One Amrto Bhava - Nectar Occur (bhava = masc. sing. 'to get', 'to produce','turning into') Amrta Siddhambhava - Nectar (bhava - 'to produce') Siddha-accomplishment Amrta Vikrante - Nectar Go Beyond (vikrante masc. sing. - 'to step beyond, make mighty strides, to strive) Amrta Vikranta - Nectar Go Beyond Gamine - Glorious Gagane - 'emptiness' (the actual Sanskrit word means 'up to open sky' - ie. the mantra is capturing via simile that all beings are ultimately like an empty sky via use of this one word) kirtachare (sometimes spelled kirta kare) - Glorify (the) Name (some variants of this mantra add 'of the Nectar-Producing One) Svaha! - Hail! (with the intent of 'execute these verses to achieve perfection') - energetically (ie Chi-wise) according to some mantra yoga books and videos Svaha acts on the meridians and chakras like hitting the Enter key to input the Execute command of a computer program.
  5. Rebirth in Pureland Mantra - story + video

    Combining the above information with the story from the video I now think at least one of the powers of the Pureland Rebirth mantra (in addition to what Lady Clara experienced!) is to open the way to becoming a Siddha. Amitabha Buddha at minimum is a Maha Siddha (as well as a Samyak-Sambuddha) imo. Edit: after all... one of the titles given to Amitabha Buddha is the Buddha of Infinite Life and Shakyamuni taught one of the abilities of a Buddha is the ability to have one's lifespan be as long as one wishes. Amitabha Buddha's lifespan is said to be incalculable it's so long.
  6. Rebirth in Pureland Mantra - story + video

    I include the following excerpt from a book I have. I do so because this excerpt deals directly with the Amrita (Amrto, Amrta - aka Nectar of Immortality, aka Sweet Dew) the Rebirth in Pureland mantra invokes. The following comes from Kundalini: Aghora II by Robert Svoboda [ISBN: 978-0914732-31-0] pp. 88-89 Svoboda 's Guru: "Ordinary Kundalini Yoga is difficult enough, but an Aghori makes it even more intense. Do you know how you feel when you are full of lust? You can't wait to enjoy sex; you will rip off your own clothes, and then rip the clothes off your partner. Likewise an Aghori, filled with the desire to experience Reality, rips the coverings, the clothes, off the Universe when he wishes to love it. If you really want to progress at Kundalini Yoga you must forget your body, that thing which is clothing your consciousness, and to do that you must first forget food and water. After 3 days without water you begin to feel dizzy, your blood thickens, and so on. After 5 days you begin to gasp, and unless you are really dedicated you will decide you don't want to die and you'll drink. Aghora is the fast, direct way, but it is too difficult for most people. "If you don't want to force yourself to quit eating, and want to progress by stratagem instead, which is the way of the clever sadhaka, you must first understand the nature of food. To do this you must first thoroughly understand the nature of the 3 Coverings of the universe, which are----" Svoboda: "The 3 Gunas, the 6 Tastes, and the 5 Great Elements." Svoboda's Guru: "The 6 Tastes are within the body, not outside. Have they taught you this yet in the Ayurvedic college?" Svoboda: "They have alluded to it." Svoboda's Guru: "oh, they have alluded to it, have they? Anyway, if you want to do without food and drink entirely and live only on air you must manufacture all the tastes within the body; then there is no need to take them from outside. Amrita, the 'nectar of immortality,' is a glandular sustance created within the body which is necessary for this purpose." Svoboda: "That too had been alluded to in Ayurveda, with little explanation." Svoboda's Guru: "We exist only because of the 3 Gunas: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Most people do not know that Sattva and Tamas are two sides of the same coin. Sattva is Amrita, which is of the essence of the Fire Element. The Amrita in your head, this glandular substance, is the physical manifestation of pure Sattva. Tamas is Visha, deadly poison, which is of the essence of the Water Element. The metabolic toxins in your body poison both it and your mind. When you remove the bad qualities from poison it becomes nectar, and if you add bad qualities to nectar it will become poison. Ayurveda is full of examples of how poisonous plants and minerals can be used for medicine, and how improperly used medicines become poisons. I believe I am correct?" Svoboda: "Yes, You are." Svoboda's Guru: "Rajas is the bridge between the two. Rajas can transmute Tamas into Sattva, and it can degrade Sattva into Tamas. Rajas is pure shakti, energy, the very incarnation of illusion, of Maha Maya. Rajas does not know what it is doing; it just does it, so it must be well controlled. When Rajas is properly controlled almost anything can be achieved. And the only being Who knows how to control Shakti is Shaktiman: Lord Shiva. [my note: my own preference here would be to say the One Who Knows and Properly Controls, With Pervasive, Perfected Wisdom is a Samyak-Sambuddha / Tatagatha but since this book is from a Hindu perspective I want to keep the words exactly as published.] Svoboda's Guru: "The name Rudra, which is another name for Lord Shiva, indicates the shedding of tears. Rudra brings you nothing but tears. Before the Rudra Granthi is pierced the sadhaka sheds tears of misery, of Maya, because he cannot be sure of himself, or of the existence of God. This doubt continues until that Knot is pierced, when all doubt is removed. The glands of the body then begin to secrete Amrita: they 'shed tears'. This Amrita causes the devotee to shed tears of joy. Shiva drinks poison but he converts it into Amrita. In order to do this you must know the relation between Visha, which is poison, and Vishaya, which means sense object. The world of sense objects is the true poison because it is impermanent. People fleetingly regard it as permanent, and this leads to delusion. During sex, for instance, a man feels, "Oh! What bliss I am enjoying!' But suddenly, pfssst! - emission. Then he realizes, "No, it is no longer there.". His dream construction of heaven has evaporated. "Everything Shiva takes in is converted into Amrita, which is called Amrita because it is permanent, not transitory. And that is why it is connected only with Lord Shiva, Who is your real Self, your soul. As long as you are in the world your consciousness is connected with sense objects; it is the state of transience, of ignorance. Only when you come to Shiva can you find Amrita. "To obtain Amrita the grace of your guru is also necessary, at the very end when you are just on the threshold of progress. It is like a Rishi's goat sacrifice. The Rishi who kills the goat will send it into a higher womb, but the goat doesn't know that and feels great pain at first. The sadhaka who wants to do without food also suffers, but a good guru is relentless, and finally the Amrita is obtained. The disciple goes beyond food and becomes a Siddha, an immortal." ***** edits: assorted typos
  7. Thought I would share with the board this lovely video by Master Chin-Kung. While it's a talk about what to do if you're the sole person among your family and friends to follow the Buddha that's not why I am posting it. The real gem of the story is appended from an article account of what happened to Lady Clara Lin Kok Yuen at the moment of her death. She practiced the Amitabha Rebirth in Pureland mantra regularly. Let's just say...if the account is really true - well, I was blown away and knew I had to post this video to the board. If you want you can fast forward to 4 minutes. That's when Master Chin-Kung begins the story about Lady Clara and her family and friends. Don't exit the video after his talk because that's when the newspaper article begins. Read it. And if you're like me - be stunned at the power of this Pureland Mantra (and of Amitabha!). Lady Clara Lin Kok Yuen and the Amitabha Pureland Rebirth mantra
  8. I think the board might appreciate this video.
  9. What is a Buddha?

    Just a little note to say that one of the reasons I like Sadhguru is that he has released a few videos wherein he praises the Buddha quite a bit.
  10. What is a Buddha?

    Though he is not himself a Buddhist, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev once touched on this topic in response to an audience question. He said a Buddha is one who is above Intellect (Buddhi). Intellect (Buddhi) is what separates humans from animals. Animals know and are aware. But only humans have Buddhi. We not only know but we know that we know. This opens up tremendous potential in humans that is not possible for animals - even highly intelligent ones. once Buddhi is active each person can actively choose and direct his or her own growth potential - going in whichever direction he/she prefers. Animals do not have this option because their Buddhi has not yet bloomed. Buddhi has also bloomed in devas and gods. They also have Buddhi. A Buddha has gone beyond even this. Has jumped beyond even Buddhi, he said (ie Sadhguru said). A Buddha's wisdom, compassion, power, etc is beyond comprehension (apparently literally < [my comment]). And though Sadhguru's talk did not state it I suspect it is nonetheless true - A Buddha's Power has therefore also jumped beyond Buddhi. That is why it is said only a Buddha can first turn the wheel of the Dharma after the Dharma has ended. Dharma, in this case, having a transcendent wisdom, compassion and transcendent energy component. It is an "energy" / Chi / Unsurpassed Spiritual Power thing (ie setting in motion the wheel of the energy/Shakti* that leads to liberation for sentient beings - it is an exceedingly rare special type of spiritual power that only Buddhas possess), not merely an Intellect (Buddhi-based) thing - a jump beyond on a scale so vast and limitless in scope even the greatest God(s) imaginable can not compare. Thus the Buddha was a world-honored one even among devas and deities. ****** Edit: * Now I think I understand why Maitreya Buddha said "For the sake of rescuing you all I have given to innumerable people my kingdom, my head, my eyes, my hands, my feet and my wife. Beginning today are my liberation and the unsurpassed great silence and stillness." I puzzled over that phrase - particularly the word wife but I think maybe I have an inkling of what he meant (or at least how it means to this little worldling). Wife = Shakti (which is always described as feminine). Taoism sees Yin as the powerhouse and is also seen as the feminine. And when one practices meditation and letting go it is often described as getting Shakti (female energy / unsurpassed power) to unite with Shiva (male stillness/unwaveringness/emptiness). According to Sadhguru: 'Shi' - 'va' = the syllables mean (and invoke) 'that-which-is-not' 'Shakti' = the syllables mean (and invoke) 'that-which-is' He says they are 2 sides of the same coin. Thus all things are empty.
  11. The Four Dharmas of Attraction

    So I was watching a Youtube vid about the Prophecy of Maitreya's Future Buddhahood when there was a line translated in the vid that talked about cultivating the Four Dharmas of Attraction. For some reason that line popped out at me tonight like it never had before ( I really like that video as it always makes me feel so happy and delightful when I watch it - especially when Maitreya Buddha honors Mahakasyapa and is honored in return by Mahakasyapa). Anyway...I wondered what that meant - the Four Dharmas of Attraction as I'd never noticed them before so I ran a search on it and found some commentary by Master Hsuan Hua translated into English from the Avatamsaka Sutra (isn't that the same as the Flower Ornament Sutra?). There was a transcription of a small bit of the sutra followed by Master Hua's commentary and I noticed it was giving an exacting description of precisely the things one needs to put into practice daily to attain to the 4 Dharmas of Attraction. Those being 1. Attracting living beings 2. The power to use kind and loving words to inspire them and inspire joy 3. Beneficial Conduct 4. Similarity in Deeds Master Hua states the first two are the beginning practices on the path to being a Bodhisattva and it all starts with the daily mental practice of seeing yourself giving offerings to all the Buddhas of all the time periods and all directions. Then you immediately imagine any reciprocal benefit coming to you from the first step - you then turn around and imagine yourself giving that benefit to the ground of all-wisdom. I presume the all-wisdom is prajna wisdom, yes? the article never really states what is meant by "all-wisdom" I assume it means 'prajna' wisdom. To my great surprise I noticed this document was a description of some things I like to do. I did them just because it's to a point that envisioning such is simply expressing a true desire I have. I was not aware it is actually considered a real cultivation method for the mind but apparently it is. I just do it because I want to at that particular moment when it pops up. Was not aware there is any particular kind of fruit from that practice but it seems to be that there is. Now where I am somewhat perplexed is with the final 2 "practices". Beneficial Conduct and Similarity in Deeds. Master Hua says these are not quite the same as practicing the paramita of giving (ie generosity). Practicing giving is a practice of the first two but not completely of the last two. That is...it shows this person is a beginner, a white belt, a greenhorn on the path to becoming a Bodhisattva. Which made me laugh because now I can definitely state I am a noob - Mind-wise - on the path even according to other Buddhists. Back to the last 2 dharmas. They seem obvious at first glance. Until I really started to wonder what those 2 practices must actually consist of as a daily routine. And that I confess I don't know for sure. Beneficial Conduct seems kind of happenstance...maybe that day you'll be lucky enough to practice it if you're around enough people but if you live alone or for whatever reason don't have much daily contact with other people it might not pop up as an opportunity at all. Or perhaps it involves some kind of practice I'm not aware of. Nor did the article extract mention one. Similarity in Deeds is even more puzzling. About the only thing I can think of is that old saw some religious people ask themselves, "what would Jesus do in this situation?" or "what would the Buddha do in this situation?" and then hopefully intuit the answer (Buddha-dharma-compliant of course). I want to practice the other 2 dharmas as well. Does anyone know if the Avatamsaka Sutra itself explains those last two and gives examples? I don't own a copy so unfortunately can not read the source document. Is there anyone here who practices along these lines daily to cultivate the four dharmas of attraction? If so what do you do and what has been your experience of such? Here is the extract I found: http://www.drbachinese.org/vbs/1_100/vbs93/93_3.html The original Youtube vid I watched:
  12. All Things Mantra

    Another addendum about the Cundi mantra. In that region of India Cundi is often spelled with dots above each of the letters - i.e - umlauts.
  13. All Things Mantra

    I have been chanting the Cundi mantra for quite some time now and am amazed at the benefits I'm getting from it. Here's another tip to aid you when chanting mantras. Find or create your own small and simple vegetable oil lamp. You can download a $3 book from Amazon on how to make them. You can also try using a beeswax candle while chanting but I don't know if you get all of the same benefits as with the oil lamp. I use the candle but my goal is to make one of these simple vegetable oil lamps and see if I get even better results. The reason is this: When one lights an oil lamp every one of the Great Elements comes into play - earth - the physical lamp that is the stable base, water - represented by the oil, fire - present by of course the candle flame and air - the element that allows the flame to burn. When all of these come together the final and most subtle of the Great Elements is there too - Aether. Aether creates an atmosphere that is favorable for meditation, mantra and yantra. When I first heard this being discussed by some Indian mystics (Shri Rohit Arya and also Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev) on YouTube videos I decided to try it and I must say there does seem to be something special and helpful when chanting a mantra or meditating in the presence of flame. I haven't graduated to the oil lamp yet but even using a beeswax candle seems to help. Now I'm wondering if one of those little water floating votive candles might give the same results as an oil lamp. I also now understand why Kasina can be a good way to begin training in concentration before graduating to internal focusing on the breath or one of the Dantiens.
  14. Are there any good Qigong books for beginners?

    I have been reading Master Zhongxian Wu's Qigong Empowerment. If you can afford DVDs then you can't go wrong with one of the many recommended by other TBs in this thread. I have the first level of Spring Forest Qigong and it's a really good system. But any of the ones listed have plenty of material beginners can practice. There's always a risk with beginning energy practices but it seems most people have good experiences with learning and practicing Qigong from DVDs. If they truly had a history of causing problems then doubtless lawsuits and even just bad word of mouth would squeeze DVD instruction to the fringes. Certainly I've not had anything bad happen doing the Level 1 Spring Forest practice. Well...I've also done Kunlun Nei Gong and it helped when doing it (improved health, more balanced mind and emotions...etc) but as with anything in life... your mileage may vary. I guess I would say anything that enhances your perception of that which you call "myself" (and Qigong can potentially aid in that) is something I think more people would benefit from making time for.
  15. How to discover the changing line(s)?

    I recently purchased The Magician's I Ching by Swami Anand Nisarg. The book has helped me understand some things about the I Ching I didn't before. However, the one thing that has frustrated me to no end is the utter lack of explaining how a person throwing the sticks - using the method he describes - determines which line (lines?) is the changing line. This book using 4 carpenter's pencils rather than 50 yarrow stalks to create the hexagrams. He gives an explanation of why the 3 coin method is not as good as the 50 yarrow stalks (it has to do with mathematical probabilities). So he developed the 4 carpenter pencil method to duplicate the probabilities of the 50 stalk method without actually needing to haul around 50 stalks. Sounded great. Until I got to the section where he talks about creating a hexagram. And that's when I realized this book is probably meant for people whom already have been casting i ching hexagrams for many years. He just tosses out a single line about needing to determine the changing line but fails to explain how one goes about doing that. This in a book where he stresses in the introduction and the publisher has on the back cover how it's a book meant for i ching noobs. Can anyone here explain to me step by step how you go about determining which line (lines? can there be more than one changing line?) is the changing line? Any help is appreciated. **** Edit: corrected typo