Bindi

Daoist enlightenment

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2 hours ago, idiot_stimpy said:

balance


 

What I really like in this concept is the pivot as the point of stillness or the Dao, and yes yin and yang being eternally in motion and balanced, it was like the complete picture for me. I’ve never really understood the concept of stillness, this is the first time it made sense to me I guess. 
 

But I also liked the intrinsic pointer to wuwei, though it is its opposite that is referred to here in the “reckless working out of one’s own ruin” if the central stillness isn’t discovered. 

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I see the pivot of the dao as like the fulcrum of a seesaw, but it’s not yin and yang that sit on each end of the seesaw as I thought earlier. If three seesaws are placed next to each other, and my consciousness shifts from the side seesaws to the central seesaw, then I have managed to shift beyond yin and yang (same as going from ida and pingala to the central channel). With the fulcrum of the central seesaw as the pivot of the dao, it is the dualities of heaven and earth that will then be experienced consecutively, beyond yin and yang. 

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In our everyday world we apply pressure to reality, trying to get it to conform to our ideas about how it should or shouldn't be. Pressure begets an equal and opposite pressure as what wants to happen presses back against attachment and aversion. 

 

What happens when there is just being? Accepting what is does not create pressure. No yin or yang, just unity. This is all there truly is. All attempts to contrive the body or the world misunderstand this very basic reality.

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54 minutes ago, stirling said:

In our everyday world we apply pressure to reality, trying to get it to conform to our ideas about how it should or shouldn't be. Pressure begets an equal and opposite pressure as what wants to happen presses back against attachment and aversion. 

 

What happens when there is just being? Accepting what is does not create pressure. No yin or yang, just unity. This is all there truly is. All attempts to contrive the body or the world misunderstand this very basic reality.


As I see it, the subtle reality applies pressure to my ideas, and I follow. I don’t believe there is no yin and yang, even when yin and yang are gone beyond, yin and yang are ultimately our interface with the world. Believing there is no yin and yang might be your misunderstanding of basic reality :) 

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If there is alignment with the Dao all dualities are resolved. Where are yin and yang when the mind is quiet and empty? Is it possible to see that the stillness is present ALL of the time?

 

Beliefs are what we construct when we don't know. Why not look from empty awareness and see for yourself where yin and yang are?

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From another perspective:

 

Quote

 

The Ida and Pingala represent the basic duality in the existence. It is this duality which we traditionally personify as Shiva and Shakti. Or you can simply call it masculine and feminine, or it can be the logical and the intuitive aspect of you. It is based on this that life is created. Without these two dualities, life wouldn’t exist as it does right now. In the beginning, everything is primordial, there is no duality. But once creation happens, there is duality.

 

Bringing a balance between the Ida and Pingala will make you effective in the world, it will make you handle life aspects well. Most people live and die in Ida and Pingala; Sushumna, the central space, remains dormant. But Sushumna is the most significant aspect of human physiology. Only when energies enter into Sushumna, life really begins. ~ Sadhguru

 

 

“If there is alignment with the Dao all dualities are resolved,” but many things have to happen on the subtle energy level before there is alignment with the Dao, not just the belief that you are aligned. 

 

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Posted (edited)
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The Ida and Pingala represent the basic duality in the existence. It is this duality which we traditionally personify as Shiva and Shakti. Or you can simply call it masculine and feminine, or it can be the logical and the intuitive aspect of you. It is based on this that life is created. Without these two dualities, life wouldn’t exist as it does right now. In the beginning, everything is primordial, there is no duality. But once creation happens, there is duality.

 

There is a teaching here written in between the lines. What happens when creation is recognized as illusory?

 

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...but many things have to happen on the subtle energy level before there is alignment with the Dao, not just the belief that you are aligned. 

 

Nah. You can actualize the Dao just by being with what is happening without the obstruction of "self". All that is required to do this is meditation. As Robert Thurman once said:

 

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Meditation isn't a practice, it is ACTUALIZING ENLIGHTENMENT.

 

When "self" drops away, there is alignment with the Dao. All beliefs are unnecessary. 

 

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As soon as it proceeds to action, it has a name. When it once has that name, (men) can know to rest in it. When they know to rest in it, they can be free from all risk of failure and error. - Tao Te Ching, Chapter 32-4, Lao Tzu

 

Balance is the emptiness of conceptual dualism. Resting in emptiness is freedom from "failure or error".

Edited by stirling
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1 hour ago, stirling said:

 

There is a teaching here written in between the lines. What happens when creation is recognized as illusory?

 

 

How did you come to the conclusion that creation is illusory? 

 

1 hour ago, stirling said:

 

Nah. You can actualize the Dao just by being with what is happening without the obstruction of "self". All that is required to do this is meditation. As Robert Thurman once said:

 

What do you mean by “self”? 

 

1 hour ago, stirling said:

 

When "self" drops away, there is alignment with the Dao. All beliefs are unnecessary. 

 

 

Balance is the emptiness of conceptual dualism. Resting in emptiness is freedom from "failure or error".


You’ve gained ‘freedom from failure’? Because everything just is as it is? 

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4 hours ago, stirling said:

Where are yin and yang when the mind is quiet and empty?


Funny enough - it’s only when your mind is quiet and empty that you can begin to discern yin and yang.

 

Before that you’re just dealing with downstream permutations. The 10,000 things.

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7 hours ago, Bindi said:


How did you come to the conclusion that creation is illusory?

 

By realizing experientially that all appearances lack any reality of their own.

 

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What do you mean by “self”? 

 

The mistaken assumption that there is an "I" that has a reality of its own.

 

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You’ve gained ‘freedom from failure’? Because everything just is as it is? 

 

Exactly! Ask yourself: If the Dao is perfect as it is, what is there to fail? If the "self" is illusory, WHO fails? Enlightenment, Daoist or otherwise is the non-intellectual, non-conceptual realization of unity - the lack of any objects with any intrinsic reality of their own.

 

It is all in your original posting: What is the original "ordinance of heaven"? What is ignorance? 

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7 hours ago, freeform said:


Funny enough - it’s only when your mind is quiet and empty that you can begin to discern yin and yang.

 

Before that you’re just dealing with downstream permutations. The 10,000 things.

 

Definitely noticing yin and yang moment to moment is easier with a quiet mind, but empty? If your mind is quiet and empty what is there to discern? If there is discernment it must be conceptual, however subtle. 

 

Yin and yang are an integrated circle for a reason... they do not exist independently of each other, ultimately. All dualities, including yin/yang exist within the empty outer circle.

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10 minutes ago, stirling said:

 

Definitely noticing yin and yang moment to moment is easier with a quiet mind, but empty? If your mind is quiet and empty what is there to discern? If there is discernment it must be conceptual, however subtle. 

 

Yin and yang are an integrated circle for a reason... they do not exist independently of each other, ultimately. All dualities, including yin/yang exist within the empty outer circle.


I’m afraid you don’t quite understand the meaning of yin and yang from a Daoist spiritual context.

 

This is not the labelling of phenomena or recognising and comparing qualities. 
 

Emptiness is not what transcends Yin and Yang.

 

Yin and Yang go a lot deeper than what is being talked about in the open.
 

When looked at from the ‘non-dual’ mindset, they seem to neatly fall into a predetermined niche within that model - but Yin and Yang do not occupy the same niche within Daoist alchemical traditions - not even close.

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I’m afraid you don’t quite understand the meaning of yin and yang from a Daoist spiritual context.

 

The empty outer circle of the yin/yang absolutely represents the wholeness/or monism that contains them. There may be other interpretations, but this is the classic mystical understanding. Honestly... I'm not making it up. See for yourself.

 

My understanding of Daoism is fine in the context of the book we are discussing, which seems primarily concerned with mysticism, not anything that appears to have any alchemical references. My experience is ONLY in the original Daoist mystical tradition, not in the later alchemical traditions, which is why I don't generally read or comment on those threads.

 

I am posting with the intent of being helpful, on a topic I have some familiarity with. I am not intending to step on any toes. 

 

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Yin and Yang go a lot deeper than what is being talked about in the open.

 

 

I'm happy to believe that there are other interpretations, but I don't know that it is germane if you can't discuss it, is it? Are these classical interpretations?

 

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When looked at from the ‘non-dual’ mindset, they seem to neatly fall into a predetermined niche within that model - but Yin and Yang do not occupy the same niche within Daoist alchemical traditions - not even close.

 

Is that what this topic is about?

 

I'm absolutely sure that I understand the topic perfectly, but If I'm upsetting people I'm happy to bow out. 

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59 minutes ago, stirling said:

I am posting with the intent of being helpful, on a topic I have some familiarity with. I am not intending to step on any toes.

 

I'm not disagreeing because you've stepped on anyone's toes - I'm disagreeing because you're missing something profound, and leading others down that path. Which is fine. But a counter-view is also helpful to those that are keen to dive deep.

 

1 hour ago, stirling said:

Is that [non-duality] what this topic  is about?

 

No - precisely. However both non-dual and Buddhist views and understandings are creeping in. They may well have value and validity within their own sphere, but when applied to Daoism, they tend to obfuscate the tradition and degrade the already precariously nuanced understandings.

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10 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

However both non-dual and Buddhist views and understandings are creeping in. 

 

Creeping non-dualism, it´s a perrennial problem, especially in this heat.  Or at least that´s what my dermatologist tells me.

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11 minutes ago, freeform said:


I'm not disagreeing because you've stepped on anyone's toes - I'm disagreeing because you're missing something profound, and leading others down that path. Which is fine. But a counter-view is also helpful to those that are keen to dive deep.

 

If it can't be discussed in the open, why bring it up? Is it possible to have a discussion of Daoism without the later alchemical aspects? If I am missing something profound, I'm happy to hear what you think it might be. I agree - a counter-view is great... but what IS it?

 

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Is that [non-duality] what this topic is about?

 

Misquoting me? I'm sorry if I have irritated you. From what I gather the topic was enlightenment. I guess there is some past wound I have reopened here. I'll sit on the sidelines - maybe you will share your deeper meaning? I am sincerely happy to listen.

 

Bows.

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4 minutes ago, stirling said:

Misquoting me?

 

Added for ease of following the discussion. Did I get it wrong?

 

1 hour ago, stirling said:

 

Quote

When looked at from the ‘non-dual’ mindset, they seem to neatly fall into a predetermined niche within that model - but Yin and Yang do not occupy the same niche within Daoist alchemical traditions - not even close.

 

Is that what this topic is about?

 

(just to clear things up)

---

 

6 minutes ago, stirling said:

I have irritated you.

 

What makes you think that?

 

8 minutes ago, stirling said:

I guess there is some past wound I have reopened here.

 

I am wounded - but only by your reaction to my posts :(

 

I'm honestly puzzled when people react negatively to thoughtful disagreement.

 

I get it quite often on the forum, so clearly there's something wrong with my delivery or my etiquette. That's not what I intended. Sometimes if I don't spend much time with others, my ability to follow social etiquette suffers.

 

(If someone has opinions about what I'm doing that's causing this, then please get in touch).

 

22 minutes ago, stirling said:

If it can't be discussed in the open, why bring it up?

 

Some things are better discussed - other things are better explored.

 

23 minutes ago, stirling said:

Is it possible to have a discussion of Daoism without the later alchemical aspects?

 

It's more to do with the very earliest of all Daoist principles (the He-Tu, Luo-Shu and the Yi Jing)

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, stirling said:

 

By realizing experientially that all appearances lack any reality of their own.

 

 

The mistaken assumption that there is an "I" that has a reality of its own.

 

 

Exactly! Ask yourself: If the Dao is perfect as it is, what is there to fail? If the "self" is illusory, WHO fails? Enlightenment, Daoist or otherwise is the non-intellectual, non-conceptual realization of unity - the lack of any objects with any intrinsic reality of their own.

 

Your perspective seems to have all the hallmarks of neo-advaita, are you sure you weren’t led to your beliefs by reading other people’s beliefs? 
 

“It seems that every other day another self-proclaimed ‘enlightened’ teacher of Neo-Advaita appears on the scene. These Neo-Advaita guru’s have reduced thousands of years of Advaita teachings into the spiritual equivalent of McDonald’s junk food. No longer is it necessary for the spiritual student to engage in self-inquiry or inner work on oneself. Now all that is necessary to ‘realize the Self’ is a constant repetitive denial of one’s own identity and the (pseudo) ‘understanding’ that the ego and all and everything else that happens in the universe (essence and belief systems included) is ‘simply an illusion’. Everything ‘just happens, there is no path, no cause’, so consequently there is absolutely nothing to do.”

 

Quote

 

It is all in your original posting: What is the original "ordinance of heaven"? What is ignorance? 


 

 

Edited by Bindi
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2 hours ago, freeform said:

Added for ease of following the discussion. Did I get it wrong?

 

The topic was "Daoist Enlightenment", right?

 

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I am wounded - but only by your reaction to my posts :(

 

From here it just appears that you don't want to illuminate the perceived difference from your perspective, and that you feel I don't know what I am talking about. I'm honestly fine with that, but if you aren't going to highlight those differences it does sort of end any conversation, right? I'm just attempting to be thoughtful about pushing against that, when it doesn't appear that you are willing to share. It's nothing personal. :)

 

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I'm honestly puzzled when people react negatively to thoughtful disagreement.

 

What I want is the thoughtful part. I'd love to hear what is different from your perspective.

 

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I get it quite often on the forum, so clearly there's something wrong with my delivery or my etiquette. That's not what I intended. Sometimes if I don't spend much time with others, my ability to follow social etiquette suffers.

 

I don't know anything about that, but your openness to examining it is commendable. 

 

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Some things are better discussed - other things are better explored.

 

Where?

 

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It's more to do with the very earliest of all Daoist principles (the He-Tu, Luo-Shu and the Yi Jing)

 

I'll check them out. :)

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25 minutes ago, Bindi said:

Your perspective seems to have all the hallmarks of neo-advaita, are you sure you weren’t led to your beliefs by reading other people’s beliefs? 

 

I'm actually a Soto Zen priest, with 20 years of Dzogchen/Nyingma ahead of that, but Advaita and neo-Advaita are interests. Direct pointing and simplified language are valuable in my opinion. I am just sharing what I see.

 

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“It seems that every other day another self-proclaimed ‘enlightened’ teacher of Neo-Advaita appears on the scene. These Neo-Advaita guru’s have reduced thousands of years of Advaita teachings into the spiritual equivalent of McDonald’s junk food. No longer is it necessary for the spiritual student to engage in self-inquiry or inner work on oneself. Now all that is necessary to ‘realize the Self’ is a constant repetitive denial of one’s own identity and the (pseudo) ‘understanding’ that the ego and all and everything else that happens in the universe (essence and belief systems included) is ‘simply an illusion’. Everything ‘just happens, there is no path, no cause’, so consequently there is absolutely nothing to do.”

 

What are you trying to get at here? I'm sure you aren't intending to be insulting.

 

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It is all in your original posting: What is the original "ordinance of heaven"? What is ignorance? 

 

Notice that this re-quote is me actually suggesting inquiry. 

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27 minutes ago, stirling said:

 

I'm actually a Soto Zen priest, with 20 years of Dzogchen/Nyingma ahead of that, but Advaita and neo-Advaita are interests. Direct pointing and simplified language are valuable in my opinion. I am just sharing what I see.

 

 

In looking up Soto Zen I found It stressed doing meditation without a goal, as everyone is already inherently enlightened.


Very similar to neo-advaita, and a perspective which I utterly disagree with. As far as I’m concerned, the part of me that may indeed be ‘inherently enlightened’ is in the real world stunted by emotional and mental issues, internal chaos, and misplaced identification with the ‘lower self’. Just ignoring these things is anathema to me. My subtle energy body is not functioning according to its inherent design, a design which some Daoists have perceived in the past, and which to me is the valuable underlying potential reality.  

 

27 minutes ago, stirling said:

 

What are you trying to get at here? I'm sure you aren't intending to be insulting.

 

Notice that this re-quote is me actually suggesting inquiry. 

 

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Posted (edited)

As someone who has tried to embody the aimless method for 8 years (while still having guiding goals), I can speak to pros and cons I have noticed in it in myself in others. In defense of soto zen/Caodong school of Chan, "Just Sitting"/Silent Illumination is a powerful practice and may not need supplemental meditation practices... not fully sure. However, I find the Noble Eightfold Path and the notion of Gradual Cultivation/Sudden Awakening often get lost in how it is presented... with it essentially being reduced to a Noble Onefold Path of aimless meditation. The notion of non-seeking and not needing to look externally or forcibly looking internally can be a powerful skillful means... but i think it can also lead the practicioner astray. Those are my initial thoughts on this conversation and debate... My experience certainly doesn't negate Soto Zen and non-doing, but I certainly see the value of gradual cultivation with doing, method, intent. And in my experience of attempting to practice doing non-doing... there is plenty of internal effort that goes on in that process.

Edited by TranquilTurmoil
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4 minutes ago, Bindi said:

In looking up Soto Zen I found It stressed doing meditation without a goal, as everyone is already inherently enlightened.

 

Zazen is a primary practice yes , but it isn't anything like the only one. It isn't that EVERYONE is already enlightened, it is that EVERYTHING is already enlightened. I too had issues with that idea, until one day it suddenly made complete sense.

 

I'm not sure why my tradition is under examination here... I haven't made any suggestions that would obviate it. The ideas are non-dual, just as the Dao is non-dual. In the vacuum of any meaningful disagreement, I submit that your original quote is a beautiful expression of the very non-dual ideas that frame what the Dao is. Daoism at its heart IS a non-dual tradition. 

 

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“Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes it law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is.” - Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

 

 

The balance isn't something WE can do, it is something that happens when "we" get out of the way. Or... Wei. :)

 

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Very similar to neo-advaita, and a perspective which I utterly disagree with. As far as I’m concerned, the part of me that may indeed be ‘inherently enlightened’ is in the real world stunted by emotional and mental issues, internal chaos, and misplaced identification with the ‘lower self’. Just ignoring these things is anathema to me. My subtle energy body is not functioning according to its inherent design, a design which some Daoists have perceived in the past, and which to me is the valuable underlying potential reality.  

 

In practice new-advaita and Soto Zen are nothing alike, aside from the fact that they share the non-dual aspects. No-one I know would suggest you ignore your stunted emotional and mental issues. There are exactly ZERO Buddhist teachers that would suggest anything like that. They are obscurations. Phenomena in the mind, body and world are actually gold - the true grist for illumination. It takes work to clear them, meditating in open awareness (Zazen) is merely the clean, clear playing field you can use to allow them to come up without attachment. 

 

If you are comfortable with your practices GREAT. You have my blessing. There isn't a place on this thread where I have suggested you shouldn't do them. I'm overjoyed that there are a multiplicity of views and practices. Do as you are driven to do. 

 

On most bulletin boards people post to share their experience. Most of this board seems like precisely that kind of place, but it seems like something is being zealously guarded here out of some fear I can't identify. If for some reason I have wandered into some corner where sharing insights isn't welcome, I'm happy for someone to point the way out to me - no hard feelings.

 

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