Asher Topaz

Two paths to cultivation. Consciousness path(dhyana-samadhi) and esoteric path(energy,qi channels)

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10 hours ago, Asher Topaz said:

No not true. If you go deep in buddhism you will find out that it cultivates qi using jhanas same with patanjalis eight limbs of yoga. Mind and qi are two sides of the same coin. BY purifying your mind using jhana you purify your qi. That is y its been known that jhana can give powers or siddhis. Its based on taoist principle. Extreme yin gives birth to extreme yang. By slowing down the mind to an extremely yin state, the breath stops, pulse stop what taoist call (hsi). Then this gives birth to the kundalini or yuan chi moving through the MCO to purify jing to chi. The bliss in jhana is channels in the body opening allowing your body to feel light and free. By the time you get to second jhana you cant feel your body anymore cuz its full of chi which starts transforming to shen in third jhana. By fourth jhana your cultivating emptiness. The jhanas are the buddhist version of jing- qi shen-emptiness transfromation. You will also find out that buddhist who cultivate jhana are healthy compared to buddhist who just cultivate dry insight or vipassana. Buddha did not bother with qi cuz he knew that the jhanas will take care of them. Plus they are a very low stage of cultivation in the form realm. There is still the formless realm before one thinks of enlightenment or seeing the dao. Its basically an automatic version same with automatic car versus manual only problem is its slower than energy practices but a 1000 times safer.

 

The world is not that simple, things don't just happen on their own and lead you to the ascension.

You need KNOWLEDGE and SKILL and both of those things are not as simple as going and sitting in meditation.

The knowledge is most definitely lost, otherwise we would have 100.000+ living buddhas and not a few handfuls of people who are unknown to the world.
The skill is not easy to cultivate and obtain, otherwise there would be millions of buddhas and not millions of failures.
In the discussion start there was a talk how all practices are widely available, on reddit, forums about meditation e.t.c., well if all practices are available for decades, where are the resutls? Where are all the buddhas or enlightened beings with high level Jhanna cultivation.. ?

 

A qualified teacher, school, and training program are necessary to start cultivation properly, I don't believe it is possible to get far through open source online teachings.

Feeling of bliss, feeling of light and free and not feeling your physical body, does not really sound to me like Jhanna or any high level attainment. It is nothing special. I read a lot of such things from beginners.

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16 hours ago, freeform said:


Yeah you could say the Jhanna is the result of this after a prolonged period of time.

...

There are also all sorts of pitfalls along the way… nimitta for instance - there’s a huge variety of similar experiences as a result of a huge variety of reasons (for instance simply having Qi in the centre of the head will create internal light - that’s not Shen Ming (the light of your original spirit) - it’s Qi stimulating certain parts of the brain.)

Interesting, is the light seen when doing the very precise om chanting you recently mentioned one of these (qi in the center of the head or shen ming) or something else?

 

In every source I've seen heretofore, jhana (or it's equivalents dhyana and chan) refers to the state rather than the result of staying in the state, this might be confusing to people you interact with.  What do your teachers call the state of absorption itself?

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8 hours ago, Creation said:

Interesting, is the light seen when doing the very precise om chanting you recently mentioned one of these (qi in the center of the head or shen ming) or something else?


Chanting Om correctly will bring Yin an Yang together and produce light over time.

 

If someone says they saw light - this usually means they saw Qi generate Shen.
 

If they say they saw God or simply can’t speak or describe what they saw - then they probably saw Shen Ming.

 

While seeing light with eyes closed is a strange experience - experiencing Shen Ming is on a whole different level. In this case you’re going through the Xuan Men (mysterious gate) and seeing the light of your primordial spirit.

 

Seeing the ‘manifest’ light is different to seeing the ‘primordial’ light… but usually you’d see the manifest light for a time before the primordial one comes through.

 

8 hours ago, Creation said:

In every source I've seen heretofore, jhana (or it's equivalents dhyana and chan) refers to the state rather than the result of staying in the state, this might be confusing to people you interact with. 


I was clumsy with words :) 

 

A teacher will confirm that you have achieved say the 1st Jhanna - not when you’ve experienced the state, but when you’ve stabilised it and can enter it reasonably predictably.

 

First experiencing it and ‘achieving’ it  can be many years apart. (Or can even never happen.)

 

For many of the pure Jhanna-based systems (which is not my main lineage) Jhanna is used as a preparation for death. The idea is to enter Jhanna at the moment of death - and this will impact the process of transmigration. 
 

If you can’t enter Jhanna predictably you can’t use it in this way - as far as I understand it, that’s why ‘achieving’ it is emphasised.

 

This also brings up questions (it did for me)… what if you die suddenly from an accident!? My understanding is that then you’re out of luck… which explains the need for monastic life which makes accidental death a little less likely.

 

Daoism is a little different in that (apologies for completely mixing very different traditions and mental models) - in that it builds what you might call a ‘Jhannic body’… you effectively create form out of the formless on a higher level of existence. A form that is as ‘real’ (and energetically ‘dense’) as your physical body.

 

When death comes, your consciousness is automatically pulled to the higher state - in the way that gravity pulls an apple to the ground. And this is how transmigration is affected.

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3 hours ago, freeform said:


Chanting Om correctly will bring Yin an Yang together and produce light over time.

 

If someone says they saw light - this usually means they saw Qi generate Shen.
 

If they say they saw God or simply can’t speak or describe what they saw - then they probably saw Shen Ming.

 

While seeing light with eyes closed is a strange experience - experiencing Shen Ming is on a whole different level. In this case you’re going through the Xuan Men (mysterious gate) and seeing the light of your primordial spirit.

 

Seeing the ‘manifest’ light is different to seeing the ‘primordial’ light… but usually you’d see the manifest light for a time before the primordial one comes through.

 


I was clumsy with words :) 

 

A teacher will confirm that you have achieved say the 1st Jhanna - not when you’ve experienced the state, but when you’ve stabilised it and can enter it reasonably predictably.

 

First experiencing it and ‘achieving’ it  can be many years apart. (Or can even never happen.)

 

For many of the pure Jhanna-based systems (which is not my main lineage) Jhanna is used as a preparation for death. The idea is to enter Jhanna at the moment of death - and this will impact the process of transmigration. 
 

If you can’t enter Jhanna predictably you can’t use it in this way - as far as I understand it, that’s why ‘achieving’ it is emphasised.

 

This also brings up questions (it did for me)… what if you die suddenly from an accident!? My understanding is that then you’re out of luck… which explains the need for monastic life which makes accidental death a little less likely.

 

Daoism is a little different in that (apologies for completely mixing very different traditions and mental models) - in that it builds what you might call a ‘Jhannic body’… you effectively create form out of the formless on a higher level of existence. A form that is as ‘real’ (and energetically ‘dense’) as your physical body.

 

When death comes, your consciousness is automatically pulled to the higher state - in the way that gravity pulls an apple to the ground. And this is how transmigration is affected.

 

Can confirm what freeform mentioned about OM chanting, though I use AUM as it makes it easier to get the pronunciation correct and the feelings that lead to the UDT buzzing and the arrival of the light :) 

 

Probably the case that I was seeing Qi to Shen....I dont think ive witnessed Shen Ming ( always nice to have a goal)

 

Curious about what you mentioned regards the transmigration process

 

Isn't there a sleeping practice that involves preparation for the after death state, and can affect the transmigration process if performed correctly? :) 

 

 

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4 hours ago, freeform said:


Chanting Om correctly will bring Yin an Yang together and produce light over time.

 

If someone says they saw light - this usually means they saw Qi generate Shen.
 

If they say they saw God or simply can’t speak or describe what they saw - then they probably saw Shen Ming.

 

While seeing light with eyes closed is a strange experience - experiencing Shen Ming is on a whole different level. In this case you’re going through the Xuan Men (mysterious gate) and seeing the light of your primordial spirit.

 

Seeing the ‘manifest’ light is different to seeing the ‘primordial’ light… but usually you’d see the manifest light for a time before the primordial one comes through.

 


I was clumsy with words :) 

 

A teacher will confirm that you have achieved say the 1st Jhanna - not when you’ve experienced the state, but when you’ve stabilised it and can enter it reasonably predictably.

 

First experiencing it and ‘achieving’ it  can be many years apart. (Or can even never happen.)

 

For many of the pure Jhanna-based systems (which is not my main lineage) Jhanna is used as a preparation for death. The idea is to enter Jhanna at the moment of death - and this will impact the process of transmigration. 
 

If you can’t enter Jhanna predictably you can’t use it in this way - as far as I understand it, that’s why ‘achieving’ it is emphasised.

 

This also brings up questions (it did for me)… what if you die suddenly from an accident!? My understanding is that then you’re out of luck… which explains the need for monastic life which makes accidental death a little less likely.

 

Daoism is a little different in that (apologies for completely mixing very different traditions and mental models) - in that it builds what you might call a ‘Jhannic body’… you effectively create form out of the formless on a higher level of existence. A form that is as ‘real’ (and energetically ‘dense’) as your physical body.

 

When death comes, your consciousness is automatically pulled to the higher state - in the way that gravity pulls an apple to the ground. And this is how transmigration is affected.

 

Thanks for this, I learned the correct alchemical way to use the AUM mantra from a course by Damo Mitchell.

 

If one was to use this mantra as a path in its own right, where would it fall in terms of systems that rely solely on mental absorption compared to those that cultivate the energy body?

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50 minutes ago, Vajra Fist said:

Thanks for this, I learned the correct alchemical way to use the AUM mantra from a course by Damo Mitchell.


Interesting. Does he teach it in a way that generates an internal vibration?

 

50 minutes ago, Vajra Fist said:

If one was to use this mantra as a path in its own right, where would it fall in terms of systems that rely solely on mental absorption compared to those that cultivate the energy body?


I’m not sure to be honest. I don’t know if there are paths that solely focus on mantra - I imagine that if this exists, it would probably be a Hindu tradition - that’s where the Daoists and Chan traditions got all this from.

 

At a certain stage the mantra becomes internal… in the sense that it’s first a sound you make, then an internal vibration, then an internal light and eventually as you absorb into that light and penetrate past it’s outer manifestation, you’ll pass through ‘the mysterious gate’ into the unmanifest and experience Shen Ming - or the light of your Original Spirit… what happens after that in a tradition focusing solely on mantra - I don’t know.

 

For Daoist alchemists, you then absorb into Shen Ming (which is very difficult because the very experience dissolves any sense of self - so you have to find a way to concentrate without a self to do it… )

 

If you manage it, you eventually go past even this manifestation to a denser substance behind the light - you gather this spiritual essence and ‘bring it back’ and use it as one of your alchemical substances. In this way you create form out of the formless.

 

 

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1 hour ago, freeform said:


Interesting. Does he teach it in a way that generates an internal vibration?

 


I’m not sure to be honest. I don’t know if there are paths that solely focus on mantra - I imagine that if this exists, it would probably be a Hindu tradition - that’s where the Daoists and Chan traditions got all this from.

 

At a certain stage the mantra becomes internal… in the sense that it’s first a sound you make, then an internal vibration, then an internal light and eventually as you absorb into that light and penetrate past it’s outer manifestation, you’ll pass through ‘the mysterious gate’ into the unmanifest and experience Shen Ming - or the light of your Original Spirit… what happens after that in a tradition focusing solely on mantra - I don’t know.

 

For Daoist alchemists, you then absorb into Shen Ming (which is very difficult because the very experience dissolves any sense of self - so you have to find a way to concentrate without a self to do it… )

 

If you manage it, you eventually go past even this manifestation to a denser substance behind the light - you gather this spiritual essence and ‘bring it back’ and use it as one of your alchemical substances. In this way you create form out of the formless.

 

 

Hi freeform! 

 

What is the name of this spiritual substance behind the shen ming light?

 

All the best 😊

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2 hours ago, MIchael80 said:

What is the name of this spiritual substance behind the shen ming light?


I try to stay away from the specific terminology from my tradition (and just use the commonly recognised Daoist terms). I think it’s equivalent to Original Silver in alchemical terms.

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14 hours ago, freeform said:

First experiencing it and ‘achieving’ it  can be many years apart. (Or can even never happen.)


Can relate to that, had many great experiences, only to come back to them later again and again.

However great your experience or state of mind is if you cannot enter it again when you wake up the next day. It is not yours and it is non-tangible.

You can often think you have mastered/achieved something, made a big breakthrough, and move on, only to lose and forget it few days/weeks/months later. And without the right keys, the progression is limited.

It even feels like a bad joke to get back into the state you have already been in 20+ years ago repeatedly. It is a groundhog movie nightmare of the cultivator.

After experiencing it XXX-th? time in this life, I thought it is gonna be the same as always, yet somehow I have started to wake up each day in this very state of mind or being able to get in there shortly and consistently.
The more mindboggling was the realization that I have been into that state XXX-th more times in previous lives. :lol:

On a deeper level, I realized I was missing some conditions to make that quality permanent all the time. That little something cost me 20 years.

The feeling is weird tho, it is as if you were sleeping, but now you have woken up, and you cannot even go to sleep anymore.

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This is a topic that I find very interesting as I have primarily been learning from Western Theravada monks. I guess as far as doctrine goes they're very orthodox and seem to teach that the only path is the Buddhist path and specifically the path that he laid out in the early Buddhist texts, which they seem to interpret either implicitly or explicitly as mind only the physical body has really no benefit at all. If one were to ask them if any spiritual benefit could come through practices involving the physical body I think they would emphatically deny that was even possible.

 So therefore I find the notion that spiritual cultivation might be possible through the physical body fascinating though not exactly sure how possible.

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55 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

So therefore I find the notion that spiritual cultivation might be possible through the physical body fascinating though not exactly sure how possible.


Spiritual cultivation only happens in the ‘spiritual body’…

 

Yet to access that body is difficult.

 

By working step by step - from the physical body, to the energy body, one is able to access the spiritual body. (In tantric systems there are lots of such bodies).

 

Working with the mind, working with the Qi, working with the body - none of those are ‘spiritual’ - in the sense that you’re not working with the spirit directly.

 

In reality, the vast majority of meditators are working solely on the mental level - with perhaps momentary glimpses of spirit.

 

 

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1 minute ago, freeform said:


Spiritual cultivation only happens in the ‘spiritual body’…

 

Yet to access that body is difficult.

 

By working step by step - from the physical body, to the energy body, one is able to access the spiritual body. (In tantric systems there are lots of such bodies).

 

Working with the mind, working with the Qi, working with the body - none of those are ‘spiritual’ - in the sense that you’re not working with the spirit directly.

 

In reality, the vast majority of meditators are working solely on the mental level - with perhaps momentary glimpses of spirit.

 

 

 

It's interesting that you say that because I feel that the majority of the western Theravada monks equate the mind and the spirit as being synonymous or think that there's nothing beyond the mind.

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7 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

mind and the spirit as being synonymous or think that there's nothing beyond the mind.


Yeah - I don’t know enough about Buddhism to know the right terminology… This differentiation of layers (or bodies) is definitely a tantric thing - and it may be discussed differently in Theravadan traditions.

 

But I do know that my Burmese Buddhist teacher knew exactly what I meant when I talked about my experiences with spirit when I was on a long term retreat with him. 

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13 minutes ago, freeform said:


Yeah - I don’t know enough about Buddhism to know the right terminology… This differentiation of layers (or bodies) is definitely a tantric thing - and it may be discussed differently in Theravadan traditions.

 

But I do know that my Burmese Buddhist teacher knew exactly what I meant when I talked about my experiences with spirit when I was on a long term retreat with him. 

 

I think there is a misunderstanding in Buddhism where they think that the Buddhist teachings on no self or no soul Buddha didn't think there was any kind of self or soul at all. But if you read what he says about the five Skandas he's just saying that those five Skandas are not self, not that there is not a self or a soul. There were other sutras were people explicitly asked the Buddha if there was no self and he said that he never said that.

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6 hours ago, dmattwads said:

 

I think there is a misunderstanding in Buddhism where they think that the Buddhist teachings on no self or no soul Buddha didn't think there was any kind of self or soul at all. But if you read what he says about the five Skandas he's just saying that those five Skandas are not self, not that there is not a self or a soul. There were other sutras were people explicitly asked the Buddha if there was no self and he said that he never said that.

[Puts Buddhist philosophy that on] If there is something beyond the mind (call it spirit or yuan shen or whatever), is it necessarily a "Self"? 

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11 minutes ago, Creation said:

[Puts Buddhist philosophy that on] If there is something beyond the mind (call it spirit or yuan shen or whatever), is it necessarily a "Self"? 

 

When the Buddha was asked if there was a self he didn't answer, and if asked if there wasn't a self he didn't answer.

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4 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

When the Buddha was asked if there was a self he didn't answer, and if asked if there wasn't a self he didn't answer.

You didn't answer my question :P

A lot of people say the Buddha said a lot of things...

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23 minutes ago, Creation said:

You didn't answer my question :P

A lot of people say the Buddha said a lot of things...

 

If he didn't answer your question how can I? 

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7 hours ago, dmattwads said:

 

If he didn't answer your question how can I? 

 

Why you cannot?

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10 hours ago, Creation said:

[Puts Buddhist philosophy that on] If there is something beyond the mind (call it spirit or yuan shen or whatever), is it necessarily a "Self"? 

 

In my opinion, self or no self can be a matter of perspectives.

 

However, as a counter to this, it can be said that something that is a matter of perspectives is unreal. So, the self is unreal.

 

What do you think?

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16 hours ago, dmattwads said:

 

I think there is a misunderstanding in Buddhism where they think that the Buddhist teachings on no self or no soul Buddha didn't think there was any kind of self or soul at all. But if you read what he says about the five Skandas he's just saying that those five Skandas are not self, not that there is not a self or a soul. There were other sutras were people explicitly asked the Buddha if there was no self and he said that he never said that.

Yes anatta is often translated as "no self", where a better and potentially more apt translation could be "not self".

 

If you look into the Mahayana sutras (Mahaparinirvana and Lotus Sutra) that is where the Buddha reveals that there is a "true self" and all of the other factors commonly emphasized in Theravada Buddhism such as not-self, impermanence, and suffering are flipped around as self, eternity, and bliss. Seeing through both sides is the true "Middle Way", neither attached to the idea of emptiness and Nibanna, nor to existence and form.

 

Also, not all Western Theravada monks fully negate the body, I know a few who practice TaiJi, Yoga, or Qi Gong and the such, very much physical based practices. But yes, in general they tend to place a low emphasis and regard for the physical body as it isn't explicitly spoken about that much by the Buddha apart from contemplation of impurity, skeleton meditation, taking food as a medicine (which arguably many monks do not follow), breaking through the form skandha and seeing it as "not self" etc

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We would not talk so much about Buddhism if it did not have a huge contribution/impact on the self-development path for millions of sentient beings.

But that does not mean Buddha had a supreme level of cultivation and knew everything.
Many "Buddhist" texts came centuries and thousands of years before the Buddha himself was born.
Moreover, it does not mean that he teaches and shares advanced insights on cultivation.
As it can contribute to growth and development, it can also be a chain that shackles the minds and spirits of practitioners that are overly zealot about it being the "ultimate teaching".

As far I have read, Buddhist texts only cover the part to the beginning of the path.
What are you gonna do NEXT, after you reached the beginning? IF all one can do is follow instructions written that don't have details about the path past getting to its start.

Generally, I feel a cult of persona, or entity always slows down the development of its followers/students after a certain point. Either way, you should find a living master to teach instead of overly relying on thousands of year-old text, that doesn't adequately reflect the modern world.

I have given one of my students some Buddhist sutras, and had to answer a lot of questions on why that is that, by "this stuff is outdated".

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23 minutes ago, XianGong said:

I have given one of my students some Buddhist sutras, and had to answer a lot of questions on why that is that, by "this stuff is outdated".

 

It shouldn't surprise you that a number of teachers in Vajra lineage agree with this sentiment. The teachings were given relative to the historical context, and now with what we have even after every ten years with technology, the teachers now try to adapt to the modern world. Otherwise, there is an unqualified approach of taking a zealous and superficial understanding that takes many references too literally, such as asking to be blessed to be born as a man instead of a woman. Taken out of context, this would not appeal to any modern woman. Taken in context, it was seen as a compassionate act because if one could not change the norms governing the classes, one would hope to be reborn in a higher caste, ideally as a prince and with a  good teacher to continue guiding them. 

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4 hours ago, Indiken said:

 

Why you cannot?

 

I'm not a fully enlightened Buddha for one LOL.

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