Asher Topaz

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

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1 minute ago, freeform said:


Thanks - that was my understanding - but not based on scripture.

🙂🙏 - And I don't have any understanding of it other than scripture...

I wonder whether you'd want to go a little bit more into this:

 

2 hours ago, freeform said:

Whether this is what the historical Buddha achieved, I don’t know - I’ve heard different perspectives.


Is it possible to directly perceive such things? Are the differences of opinion based more on different traditional accounts?

You don't have to say necessarily, but does your teacher have an opinion on this, or more generally is this a topic of at least some interest to high level cultivators, what the level of attainment of some of the greatest spiritual figures in history are(even those outside of their respective tradition).

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There 2 buddhas. Sambogakaya Buddha which is Gautama and many many buddha. And Dharmakaya Buddha which is very few. It seems big difference between them. Perhaps Yeshua is like Gautama, not higher level.

13 hours ago, C T said:

How logical is it that an endless something has a beginning? 

Not logic, yes. But cultivation is "sub-set" of bigger "set" that is LIFE ... or existence. This have no end. So cultivation may or may not be endless, does not matter, something else is endless and likely beginningless.

 

Perhaps cultivation is synonymous with existence and people just wrong think cultivation nor natural or 'default' mode. Cultivation different from life. Hmmmm! Fix personal life then cultivate! Not cultivate then hope fix personal life.

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6 minutes ago, Jaba said:

 Perhaps Yeshua is like Gautama, not higher level.

 

There are several reasons I do not think Jesus was a Buddha. 

 

First from what I have read in the Buddhists texts, it is not possible to kill a Buddha. Several people tried to kill the Buddha but it never worked, they were always unsuccessful. Jesus on the other hand was obviously killed, and quite brutally as well. 

 

Also the primary message of a Buddha is the Four Noble Truths. While Jesus taught plenty about compassion and forgiveness (which is good) he never taught the Four Noble Truths or any thing like that. 

 

The Buddha taught that everyone must ultimately save themselves and that no one else can do it for them. Jesus on the other hand taught that he could save people if they had faith in him. 

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1 hour ago, Piyadasi said:

Is it possible to directly perceive such things? Are the differences of opinion based more on different traditional accounts?


To be honest the account I heard was not a certainty.

 

A senior meditator at my retreat could perceive an immortal being watching over life on earth for millennia… from his perspective it appeared that this being would also go through a cycle. 
 

He would be the first to say that although his perception is accurate, his understanding of what it means, it’s place within our mental model of spiritual cosmology is just conjecture.

 

I’m sure people with more insight into the workings of these things would have a better understanding.

 

1 hour ago, Piyadasi said:

does your teacher have an opinion on this, or more generally is this a topic of at least some interest to high level cultivators, what the level of attainment of some of the greatest spiritual figures in history are(even those outside of their respective tradition).


Yeah. But these days, as my teacher has gone deeper into his own cultivation process, I’ve stopped asking these sorts of questions 😅

 

But yes, there is definitely a deep interest in different traditions… at high levels of attainment everyone knows everyone else alive at that level.

 

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@freeform


Thank you for the answer 🙏

It's not anything relevant to me at this stage certainly, I've settled into a comfortable uncertainty/open-mindedness on such things. Though it is still fascinating and something I hope to see clearly one day... :)

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28 minutes ago, Piyadasi said:

I've settled into a comfortable uncertainty/open-mindedness on such things.


Yup - my position on all this too :) 

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Posted (edited)

My friend who learned from the late great Master Nan Huai Chin taught it this way... The wording is taking out of context, but maybe some here would find the information interesting, inspiring, or just strange. To be fair this is a complete Buddhist view. As to the truth of the matter... I suppose it's so high level it really doesn't matter to any of us... But it's fun to speculate and do a bit of dreaming ometimes... Either way, happy to share. :) 

 

What is the difference between an Arahant and a Buddha?

 

"At the point of incarnation on Earth, the Buddha was already fully enlightened (anuttarasamyaksambodhi). He had manifested in that life to turn the Dharma Wheel. At the moment he was born, there were huge superstitious signs as he descended from the Pure Abodes. He had been Bodhisattvas, Arahants, sages and disciples of other Buddhas in his previous lives and simply took human birth to reach full enlightenment. This means he had reached the end-point of Mahayana enlightenment -- the Buddha fruit. 

 

Now how do we know that there is a difference between where the Buddha is and where Hinayana enlightenment is? There are many stories of how his disciples had mastery of several faculties, but were not masters of everything in its fullest degree just like the Buddha. 

 

While the arahants could see 8000 past lives, they could not see the 8001th life of a person who begged for the teaching of the Buddha and had affinity with him. Yet another example was when the Buddha asked who could pay a visit to Vimalakirtii and only Manjushri was worthy of exchanging wisdom with him. 

 

The Buddha teaches according to the capability of each person who asks him for the Dharma, therefore there are tens of thousands of teachings. he taught "leaving the worldly" as the first point so that people could relinquish the strong desire of clinging to sense objective. Even the fruit of Hinayana is difficult to obtain! However, eventually, to really relinquish the root of ignorance, one has to progress in wisdom towards the Bodhisattva path and eventually the Buddha fruit."

 

What are the levels of becoming an Arahant?

 

"There are four levels to becoming an Arahant. These are related to the relinquishment of fetters - when the higher fetters are completely released, one is an Arahant. 

 

When one is a Sotapanna, you no longer come back to the Earth - you ascend to the Pure Abodes. Once the life in the Pure Abode is finished, one then returns to become a human being - we call this a Returner. S to whether this incarnation is male or female, or has certain characteristics, this is unfathomable - because this is simply to come back to pay a karmic debt. Thus, they return seven times in total. If one comes back as a Sotapanna, they often do not know that they are simply repaying the debt. 

 

They are also said to be 'stream-winners'. What stream? It is the stream of the Noble Eightfold Path, the stream of the sages, the awakening of the Tao entering into the flow of the Dharma nature. 

 

To the common person, they are ensnared by pleasant realms and experiences and dragged away. However, to the Sotapanna, they do not enter sound, smell, taste, contact, dharmas. This is only like a stone pressing on grass -- when the Sotapanna meets certain negative realms, the problems in the mindstream will reveal itself. 

 

Then we have the second fruit, the third fruit, and the last fruit being the Arahant. It is only reaching the level of the Arahant that has significance. 

 

The Arahant is 'birthless' - without any frustrations or mara obstacles. The mind is eternally pure and bright. 

 

However - does this mean that the Arahant does not come back to the Desire REalm? One still does. The Great Arahants go into a deep samadhi of about 84000 great kalpas - in this time, the Earth is destroyed and rebirthed. However, when one leaves this samadhi, one still needs to move towards the Mahayana vehicle, using wisdom for liberation to become a Buddha. 

 

It is only when one has become a Sravaka through the Hinayana - that one can then become a Bodhisattva. 

 

In the genuine emptiness, there is no 'empty' realm that can be obtained. If one perceives an 'empty' realm, that is a side-path. If one says it is boundless, that is again a side path. It is not emptiness! It is a hole! Why do people perceive it that way? It is only a matter of wisdom. 

 

When a great Arahant is rebirthed, they are not muddled in the womb, however, when they leave the womb, they are still muddled! On the other hand, a great Bodhisattva (eight bhumi ground and above) will not be muddled in the womb or out of the womb! The difference here is one's samadhi-power. 

 

Therefore, the Arahant itself is an extremely noble fruit. Byt itself, it is as you say: 

 

'Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being"

 

There is no actual "birth" of an entity - one is already in the stream of sages. The Buddha-nature is birthless and undestroyed. A Buddha manifests multiple emanations to the boundless Buddha realms and planetary systems. 

 

The question is - "Who" exactly comes back? To the Arahant, there is no "being" that comes back. There is no "state of being". One's mind ground is pure and bright - without any rising of frustrations, mental agitations, or fetters. 

 

The only difference is one's wisdom - which we can say is divided into the ten grounds (bhumi) of Bodhisattvas to become a Buddha."

 

So in essence, we must all eventually become Buddhas? Through however many kalpas and aeons it takes?

 

"Yes. That is the case." 

Edited by anshino23
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3 hours ago, anshino23 said:

 

However - does this mean that the Arahant does not come back to the Desire REalm? One still does. The Great Arahants go into a deep samadhi of about 84000 great kalpas - in this time, the Earth is destroyed and rebirthed. However, when one leaves this samadhi, one still needs to move towards the Mahayana vehicle, using wisdom for liberation to become a Buddha. 

 

 

So in essence, we must all eventually become Buddhas? Through however many kalpas and aeons it takes?

 


Whenever I hear about kalpas and aeons, I hear bullshit. The talk about billions, and trillions of years, and the belief that Earth (our tiny) planet will still exist in a few billion years, or humanity will exist, is beyond any kind of possible wishful thinking.

You certainly don't have even 1 billion years to achieve buddhahood. I would highly doubt 1 million as well.
----
A great Kalpa is 4 medium kalpas, or around 1.344 trillion years

84000x1.344 trillion = 112896 trillion years

Getting back down to earth, Buddhism is several thousand years old, Not millions, not billions, not aeons...

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8 hours ago, C T said:

There may be some who'd not like to invest their time on a teacher whose attitude and views are similarly inclined, in such a manner as to suggest self-aggrandizement, even tones nearing condescension. Perhaps its just me and my burden of aversion towards boastful tones. Apologies for the lack of courtesy in my words.


That's good, there has to be a filter in place, not everyone should be accepted in an academy of cultivation.
There has to be someone who strives to achieve and preserve true enlightenment potential in aeons of kalpas and then free every sentient beings from suffering.
We are more than grateful for your and others bodhisattvas noble sacrifice. ^_^

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Hey @XianGong, how exactly do you define cultivation? I'm asking because I feel that it's a lot different from the general, more popular meaning of the term. Secondly, is there an end goal to your cultivation? If so, what is it?

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48 minutes ago, skyblue said:

Hey @XianGong, how exactly do you define cultivation? I'm asking because I feel that it's a lot different from the general, more popular meaning of the term. Secondly, is there an end goal to your cultivation? If so, what is it?


There are Goals in it, but there is no end goal, you go from one level to another level.
Like you have to achieve a certain level of skill, abilities and power to be able to progress from one level to another (pass exams).
So there is some kind of end goal for one level, but that is only the beginning of another level.
The path itself has no end.

Cultivation = Growing

Some cultivate flowers, we cultivate human beings into Gods wielding superhuman powers, otherwordly intellect and insight, and spirit beyond the comprehension of a mortal.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, XianGong said:

Getting back down to earth, Buddhism is several thousand years old, Not millions, not billions, not aeons...

 

This earth and this Buddha Gotama are of course not that old, but what was being spoken of was not this earth, but other worlds and other universes and other Buddha's in the past.

 

Buddhism teaches that the universe is born and ends immeasurable times and that there have been countless Buddhas in the past and that other worlds and solar systems and galaxies and universes have their own Buddhas as well. 

 

I remember one time I was reading this book I think it was set in the 70s and some westerners were at The meditation retreat center of some Tibetan Lama and one of them said what's the point of meditating if they could just drop the bomb any day? And the lama didn't even pause he said "they've already dropped the bomb so many times it's nothing new so just keep meditating". 

Edited by dmattwads
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Kalpas and yugas are a fascinating topic for me, personally. I'm not like those who would argue against proven scientific facts by quoting sacred texts but I still think that there had to be some merit in them. I mean, why would the highest of cultivators of those times just write some imaginary numbers as the number of years and use these numbers so frequently in the description of the world? Moreover, they are similar in both Hindu and Buddhist cosmologies. There should be some reason as to why Shakyamuni Buddha, who chose to reject all ancient Hindu rituals and even the complete notion of atman would go on to use the same extraordinarily large numbers in his temporal model of universe. 

 

Whatever it may be, there's this one thing I gained from these temporal descriptions. It's that human life is short, way too short. In this bubble of a lifetime, I was fortunate enough to come across something that helps me peer into the nature of reality and the source of creation. I'm very grateful for that.

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11 minutes ago, skyblue said:

Kalpas and yugas are a fascinating topic for me, personally. I'm not like those who would argue against proven scientific facts by quoting sacred texts but I still think that there had to be some merit in them. I mean, why would the highest of cultivators of those times just write some imaginary numbers as the number of years and use these numbers so frequently in the description of the world? Moreover, the

y are similar in both Hindu and Buddhist cosmologies. There should be some reason as to why Shakyamuni Buddha, who chose to reject all ancient Hindu rituals and even the complete notion of atman would go on to use the same extraordinarily large numbers in his temporal model of universe. 

 

Whatever it may be, there's this one thing I gained from these temporal descriptions. It's that human life is short, way too short. In this bubble of a lifetime, I was fortunate enough to come across something that helps me peer into the nature of reality and the source of creation. I'm very grateful for that.

 

Actually I think as science understands more about the cosmology of the universe the idea of large amounts of time and speculation about what happened before the big bang and how the universe ends seems to line up a lot with dharmic notions of Kalpas and the cyclical nature of existence. 

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Posted (edited)
On 10/7/2021 at 11:47 AM, freeform said:

 

Achieving Buddhahood is considered the final ‘return’ to the Dao - the attainment of ‘Heavenly Immortal’.

 

Whether this is what the historical Buddha achieved, I don’t know - I’ve heard different perspectives. 
 

Do your teachers distinguish between the attainment of an Arhat and a Buddha?  Both were said to be free of the cycle of rebirth in early Buddhism, but a Buddha was one who could find the path without a teacher, this took many many more lifetimes to do, and most wouldn't be interested or able anyway.  But later schools of Buddhism changed this and encouraged everyone to aspire to Buddhahood, and said Arhats only attained freedom from reincarnation for a really long time and then had to come back and work toward Buddhahood.  One of those things I am not hung up about but would ask someone who would know if I could. 

 

20 hours ago, freeform said:

A senior meditator at my retreat could perceive an immortal being watching over life on earth for millennia… from his perspective it appeared that this being would also go through a cycle. 

Is this being embodied or in a celestial realm?  There are stories about the famous "Mahavatar Babaji", who has an immortal body that will remain until the Kalki avatar comes.  

Edited by Creation

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50 minutes ago, Creation said:

Do your teachers distinguish between the attainment of an Arhat and a Buddha?  Both were said to be free of the cycle of rebirth in early Buddhism, but a Buddha was one who could find the path without a teacher, this took many many more lifetimes to do, and most wouldn't be interested or able anyway.  But later schools of Buddhism changed this and encouraged everyone to aspire to Buddhahood, and said Arhats only attained freedom from reincarnation for a really long time and then had to come back and work toward Buddhahood.  One of those things I am not hung up about but would ask someone who would know if I could. 

 

Most of what I have learned up to this point has been from the Theravada point of view, so their take on it is that Arhats do not come back, that they are fully enlightened.

     The Mahayana view is different from what I learned but on the other hand I've recently been finding Mahayana practices seem to work for me much better than anything I did from the Theravada side, so who knows?

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On 10/7/2021 at 9:10 PM, dmattwads said:

Jesus on the other hand taught that he could save people if they had faith in him. 

Source? hahaB)

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2 minutes ago, Jaba said:

Source? hahaB)

 

The source? I guess that would be the New Testament of the Christian bible, and the four gospels specifically. lol

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7 hours ago, Creation said:

There are stories about the famous "Mahavatar Babaji", who has an immortal body that will remain until the Kalki avatar comes.  

 

Isn't he supposed to be a nirmankaya, one who can consciously recreate a form they choose to appear in and dismantle it after their job is done?

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On 08/10/2021 at 6:00 PM, Creation said:

Do your teachers distinguish between the attainment of an Arhat and a Buddha?  Both were said to be free of the cycle of rebirth in early Buddhism, but a Buddha was one who could find the path without a teacher, this took many many more lifetimes to do, and most wouldn't be interested or able anyway.  But later schools of Buddhism changed this and encouraged everyone to aspire to Buddhahood, and said Arhats only attained freedom from reincarnation for a really long time and then had to come back and work toward Buddhahood.  One of those things I am not hung up about but would ask someone who would know if I could. 

 

I haven't discussed this with the Buddhist teacher I have - he's not a fan of those sorts of discussions.

 

But I've talked to my Daoist teacher and other senior students.

 

Yes - from what I understood what would be equivalent to Buddhahood (celestial immortal) is exceptionally rare. There are many attainments along the line that afford you a near-spiritual-immortality... in that you can be in the heavenly realms for millennia before having to return.

 

Being in the heavenly realms for that 'long' (time is a weird thing in this context) allows you to cultivate at a very high level (but not to transform karma - for which an incarnation is essential)... what this means is that when you do incarnate again, you'll usually not come back as a 'normal' sort of person...

 

On 08/10/2021 at 6:00 PM, Creation said:

Is this being embodied or in a celestial realm?

 

Celestial realm.

 

An unfathomable being by my friend's account... like a planet or a star - almost 'not there' because its presence is so ubiquitous.

 

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