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  1. Hi I'm a newbie, I've started to get into Taoism only recently, and beside the confusion around lineages, efficient practices, light body, real/fake teachers, etc., something more foundamental isn't quite clear to me: what is the actual goal of cultivation and of Taoism more in general? I come from an induism background (I'm not indian, but I've been to India, had teachers, studied scriptures, practiced meditation, had great unexpected results, etc) and if you consider that tradition, even though nobody can't really describe well what Enlightenment is (for obvious reasons), at least a newbie can have some sort of idea. I mean it's also called with a name and a good description which is Turiya and Sat-Chit-Ananda. Then if you are lucky enough you experience what it actually means concretely, which is not a state of unchanging perfection where angels cuddle you and pay the bills for you lol, but of course it's pretty amazing compare to "before" so to speak. All this to ask you guys, what is the so called Enlightenment in the Taoist tradition? I'm asking this for 2 reasons: 1. I don't see the connection with endless cultivation, I mean to achieve what beside permanent peace, happiness, satisfaction? 2. If a person, as in my case (I'll spare you the whole story which started with a spontaneous kundalini awakening until the crown chakra and it happened out of the blue, but I've been extremely lucky and blessed, I'll be grateful forever), does feel, or "has achieved" if you prefer, permanent peace, happiness and satisfaction, what is the point of cultivation? I'm asking genuinely, these are not rhetorical questions. I see that basically in the end all traditions point to the same thing which is Pure Awareness, calling it with different names (Rigpa in Tibet, Nirvana in Buddhism, Dao in Taoism, Moksa/Turiya in Hinduism, etc.), so that's why I don't get the whole cultivation thing if you have to anyway "simply" dwell in this ever present Consciousness. Of coure there is no end to the Evolution, it would be naive to put a limit to the infinite, but I'd say it's much "higher" and healthy to be full of love, peace, compassion, kindness, etc. compare to being able to levitate, fly, light up things, or who knows what other siddhis there are... I hope I have been clear enough to give you guys the opportunity to shed light on. Thanks a lot! P.s. If you are wondering about my nickname, well yes I'm genuinely looking for a real efficient safe practice to see what light body actually means, especially if it improves compassion, kindness, love, etc. You are all welcome if you wanna share something
  2. Hello ! Few things about me, I currently reside in LV, Nevada, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Background is Brazilian/Argentine.. nor sure what else to write here so I thought I would go ahead and share an experience with you all. Excited to hear what everyone else here has experienced! A few years ago and a few months then into my spiritual/meditational journey, I had an encounter that changed existence itself for me. Only a few people know, and recently I decided that I would share it with anyone out there so that they may see what the depths of your Self holds at all times, and anyone who has had a transformational experience themselves. If you read it, thank you for the time Here it is: At the time of my transformation a few years ago I was doing my regular meditation at around 2 A.M. The living room was virtually pitch black. 20 minutes into the meditation I decide to simply let go of my 'internal clock' that determines when I have meditated for the usual 30-40 minutes and I curiously go into seeing how long I can stay in that thoughtless meditative state. I would have to say about 45 minutes into it that I start hearing a very loud high pitched ringing/noise in both my ears.. as it got louder and louder so this bright light in my mind's eye would become brighter and brighter. This was a pure white light that looked as if someone had turned on their headlights to my face at point-blank range; my eyes are still closed this entire time and never open. This goes on for about 15-30 seconds and then the sounds and light are now accompanied by what seemed to be hundreds and thousands of voices giving me praise, so many voices that it was hard to figure them all out at once but I did not need or try to because I was receiving the core of the message intuitionally, I knew, I felt. It was like being in the middle of a fully filled coliseum, with everyone there cheering for you and loving you unconditionally with Love that reached deep into the past, present, and future all at once. These were immense feelings of achievement and how proud they are of me to come this far into myself, and that they have always been here and always will be here for us all. That they have loved me and all of us since the beginning of it all and continue to do so indefinitely. I was filled with incredible emotions of pure agape, pure love, and interconnectedness that took over my entire being. I smile with Love and Gratefulness and all I can struggle to say is " Thank you " as my eyes begin to form tears. As the loud ringing noise dies down and things begin to get darker, so do the voices dissipate. But it didn't feel as if I was going back down in consciousness, I went higher. Higher into a dark expanse that felt infinite, eternal, empty, vast and yet also containing the entirety of existence itself, all that has been, all that is, and all that will be. Which is plainly also, just all that is. There I could not identify with the part of myself that says 'I' or 'me' anymore. I could not understand it, it was so abnormal and really, non-existent to me. Not only was I in that Void, but I knew and felt my Self AS that Void itself. I was Everything and Nothing all at the same time. It was quieter than quiet.. no sound beyond the sound. Empty. Yet also filled with ALL of existence itself. Pure Oneness. What came, later on, was light, it looked like stars in the distance and stardust but also water, a different type of water/fluid. It filled my view with hues of purple, blue, indigo and a whole array of lights among this void. I stay in observe in a balanced awe. I open my eyes and break down in an utter joy that is beyond any comprehension. About 10 minutes later I comfy myself on the couch in which I usually would sleep on. As I close my eyes, I am in awe of that same sight of stars in this Void still there even after my meditation. It was pure bliss to shut my eyes and head off into sleep, gazing out into the star-filled space in front of me. I was whole, and one with All That Is. This feeling later went on to stay with me for months after, I was born again. Glad to be here with you all, and I'm looking forward to bouncing off of each other with anything that can help us grow -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Later on, I plan to host dark room meditations/retreats for periods of 12 - 21 days. Thanks for reading and Love to you all :)🙏✨❤️ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Words can never convey the beauty of a tree; to understand it, you must see it with your own eyes. Language cannot capture the melody of a song; to understand it, you must hear it with your own ears. So it is with the Tao: the only way to understand it is to directly experience it. The subtle truth of the universe is unsayable and unthinkable. Therefore the highest teachings are wordless. My own words are not the medicine, but a prescription; not the destination, but a map to help you reach it. When you get there, quiet your mind and close your mouth. Don’t analyze the Tao. Strive instead to live it: silently, undividedly, with your whole harmonious being." - Lao Tzu (Hua Hu Ching, chapter 31)
  3. Devotion

    Devotion and Worship may be something you secretly dispise or are attracted to. It can be for some a sign of giving up on autonomy and or willful self journeying and isolation from mass hysteria and lazy followership. But it has nothing to do with these things - though all elements of human frailty may be found as is true everywhere. In abiding wakefulness grace is ever present - gratitude pours forth to nothing - it is not in devotion - it is the light But Devotion simply dawns - it dawns as one sheds the ebbing rude coarseness that stood solid on so many willful grounds of insanity and ignorance. In the beautiful stillness - the boundless Presence - the magnificence and majesty - Devotion is camaraderie with the highest light. It is attending a dance with Angels. IN NOTHING great transcendence radiates within - one cannot but be in devotion. It is not a choice or a falling or failing - it is the twilight of all holding - the touch of one finger to the hand of Divine Essence in Living Light. Love unbounded - unbinding
  4. It is interesting to read and listen to Awakened teachers that have come from a long established lineage as well as teachers that have Awakened and then adopted a long established lineage as their teaching. It is also interesting to see Awakened teachers using their own words from the present and often changing the typical fashion of going about helping students to be pointed in practice and general sniffing around trying to get a clue what this “illusion” thing is all about. There is no question that there are benefits to a great well established lineage. And it is very possible for an Awakened teacher to adopt a lineage in which they have no prior base. But I am acutely aware that many of the past lineages of the very best and most productive sorts have wording and dogma that make it nearly impossible to clarify in a new students mind even the slightest whiff of what they are actually alluding to and teaching. Some of the most refreshing and superb Awakened teachers are uncompromisingly direct and clarify the “project” of Awakening so simply and so well that by comparison many extraordinary old lineages appear to actually create more detours than road maps by entailing incalculable destinations and using words and structures of teaching that are basically misleading by their vary exactness. I am not starting this topic with any objection - it is a remembrance that when I Awoke the experience was so utterly and completely unlike anything I had read anywhere in the great ancient traditions that I was completely unsure of what had transpired. And it is in this remembrance that this topic is created. I am from the “long” traditions - lots of practice and the idea that perhaps in ten lifetimes you might Awaken - they are in many ways as perfect as they are full of bullshit. Yet some of the emerging short forms - particularly those engineering quick Awakening are also very questionable. But some new teachings are very clear and offer real lasting abiding Awakening from simple yet strong well worded contemporary guidance. What cannot be expressed very clearly to many reading this is that once Awakened some stupidly simple teachings are clearly seen to be among the very best teachings to Awaken and some of the most superb and complex lineages make it nearly impossible to see the Forrest through the trees. Some seemingly very simple Awakened teachers are unquestionably the best pointers to truth and best practices for Awakening to Self, while some of the most authoritative Awakened teachers from some of the oldest and finest lineages are simply so immersed in initiations and transmissions and proper progress that they have put the cart before the horse to a great extent - as though teaching post Awakening work is best done prior to Awakening. It is tempting to utilize an old and wonderful lineage as an Awakened person considering or being brought into teaching - everything is already laid out and easily tweaked where one would like and students can plug into the tradition. It can also radically slow further progress in one’s post Awakened unfolding. And deep within one Awakened can wonder if teaching is what will be happening if at all. I also partly bring this up because of how brutally some “advanced” seekers judge “simple teachers” who are often obviously to those Awake of the highest attainment and often speak little from any lineage at all.
  5. Hi everybody. The nature of my request is to consult anyone who could help me understand the nature of my experiences and tell me how/where can I develop them/learn more. It will be a bit long but please be patient, it’s necessary. I got initially interested in Taoism when I was 12. I read a book from Alan Watts about Taoism, later I moved onto Lao Ze, Chuang Ze and Lieh Ze and it I immediately started to relate to it, and it just felt natural. Since then I researched many philosophies and occult schools, but Taoism kept being the closest to my core values. I’ve experienced several very significant experiences over years, and this far no one could tell me more about their nature. 1) I dreamt of future events. When they happened some 5 percent of the details were different (there were dogs instead of cats for example) but everything, including the locations that I never visited before were just as in my dreams. 2) I had a vision (meaning it felt physically real) that I was floating upwards through purple clouds and that I was going to die. I said to myself that I am not afraid because I lived according to my values, and then a voice told me: You’ve understood the lesson. Now return to the Earth and complete your mission. when I woke up my body was shivering and being full of electricity. I was lying in my bed but I felt I was in a vertical position. 3) After practicing Baguazhang, meditation and Taiji 6 hours per day for a period of one month, one day as I was walking down the street, I closed my eyes and I could “see” everything, as if I was feeling how cars and people were moving. It was like seeing blue shapes within a dark background. In the same period I went to play basketball once and my mind entered into some sort of trance. Although I was really skinny my strenght was almost super-human, ( I was pushing much heavier guys than me as if they were children)I was performing the most weird and acrobatic movements winning every game. I could score from the most difficult positions effortlessly. During the 3 hours I played I was in a state of bliss, and as I was playing my energy was increasing instead of me getting tired. I don’t know if that was Wu Wei but it felt similar. 4) I had a vision that I was an old Chinese man walking with my wife (also a Chinese lady) through a forest. We got to a point where there was an energy source on the ground and it told me to be the source of all my incarnations. If I listen to its advice, I was told that I can exit the circle or rebirth during this lifetime. 5) I saw a previous life of mine where I was a nobleman in medieval Italy. 6) I had a lucid dream or at least a very vivid one where I was a Taoist priest, flying through the sky and fighting demons who were after me. I hid on a ceiling of a building resembling a gothic catedral. They were right under me in a huge room (I was able to see through the floor somehow), and they gathered a pile of naked unconscious people, for sacrifice purposes. The demons said (speaking about me), “he’s becoming too powerful, we must stop him”. Their intention was to be able to “see” where I am by killing all those people. The sacrifice would allow them to do so. 7) During the same period of meditation and training I’ve mentioned I tried once to focus on everything within my visual field at once, without being focused on one thing. I was being present and alert, ai just felt as if by not focusing on one thing my energies aren’t tied to one goal/task but everything is equally important. Then I entered a state of mind where I could feel that every object around me was almost like physically connected to me, and I started to cry, because I felt an amazing amount of joy by being united with everything. I walked for a few hours around the town, with tears on my face, and then it just slowly went off. I am not interested in developing any powers, but only into reaching that state where I am simply what I am, in contact with my true essence and energies, beyond the limits of the rational mind. Any advice is highly appreciated. I would also like to study some forms of Neijia or Baguazhang, that could help me learn more about myself but I need a good instructor, even in China.
  6. Hello bums, Given that there are no short cuts, some paths tend to be a little less vague, covered in scripture, history, dogma, etc. Quite a vague question to ask, but as most may agree, all paths lead towards the same realization. I was hoping to get sum Bum perspectives on what some of you may think (or believe) by your own knowledge and experience, to be the most straight forward path. A lot of room for interpretation, but given your answer perhaps you could fill that interpretation with your own 2 cents as to why. Feel free to comment.
  7. People are mystified with or annoyed at people who have woken up making statements like “all you need is to be silent/still” or “nothing needs to be done”. For those who have spent years trying to “get something” - energy, grace, etc, is an assumption that they are somehow incomplete and will be fulfilled when they “get some thing”. Years of toiling, practice, austerities, thinking pile on. But mostly there are moments of experiences of “bliss”, a glimpse here, a taste there, and the elusive “awakeness” keeps playing hide and seek! But there really is nothing to “get”. There is a lot to give up though. The reason is simply because there is nothing one gets from the “outside” that wakes you up. In a sense no one really was asleep, so no one wakes up. What goes away is the mistaken identification and sense of bondage. All that is needed is simply that — give up the mistaken notions of bondage and simply trace the culprit back to its source. The culprit is the mind, and the 10,000 things it creates. It seems so hard because it calls for a type of undoing that is counterintuitive. The mind likes to do this and that. It’s job is to solve problems and subdivide one into many. So simply letting it be seems like the hardest thing to do. But all is needed is, to not get swayed by its fluctuations. Just keep watching it and trace it back to its root. Feel free to discuss the points raised here. Happy awakening
  8. I am sharing an answer that I wrote in Quora. Hope people find this useful, especially the newbies in this forum: The word ‘Enlightenment’ can be defined in many different ways. We have so many words in different traditions which are synonymous with the term ‘spiritual enlightenment’. The list of words are endless and the definitions are endless too. Some people exaggerate it, some people understate it, some people say that there is no such thing called enlightenment while the majority of the world’s population haven’t even heard of it. First, let me describe spiritual enlightenment in terms of what disappears. Deep down in people’s minds, there is an underlying dissatisfaction with the way things are. People want many things to be different from the way they actually are. There is a craving for becoming something that one is not and there is a resistance to the way things are. Everyone is moving towards a goal, a destination that is in the future. The hopes of arriving at that destination seem to give some solace and if those hopes and dreams are threatened, we tend to suffer. This burning uneasiness and dissatisfaction can be likened to a fire that is burning. The extinction of this fire is enlightenment. The word ‘Nirvana’ means extinction. The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment — book trailer There are also two other words ‘moksha’ and ‘mukthi’, which literally mean ‘liberation’. These words refer to how enlightenment feels like. A typical human being is bound by various things. He is bound by his own past intentions. He is bound by his beliefs. He is bound by the opinions of other people. But deep inside the heart of every human being, there is a longing to become boundless and expansive. We try to accomplish this by accumulation; we accumulate knowledge, possession and experiences hoping that these accumulations will make us boundless. But these very accumulations cause further bondage. Now you have to protect them because losing them will essentially mean losing yourself; because you derive a sense of identity from these accumulations. A typical human being is actually in a self-made prison. But the saddest part is that the majority of the population don’t realize that they are in such a prison. Spiritual Enlightenment liberates you from the self-made prison I have heard a quote by some anonymous person which goes like this: “One of the greatest mental freedoms is truly not caring what anyone else thinks of you”.. Imagine the kind of freedom you will get when you no longer worry about what other people think about you. And, also imagine the kind of freedom you will get when you are no longer afraid of losing anything. Imagine the kind of freedom you will get when you no longer worry about future and past! What is usually called as enlightenment is the greatest freedom ever. It is not only a combination of all kinds of freedoms that I just talked about but it is also a freedom from the sense of a separate self. It is a permanent freedom from the story you have about you. Once a person is enlightened, he feels like a huge load has been taken off of his shoulders. There is a sense of an immense freedom which is priceless. It literally feels like escaping from a prison. Once J. Krishnamurti asked his audience if they wanted to know what his secret was. Then he revealed his secret in just one sentence. He said, “I don’t care what happens”… Simply put, this is enlightenment. Nothing ultimately matters and the whole life becomes a play or a game. When we play a game with our friends, we play it without any seriousness. Even though we make sure that the rules of the games are followed and that we do what we are supposed to do in the game, we don’t lose our sleep over it (unless we are playing in a tournament). Playing your role in life as if you are just playing a game is the greatest sense of freedom. Enlightenment naturally makes you to not to care about the end result of whatever you are doing. At the end of the day, nothing ever matters. That doesn’t mean you will be irresponsible. You will just enjoy what you are doing rather than being focused on results. Your actions will be driven by intrinsic motivation. Whatever I have said so far, sounds quite logical. But I haven’t touched the core yet. The core and the essence of enlightenment is realizing that you as a separate person or entity is an illusion. You create a solid sense of self inside your mind and you define the boundaries of that self physically by your body and mentally by your story. But science and spirituality tell us that there is no such solid, consistent self. This doesn’t mean that your body and your mind doesn’t exist. But a sense of self that you derive from your body and mind is just a deep-rooted belief. Since you have this belief for such a long time, you don’t even recognize that it is a belief. This may even sound absurd or unacceptable to you simply because you have lived with this belief so long. We have built layer upon layer on this belief which makes us very difficult to see through this belief. Someone asked a question in Quora before. The question was “Can an atheist believe in spiritual enlightenment? “. The word ‘believe’ here is a bit odd.But this question comes from an assumption that spiritual enlightenment is somehow related or tied to religious beliefs. But in reality, an enlightened person is an upgraded atheist. Let me elaborate. The only thing that an atheist doesn’t believe in is the existence of a personal deity, a creator God who answers your prayers. But an atheist may still believe that his next door neighbour is a jerk and his boss is an a**h**e. An enlightened person, on the other hand, doesn’t believe in anything. He doesn’t even believe that he is separate from the existence. Once the sense of a separate self dissolves, you realize that you are existence itself. All the boundaries between you and the world simply disappear. You cease to exist as a person but you continue to exist as the existence.Realizing that you are not an entity separate from existence is enlightenment. It is not just realizing this as a fact but realizing it in your actual moment to moment experience. This is not to say that enlightenment is a special experience or an altered state of consciousness. When you are living a life as a liberated person, you simply experience the reality without any duality. The reality is felt in its purity without any distortions. Your life then becomes free-flowing, conflict-less, guilt-free, fearless, peaceful and fulfilled. Nothing is lacking anymore at the absolute level. There is a sense of innocence and genuineness in your moment to moment experience. It is quite ordinary then how enlightenment is described or thought of. So, what causes this illusion of separate self or duality? Left-brain interpreter is the culprit. The left brain interpreter refers to the construction of explanations by the left brain in order to make sense of the world by reconciling new information with what was known before. The left brain interpreter attempts to rationalize, reason and generalize new information it receives in order to relate the past to the present. The concept was first introduced by Michael Gazzaniga while he performed research on split-brain patients during the early 1970s with Roger Sperry at the California Institute of Technology.] Sperry eventually received the 1981 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his contributions to split-brain research. Left and right brain functions of human brain If you just look at the above picture, one thing is clear. You left brain engages in things which require categorization. Your right brain specializes in helping you to see everything as a whole. Dr. Chris Niebauer, a neuroscientist writes in his book ‘The Neurotic’s Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left-brain Plays Unending Games of Self-improvement’ about the left brain interpreter. Let me quote a few lines from his book: Quote “The left-brain interpreter is categorical, it creates division outwardly and inwardly, so let it do its job, let it do its thing. “ “Again, there is the interpreter created category of “me as I am” vs. “me as I want to be” which are both just thoughts bouncing around in the skull. So, ironically, if you are trying to improve yourself, you can’t. The notion that your self needs improving is an interpretation and we are going around interpretations. There is an irony in most bookstores called the “self help” section. I might suggest renaming this as “Books that reinforce the illusion that the left-brain interpreter can be what it isn’t free of itself.” “The interpreter also creates and sustains our collection of categorical thoughts called our beliefs.” It is this left brain interpreter which also creates the duality. It categories your body and your story as a ‘me’ that is separate from the existence. Spiritual enlightenment is going beyond all the dualities. It leads one to resolve all the internal conflicts and to feel one with everything. It removes the idea that there is a separate entity inside which has to enhance itself for fulfilment. The left brain may still continue to categorize things, but they are not solidified in our consciousness and we are not urged to protect those solidified entities. To know more about spiritual enlightenment, get my book: ‘The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment: Bridging Science, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta’. (Indian readers, click here: Bridging Science, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta eBook: Shanmugam P: Amazon.in: Kindle Store)
  9. Dear all, I successfully published my first book 'The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment: Bridging Science, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta' in Amazon. It is available in both kindle and paperback versions. I am able to provide the kindle book for free for five days using KDP select. The kindle book will be available for free from 24th Nov, 2017 to 28th Nov, 2017. I invite the members of this forum to take advantage of this free promotion. Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078494FQB Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973364549 Here is the description of the book: "Spiritual enlightenment is becoming a buzzword. Enlightenment is a popular niche for people who write or read about self-help, meditation, healing, psychology and more. But do you really understand what enlightenment is? Is it some kind of altered state of consciousness, a solution to get high without drugs, a way to live life in 24/7 bliss, a myth or a complete scam? Is there any scientific basis to enlightenment or spiritual awakenings? This book has the answer to these questions. This book attempts to bridge spiritual teachings of Vedanta and Buddhism with science. It gives you a practical and reasonable path to end your suffering and live a peaceful, satisfied and happy life. Above all, it will help you to find your own way and follow your own light. The book will also introduce you to some important concepts in psychology, which are related to spiritual awakening. The concepts and solution presented in this book are based on the author’s own experience. It also has a chapter that narrates author’s own spiritual journey which led to a complete spiritual transformation. The book also has a separate chapter which talks about scientific research done on spiritual enlightenment."
  10. I was thinking that apart from being able to defend yourself, cruelty and sadism might paradoxically be signs that an individual is, or at least was, in extreme attunement to the most intimate parts of the human condition and that's why he can be an effective sadist, because he understands. I remember a quote from somebody saying that only someone who understands people on a deeply profound level could possibly be a sadist. And isn't understanding people the same as understanding life? Wouldn't that make sadism a symptom of enlightenment? In our upside down world there are upside down people, who do upside down things, in an upside down manner, to at the end get back at this upside down society. And isn't enlightenment, in the same way, an upside down manifestation of what society wants?
  11. The function of a 'religion' is to re-link or re-bind oneself to the natural state. Nothing that can be written, read, heard, chanted, realized, or comprehended contains more than human constructed fantasy choice to replace appreciation of the natural state with fleeting confusion. Buddhist temples in the US contain suffering beings, including a master pointlessly suffering the suffering students. Buddhist temples in China and Japan contain suffering beings, including a master pointlessly suffering the suffering students. Zen temples in the US contain suffering beings, including a master pointlessly suffering the suffering students. Zen temples in China and Japan contain suffering beings, including a master pointlessly suffering the suffering students. The teachers and students at each share and exchange various levels and styles of pointless suffering to hone the practice. The more expensive/elite the facility or retreat, the more creatively the participants have to work to maintain ways to replace the natural state with pointlessly suffering experiencing being in the company of their own mind. Discourse is centered around exchanging delusions, and a variety of non-committal ritual gestures, often including sitting. The summation of all religious texts, from Sumerian to Vedic, to Zen, to Buddhist poetry that may leave ones face streaked with tears of joy, is not more than some patterns of ink droplets or pixels, and does not contain the real or aspects of the natural state. A religion that you spend an hour a week on at a church or temple, or 20hrs a day on will offer no more than a body that's older and closer to death afterwards if it's done as some type of 'practice' or 'exercise' as opposed to a mindful lifestyle. All expressible thoughts are fleeting delusions that mercifully arise and persist and conclude, having never contained more than human sensory phenomena artifact induced confusion of what may be. The natural state has never for an instant been out of reach of any being, an experientially programmed and self-sustaining dependently arising illusion of thoughts are grasped at like vapors while the natural state remains. Waiting to appreciate Now tomorrow is death while the gift of the bodies function is still active. The universe shared an incredible gift of another spinal injury that included exactly the right number of weeks of laying immobile in an ocean of exactly the right amount of pain sensations delivered with every breath to befriend pain and all sensation with equanimity and sincere gratitude. Seeking 'Buddhism', or any religious dogma or ritual or doctrine adds another set of constructs separating awareness of the natural state. While this loan of energy in body-shape remains animate and responsive to the will of your consciousness, seek experience and embrace it. Unlimited Love, -Bud
  12. Hey everybody, I was just wondering if anyone tried the rasa transmission from Ausar (www.ausar.org) because it's among the most powerful transmission I ever received that did something permanent to me and not just healed my body or removed blockages. I was searching for methods to quiet my mind and open me up to the Divine light, one's soul Consciousness. I tried a lot, from Flying Phoenix Qi Gong to Kriya Yoga. Nothing worked as efficiently as the Rasa transmission I received from Ausar. I was genuinely surprised. I felt the top of head opening instantly and saw many lights inside my brain. I was put in the deepest bliss I never could imagine. I tried this on my own with my Qi Gong technique but Ausar explained to me that since his crown chakra is already lit up, it was easy for him to light my crown chakra, like turning on a candle with a hot flame. After the transmission, I always felt the top of my head open and I knew myself as Divine light rather than the physical body. I am so impressed that I wonder if anyone has got a transmission from Ausar. I would love to connect with you and hear your experience. Cheers, Syl
  13. Science and Enlightenment

    Recently, I became very curious about bridging science and enlightenment. So, I went through many articles, books, scientific papers etc that have addressed this subject so far and tried to create a synthesis. I put together everything in one article, citing all the sources. You can read it here: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/is-there-a-scientific-evidence-for-spiritual-enlightenment/ It is very long one but I hope you enjoy it.
  14. One of the reasons for much of the suffering that we go through in life is taking life too seriously. It is not uncommon though; almost everyone is so serious about the drama of life. So, everyone has assumed that there is no way out of it. But, there is a potential for a change in your attitude towards life which will make you to treat life as the lifelong movie in which we all are just characters. There is also a potential to remove all the unwanted suffering that we have imposed on ourselves by removing the serious identification with the character called ‘you’ and your story.. I went through a journey myself that helped me to realize this potential and make it possible. (You can read more about my journey here: The Journey of a Seeker). I will call that whole process as ‘Awakening Through Mindfulness (ATM)’. If you believe in God, you can use the belief itself as an aid towards changing your attitude. Many people consider themselves as a puppet of the God’s hands. That helps them change the way they react to the situations and stop taking everything personal. But it is just a coping mechanism; No one is actually sitting up there and directing your life. Life and the force of the life itself is a deep and interesting mystery. If you want to call that force God, you can. That is a beautiful personification. Warning! For many people, beliefs have actually been a hindrance in the whole process. There is a way to really experience life as a movie and to be not affected by your self-image. You can completely detach yourself from the identification you have with the self image. .. Changing the attitude is the first step to ending the self created suffering and experience the life impersonally.. Your personality and your ego that projects the personality are just a part of the mask that you, as the character of this movie, are wearing. What hurts the mask doesn’t hurt you anymore, once you start experiencing life this way. Not only your ego and personality, but every thought, emotion, experience and knowledge that you witness in your consciousness is a part of that mask. Remembering this analogy of the mask and contemplating on it can help you to change your attitude to be favorable in the process of awakening. As you proceed with this journey, you will eventually have to drop a lot of your beliefs and directly choose to know what you believed is true or false. Then, either you know or you don’t know. There is no need in believing something. The sense of security that we get from beliefs will not at all be needed anymore once you start experiencing the life devoid of self-created suffering. You don’t need any solace from the beliefs anymore. That life experience which stands apart and independent from your identity is what I call as an ‘awakened life’. What you Call as Self is an Illusion! The next step is just to realize and remember always that there is no self; I am not kidding! It is a scientific fact. What you perceive, think and experience every moment is the result of millions of neurons in your brain communicating with the neighboring neurons through electrochemical signals. This constant perceptual activity gives an illusion that there is a static self. This self which is experienced as being the one who inhabits the body, being the one who is thinking the thoughts, being the one experiencing emotions, being the agent of actions and having free will is an illusion. Also, every person you see is a complex network of forces communicating with each other in cell level, chemical level and atomic level. 2500 years ago, a man called Gautama Buddha revealed the truth of the no-self for the first time. Seeing this in neuroscientific perspective, what you experience as you and your story is just a result of activity happens in a combination of brain structures called Default Mode Network DMN). This network is active when you are mind-wandering,thinking about others, thinking about yourself, remembering the past, and planning for the future. Hyperconnectivity of the default network has been linked to rumination in depression. Studies have shown that meditators and people who claim spiritual awakening have less or almost no activity in DMN. This illusory self is not consistent and static; it is ever changing. But the only thing which is consistent and constant throughout your life is your existence; the conscious, moment to moment experience that you are alive. Three Aspects of the Absolute Reality There are three aspects to what that is consistent: Existence, Consciousness and experiencing. Existence can be defined as whatever that exists in the ultimate, absolute level. You perceive and know that objects exist because of this. It is the sense of being alive.The objects may keep changing but the existence itself is something that is constant. It is not a ‘thing’ though. It is the basis of anything that is subjective. Consciousness is like a light that shines up everything in the existence. It can be compared to the light in a movie screen using which your thoughts, emotions, perceptions and experiences are constantly being played. The movie screen is static all the time. It also exists in sleep, but there is nothing to show. Since consciousness is completely dark and since voluntary functions of the mind are shut off, there is actually nothing much is happening that is worth to be recorded in the brain and stored in long term memory. Experiencing is not about various experiences that you go through every moment. It is the base of all experience, which is naturally peaceful. Peace is always the first and last experience of the lifetime. Even in death, the final moment is peace; a lot of scientists believe that a neurotransmitter called Dimethyltryptamine or DMT released in the brain during the last moment of death which gives peace and bliss. You are so peaceful during the birth too. You can obviously see that in the new born babies. Even throughout the life, you go through a lot of peaceful moments where you are ultimately content, all drives seem to be temporarily satisfied and you experience the ultimate peace and contentment. That peace is not really something that comes and goes. It is the subtle backdrop of all the noisy perceptions happening in the mind and never changes too. It is the base experience of all the experiences. An awakened person may often go through peak experiences (rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter – Abraham Maslow) when they touch the ultimate level of peace. During peak experiences, the boundaries of experiencer, experiencing and the experience dissolve and they all become one. The same happens with the knowledge as well. The knower, knowing and the known become one. Note that, when I say experiencing, I am talking about the ‘experiencing’ aspect of your existence; not about an independent experience. Any experience, including the peak experience com and go. But the ‘experiencing’ part of that which is consistent never changes. It would be better to use a different word than experiencing but I can’t think of anything that comes closer right now. So, whatever that is consistent which has the aspects of existence, consciousness and experiencing can be called with any name you want to use. You can call it XYZ if you want! Some words that have been used in eastern traditions are absolute, Om, brahman, Sat-Chit-Ananda etc… Some call it as your ‘true self’. The problem with all these labels is that you start to see this XYZ as some object, a thing; Something that can be either perceived, experienced or known. But it is actually like the space or the field in which everything is perceived, experienced or known. So, it is very important to not to get too attached to the word. Seeing the illusory self for what it is and completely removing the identification with it lets you to relax yourself in the truth of being alive and conscious. It will eventually let you free from hedonic treadmill and the pursuit of subjective self worth. You will feel liberated from the prison of this illusory self. This will give you a tremendous acceptance of what is; You will see life as a game with its own rules and challenges. But seeing that as just a game which will eventually end, makes you to play it with enjoyment and a great sense of peace. Many practices have been suggested which help you to go through this process of awakening; self-inquiry, contemplation of the truth and so on. The practice that I can suggest for you is the one which worked for me.. It is called Sati in buddhism, Shikantaza in Zen, Shakshi bhav in Upanishads and mindfulness by buddhists as well as modern psychologists. Mindfulness is used not only as a path to awakening, but also in modern therapies as a means to decrease depression and stress, increase well being, control addictions, slow down emotional reactivity etc. What is Mindfulness and How to Practice it? Mindfulness can be defined as focused nonjudgmental attention to experiences of thoughts, emotions, and body sensation in the present moment that is practiced by simply observing them as they arise and pass away. The paper ‘Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition’ which was published by University of Toronto in 2014 suggests a two-component model of mindfulness: 1) Regulation of attention in order to maintain it on the immediate experience 2) Approaching one’s experiences with an orientation of curiosity,openness, and acceptance, regardless of their valence and desirability. When you try to observe your thought process, you may lose your attention many times. Once you notice that the mind has wandered, you just bring it back to the awareness of thought process or body sensations again. No matter how many times the mind wanders away, you must take it easy and accept it. You can do this while doing whatever you are doing, like walking, eating, working out, waiting in a queue etc. Notice the flow of thoughts as if you are watching a stream flowing or traffic moving. Eventually you can extend the time that you practice mindfulness to most of the waking hours of the day. This may take years and years of practice. When practicing mindfulness, don’t approach it as if you are working towards a goal. That would simply mean that you are enhancing the self-concept and strengthening the identification with it .Awakening is not an achievement. It is getting rid of the craving for any achievement that increases your self-worth or enhances your self-concept. Seeing mindfulness as a means for something to be achieved itself is a trap which may slow down the process of awakening. In a couple of months of practice you may start noticing gaps in your thought process.You may also notice reduction in the number of thoughts. Also, a lot of unconscious patterns and repressed thoughts may start to come up and appear in the light of your conscious observation. It is quite normal. Just pay attention to whatever that comes up without reacting to it. But if you do react to it, that’s ok. Just notice that and wait to see what comes up next. As you do it more and more, the gaps will be more frequent and you may even start to wait for the next thought or feeling to arise. In a few months, you will start to feel more peaceful and relaxed. Your emotional regulation would also have improved. While practicing, become aware of the defense mechanisms of the ego whenever you notice them. Notice the repeated thought patterns and your attempts to maintain and protect your self-esteem. Reading the authentic sources of Zen and Advaita can help you a lot in moving through the process. Personally for me, reading the transcribed talks of Osho and J.Krishnamurti were helpful in understanding how mindfulness works and how to go about practicing it. Osho called it ‘witnessing’ and J.Krishnamurti called it as ‘Choiceless awareness’. The names are different but the meaning is exactly the same. Once you have practiced mindfulness for long term for a year or two, you may go through a crisis at times, usually called ‘Spiritual Crisis,’ a form of identity crisis where you experience drastic changes to your meaning system (your unique purposes, goals, values, attitude and beliefs, identity, and focus). It may cause a lot of disturbance, but don’t be alarmed. It happens to everyone but it will pass. The fruits of mindfulness always outweighs the disturbances caused by spiritual crisis. Benefits of Mindfulness I came across an interesting paper ‘How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work? Proposing Mechanisms of Action From a Conceptual and Neural Perspective’ published in 2011 by Association For Psychological Science. It lists 5 major benefits of mindfulness and also lists the details of studies which support them. Here are those five benefits: Attention regulation Body awareness Emotion regulation, including a. Reappraisal b. Exposure, extinction, and reconsolidation Change in perspective on the self. The fourth one, ‘Change in perspective on the self’ is very important, which explains in detail about a lot of what we discussed about ‘Self’ in this post. You can search for this paper in ‘Academia’ and download it for free. There have been many other studies done on mindfulness which show that mindfulness decreases suffering and increases subjective well being. Buddha prescribed mindfulness as the path to spiritual enlightenment. Whether you are looking for spiritual enlightenment or just improved well being, there is no doubt that mindfulness is the way to go. Also published in my blog: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/awakening-through-mindfulness-bridging-science-and-spirituality/
  15. Hello everyone...Here is the story of my spritual journey: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/the-journey-of-a-seeker-my-story/The post starts from how I viewed life in my early childhood, clouded by the irratational beleifs that I had.. Then I explain how my spiritual search started. I have written about evey significant event that happened along my spritual journey. I have talked about the spiritual awakening that I had in 2014 and what followed after. At last, I have also put the concept of spiritual enlightenment in a scientific perspective and tried to explain it using the terminology of academic psychology. It is a very long post. But since it goes like a story, I believe it will be easier for you to read. I am looking forward to your comments and questions...
  16. They say animals cannot get enlightened because they lack the necessary faculty. Only in human form it is possible. It has been said, even devas/angels have to take human birth to attain liberation. Made me wonder, if I have to make a prerequisites list for liberation, what would it include. I am starting with the assumption, it has to be human. I welcome challenges against this also. What else is absolutely needed? 1)Human (aka with body+mind+intellect to inquire) Does, health, functions of organs, energy, kundalini any of this are pre-requisites? Let's take an illustration. Some one is 98 years old. Bedridden in hospital. The faculty of seeing (physical organ - eyes) don't work so great. The person can't stand up. The only food is through fluids. The faculties of hearing don't work so great. He lived a life immersed in the joys and sorrows of the world outside. He was never on a spiritual quest and have not even heard of the word liberation or enlightenment. At this point, he some how comes to know about this liberation/enlightenment. He says, hey this is what I want. He is sincere and earnest in his seeking. Do we tell him, "Buddy, it's too late, why don't you just relax and try it next time around? See your sushumna is not open. It will take years of practice to open it up. You need to do pranayama and all. Or you should do karma yoga, or you should inquire diligently." With the body, the person stands no chance of doing pranayama, or any cultivation. 1) Technically nothing should stop him from getting enlightened, if he had the mind and intellect functioning. If we go by what masters say, he is already 'that' and only ignorance is the road block (like clouds), then he just needs to become aware of his true self. He should be able to do it anytime just before the last breath. I would like to see who would agree with this. 2) Those that say, the person stands no chance in the present form or body. He can only plant the seed, but it is impossible to attain the goal in the state(withering body) he is in. If we were to say, he stands no chance, this would put prerequisites for enlightenment, such as health, function of organs, etc. If this is the case, then let's list out what we think as prerequisites.
  17. For the sake of this post, let's assume starting from (before) Lao Tzu, Buddha, Adi Shankara, other prophets..... to ... Ramana Maharishi...... to ............. today (those that say they are enlightened) and have a huge following, that give lecture, have written books or scriptures (were written later based on their teachings), are all enlightened. Now that we made that assumption, do all these enlightened masters agree on any one single thing? If so, what is it? Some say world is illusion and just like bubbles, some other say yeah it's illusion but there is one truth behind it, some say no it's no illusion, it is very real, there are many things, only this moment is true...... Pray to one God, many Gods, don't pray to God, Just be, accept, surrender, observe, live in the present, knock and it will be opened, be still and know who you are.... - we reincarnate, all is per karma, some don't agree or the karma or reincarnation topic is not even worth talking about..... - do practices, yoga, alchemy, do self enquiry -- don't do any of these, they are all useless. Many say there is no suffering after enlightenment. There is no unanimous agreement on this also. If the enlightenment is the same state that all of them attained, then how come they all don't agree on any single thing? If I ask this question, then I am told, "This state can not be described by words neither can it be taught to anyone." Then why did all of these people give lecture about enlightenment, or life. If none of them can describe or communicate it, what is the point of all these lectures, teachings and books?
  18. ( definitions are here: https://www.google.com/search?q=enlightenment&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS520US520&oq=enlightenment&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i61j69i60.2038j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=spiritual+enlightenment) Based on the recent topic... First, let's get count of Awakened/Enlightened around here. Then, let's understand what it actually means from their personal perspective. Bonus question: can one enlightened/awakened "see"( recognize) another one without having to use words? Extra bonus question: when one says he/she is "Awaken/Enlightened", what is your first reaction? Celestial cookies for right answers will be served with high mountain tea shortly. -meow *Modified poll to be anonymous to encourage participation.
  19. I would like to ask the following questions: 1. Can Mantra and Dharani Samadhi and Mantra/Dharani repetition/chanting lead to enlightenment? 2. Is this a recognized method? Is anyone here following this method, and would you be willing to discuss it? 3. Which branches of Buddhism practice Mantra and Dharani Samadhi as an enlightenment method? How does this work? 4. How does such practice transform or destroy akusala karma?
  20. Beyond enlightenment

    I would like to ask the following: 1. What lies beyond enlightenment? 2. What different levels of enlightenment exist which are accessible to a human being? 3. What is the difference between these levels? 4. What is the difference between the elightenment achieved through the practice of Buddha Dharma and that achieved through Taoist Cultivation practices? 5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches? 6. Is there any spiritual relationship between Buddha Dharma and Taoist Cultivation practice?
  21. Hi everyone. I would like to know which forms of Cultivation lead to full enlightenment rather than earthbound immortality? What does the method consist of in these practices? David
  22. A Kickstarter project being developed to help you recognize you are sleeping and thus make you aware in the dream and become lucid: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1705207344/the-lucid-dreamer-wake-up-inside-your-dreams so you don't need to train or do anything in order to become lucid and worry about anything. https://www.facebook.com/NowThisFuture/videos/1257420744299103/ some would say that lucid dream may help to clear issue and thus help with chakras and so help with enlightenment, would be more like making a virtual world to deal with your issues and solve them, in a safe place, under your control. would you think it is a good idea? would you think, we might come to a time where an enlightenment pill or something in that space would be invented? wouldn't it be beneficial to just clear your chakras and become aware of energy without the hassle of the whole process? Even though, yes it is about the journey, but still.. things much easier Thanks