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Found 20 results

  1. "Self" in Taoism

    So Buddhism has the concept of no-self, Hinduism has the concept of atman, Christianity has the notion of soul. What is the Taoist idea in regards to the "self" or the lack there of?
  2. A question that I’ve asked and others I know also have — in fact it is a frequent question in the process of nidhidhyāsanam (Advaita Vedantic practice/meditation) : “How can I stay constantly aware of my True Nature?” Swami Sarvapriyananda answers beautifully —
  3. The Radiant Light

    Chandogya Upanishad .
  4. Hello, As I have been practicing and working on attachments and identity. I have reached a state where i have dis-identified myself with my inner self, thoughts, past and such inner stories of me. but now i m stuck with deriving a sense of self and identity from other people, as how people perceive me. I used to be more of an introverted person, but now i m more of an extroverted person, as the need to have an identity is itching and needed from outside Because i need a kind of purpose or a reason to move and live life. I m not taking the choice to release the identity yet, because in process of doing that, i started being sad, and feeling purposeless. Less motivate to live and no passion to life. I have nothing to live for or something to exist for which makes me feel useless and why i exist? Any help or suggestion is appreciated.
  5. What is Light? I will start with what it's not. If someone sees various dimensions and realms, travels astrally to these places, interacts with others astrally, none of this is actually light! Not to discount such experiences. They are so fun and only those with their third eye open are able to do such activities in general. Light is beyond all of this. If I see something, anything, as other or seperate from me, if I travel from one place to other, then I am still in dual mode. I am just a limited entity, who sees 'other' things and be able to travel, interact etc. In Light, we go beyond the state of seeing to become ourselves, everything that is out there. If I am not seperate from everything else, why do 'I' need to go anywhere? As the crown opens and beyond, the individual starts expanding beyond the local body and mind to become everything. The whole process is fascinating. Questions, comments, welcome.
  6. Ego Self is an Illusion The brain creates the illusion of self
  7. Reality vs. Unreality

    I believe this illustrates well the nuanced meaning behind a statement like, "the world is unreal." This leaves too much room for assumptions, the limitations of language strike again. A more accurate one-line expression would be something like... "The world's appearance has no reality unto itself apart from whom it appears to."
  8. In context of self-inquiry and self-realization, when one starts down this path, one is ignorant of their self-nature (this ignorance is called avidya). The ignorance is because one identifies as their "Self", the body and mind, and the various things that the body-mind allegedly possesses and does (profession, possessions, passions, talents, skills, so on and so forth). So one might say, they are blissfully unaware of the "reality" and live mired in drama of samsara. As one starts the journey of self-inquiry, eventually they will encounter the fact that all that they had previously thought of as being their "self" is not actually that at all. Not everyone gets there quickly. Some suffer and struggle as a result of the inherent lack of knowledge of the fact that, IT, that which observes the body, mind and the countless objects of the universe ebb and flow, is the Self. But this Self has no properties that can be really observed, as it is the very subject that is the source of all experience, and all objects. In the period between embarking on this path and realizing what one truly is, is a painful period (at least was for me). It is rife with suffering of a special kind (some call it the "dark night of the soul"). It really is a "trial by fire", a "rite of passage" and paying debts with "blood"...but I wouldn't have it any other way, in retrospect. However, what drives me to write about this, is the news of that poor kid who committed suicide after going to a vipasana retreat for a week. That was really tragic. But we know that karma has a role to play here. As I reflect upon my "suffering" during the period when I was clearly in witness state and yet did not know my real identity (or a lack thereof, in the common sense), it was a struggle. I was unable to stand crowded places, unable to look people in the eye as the contents of my mind would rise forth as I was having a conversation with them and "negative" thoughts involving them would fleet through my brain. I truly thought I was a bad person, as a result of the contents of my mind (and habits that were driven by the stuff I was living on - social, nutritional, etc). As a result of this (for almost 6 years), I struggled every day. I would still stubbornly do my taiji forms, my standing meditations, my yoga asanas, pranayama, etc. As much as I knew that if I stopped these things, I would probably over time go back to being blissfully more ignorant, or oblivious; still, I could not stop. Eventually, I entered a phase, where I grew numb and oblivious to the world around me. It didn't matter whether I had a job or not. Whether I was with my family or not. Even whether I did my practice or not. During this period, I would intermittently stop practice and then start again, when I felt like it. Maybe, I was comfortably numb. In retrospect, becoming numb actually helped me handle the energies and process the goings on. But then my first teacher moved (it was his guidance and twice a week of contact (for several years) that kept me sane during this period and kept me going), and introduced me to Master Jose. Even before meeting Master, I had met him in dreams and he worked on me (for stuff I had asked him to help me with). When I finally met him in person, and he transferred his consciousness to me with a touch of his index finger to my 3rd eye, he literally kicked my butt across the line and I spent about 15 days subsequent to that in a state of ecstasy/bliss. After that, for almost another year and a half, I stayed in a split state of being completely Self-aware and in the local-mind/ego state (Master calls it the Spiritual Mind and the local mind). During this period, for the most part, the Ego was unable to flex its muscles - it stayed a humble servant to the spiritual mind. And around 6 months after meeting master, my friend who had seemed like a died-in-wool materialist started practicing self-inquiry too, in the classical advaita vedanta mode. As he and I started discussing this, I started to try and articulate what was happening to me, to explain in words my "experiences". This started a process of categorization and rationalization, which resulted in my "dropping out of the split-state" eventually. There was a decay going on, as the old habits and grooves started to re-appear. I was rather depressed as I realized that, thinking "huh! I knew that it was too good to be true...". So I asked Master, to which he said "two things are happening. Your body is getting used to the energy and emptiness and old habits are re-appearing. But this is the opportunity for you to work through them and get back to the blissful state". And true to his word, the return to bliss is working, steadily and surely. The old "cold and indifferent" state (Stone Buddha?) has been replaced by awareness of the awareness of being, which is so completely ordinary, that I would have never even imagined that it is that way. We read so many glorified and idealized descriptions of this becoming "Self-aware" that it is almost anti-climactic when the realization occurs. And along with that realization the other thing that happens is the realization that there is no moment that one is not that (Self). Old habits and samskaras that used to bother me quite intensely, have become amusing. The "blissful" state is really a non-state. It is always there. It is just that before the mind-body identification had so total a hold on me, that it was constantly masked (except for those fleeting moments when the mind would stop). I won't even say that the mind stops completely. Just that, by being aware of the etherealness of the mind and not identifying with the body, the background looms large and it's ever-present nature is apparent. This too is a stage, I know now. The dive is going to keep getting deeper...
  9. Where is the human?

    I am told I am human... and I get it. I'm human. I'm human in the manner of my mother and father and my ancestors and all humans... I grew as a human, yet where inside me is the essential human part? I can see humans around me and recognize them as human instantly, every time... well ok, sometimes it gets a bit grey at Walmart and Comic-Con, but when I look inside to find the source of that human recognition, all I encounter, is non human bits. When I look inside myself to find what is human, no matter what human bits I examine... my human teeth, my human nervous system, my human frontal lobe, my human opposable thumb, my human speech... no where is there any human element that this is comprised of... It seems I experience my humanity and any humanity only within a pattern. A human pattern that grows entirely from non human elements... so at what point does the non human become human? What is the essence of human? Where does it reside? When I observe a single human liver cell, I perceive one living being, in an environment, engaging in processes that affect its surroundings. It has a life span. It is a liver cell, living and engaging in what liver cells do. It is not alone, it works within a pattern of similar individuals that form into an organ I call my human liver. Yet if I delve inside the cell, even within the very human DNA, there is no human element. At what point does the transition occur, from individual liver organisms to a human liver? If I widen my scope I can see how the liver engages with the colonies of living cells in the heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys, bladder. Systems supporting other systems. Systems suppressing other systems. Patterns comprised entirely of individuals made entirely of non human bits... that somehow easily seems recognizable as human at a certain point. So where is the essential humanness? What is human and where is it? Where does it start and end? Often of late, I look around and perceive patterns. Patterns within patterns, as within, so without... Patterns comprised of individuals, individuals comprised of patterns, all naturally growing within frameworks so innately interwoven that in the end all patterns mingle fluidly into the whole. edit for spelling
  10. Avadhuta Gita

    This audio and others can be downloaded here: An alternate reading here:
  11. Where is the Music?

    Where is the music? Where does it live? in the instrument? in the musician? in the listener? in the movements? in the air? in the ear? drums felt in bones, need no ears to be heard. is there still music there? so what is music? where does it live? where does music start? in the mind of the musician? or somewhere in the answers above? if I think about music, only in my thoughts, is that still music? is thinking music, music? does music end? just fade away beyond hearing and dissolve? or is it endlessly resonant... vibrating outward? is it cyclically resonant, so long as it has something to bounce off of? where does it live? what is music? who makes the music? who's listening to the music? Now, reread the above questions and trade the word music for Witness... This rang my bell yesterday when someone asked in another thread where the witness resides... it is poignant and deeply resonant for me, so I share it.
  12. Self-Abidance

    Very succinct. This may help... ADVICE FOR BEING IN SELF-ABIDANCE Be quiet. See the mind as it is. Grace action starts. Then Peace occupies your Heart. Then be still. The Grace of Self burns all your tendencies. No question or any practice is needed. You already reached the destination. That is the Source of thought. If you lose your Awareness, immediately sleep, deep sleep or thought will come. Stop just for a few seconds, see the covering, and immediately Awareness will come. Then if you question, 'To Whom?', and wait, the question and thought will vanish. Again we will get Peace. Then be quiet and still. While you are in Peace, see the experiencer of that Peace or question, 'Who is that experiencer?'. The experiencer will disappear. But it rises again and again. As and when it rises, see it with Peace and Awareness or question, 'Who Am I?', until it burns. When the seer or the experiencer or the questioner burns permanently - that is Jeevanmukti (Self Realization). V. V. Brahmam
  13. Is it immoral to tell people who they are?

    Like if we see someone who is just a grim sad bozo who feels helpless, can we tell them who they are or is that immoral? I don't mean what some of you less evolved might have meant after reading that sentence. Is it wrong to tell people who are sighing and rubbing their chins against their desk that they are pure light?
  14. I think as it is the case with everything else, there is a time for something to happen. It doesn't happen sooner or later than when it is meant to. When we meditate, we are the observer. The mind, body etc are the objects of observation. When we turn the observation on the observer itself, it becomes apparent that the observer is unchanging and still. So observing the observer results in staying in the stillness. It is not easy the tendency is to go out and pick objects that change. That is the nature of the conditioned consciousness. In a way, in meditation, the consciousness is observing the mind stuff. When consciousness focuses on pure awareness instead (or consciousness itself), it rests in the stillness and becomes still. Being still, it is free of objects - so empty. And emptiness pervades. This is what I suppose is what the Rishis mean by "rest in the stillness" or "stay focussed on the Self". The mind starts over and over again...and it is hard to be patient enough to break out from the pattern of "observing things" to "observing no thing". But have to gently go back to the observer.
  15. I have felt that the two were more similar than different, but lately I am seeing very great differences. I think that the goal of the two religions in meditation is the same. The Taoists in the Secret of the Golden Flower, say that the ego can remain after the body dies. I think, although I am not sure, that Taoism like Buddhism believes in ending the cycle of rebirths. This would have to be implicit in the Golden Flower otherwise the ego, as the Taoists call it, would simply be reincarnated, which I do not believe is implied in the SGF. But I am feeling that the darma or dhamma of Buddhism is a stricter and more explicitly laid out program. I do not read in Buddhism of the channels, e.g., the Governor, Imperial, or Central channels that have such prominence in Taoism. The Buddhists speak of anatta, non-self, when they describe the sensifacient phenomena of the body. In other words, these are merely material phenomena and not indicative of a "self." But one unanswered question I have is that the pattern and combinations of these material sense events are unique to one person. Therefore when we say Mr. X is prone to headaches while Ms, Y is not, the aggregate of sense events one person has would seem to define a "self". I have not cracked the idea of non-self, either that the world has no self or that the body has no self. This seems like a contradiction of the Taoists and maybe the Tibetan Buddhists both of whom hold that there is some sort of consciousness or "ego" that separates from the physical body and that can be reincarnated or not. Theravada ideas on non-self may contradict Tibetan ones. But if there were no self, soul, ego or conscious entity of some sort, then it would be impossible to escape the cycle of rebirth because there would be nothing that was escaping it. Whether I should regard myself as a self or not is a mystery to me. Any clarification would be appreciated.
  16. I am somewhat confused by the concepts of self-remembering and vipassana(mindfulness) meditation. One says be aware of the sense of "am-ness"(without verbalizing it) whatever you are doing. The other says give full attention to whatever you are doing without letting your thoughts distract you. However, according to Osho, they are the same. But one seems to send attention inward while the other is outward. I cannot do both at the same time so they must be different. Am I misunderstanding something ?
  17. Sectarian bickering

    I've been participating on the various forums for many years. As I was reading a yet another sectarian exchange on TTB, I started to reflect on sectarianism. I think I have come to a new understanding. I'm an independent thinker and practitioner, but as far as traditions go, I've spent most of my time with the Buddhist doctrine. I also seriously love Daoism. I love the three classics, Daodejing, Zhuangzi, and Liezi. However, it would be a mistake to call my affection for Daoism purely a philosophical one, unless we use the ancient definition of philosophy as the love of wisdom. Beyond that I've read something from almost every tradition on this planet, and I found many interesting things here and there. In all this time I realized I actually don't give a crap about Buddhism, Daoism, or any other tradition. What I want is to understand myself and to grow my personal power, because I am tired of being a human being. I think that in some sense the differences between the traditions are quite valuable and these differences should be preserved for posterity, because it is these different angles that helped to illuminate my own being for me, and if this benefit occurred to me, surely it can occur to someone else as well. It's like placing a variety of mirrors around my body to see what it looks like from different angles. Each mirror only helps, and in the end, I have to be the one doing the looking and the understanding, and I am the ultimate judge of quality and authenticity, and thus, I am the ultimate authority. This puts all the responsibility and burden for my own spiritual development on me. If something goes wrong, I can't blame some Guru. It's all on me from now on and forever. However, if I do succeed, there is no credit to any Guru. No blame, and no credit. That's what happens when a person takes complete responsibility. If there are any Gurus out there who want to take credit for anything that happens to other people, please, be prepared to take blame when things go wrong, and they will. It's not normal for beings to behave as I do. I have internalized all authority and authenticity. I do not seek confirmation, validation, approval. I am not a normal being. A sense of belonging, that warm feeling of being in a cozy and cool club, such sentiments mean nothing to me. Before, people who belonged to quasi-secret clubs really used to piss me off. Now that anger is gone, and I just see them as pathetic stragglers, desperate to fill the gap in their hearts with a sense of belonging, and they get this sense by excluding others, and by differentiating themselves. They define what their turf is, and then they protect it. It's a bonding exercise. And here's what else I see. I see people who think that their own minds are worthless, incapable, and not worthy of trust, which in one word can be called insecurity. These people operate under assumptions of externalized authority and authenticity. Externalized authenticity means that if some spiritual experience or a realization happens, you are not allowed to claim it for yourself and you're not allowed to regard it as something genuine. You must go to some external source of authenticity, usually some Guru, and confirm your understanding, experience, and whatever else. Everything new in your life needs a stamp of approval. Without this stamp of approval you feel like you're nothing, worthless. It's the Guru's stamp, and the belonging to the lineage that confers wealth, status, legitimacy, everything. And if your lineage is criticized, you must defend it as if were your life on the line, because your identity is completely dependent on it. Without your Guru's stamp of approval, you're nothing. If your Guru's image is tarnished by some sectarians, you must defend your Guru, or else his stamp will lose its social value. And so you must become a sectarian yourself to fight off other sectarians all in an effort to protect yourself. If only any of you could understand how lordly and glorious my being is right now. How free and easy. How far away I am from all such meaningless and petty hassle. And all that is thanks to my spontaneous decision to take up deity yoga, where I conceive of myself as a deity. Soon after I'd done that, authority and authenticity were internalized. Old challenges were solved. Now I face new and interesting challenges instead of petty bullshit like before. I became a deity without permission, and as soon as I'd done that I've realized in fact it's the only way to become a deity. Had I asked permission in the form of an empowerment, I'd fail to actualize my current state, because I'd still be externalizing authority and authenticity. When most of the people take up deity yoga like I have, and I invite you all to take it up, sectarianism will become irrelevant. Imagine whatever highest achievements and accomplishments. When they happen, where and how do they happen? Can you see it? They happen in the space of your subjective experience. The word "subjective" is very important here. And they happen as a result of what? Do you think achievement happens as a result of understanding a doctrine, or a lineage, or a set of practices? Of course not! Achievement happens as a result of you understanding yourself! In fact, if you understood all the doctrines incorrectly, and you've performed all the practices wrongly, but you've managed to understand yourself in the process, congratulations, because you've become lordly and glorious, a field of merit worthy of offerings, a joyous one, one beyond limitations, a dancer of illusion, a happy lunatic. If you let anyone be the judge of whether or not you understand yourself correctly, you'll be in a world of pain. This is why fighting against subjectivity is a grave error. Instead, you should embrace yourselves 100%, even though you know full well that your way is not the only way. Taking this attitude you will be on a straight and narrow path toward all the mysteries and sectarianism will be over. May it be so.
  18. Ram Dass once said something, somewhere to the effect that we need to have one "me" watching all the other "me's". Does anyone else often feel that their concept of "self" is indeed fractured into many, many, many different selves that show up at different times? In my instance, there is the lazy me, the productive me, the heartless me, the generous me, the greedy me, the angry me, the sad me, the self-absorbed me, the kindhearted me, the homosexual me, the heterosexual me, the depressed me, the elated me, the caring me, the apathetic me, the me that finds meaning in everything and at the same time meaning in nothing, the me that is a dreamer and the me that is a realist. I am disturbed when I recognize selves that do not seem to come from a completely pure source, for instance self-absorption or vanity. i have struggled with feelings of bisexuality and didn't understand where any of it came from. But I don't know whether it is right to deem them as completely evil and needed purged, or whether to indulge them when appropriate and as balanced by other more heartful acts. I had a teacher once who told me the secret was integration, not destruction. any thoughts? thanks and peace