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Apech

Dharma in the time of COVID

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There's a lot of threads on coronavirus already, I know, but I think it would be worthwhile pondering what a situation like this could be understood as in terms of say samsara and dependent origination (or in any other sense if you wish).  Obviously I don't have the answers but I'll post a few thoughts to get the ball rolling.

 

The key to me is in terms of my cultivation/practice - what I mean is that great yogis turn every situation to their advantage in terms of dharma.  So obviously big changes in our social environment is a lesson in impermanence.  Also we tend to have been living in a fantasy world where old age, sickness and death are somehow excluded (seemingly) - for instance we have the cult of youth and celebrity and so on - but samsara cannot be perfected and so after some time an adjustment 'needs' to be made to keep the ball rolling.  I think that's what this is - our collective minds are correcting for an imbalance based on our ignorant grasping.  Or to put it another way this is just the next event in the chain of causality.  Our past actions/intentions in some way added up to this pandemic - and I am not saying that to apportion blame by the way but just to say that the 'cause' is our own past actions.  This is inevitable because we are not awakened - so the answer is to get awakened :) 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I agree. Some sort of universal karma snowballing from the past.

The Tibetan Tulpa concept (an energetic intent made into an entity) is something I know to be real, and can often extend from the individual to the collective. Across many Asian societies, the creation of tulpas are quite common - mostly for sinister intentions. 

 

Can't recall the timeline, but sometime in the past I had replied to one topic with maybe a similar premise and cited, as an example, the theme behind The Ghostbusters movie as being quite relevant, but I suppose those who read the comment didn't pay much attention to it, which is of course not the least surprising. If we were to briefly make a correlation between that theme and this current event, it will fit loosely into this: "our collective minds are correcting for an imbalance based on our ignorant grasping." (Apech). The only point im yet to be fully convinced of is the part about this being a correction. I'm still asking myself questions. 

Edited by C T

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1 hour ago, C T said:

Yes, I agree. Some sort of universal karma snowballing from the past.

The Tibetan Tulpa concept (an energetic intent made into an entity) is something I know to be real, and can often extend from the individual to the collective. Across many Asian societies, the creation of tulpas are quite common - mostly for sinister intentions. 

 

Can't recall the timeline, but sometime in the past I had replied to one topic with maybe a similar premise and cited, as an example, the theme behind The Ghostbusters movie as being quite relevant, but I suppose those who read the comment didn't pay much attention to it, which is of course not the least surprising. If we were to briefly make a correlation between that theme and this current event, it will fit loosely into this: "our collective minds are correcting for an imbalance based on our ignorant grasping." (Apech). The only point im yet to be fully convinced of is the part about this being a correction. I'm still asking myself questions. 

 

I meant 'correction' as in when water pressure builds up and then releases - not as if there is an external agent making corrections.

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But in this instance, where is the pressure to be found? 

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Just now, C T said:

But in this instance, where is the pressure to be found? 

 

Maybe our investment in a very 'unreal' world?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Apech said:

 

Maybe our investment in a very 'unreal' world?

 

Had been reflecting in a similar vein, where this 'unreal' world very much a projection from an 'unreal' self. This in itself does not pose much hindrance, not only that, but often we tend to welcome it because most people (me included) are quite happy & comfy with such an arrangement most of the time. The burden as aspects of samsara only gradually appear to solidify as neurosis and physical manifestations thereof as old age and related issues begin to seep in. Thus, I can imagine, how impactful the onset of this uncertain time must be to the aged and the infirm. 

 

 

 

Late thought. Perhaps it was a mistake to think the pressure's greater on the aged+. Some of them could well have resigned themselves to the inevitable, and therefore have a cushion to soften the impact. They are not the ones frantically searching for answers on the internet and spreading panic. Most of the time, its us, in our impatience and indignation.

 

Very many fishing enthusiasts in the UK are livid they've been asked by the Anglers' Trust to cease the activity for the time being. They cannot understand the logic of being told to sacrifice their beloved hobby, and create huge online debates over it seeking to justify their frustration, and some, even anger. Of the hundreds and hundreds of objections scanned in just one post, it boiled down to this: A self that wants and needs gratification. 

Edited by C T
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1 hour ago, C T said:

A self that wants and needs gratification. 

 

Was Buddha selfish when he left his father, or was Jesus when he left the Jews, or was Laozi when he walked out of the city ?

Is an eagle selfish when he wakes up in the morning, feels fully justifies, and flies wherever he fucking wants?
Human spread their miserable theories of guilt and non-existence, or on the contrary greed and arrogance.

Being more wrist-slashing then the next man is an old currency in society ... I can torture myself and crush myself more than you.

Such things are highly respected in the land of non-existence.

 

They times are excellent to see the low sheeplike state of human beings and wish to get out of here.

Especially in this case where one way or other CV will come to an end and you get a 2nd life.

But wishing and observing does not get you there.

Narrow is the gate, and in the end maybe the question is ... do you really want to get enlightened, or is this still just a chat?

When you practice are you ready to die to live ... or are you "cultivating".

Everybody talks. 

But few enter the path.

You probably have to be half saint and half bastard to make it.

Or as Jesus put it, if you don't love your mother and father you cannot follow me, and if you don't hate your mother and father you cannot follow me.

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3 minutes ago, rideforever said:

 

Was Buddha selfish when he left his father, or was Jesus when he left the Jews, or was Laozi when he walked out of the city ?

Is an eagle selfish when he wakes up in the morning, feels fully justifies, and flies wherever he fucking wants?
Human spread their miserable theories of guilt and non-existence, or on the contrary greed and arrogance.

Being more wrist-slashing then the next man is an old currency in society ... I can torture myself and crush myself more than you.

Such things are highly respected in the land of non-existence.

 

They times are excellent to see the low sheeplike state of human beings and wish to get out of here.

Especially in this case where one way or other CV will come to an end and you get a 2nd life.

But wishing and observing does not get you there.

Narrow is the gate, and in the end maybe the question is ... do you really want to get enlightened, or is this still just a chat?

When you practice are you ready to die to live ... or are you "cultivating".

Everybody talks. 

But few enter the path.

You probably have to be half saint and half bastard to make it.

Or as Jesus put it, if you don't love your mother and father you cannot follow me, and if you don't hate your mother and father you cannot follow me.

 

You sound drunk cos a few hours ago your posts were more cohesive. 

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Posted (edited)

My dharma practice has been my anchor during this crisis.

My attachment to this life, my family, my profession, my ego... all have been shown to me in a much clearer way and they go much deeper than I ever before experienced.

As of yesterday, I've taken time away from work and have committed to turning inward more, to deepening my practice.

 

It's really interesting, my teacher decided late last year to take off the entire year of 2021 as a personal retreat.

I recall feeling very jealous and wishing I was in a profession that would allow me to take an extended time off.

When the shit hit the fan with Covid, I entertained the possibility of taking time off but ran into such powerful obstacles -

the ego who feels like a whimp for hiding out while others are on the front lines, the one who doesn't want to let down his patients, his employees, and his partners. All this came up very powerfully and it was quite difficult to choose to take time off, even though I have several medical conditions that put me at risk of more severe Covid illness. Watching all of this play out was fascinating.

 

The Bönpos have very interesting views on all of this based on the shamanic core of the religion. I've added a practice to my daily routine. The fierce mantra practice of the main Bön protector deity, Sipé Gyalmo - Queen of Existence, Mother of Space. 

 

OM A BHI YA NAG PO BED SOD SO HA

 

sidpa-gyalmo-1.jpg

Edited by steve
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15 minutes ago, C T said:

You sound drunk cos

 

I am just sitting down to do some meditation.

What are you doing ?  Just talking  or is there anything or anyone behind your words ?

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3 minutes ago, rideforever said:

 

I am just sitting down to do some meditation.

What are you doing ?  Just talking  or is there anything or anyone behind your words ?

 

Please carry on. Its better you concentrate on what is at hand. 

For me, meditation begins upon leaving the cushion, but to each his own. 

 

Enough of small talk that does not lend perspective to the OP. 

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28 minutes ago, C T said:

meditation begins upon leaving the cushion

 

 

Rush around if you like, looking busy and "saving the world".

Nothing is going to wake up these people not even their own death.

 

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3 minutes ago, rideforever said:

 

 

Rush around if you like, looking busy and "saving the world".

Nothing is going to wake up these people not even their own death.

 

 

&

 

please just make do with that since it doesn't really matter if nothing will wake people up.

Its meant to be a 'thumbs up' emoticon.  

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Posted (edited)

This topic reflects a discussion I had with a friend just before. We agreed that this story does have an upside. Stopping countless individuals in their tracks that in 'normal' times were senselessly rushing from one basically meaningless activity to  the next. Giving them time to sit down and

ponder things, to meditate, to actually talk and listen to those that are around them.

 

Our environment benefits from the enforced break as well. Air quality has significantly increased in many places due to a decrease in traffic and general productivity. Even if this will be only temporary, it looks like we as well as the nature that surrounds us can use that kind of break.

 

In this sense, looking at the current state as a badly needed (self-)correcting measure for a system that has long lost its balance makes alot of sense to me. 

 

While I realize that that is not the only possible perspective on the multi-facetted state of affairs, I believe it to be a valid and worthwhile one.

Edited by Michael Sternbach
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I recall a time when nearly all of the arguing, insults, and tension revolved around Buddhist discussion here.

I recall people claiming it was somehow related to Buddhist practice and practitioners, and being quite derogatory. 

Well, it seems to me that us Buddhists (and Bönops) are quite peaceful lately and all of the shit-slinging is being perpetrated by so-called "Daoists" here...

I for one think it has nothing to do with Buddhism or Daoism but with the proclivity of certain individuals that frequent internet forums.

It's neither here nor there but I find it amusing...

 

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33 minutes ago, Michael Sternbach said:

Bloody hell, I am even posting on TDB again! :o;):wub::D

 

Nice to have you around.

 

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57 minutes ago, rideforever said:

 

 

Rush around if you like, looking busy and "saving the world".

Nothing is going to wake up these people not even their own death.

 

 

I think there are people waking up around the world.

Not very many, perhaps, but it is happening.

 

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One nice thing for me about the crisis, not Dharma related though.

Before finding the Dharma, I was a devoted practitioner of xingyi, bagua, taiji, qigong, neigong, and Daoist meditation.

Concern for my health has brought me back to spending time with taiji, qigong, and some neigong.

I really missed it!

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I'll listen to Buddhist inspired Podcasts by InfiniteSmile and Zencast, but today I started listening to audiobook Code Sign Chaos by General Jim Mattis.  Lotta good dharma in it; lessons for life.  You can't shut yourself off from wisdom of other traditions.  

 

I'm getting back into cold showers and arduous breathing exercises.  Good health seems to require a little bit of self torture, at least at first.  If you like it, you're doing something wrong!?

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11 minutes ago, steve said:

Well, it seems to me that us Buddhists (and Bönops) are quite peaceful lately and all of the shit-slinging is being perpetrated by so-called "Daoists" here...

I for one think it has nothing to do with Buddhism or Daoism but with the proclivity of certain individuals that frequent internet forums.

It's neither here nor there but I find it amusing...

 

So... Would you like to play catch if I sling first? ūüí©

 

Spoiler
  • impermanence: Poo will not stay around but composts eagerly.
  • non-self: Nobody wants to be called poo or identify as poo.
  • unsatisfactoriness: Humans spend their lives getting rid of it and having a distain for it, but it doesn't really help because we keep creating more and more of it. What a bummer!

Three marks of existence back to you. ūüí©ūüí©ūüí©

 

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I wish we used our poo, instead of chemically castrating it...  get those minerals back into the soil properly.

 

and stop planting our dead in odd gardens that grow only strange stones with letters on them while we're at it...

 

 

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2 hours ago, silent thunder said:

I wish we used our poo, instead of chemically castrating it...  get those minerals back into the soil properly.

 

and stop planting our dead in odd gardens that grow only strange stones with letters on them while we're at it...

 

 

I'd love a sky burial but I think it's illegal.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, steve said:

I'd love a sky burial but I think it's illegal.

 

 

We share a lot in common mate.  I was thinking that as i shared.

I'm good for cremation though.

 

It was profoundly impacting for me to be able to hold in my hands the physical remains of my Mother and my Father.  Who both chose cremation.

 

And then be able to pour them back into the Earth of South Dakota and Waters of Lake Michigan with my own hands was beyond my ability to find words to describe.  Such intimacy, such profound resonance, such connection.

 

Resonant Gratitude. 

 

I want my son to have that experience when my body is ready to give back.

 

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On 3/24/2020 at 5:14 PM, steve said:

I'd love a sky burial but I think it's illegal.

 

Only if they catch you

w/ a vacuum cleaner.

 

I kinda like the symbolism and comfort of being at a grave yard.  There is an inbetween.  At a cemetary in Marco Island there was an area that had 2 benches.  You could sit on them and they had placards naming and honoring family members.   The benches were hollow and had urns inside, so with the space of a grave or two could hold extended families, and give mourners a place to sit and remember. 

I kinda like that. 

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