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The Lerner...it sounds like your temple is more in line with what I was looking for. At least when it comes to actually putting the teachings into practice. And possibly more.

 

I originally became interested when I stumbled across Dion Fortune's The Cosmic Doctrine. Upon reading it so much of what it says matches things I've heard Sadhguru and other Hindu or Buddhist teachers discuss I am now convinced it's a legitimate western(!) tantric text in it's own right. I was so surprised. Dion Fortune gifted something by a higher Plane being as if she were an Tibetan acolyte and the book was a Tibetan terma. (I think terma is the right word).  Reading The Cosmic Doctrine gave me a deeper appreciation for Agastyamuni of all people! Now I see why Hatha Yoga is based on angles and poses and those angles and poses have deep cosmic law effects. I just never realized how deep until that Dion Fortune book. Agastyamuni based it on the principles The Cosmic Doctrine delves into at a deep level.

 

Well that piqued my curiosity. If a 1920s rather dowdy British lady is getting tantric texts from higher plane beings - what else is out there I don't know about? Hence my interest sparked in Judaism. Especially Orthodox since the claim was that those were the guys who keep to the old ways and do it best.

 

Don't have an Orthodox temple nearby so I checked out Youtube.

 

There's some interesting stuff but the Orthodox stuff I've watched doesn't seem to delve in the Kaballah at all. Perhaps most Rabbinic Orthodox consider the Kaballah heretical? In any case Kaballah is never discussed in the many channels I've been watching. I've never been upset by what I'd found though until the other day's Tenak Talk session.

Edited by JustARandomPanda
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1 hour ago, JustARandomPanda said:

There's some interesting stuff but the Orthodox stuff I've watched doesn't seem to delve in the Kaballah at all. Perhaps most Rabbinic Orthodox consider the Kaballah heretical? In any case Kaballah is never discussed in the many channels I've been watching. I've never been upset by what I'd found though until the other day's Tenak Talk session.

Kabbalah is not taught publicly or freely and is considered very holy and potentially dangerous, not at all heretical. Students need first to demonstrate a deep knowledge and understanding of Torah and Talmud. After that a study of Kabbalah may be offered in small group or private sessions. It’s similar to how tantra and dzogchen used to be treated.

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2 hours ago, steve said:

Kabbalah is not taught publicly or freely and is considered very holy and potentially dangerous, not at all heretical. Students need first to demonstrate a deep knowledge and understanding of Torah and Talmud. After that a study of Kabbalah may be offered in small group or private sessions. It’s similar to how tantra and dzogchen used to be treated.

I have it from a very reliable source that Chabad lubavitch school/sect of Judaism is very open to the mystical side, as well as is the only Jewish sect that acknowledges reincarnation etc.  

Edited by dwai
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12 minutes ago, dwai said:

I have it from a very reliable source that Chabad lubavitch school/sect of Judaism is very open to the mystical side, as well as is the only Jewish sect that acknowledges reincarnation etc.  

I think that’s accurate.

 

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5 hours ago, SirPalomides said:

I remember hearing an interview with a guy who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in New York and his parents had named him Shalom or some variant of that. In class, his rabbi refused to pronounce his name, calling him "Name of the Creator," and any paper he wrote his name on had to be put in a special box to be ritually burnt later.

 

I volunteered with a very large Buddhist organization that had a number of satellite non-profit groups, and they also had this same issue.  If any sutra or tantra or so forth was written down on a piece of paper, you couldnt throw it away or destroy it without ritually "cleansing" it first.  They also wouldnt let women handle prayer flags or sacred writings that were inserted inside prayer wheels, only men could work with those materials and carry them around.  Personally I dont agree with these kinds of extreme measures, and in fact I learned many other "uncommon" things about actual tibetans, actual lamas, and actual lineages at this time as well.

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I can understand a certain ritual caution toward sacred names, objects, etc. if it helps to cultivate genuine reverence or awe toward the right things, and doesn't entangle us in OCD and scrupulosity (or a misogynistic "purity"). But when the ritual "eats people" (as Lu Xun described the state of Confucianism in late Qing China) then the point has been lost.

 

And yeah, to say Westerners get a sanitized picture of Tibetan society would be an understatement. Of course no one should be surprised that Tibetans are human beings but it can be disconcerting if you have been told that such-and-such tulku is supposed to be an infallible emanation of Amitabha or Chenrezig. I remember asking someone about the factional infighting in the Karma Kagyu lineage (which thankfully seems to be healing) and I was told, "the lamas only appear to be fighting to our deluded minds" or "they're testing us" or something like that.

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Great timely reminder for me, this thread.

 

Of the abiding potency of release and the undeniable generative force of cultivated doubt.

The center is indeed no where and everywhere... what needs to be worshipped above any other?

 

This has perhaps most strikingly and unexpectedly manifested in my mind, with the startling dissolution of vast swathes of moral conceptual thinking that I long held concrete and unshakable landscapes of 'what is, must be and should be', into.. vaporous projectionism.

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I just came across a poem that made me think of our discussion here...

It says what I was thinking and so much more!

(PS - I fixed all the errors where he accidentally wrote He/Him rather than She/Her)

 

The Living God

 

She who is in you and outside you,

Who works through all hands,

Who walks on all feet,

Whose body are all ye,

Her worship, and break all other idols!

 

She who is at once the high and low,

The sinner and the saint,

Both God and worm,

Her worship - visible, knowable, real, omnipresent,

Break all other idols!

 

In whom is neither past life

Nor future birth nor death,

In whom we always have been

And always shall be one,

Her worship. Break all other idols!

 

Ye fools! who neglect the living God,

And Her Infinite reflections with which the world is full.

While ye run after imaginary shadows,

That lead alone to fights and quarrels,

Her worship, the only visible!

Break all other idols!

   

          ~ Vivekananda

 

Spoiler

ac2199cb0a8126c9fa783b077b86b1b5db052eec

 

Edited by steve
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I like to keep things simple, most old school Kabbalah gets sophisticated very fast, though much of the modern 'pop' stuff is on the new agey side of things.  Not necessarily good or bad.  Thus the Kabbalah I do is Abulafiah, a form of chanting, thus it wouldn't be considered Kabbalah at all, rather sacred sounds.  Not dissimilar to the kotodama of Shinto, with concentrations on long vowels.

 

My shower practice is Rawn Clarks YHVH canticle, which is Hermetic, done in Hebrew and has a mantra of the famous Rabbi Nachman Ribbonno Shel Olam (Master of the Universe), within.  Talk about a hybrid. 

 

Nachman was wonderfully practical mystic.  A practice he had and recommended to others was talk to God.  Daily.  Establish a relationship with him, personal in your own tonque.  Tell him your problems, your successes, pour out your heart to him.  Not an easy thing to do.  Easier to blog  B)

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3 hours ago, thelerner said:

I like to keep things simple, most old school Kabbalah gets sophisticated very fast, though much of the modern 'pop' stuff is on the new agey side of things.  Not necessarily good or bad.  Thus the Kabbalah I do is Abulafiah, a form of chanting, thus it wouldn't be considered Kabbalah at all, rather sacred sounds.  Not dissimilar to the kotodama of Shinto, with concentrations on long vowels.

 

My shower practice is Rawn Clarks YHVH canticle, which is Hermetic, done in Hebrew and has a mantra of the famous Rabbi Nachman Ribbonno Shel Olam (Master of the Universe), within.  Talk about a hybrid. 

 

Nachman was wonderfully practical mystic.  A practice he had and recommended to others was talk to God.  Daily.  Establish a relationship with him, personal in your own tonque.  Tell him your problems, your successes, pour out your heart to him.  Not an easy thing to do.  Easier to blog  B)

Do you find a need to reconcile your Daoist practice with your Jewish one? Or do they more or less blend into one another?

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4 hours ago, steve said:

I just came across a poem that made me think of our discussion here...

It says what I was thinking and so much more!

(PS - I fixed all the errors where he accidentally wrote He/Him rather than She/Her)

 

The Living God

 

She who is in you and outside you,

Who works through all hands,

Who walks on all feet,

Whose body are all ye,

Her worship, and break all other idols!

 

She who is at once the high and low,

The sinner and the saint,

Both God and worm,

Her worship - visible, knowable, real, omnipresent,

Break all other idols!

 

In whom is neither past life

Nor future birth nor death,

In whom we always have been

And always shall be one,

Her worship. Break all other idols!

 

Ye fools! who neglect the living God,

And Her Infinite reflections with which the world is full.

While ye run after imaginary shadows,

That lead alone to fights and quarrels,

Her worship, the only visible!

Break all other idols!

   

          ~ Vivekananda

 

  Reveal hidden contents

ac2199cb0a8126c9fa783b077b86b1b5db052eec

 

 

1.  I travel with the Rudras and the Vasus,

with the Ādityas and All-Gods I wander.
I hold aloft both Varuṇa and Mitra,

Indra and Agni, and the Pair of Aśvins.


2.  I cherish and sustain high-swelling Soma,

and Tvaṣṭar I support, Pūṣan, and Bhaga.
I load with wealth the zealous sacrificer who pours the juice and offers his oblation.


3.  I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures,

most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship.
Thus Gods have established me in many places

with many homes to enter and abide in.


4.  Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them,

each man who sees, breathes, hears the word outspoken
They know it not, but yet they dwell beside me.

Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it.


5.  1, verily, myself announce and utter the word that Gods and men alike shall welcome.
I make the man I love exceeding mighty,

make him a sage, a Ṛṣi, and a Brahman.


6.  I bend the bow for Rudra that his arrow may strike and slay the hater of devotion.
I rouse and order battle for the people,

and I have penetrated Earth and Heaven.


7.  On the world's summit I bring forth the Father:

my home is in the waters, in the ocean.
Thence I extend over all existing creatures,

and touch even yonder heaven with my forehead.


8.  I breathe a strong breath like the wind and tempest,

all the while I hold together all existence.
Beyond this wide earth and beyond the heavens,

I have become so mighty in my grandeur.

 

 

- Rig Veda, Mandala 10, Hymn 125

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4 hours ago, dwai said:

Do you find a need to reconcile your Daoist practice with your Jewish one? Or do they more or less blend into one another?

hmnn, I'm not much of a Daoist, other then admire the philosophy (as I see it), ie seeking harmony with ebb and flow of nature.  Which I don't do a great job on.  I'm not much of a Jew, other then admire the philosophy of trying to see the sacred in the ordinary.  Where the most frequent prayer isn't the Shema calling out Gods unity, rather its the brachas.  Baruch atta..  which states (to me) The spirit (breath/ruach) of God is everywhere, his mystery infuses everything, Wow- Noun(person place thing event)

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On 2/10/2020 at 3:03 PM, JustARandomPanda said:

But I'm beginning to (sadly) come to the conclusion a lot of current Orthodox Judaism (or at least the ones on Youtube) doesn't have many even partially realized teachers anymore.

 

Partly due to this thread, I've started reading a book called Gate to the Heart by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.

I've barely scratched the surface but so far I'm touched by the authenticity and depth of the author's insight.

If you remain interested in the potential inherent in Jewish scripture and prayer, this may be a useful resource:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UETC50K/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

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21 hours ago, thelerner said:

 

My shower practice is Rawn Clarks YHVH canticle, which is Hermetic, done in Hebrew and has a mantra of the famous Rabbi Nachman Ribbonno Shel Olam (Master of the Universe), within.  Talk about a hybrid. 

 

Nachman was wonderfully practical mystic.  A practice he had and recommended to others was talk to God.  Daily.  Establish a relationship with him, personal in your own tonque.  Tell him your problems, your successes, pour out your heart to him.  Not an easy thing to do.  Easier to blog  B)

 

I used to fantasize about becoming a Breslover Chassid.  That was thirty years ago and today I can´t help but ask myself -- what was the young adult version of myself thinking?  There´s a million reasons why that culture would never work for me. Still, for all their insularity, I believe Rabbi Nachman´s followers are heir to a very special vein of spiritual wisdom. 

 

 

There is Truth, the truth of the Truth and there is Peace.  The truth is "the boy stole an apple", the truth of the Truth is "the boy was hungry" and Peace is "nobody stole anything, now, give the boy an apple."

 

 -Nachman of Breslov

Edited by liminal_luke
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On 10/02/2020 at 10:47 PM, dwai said:

The problem with non-dharmic traditions is that they don't do their homework and build strawman arguments to prove the 'greatness' of their tradition to themselves. It is not only intellectually dishonest, but also intellectually deficient. Dharmic traditions don't blindly follow any book -- ours is a lived, and experiential tradition.

 

Exactly. It is very hard for Abrahamic religions to understand because they only know one way of "worship"

 

It took me a long time to understand what was going on in China, but with some cup-emptying, it was a lot easier to grasp.

 

While paying huge respects to great historical figures is massively embedded in culture; with statues, fantastical tales and temples, it is easy to call this idolatry. This is complex because, as my parents would see it as Christians, they look like gods and are therefore false idols. This will send you to hell, right?

 

Well this is the trouble. Is it worship? To them, yes...to Daoists...sort of. By my translation is more like paying very big respect to ancestors. That in itself is no crime, right?

 

In Huddersfield where I live, we have a statue of a former Prime Minister from the town, Harold Wilson. We don't burn incense or leave fruit by him, mind. But at what point do we start seeing things as idolarity?

 

Is it my Dad's extensive collection of Elvis Presley CDs and vinyl with framed pictures on the wall?

 

What if we have a favourite teacher that has showed us the way more than "God" himself? Is this bad because we haven't prayed enough and have gone somewhere more practical?

 

Maybe I have a favourite actor that appears to be a good role model.

 

Anyway, my point is, I've never been into the whole preacher thing....for those that know, do not speak.

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On 11/02/2020 at 3:27 PM, thelerner said:

These days the rabbis who label things like yoga or bowing during karate as idolatrous are really 'fundamentalists' trying to protect the youth from corrupting influence.

 

Said fundamentalists would have a ball in Thailand where everybody bows to each other.

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On 11/02/2020 at 6:04 PM, SirPalomides said:

To be fair, the form of Christianity popular in the US is a deeply deformed variety by any classic Christian standard. I know many Christians who regard it as straight-up Satanic.

 

You mean the ones who pass judgement on virtually everything? Yeah, that one's a head-scratcher....

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On 11/02/2020 at 6:07 PM, steve said:

 

One of the reasons I didn't use the word Christian.

Christianity in American politics is the antithesis of the teachings of Jesus.

The God of the majority of American Christianity is green and made of paper...

 

Some atheists share the same God. In fact, so do many other people from other religions...

 

Wait, there IS one true God after all! Haha

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A bird only needs one branch to land on and a mouse only needs a bellyful of water from the lake.

 

Wanting to posses the whole lake and all the branches one soon loses sight of the emptiness or yin aspects that the branches and lakes depend on to exist.

 

Religions can be yang forms, hard and unyielding, all fighting and striving to be on top, the ultimate control freaks that no one wants to be around.

 

letting go we enter tranquility, the Yin appears. The mysterious female opens the gate and the unnecessary is no longer useful.

 

Some need a small waste basket and others need 10 dumpsters to get rid of their waste. Otherwise we are caring garbage around with us and collecting more as we go.

 

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There is something to be said about ritualistic cleansing etc. Many orthodox Hindus don’t eat outside their homes — only eat home cooked meals and so on. There are reasons for that — mainly around picking up karmic baggage from those that serve them/cook the food etc. Most people don’t have the ability to look into the causal plane — so rules get formulated that ‘no one should break this rule, for fear of “spiritual contamination”’. 
 

Rituals usually get solidified like that.
 

On a lighter note — 

 

Someone shared a story with me recently. At a border town in India, there was a military ritual of two guards standing watch near a bench in a specific area. No one seemed to know what the purpose was.

 

One day someone decided to figure out when this ‘ritual’ started. It seems it did in 1971, when the then CO of the base established the rule. That CO then went on the become a brigadier general in the army and finally retire. So at the ripe age of 90, when approached by the army officer asking specifically  about that ritual, he scratched his head and after thinking it over for a while, he exclaimed, “What! The paint on that bench has still not dried!?!” 
😂

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40 minutes ago, Wu Ming Jen said:

Some need a small waste basket and others need 10 dumpsters to get rid of their waste. Otherwise we are caring garbage around with us and collecting more as we go.

 

I definitely need 10 dumpsters. This has reduced from 15, though, so that's cool :)

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Some people like bondage and I am not a judge. Binding ourselves so there is no room to move with religions views that we can become a slave to is an opportunity to set ourselves free and roam the boundless.

 

We need to eat really bad food so we can enjoy an incredible meal.

 

I encourage everyone to eat as much religion as they can so they have the ability, when the time comes, to know what taste amazing.This is something felt without words to be confirmed or denied.

 

Edited by Wu Ming Jen
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