dwai

IMA and Awakening

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Among the list of awakened people I have seen, a large proportion seem to be internal martial artists. Maybe because that is the sphere of influence I spent most of my time in.

There is something inherent in the internal arts and the martial ethos that makes it easier for an individual to focus and become single-pointed. There is a need to be present in face of bodily harm ¬†where the thinking mind needs to disappear so appropriate and spontaneous action arises. The concept of ‚Äúno mind‚ÄĚ with proper guidance can help cultivate the spiritual mind (like my master constantly points us to).¬†

Yes it is possible for martial artists to get caught up in the ego story. Many do. But it is also easy enough to transcend that identity because we clearly see the relativity of levels of mastery. We, on occasion, get to cross hands with people who can literally end our lives in a blink of an eye. Then, if we are sincere and honest with ourselves, will see that our ideas on ‚Äúhow good we really are‚ÄĚ fly out of the proverbial window. A genuine humility sets in.¬†

The text books of the warriors are the practice of forms and meditations we undertake, controlled violence the laboratory and getting ‚Äúout of our own way‚ÄĚ the result. And purification of the consciousness is continuous.

It is ironic and paradoxical and unless one has trained this way, one cannot comprehend it.

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The ever present threat of death can be good motivation for cultivation. I remember Doc said that he saw Kundalini Awakening more commonly from Soldiers/Warriors because they were often thrust into such adrenally potent situations. 

 

As you mentioned, having something tangible to measure oneself against is of great value.  

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Internal martial arts is mostly about expressing the human body and building, cultivating chi.. learning the meridian points.. Dantiens, etc.. even chakra work would be beneficial..

 

If you dont deny the ego.. you can blend it into the practice.. but you realize what the ego is!

 

True internal martial arts is graded on the idea of being honest to the degree of not even having to use effort or energy!

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Internal martial arts are about coming to terms with the forces of existence.. The duality of action and reception. Yin and yang, flow of moment, spiritual aptitude and cultivation.. like tending to a Zen garden..

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Yup thats totally true.. to the point of losing awareness of the outside world.

 

But thats like a circle.. you cant forget your surroundings forever..?

 

So its like yin inner work.. And yang outer..

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Out of all the awake people I have met not a single one has been into internal martial arts :) as far as I'm aware. So I guess it depends on where you look. 

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11 hours ago, Jetsun said:

Out of all the awake people I have met not a single one has been into internal martial arts :) as far as I'm aware. So I guess it depends on where you look. 

 

Also depends on the criteria to confirm awakening.

:) 

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A regular martial artist struggles to understand why he or she must constantly keep on the side of good;

An awakened martial artist is one who knows he/she can no longer keep to the side of the dark. 

 

Its the same with the view of what a compassionate person is: The common view is that one who cultivates compassion must always be obligated towards helpfulness and charity, whereas the actual meaning of a compassionate person is one who is no longer able to be unhelpful and uncharitable. The latter gives birth to wu-wei, whereas the former repels wu-wei. 

 

i think... 

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A. Morality

Virtue

Hard work

Solitude

Practice in Nature

 

will deliver the real goods.

 

B. Selfies, Facebook, immorality, instant gratification, quick and easy money acquired fraudently....values that are highly cherished today...will deliver other kind of goods.

 

Pick and choose:

 

Hard A

Easy B

 

Most will go for the 2nd option because it is what it shines, glitters, it is the fireworks, the sizzle.

 

Who wants to work hard anymore?

 

Quick jhana, 10-day retreats, deadly Taijiquan, it has to be done quickly or I’m not interested sorry. 

Edited by Gerard
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1 hour ago, Gerard said:

A. Morality

Virtue

Hard work

Solitude

Practice in Nature

 

will deliver the real goods.

 

 

 

Not only will these deliver the goods... they are the goods ;)

 

make no mistake about this.. otherwise those who invest their life in practice without knowing this secret can become quite distraught (even bitter) in constant anticipation of the pear dropping (one day, and the next ad infinitum) without proper insight that the pear is already in the hand with the practice. In Buddhist teachings it is said that the harvest and the path (practice) are not two distinct events.  

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I meditate everyday.. all day long.. its very useful.. indeed..

 

Nothings wrong with martial arts.. why would we take the fun away.. why would we give up whats life to live in, on.. ecstacy is the beginning of enlightenment..

 

Though its true.. the shadow side of the personality is the part you havent realized yet.. or havent forgiven..

 

I call the shadow the performance gap.. between pure sublime being.. and your average Coyote..

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4 hours ago, Gerard said:

A. Morality

Virtue

Hard work

Solitude

Practice in Nature

 

will deliver the real goods.

 

B. Selfies, Facebook, immorality, instant gratification, quick and easy money acquired fraudently....values that are highly cherished today...will deliver other kind of goods.

 

Pick and choose:

 

Hard A

Easy B

 

Most will go for the 2nd option because it is what it shines, glitters, it is the fireworks, the sizzle.

 

Who wants to work hard anymore?

 

Quick jhana, 10-day retreats, deadly Taijiquan, it has to be done quickly or I’m not interested sorry. 

 

 

This is more like life teachings rather than anything to do with awakening. How to lead a more successful life in Samsara.

 

Awakening (at least as I see it and understand it) doesn't obay such formulation or is confined to such beliefs. For example there are many stories of people awakening who did no practice or put in any effort. There are stories of people awakening in Prison after leading a life of ill virtue like Kenny Johnson , https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/?speakers=kenny-johnson , many people say Tucci Williams had a spiritual awakening in prison and he was a violent murderer who founded the Crips gang. 

 

As far as I can see our ultimate nature can express itself in any way it wants in any situation, the way we think it should go or would like it to go doesn't come into it. 

 

 

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On 2/3/2018 at 4:57 PM, dwai said:

Among the list of awakened people I have seen, a large proportion seem to be internal martial artists. Maybe because that is the sphere of influence I spent most of my time in.

There is something inherent in the internal arts and the martial ethos that makes it easier for an individual to focus and become single-pointed. There is a need to be present in face of bodily harm ¬†where the thinking mind needs to disappear so appropriate and spontaneous action arises. The concept of ‚Äúno mind‚ÄĚ with proper guidance can help cultivate the spiritual mind (like my master constantly points us to).¬†

Yes it is possible for martial artists to get caught up in the ego story. Many do. But it is also easy enough to transcend that identity because we clearly see the relativity of levels of mastery. We, on occasion, get to cross hands with people who can literally end our lives in a blink of an eye. Then, if we are sincere and honest with ourselves, will see that our ideas on ‚Äúhow good we really are‚ÄĚ fly out of the proverbial window. A genuine humility sets in.¬†

The text books of the warriors are the practice of forms and meditations we undertake, controlled violence the laboratory and getting ‚Äúout of our own way‚ÄĚ the result. And purification of the consciousness is continuous.

It is ironic and paradoxical and unless one has trained this way, one cannot comprehend it.

 

I think it was Paul Hedderman who made a joke about this: a person woke up by getting hit by a can in Walmart. Then others who wanted to emulate this by also getting hit in the head by cans in the exact same spot in Walmart.

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5 hours ago, Jetsun said:

 

 

This is more like life teachings rather than anything to do with awakening. How to lead a more successful life in Samsara.

 

Awakening (at least as I see it and understand it) doesn't obay such formulation or is confined to such beliefs. For example there are many stories of people awakening who did no practice or put in any effort. There are stories of people awakening in Prison after leading a life of ill virtue like Kenny Johnson , https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/?speakers=kenny-johnson , many people say Tucci Williams had a spiritual awakening in prison and he was a violent murderer who founded the Crips gang. 

 

As far as I can see our ultimate nature can express itself in any way it wants in any situation, the way we think it should go or would like it to go doesn't come into it. 

 

 

 

then there is the consideration of what to do after this popular event called 'awakening'. 

 

As for the ultimate nature expressing itself in any situation, my thinking is that it has never been unexpressed, since it is ever-unfolding. Practice is part of it, and so is non-practice. Neither is good or bad - the question to consider, i guess, is how comfortable one is within each chosen state - does one struggle with practice? Are there struggles in laying aside practice?

 

Then there is the consideration of what awakening means to the individual after the fact. That is only the starting point. What do you do assuming now that you're awakened? Or is it really an endless/beginningless evolution of the process of awakening? Aha moments are not necessarily awakening moments; conversely, becoming aware of awakening moments need not always be Aha moments. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, johndoe2012 said:

 

I think it was Paul Hedderman who made a joke about this: a person woke up by getting hit by a can in Walmart. Then others who wanted to emulate this by also getting hit in the head by cans in the exact same spot in Walmart.

If it works...why not ;)

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On 3.2.2018 at 5:57 PM, dwai said:

Among the list of awakened people I have seen, a large proportion seem to be internal martial artists. Maybe because that is the sphere of influence I spent most of my time in.

There is something inherent in the internal arts and the martial ethos that makes it easier for an individual to focus and become single-pointed. There is a need to be present in face of bodily harm ¬†where the thinking mind needs to disappear so appropriate and spontaneous action arises. The concept of ‚Äúno mind‚ÄĚ with proper guidance can help cultivate the spiritual mind (like my master constantly points us to).¬†

Wow, an actual list. You must be very eager to give due credit. How have you verified these awakenings for a fact? What is an awakening to you anyway?

 

My current Buddhist teacher has plenty of experience in budŇć and its different styles. He was very direct in telling me that even in those circles which traditionally emphasize awareness and meditative aspects of training a real awakening is very rare. After the first awakening, further spiritual development in terms of opening bhumis towards the original nature of mind is virtually nil.

 

I am not sure how this generalizes to Chinese internal martial arts context because their training philosophy focuses more on energy development than plain awareness. Some of my previous IMA masters have spoken of "no mind", but their conception and application of it was a travesty of what I later discovered in Vajrayana Buddhist practice. It's a pivotal question to ask how well do the IMA masters compare to the standards of Vajrayana and dzogchen masters in awareness training. My teacher has practiced Yiquan, and based on our discussion I think he has some real insight on the Chinese IMA scene and implied that he was not at all impressed with it. It should be clear that he is very serious about Enlightenment and attaining it and that his standards are really high.

 

This is a bit of side subject to the topic, but I wish to ask nevertheless: Is it possible that all martial arts are poorly fitted to developing non-duality of mind and gaining awakenings (satoris and kenshos), but instead may serve well in reaching for the non-duality of energy? The dzogchen tradition separates these two developments in their own phases because mind's non-duality deals with the transparency of bodymind and cleansing its extra-ordinary diamond channels, while the energetic non-duality involves the bodymind's luminosity and transforming its ordinary channels. Apparently it's a wise and efficient design to do separate these and focus on either at a time.

 

Martial arts are firstly about power (yang), but the wisest traditions understand that emptiness (yin) cannot be neglected without affecting the other. If there is no power as a result, then what was the purpose of training for confrontations? "Know thyself" is a virtuous adage and hints that awareness too provides some indirect power because it brings stability. Still it cannot be mistaken that all things martial relate to power first and foremost.

 

Speaking generally from what I have seen and experienced, it seems that training power and energy distracts from training pure and open awareness. Energetic training may give you uncommon abilities like remote sensing and healing, but it's not the genuine non-duality of mind or reduced self-grasping that is attained. A genuine humility is good and may get your feet back to the ground, but it's not a proper substitute for the non-self of awareness and cutting through all delusions. Same goes to discovering bliss and unconditional love through the usual energy body unfoldings such as all the chakras opening and kundalini awakening: close, but no cigar. It's still impermanent and illusory. Like a fist in your face or a foot in your groin.

 

I still respect and love IMA, but I guess I have become very cynical about their limitations.

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18 minutes ago, virtue said:

Wow, an actual list. You must be very eager to give due credit. How have you verified these awakenings for a fact? What is an awakening to you anyway?

Knowing one's Self nature (as not the body, not the mind, but as being awareness).

18 minutes ago, virtue said:

 

My current Buddhist teacher has plenty of experience in budŇć and its different styles. He was very direct in telling me that even in those circles which traditionally emphasize awareness and meditative aspects of training a real awakening is very rare. After the first awakening, further spiritual development in terms of opening bhumis towards the original nature of mind is virtually nil.

He hasn't met the right people I guess...yes many don't get it. But many do get it. Like I disclaimed, my finding many "awake" IMA folks could be because I spent a lot of time in the IMA.

18 minutes ago, virtue said:

 

I am not sure how this generalizes to Chinese internal martial arts context because their training philosophy focuses more on energy development than plain awareness. Some of my previous IMA masters have spoken of "no mind", but their conception and application of it was a travesty of what I later discovered in Vajrayana Buddhist practice. It's a pivotal question to ask how well do the IMA masters compare to the standards of Vajrayana and dzogchen masters in awareness training. My teacher has practiced Yiquan, and based on our discussion I think he has some real insight on the Chinese IMA scene and implied that he was not at all impressed with it. It should be clear that he is very serious about Enlightenment and attaining it and that his standards are really high.

Doesn't have to be Chinese IMA only. 

18 minutes ago, virtue said:

 

This is a bit of side subject to the topic, but I wish to ask nevertheless: Is it possible that all martial arts are poorly fitted to developing non-duality of mind and gaining awakenings (satoris and kenshos), but instead may serve well in reaching for the non-duality of energy? The dzogchen tradition separates these two developments in their own phases because mind's non-duality deals with the transparency of bodymind and cleansing its extra-ordinary diamond channels, while the energetic non-duality involves the bodymind's luminosity and transforming its ordinary channels. Apparently it's a wise and efficient design to do separate these and focus on either at a time.

The finer aspects of martial power (going beyond high-school level stuff which is fajin) is predicated on non-dual understanding. By then of course, martial power becomes a side-effect more than the goal. My Master told me this - "Power is a gate we have to walk through to get to the "real thing". The real thing is love. It is the cultivation of the spiritual heart, the heart-mind." 

18 minutes ago, virtue said:

 

Martial arts are firstly about power (yang), but the wisest traditions understand that emptiness (yin) cannot be neglected without affecting the other. If there is no power as a result, then what was the purpose of training for confrontations? "Know thyself" is a virtuous adage and hints that awareness too provides some indirect power because it brings stability. Still it cannot be mistaken that all things martial relate to power first and foremost.

Power is not just yang. Yin is far more powerful than yang ;) 

When we give up the desire for power, true power (empty power) manifests on its own. It is the power of wu-wei, not-doing. 

18 minutes ago, virtue said:

 

Speaking generally from what I have seen and experienced, it seems that training power and energy distracts from training pure and open awareness. Energetic training may give you uncommon abilities like remote sensing and healing, but it's not the genuine non-duality of mind or reduced self-grasping that is attained. A genuine humility is good and may get your feet back to the ground, but it's not a proper substitute for the non-self of awareness and cutting through all delusions. Same goes to discovering bliss and unconditional love through the usual energy body unfoldings such as all the chakras opening and kundalini awakening: close, but no cigar. It's still impermanent and illusory. Like a fist in your face or a foot in your groin.

 

I still respect and love IMA, but I guess I have become very cynical about their limitations.

Yes. You have not seen a high level IMA person.

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In terms of being "awake", I find that there could be someone who is awakened but unable to articulate what being awake means. Being able to talk/write about this stuff and being awake are related but not one and the same.  Sometimes trying to organize and rationalize the "awake-ness" can drop one out temporarily :) 

 

My Master transmits energetically. He doesn't talk much about it. He often doesn't have words to express what he is showing us. We have to become receptive to learn this way. Many don't, get frustrated and leave.

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1 hour ago, dwai said:

In terms of being "awake", I find that there could be someone who is awakened but unable to articulate what being awake means. Being able to talk/write about this stuff and being awake are related but not one and the same.  Sometimes trying to organize and rationalize the "awake-ness" can drop one out temporarily :) 

 

My Master transmits energetically. He doesn't talk much about it. He often doesn't have words to express what he is showing us. We have to become receptive to learn this way. Many don't, get frustrated and leave.

 

Yeah I agree. I like listening to Adyashanti as there may well be people who have a deeper realisation than him but I haven't found many who can articulate it like him, clearly in his own words. This is largely due to his own teacher who very early on when he was young put him on the spot and forced him to articulate his realisation by leading group meetings when nobody was interested in him or what he had to say. Articulating it I guess is a skill which can be learned like any other skill, do it under pressure and constantly enough and you get good at it. 

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2 hours ago, dwai said:

Doesn't have to be Chinese IMA only. 

I didn't imply any exclusivity. Chinese IMA was an excellent reference point in this context because of its history and wide spread, and this latter especially lends to the fact that budŇć inherited a lot from the Chinese fighting tradition and the Chinese cultural transmission of Tang dynasty, including Chan Buddhism. To add relevance, my teacher can see people's bhumi accomplishments directly through photographs. It kind of helps that many past Chinese masters have had themselves photographed in their old age at the peak of their spiritual development.

 

Quote

The finer aspects of martial power (going beyond high-school level stuff which is fajin) is predicated on non-dual understanding. By then of course, martial power becomes a side-effect more than the goal. My Master told me this - "Power is a gate we have to walk through to get to the "real thing". The real thing is love. It is the cultivation of the spiritual heart, the heart-mind." 

I find this a very romantic view. Such romanticism was also what I was criticizing about.

 

If you wished to train directly the non-dual mind, then why would you compromise it by going through another gate first? Cooking can be a gate, gardening (tree gong) can be a gate, and carpentry can be a gate. Even martial arts can be a gate, but is there anything inherently superior in that in comparison to the former three suggestions? Or you can go directly to the non-dual and forget about needless gates and their side paths.

 

It's cost effective to turn everything outside of direct cultivation to support the cultivation project, but it's still the most cost effective approach to do direct cultivation instead of framing it into another context. Nothing else comes even close.

 

Quote

Yes. You have not seen a high level IMA person.

My comments and inquiries about the two non-dualities were very specific and certainly not trivial. To give an example, in mind's non-duality even dzogchen masters have difficulty separating between alaya-consciousness and the actual open awareness, which is where most get stuck. It's okay if you don't want to discuss these advanced topics and then dismiss my line of thought with a silly non-sequitur and ad hominem combination, but this could have been a place to start mapping the actual science of awakening(s) and why IMA are supposed to be either good or bad at them. It could have been interesting to have that conversation.

Edited by virtue
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2 hours ago, virtue said:

I didn't imply any exclusivity. Chinese IMA was an excellent reference point in this context because of its history and wide spread, and this latter especially lends to the fact that budŇć inherited a lot from the Chinese fighting tradition and the Chinese cultural transmission of Tang dynasty, including Chan Buddhism. To add relevance, my teacher can see people's bhumi accomplishments directly through photographs. It kind of helps that many past Chinese masters have had themselves photographed in their old age at the peak of their spiritual development.

We can also tell by connecting to someone remote and scanning them :)

No need to look at pictures even.

I don't subscribe to the "Bhumi" or Buddhist concepts, so I'd look at it differently. Any framework (buddhist, daoist, vedantic) we use is just a dualistic model we use to to map the non dual insight (so not the real thing anyway). 

Quote

 

I find this a very romantic view. Such romanticism was also what I was criticizing about.

Nothing romantic. It is experientially verifiable. We project our conceptual biases onto these things. My Master says what he says and doesn't employ parables, similes, metaphors, etc. Many people don't understand what he's saying because they say "Hmm...it can't possibly be what he's saying literally...let me use my intellect to find out what he *really* is trying to say!"...

:D

No...it is exactly what he said. If he says you have to develop internal power as a gate for spiritual refinement, that is exactly what he means. That is what I found out too.

 

My wife asked him once - "Master...why do we need to develop power to grow spiritually?" 

To that he replied "when your power increases, your prayers become more powerful. Your intent becomes more powerful. You manifest in your life what normal people only wish for but are not convinced those things can happen to them."

 

Quote

 

If you wished to train directly the non-dual mind, then why would you compromise it by going through another gate first? Cooking can be a gate, gardening (tree gong) can be a gate, and carpentry can be a gate. Even martial arts can be a gate, but is there anything inherently superior in that in comparison to the former three suggestions? Or you can go directly to the non-dual and forget about needless gates and their side paths.

Absolutely. Do anything with single-minded focus. My experience is that internal martial arts training tends to develop that (like Yoga practice might do that). The added advantage is that you are turning your mind from outside to inside (towards internal objects) in internal cultivation. You are not doing that with cooking or gardening. 

Quote

 

It's cost effective to turn everything outside of direct cultivation to support the cultivation project, but it's still the most cost effective approach to do direct cultivation instead of framing it into another context. Nothing else comes even close.

Different people have different proclivities and pre-conditions that bind them. Some need to purify their mind before they can do "Direct cultivation". Others can do it "directly". :) 

Quote

 

My comments and inquiries about the two non-dualities were very specific and certainly not trivial. To give an example, in mind's non-duality even dzogchen masters have difficulty separating between alaya-consciousness and the actual open awareness, which is where most get stuck. It's okay if you don't want to discuss these advanced topics and then dismiss my line of thought with a silly non-sequitur and ad hominem combination, but this could have been a place to start mapping the actual science of awakening(s) and why IMA are supposed to be either good or bad at them. It could have been interesting to have that conversation.

I'm sorry you felt there was ad-hominem. That was not my intention at all. You said you've not seen IMA folks exhibit certain qualities. I said then you must not have met a high-enough level person in the IMA. 

 

I'm not into dzogchen or buddhist concepts, so I'm going by what I've picked up along the way in terms of descriptions/language.

 

Let's talk about Alaya-Consciousness and actual open awareness. From what I hear, alaya-consciousness is considered to be a dull void type/cessation experience whereas  open awareness is an "alive and vibrant" silence. It is not possible to do martial arts without maintaining active awareness. So if you are in a dull, cessation, then you are not going to be doing anything, period. The IMA allow us fall back inward and reside as open awareness, letting action spontaneously manifest and de-manifest. It cannot be anything but active. 

 

Also, it is a fact that one is, always and already, that "open awareness", so it is not a "state" that one attains per se. It is more a deep enough falling back in (from objective consciousness) to remain as that open awareness. 

 

Edited by dwai
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Thanks dwai.

 

I would like to apologize because I now realize I was being in a too annoyed state of mind to write meaningful replies in this topic.

Edited by virtue
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