Wilhelm

On the nature and utility of 'goal posts' in meditative and energetic practice

On the nature and utility of 'goal posts' in meditative and energetic arts  

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  1. 1. How do you view the classical descriptions of accomplishment in the meditative and/or energetic arts that you practice? (i.e. Arhatship, Immortality, Rainbow Body etc. or even any of the Siddhi)

    • The classics give literal descriptions of the various attainments
      10
    • The classics give metaphorical or at least non-literal descriptions of the various attainments
      4
    • I don't know
      6
    • Other
      3


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I liked the way Apech gave an opportunity for even the casual lurker to throw their two cents into a poll around the controversial subject of visualisation (at least I think it was Apech), so I wanted to start with the same for what I'm calling 'Spiritual goal posts' (though the concept applies to almost any meditative or energetic art)

I've spent some time recently thinking about two stances or approaches to  'goal posts' in our arts.  What I'm talking about are signs of accomplishment which may be very specific to a very specific art, or may be general enough to be considered a cross-denominational attainment. 

Currently I'm aware of two specific approaches to the 'goal posts' written about in the classics of various traditions, and I'll try to briefly give my impression as well as the common criticism of each.

First there is the 'literal' approach - where many of the core classics are taken to describe things more or less exactly as they happen as one develops in their art.  A common criticism is that many of these descriptions are fantastical and so should be dismissed as nonsense and dogma.  There are countless examples but I have one at top of mind from an interview I watched today where the practitioner of a specific style of Buddhist methods had stated that the classical description of the Anagami being free from sense desires was nonsensical because he believed himself to be an Arahant and knew others who believed themselves to be Arahants and they were all experiencing sense desires.  These individuals represent the second 'camp', which I'll describe in brief next.

This second group also studies the classical texts but as alluded to above believes some of the texts to be too fantastical to be taken literally.  A common example are those who believe the classical description of Siddhis are mostly nonsense, and even if a person in this second camp might consider them real - they're often considered an unnecessary 'side quest' of sorts and probably a deviation from the true path.  A common criticism of this camp is that they are moving the goal posts to fit their experience.

So what do you think the nature of the supposed signs of attainment are in your own arts?  Are these laid out literally in the classics, or were the descriptions somehow metaphorical or at least non-literal, and if so - how?  And whether you take a literal or metaphorical interpretation - how specifically would you confirm the validity of your accomplishments?  

If a teacher or senior validates them for you - what is it about them or your relationship to them that causes you to believe and trust them and their interpretation?

If you validate it for yourself - how do you know you're not moving the 'goal posts' in your interpretation to match your experience?

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I don't think it's useful for most to know much about or focus on the "classical descriptions of accomplishment" you mention.  Do I want to achieve the rainbow body?  Sure, why not.  It sounds fantastic but though I might read and understand a definition of that term I have no real idea of what achieving the rainbow body might mean on a somatic, emotional, energetic, spiritual or any other level.  I'm too far away from rainbow body-ship to grok what it is in a meaningful way.  So, for me, saying I want to achieve a rainbow body would just be an ego thing.  Ironically, if anything that intention is leading me away from the actual accomplishment.  

 

I'm not alone in this.  Out of the hundreds (thousands?) of people who have ever been Bums I'm guessing that only one or two of us are sufficiently advanced to have a visceral idea of what achieving the rainbow body might mean.  If you're in that rarefied group you know it and good for you.  Otherwise I believe it's better to focus on lower but more attainable goals --  good health, kindness, happiness, being a good person in the world.

Edited by liminal_luke
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6 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

I don't think it's useful for most to know much about or focus on the "classical descriptions of accomplishment" you mention.  Do I want to achieve the rainbow body?  Sure, why not.  It sounds fantastic but though I might read and understand a definition of that term I have no real idea of what achieving the rainbow body might mean on a somatic, emotional, energetic, spiritual or any other level.  I'm too far away from rainbow body-ship to grok what it is in a meaningful way.  So, for me, saying I want to achieve a rainbow body would just be an ego thing.  Ironically, if anything that intention is leading me away from the actual accomplishment.  

 

I'm not alone in this.  Out of the hundreds (thousands?) of people who have ever been Bums I'm guessing that only one or two of us are sufficiently advanced to have a visceral idea of what achieving the rainbow body might mean.  If you're in that rarefied group you know it and good for you.  Otherwise I believe it's better to focus on lower but more attainable goals --  good health, kindness, happiness, being a good person in the world.

Good point!  But not really what I'm getting at here.  Specifically I was hoping to talk to people who hold different interpretations of what the classics meant - and since the most commonly known accomplishments from the classics are the late stage ones I listed those as examples, but you could apply it to something as straightforward as mindfulness of breath (what is the literal interpretation, how is it metaphorically interpreted and what are the distinctions between the two approaches)

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I’ve been in both camps :) 

 

I spent years in the metaphorical camp… I did retreats, trained for hours every day (using imagination and visualisation 😁)… I met several of the famous teachers in modern Daoism…

 

I was on the right track - my expectations were carefully self-managed… and it all matched my very skeptical and analytical world view - so it was all good.

 

Then I met a teacher with real Qi… meaning Qi that had been cultivated (rather than the natural qi we all have)… And suddenly my carefully crafted world-view of these arts was cracked wide open. What I thought was qi circulating in my MCO was just sensation created through mental stimulation!

 

Real Qi was nothing like that… it was way more powerful, visceral and objective.

 

This was clearly something extraordinary - it passed my very analytical, skeptical filter (I already knew everything about hypnosis, suggestibility, trance states and cooperative imagination - this was nothing like that at all).

 

Having my worldview broken open like that, I suddenly realised that there’s a whole side of these arts that I had dismissed - and now I had to question all that.

 

So I went the other way, I naively started to believe various teachers… they could demonstrate the cultivated Qi - so surely their other stories must be true…

 

And of course I got burned. Just coz someone has some attainment, doesn’t mean they’re fully realised or even fully mature as a human. The skeptical mindset came back (luckily)…

 

So I continued to search (qi stuff wasn’t the most important thing for me - spirituality was)…

 

Going through this same pattern several times - but this time with Spirit rather than just Qi… turns out you can be awakened, but still have a major part of you completely unresolved…

 

Eventually I had access to people beyond extraordinary… I had experiences that proved to my skeptical mind that even though there’s a muddled mass of half awake, Qi wielding - but shallow masters, tons of charlatans and half-charlatans, many power seekers, many ‘away with the fairies’ spiritual types… tons of delusional types - but there’s also more than that. Far stranger than I could even imagine - even after reading the books that we all know.

 

Mind you, I spent all my time and money on this… I left a very lucrative job and sold up all my accumulated assets to pursue this… neglected relationships and family, lost a career, stable income etc. I don’t have a car, kids or a house… I’m pretty much a transient hobo 😁 So this is certainly not for everyone.

 

But yes - I believe the things we read in some of the classics, or some of the stories about highly accomplished individuals are true and are literal.
 

But my advice is to continue being skeptical (truly skeptical - not ‘cynical’ masquerading as ‘skeptical’ - a true skeptic questions all the biases including their own… especially their own!)… half truths are more harmful than full-on falsehoods.

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having a major crack occur in one's ego could be a type sign post and better than any power except for those used for dharma by spirit; so sometimes to loose is to gain... 

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I believe it's all literal (to a degree), or much more literal than most Westerners believe them to be.

 

I have a hunch as to who you may be referring to in your OP, particularly those who follow a certain lineage that comes out of Burma/Myanmar, their models and ideas of enlightenment have taken quite a hold in the Western Buddhist scene. IMHO they've just moved the goal posts so that it's easier to become 'enlightened' or reach stream-entry, and imo they're just deluding themselves.. They might be awakened or have hit stream-entry (that I'm not even too sure of), but I highly, highly doubt that they have attained arhatship.

 

Taking a hard and fast rule to any of this to me seems rather stupid, arrogant, and potentially non-beneficial. Take a stance, sure, but don't cling to it!

 

At least in some Chan lines, I understand you are to confirm your accomplishments by getting 'certified' from someone who is genuinely attained, this approach is plastered all over The Sixth Patriarch Platform Sutra where all these monks go to Master Hui Neng to confirm that they're awakened or fully enlightened. 

 

Failing that, I recall there was a historical Chinese Master whom I'm forgetting their name right now, the story goes he apparently realized enlightenment however had no one to confirm his enlightenment, so he consulted/studied/devoured the Shurangama Sutra and that was his way of validating his accomplishments. 

 

For those teachers or seniors that validate them for you... well, hopefully in your search for a teacher or master you have come across quite a few different people and gotten a feel for who may have been phonies and those who were genuinely awakened to some degree... then you compare that to what the classics say an enlightened being is like, e.g. are they genuinely compassionate, kind people? Are they selfless? Do they have the wisdom to back it all up?

 

Observing them over a period of time, and seeing them in positions of power, do they abuse or wield that power for their own self-benefit? (Just seeing people on interviews or reading their books doesn't really cut it... you need to spend time with them in person, and ideally over an extended period of time)

 

Other things that aren't as reliable but could be of benefit is when being around them seeing how you feel when around them, and assessing the character of their students or disciples, have they genuinely changed for the better, are they honest good human beings? Do they have skill? (Not all of them will be, but keep a close eye out on their senior students and disciples, the people who are genuinely cultivating and practicing, not the people who are just helping out or orbiting around the master)

 

Validating for yourself is probably not the smartest thing to do, the last chapter of the Shurangama Sutra lays out all of the reasons why, it's too easy to delude yourself on the path

 

In terms of modern stories, I heard Master Nan Huai-Jin once in front of a materialist skeptic (who later became a devoted follower and student of his) walked straight through the skeptic, as if there were no border between their physical bodies.

 

Master Hsuan Hua I was told by a reputable source from within his tradition, exhibited at least one of the 32 hallmarks of a Buddha, a well-retracted male organ (something that freeform has mentioned briefly on this forum before).  Master Hsuan Hua is also one of the few masters - especially in the Chinese tradition - who openly used his powers for good and spoke about it as it was one of his 18 vows, however for the many years that he has taught, there doesn't or hasn't been stories or rumors about him sexually abusing students or doing weird shady shit

 

Then there's a lot of stories from Thai Masters and so forth who exhibit supernatural powers and great compassion and wisdom. The powers don't mean enlightenment, but if true, they give credence to the suttas and sutras that it's not just all metaphors and fairy tales.

 

I am somewhat baffled to a degree by the idea of "Rational Buddhism" and people who practice Buddhism without believing in reincarnation and even go so far as to refute it. That's the power of the religion of science and arrogance imo

 

My approach is to keep an open mind, keep going on the Path, and if one day I have the good fortune to encounter something that truly blows my mind, well, then my mind will be blown and confirm some beliefs I hold and expand my view of reality and the "truth". I've encountered and seen some weird stuff thus far, but nothing overly crazy or outrageous, just enough to know that there's definitely more than meets the eye when it come to this reality of ours, so stay open but skeptical, just as the Buddha advises

 

You gotta experience, know, and see for yourself to really know the truth. There's no other way. Then whenever you happen to get to that stage, make sure you look for someone who's already been there to verify that you're not fooling yourself because you are the easiest person to fool as Richard Feynman would say

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17 hours ago, Wilhelm said:

I liked the way Apech gave an opportunity for even the casual lurker to throw their two cents into a poll around the controversial subject of visualisation (at least I think it was Apech), so I wanted to start with the same for what I'm calling 'Spiritual goal posts' (though the concept applies to almost any meditative or energetic art)

I've spent some time recently thinking about two stances or approaches to  'goal posts' in our arts.  What I'm talking about are signs of accomplishment which may be very specific to a very specific art, or may be general enough to be considered a cross-denominational attainment. 

Currently I'm aware of two specific approaches to the 'goal posts' written about in the classics of various traditions, and I'll try to briefly give my impression as well as the common criticism of each.

First there is the 'literal' approach - where many of the core classics are taken to describe things more or less exactly as they happen as one develops in their art.  A common criticism is that many of these descriptions are fantastical and so should be dismissed as nonsense and dogma.  There are countless examples but I have one at top of mind from an interview I watched today where the practitioner of a specific style of Buddhist methods had stated that the classical description of the Anagami being free from sense desires was nonsensical because he believed himself to be an Arahant and knew others who believed themselves to be Arahants and they were all experiencing sense desires.  These individuals represent the second 'camp', which I'll describe in brief next.

This second group also studies the classical texts but as alluded to above believes some of the texts to be too fantastical to be taken literally.  A common example are those who believe the classical description of Siddhis are mostly nonsense, and even if a person in this second camp might consider them real - they're often considered an unnecessary 'side quest' of sorts and probably a deviation from the true path.  A common criticism of this camp is that they are moving the goal posts to fit their experience.

So what do you think the nature of the supposed signs of attainment are in your own arts?  Are these laid out literally in the classics, or were the descriptions somehow metaphorical or at least non-literal, and if so - how?  And whether you take a literal or metaphorical interpretation - how specifically would you confirm the validity of your accomplishments?  

If a teacher or senior validates them for you - what is it about them or your relationship to them that causes you to believe and trust them and their interpretation?

If you validate it for yourself - how do you know you're not moving the 'goal posts' in your interpretation to match your experience?

 

 

 

Hopefully this makes sense :) 

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There are apparently photographs of some of the monks on Mount Athos and they are practically transparent.

 

I know from my own experience that when I'm practicing sung in wuji and then go for a walk and recite the Jesus Prayer, the descending spiritual energy generated by the prayer continues the sung process.

 

But strangely enough, this doesn't happen if I'm not also holding the wuji stance during the day.

 

So there is some overlap between body cultivation and purely cultivation of the mind or spirit (using a more simple definition of the term).

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5 hours ago, freeform said:

So I went the other way, I naively started to believe various teachers… they could demonstrate the cultivated Qi - so surely their other stories must be true…

 

And of course I got burned. Just coz someone has some attainment, doesn’t mean they’re fully realised or even fully mature as a human. The skeptical mindset came back (luckily)…

 

This is a rather profound insight, and one that bears careful consideration.

 

Someone demonstrating something with qi or whatever  else is a benchmark most people take as a sign they have something worth pursuing

 

In my opinion it is not.

 

And I've been gripped by that stuff (and more) too in the past. 

 

The reason why is people just don't know how many ways this can not only be faked, but more importantly, be done via other means, means that are not related to real internal transformation.

 

Sometimes these people don't even have the attainment they think they do, and they don't know or realize it themselves.

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53 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

 

 

 

Hopefully this makes sense :) 

Saw that this morning 👍 gonna be a useful reference to make this question more specific if it doesn't get traction 

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14 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

Saw that this morning 👍 gonna be a useful reference to make this question more specific if it doesn't get traction 

 

Well you know yourself, people normally lower the bar for jhana and then pretend they've reached it or have been through them or whatever :) 

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2 hours ago, refugeindharma said:

Wonderful post, thank you 🙏

2 hours ago, refugeindharma said:

I have a hunch as to who you may be referring to in your OP, particularly those who follow a certain lineage that comes out of Burma/Myanmar, their models and ideas of enlightenment have taken quite a hold in the Western Buddhist scene. IMHO they've just moved the goal posts so that it's easier to become 'enlightened' or reach stream-entry, and imo they're just deluding themselves.. They might be awakened or have hit stream-entry (that I'm not even too sure of), but I highly, highly doubt that they have attained arhatship.

Yeah I was thinking of talking about that approach specifically in another thread, just for personal interest and maybe clarification:)

2 hours ago, refugeindharma said:

Master Hsuan Hua I was told by a reputable source from within his tradition, exhibited at least one of the 32 hallmarks of a Buddha, a well-retracted male organ (something that freeform has mentioned briefly on this forum before).  

One man's shame becomes another man's flex 🤣 context is king

2 hours ago, refugeindharma said:

You gotta experience, know, and see for yourself to really know the truth. There's no other way. Then whenever you happen to get to that stage, make sure you look for someone who's already been there to verify that you're not fooling yourself because you are the easiest person to fool as Richard Feynman would say

I lean literalist on this question but also have tendencies towards self delusion and blind faith, and so appreciate your nuanced approach to this topic 

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2 hours ago, old3bob said:

having a major crack occur in one's ego could be a type sign post and better than any power except for those used for dharma by spirit; so sometimes to loose is to gain... 

Do you think this sort of progression is discernable through self analysis, or is a trusted external party needed?

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1 hour ago, Miffymog said:

There are apparently photographs of some of the monks on Mount Athos and they are practically transparent.

 

I know from my own experience that when I'm practicing sung in wuji and then go for a walk and recite the Jesus Prayer, the descending spiritual energy generated by the prayer continues the sung process.

 

But strangely enough, this doesn't happen if I'm not also holding the wuji stance during the day.

 

So there is some overlap between body cultivation and purely cultivation of the mind or spirit (using a more simple definition of the term).

Very cool insight!  I don't practice the Jesus prayer specifically but have never been so Song that I felt my prayers go down to my feet as they occurred 🤔

 

Btw did you mean to post this in the mind body cultivation thread?  If not np, it just seems right on track for that discussion so just checking

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20 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

Do you think this sort of progression is discernable through self analysis, or is a trusted external party needed?

 

Since ego self can not crack ego, then no in that sense...and with a true external party being  found not to be external.

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1 minute ago, old3bob said:

 

Since ego self can not crack ego, then no in that sense...and with a true external party being  found not to be external.

image.png.c6dae90f9ade3552c66cdce409d5ae6d.png

🤣🙏

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3 hours ago, refugeindharma said:

I have a hunch as to who you may be referring to in your OP, particularly those who follow a certain lineage that comes out of Burma/Myanmar, their models and ideas of enlightenment have taken quite a hold in the Western Buddhist scene. IMHO they've just moved the goal posts so that it's easier to become 'enlightened' or reach stream-entry, and imo they're just deluding themselves.. They might be awakened or have hit stream-entry (that I'm not even too sure of), but I highly, highly doubt that they have attained arhatship.

 

Aside from this guy

 

Stream episode Ep166: Fire Kasina Mystic - Daniel Ingram by GuruViking  podcast | Listen online for free on SoundCloud

 

Who exactly is walking around  in the West claiming to be an Arhat?

 

And what has it got to do with Burma?

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37 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

Very cool insight!  I don't practice the Jesus prayer specifically but have never been so Song that I felt my prayers go down to my feet as they occurred 🤔

 

Btw did you mean to post this in the mind body cultivation thread?  If not np, it just seems right on track for that discussion so just checking

 

I realised I'd basically posted this on the wrong thread as soon as I walked away from my phone. I then meant to come back and add an edit saying as much, but got waylaid.

Sorry about that 🤦

 

Edited by Miffymog
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If you try to find the way by being lazy and asking people, you will only get more doubts.

 

你想要用偷懶的方式,用問人的方式去找到這條路,你只會得到更多的疑惑。

 

Both Taoist and Buddhist classics have said a lot.

Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of Zen Buddhism, passed down the Lenga Sutra.
The Lenga Sutra mentions mind-generating body.

All editions of Huang Ting Jing also mentioned real people in the red spectrum.

The Enlightenment Chapter mentioned the process from the initial cultivation to the final achievement.

There are too many classics that tell too much truth.

But it absolutely does not include the fake classic Shurangama Sutra.

The Shurangama Sutra is a classic of forgery, especially the second half, which is all forged.

But if you have not practiced to the stage of a real person, you will not be able to see where the Shurangama Sutra is falsified.

 

不管是道家還是佛家的經典都說了很多。

禪宗的第一代祖師達摩傳下了楞伽經。
楞伽經裡面就提到意生身。

黃庭經各個版本也都提到紅光譜的真人。

悟真篇提到了從最初的修煉到最終的成就歷程。

有太多經典說了太多真相了。

但是絕對不包含假經典楞嚴經。

楞嚴經是造假的經典,特別是後半段,全部都是造假的。

但是如果你自己沒有練到真人階段,你是看不出來楞嚴經哪裡造假。

 

When you reach a certain level, you will be able to understand which scriptures tell the truth and which scriptures tell lies.

When you have not reached a certain level, you have no ability to judge.

So you can only look for the most fundamental classics to read.

For example, the most primitive classic of Buddhism is the Miscellaneous Agama Sutra.

The purest Taoism is from the Tao Te Ching, the Yin Fu Jing, Lu Zu, and Zhang Boduan.

The purest Chinese medicine is the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Internal Medicine and Treatise on Febrile Diseases.


If you are a beginner who wants to practice higher, you must start from the fundamental classics, so as not to be deceived by false masters.

 

當你到達一定的程度,你才有能力可以看得懂什麼經典說的是真相,什麼經典說的是謊話。

當你沒有到達一定的程度的時候,你是沒有判斷能力的。

所以你只能找尋最根本的經典來看。

例如佛教的最原始的經典就是雜阿含經。

道家最純粹的就是從道德經,陰符經,呂祖,張伯端。

中醫最純粹的就是黃帝內經,傷寒論。


如果你是想要練得更高的初學者,你一定要從根本經典下手,才不會被假大師所蒙蔽。

Edited by awaken
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26 minutes ago, awaken said:

If you try to find the way by being lazy and asking people, you will only get more doubts.

I agree 🙏 for clarification I am attempting to prompt discussion around a topic that I find interesting as I am between practice sessions and this happens to be a discussion group.

26 minutes ago, awaken said:

When you reach a certain level, you will be able to understand which scriptures tell the truth and which scriptures tell lies.

This is a remarkable accomplishment indeed - full discernment of truth in all the classics.  Is it the sort of accomplishment that requires a teacher's validation?  And if not, if it's something that is 'simply known', what's to prevent someone from deluding themself into believing they achieved this accomplishment?

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@awaken

It seems no one has a good definition of Qigong(氣功). Since your Chinese and English are very good, I would love to hear the insight from you in both languages. Would you please give us a little introduction in Qigong in a simplest way as possible? Thank you!

Edited 1 minute ago by ChiDragon

 

Edited by ChiDragon

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1 hour ago, awaken said:

If you try to find the way by being lazy and asking people, you will only get more doubts.

 

你想要用偷懶的方式,用問人的方式去找到這條路,你只會得到更多的疑惑。

 

Both Taoist and Buddhist classics have said a lot.

Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of Zen Buddhism, passed down the Lenga Sutra.
The Lenga Sutra mentions mind-generating body.

All editions of Huang Ting Jing also mentioned real people in the red spectrum.

The Enlightenment Chapter mentioned the process from the initial cultivation to the final achievement.

There are too many classics that tell too much truth.

But it absolutely does not include the fake classic Shurangama Sutra.

The Shurangama Sutra is a classic of forgery, especially the second half, which is all forged.

But if you have not practiced to the stage of a real person, you will not be able to see where the Shurangama Sutra is falsified.

 

不管是道家還是佛家的經典都說了很多。

禪宗的第一代祖師達摩傳下了楞伽經。
楞伽經裡面就提到意生身。

黃庭經各個版本也都提到紅光譜的真人。

悟真篇提到了從最初的修煉到最終的成就歷程。

有太多經典說了太多真相了。

但是絕對不包含假經典楞嚴經。

楞嚴經是造假的經典,特別是後半段,全部都是造假的。

但是如果你自己沒有練到真人階段,你是看不出來楞嚴經哪裡造假。

 

When you reach a certain level, you will be able to understand which scriptures tell the truth and which scriptures tell lies.

When you have not reached a certain level, you have no ability to judge.

So you can only look for the most fundamental classics to read.

For example, the most primitive classic of Buddhism is the Miscellaneous Agama Sutra.

The purest Taoism is from the Tao Te Ching, the Yin Fu Jing, Lu Zu, and Zhang Boduan.

The purest Chinese medicine is the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Internal Medicine and Treatise on Febrile Diseases.


If you are a beginner who wants to practice higher, you must start from the fundamental classics, so as not to be deceived by false masters.

 

當你到達一定的程度,你才有能力可以看得懂什麼經典說的是真相,什麼經典說的是謊話。

當你沒有到達一定的程度的時候,你是沒有判斷能力的。

所以你只能找尋最根本的經典來看。

例如佛教的最原始的經典就是雜阿含經。

道家最純粹的就是從道德經,陰符經,呂祖,張伯端。

中醫最純粹的就是黃帝內經,傷寒論。


如果你是想要練得更高的初學者,你一定要從根本經典下手,才不會被假大師所蒙蔽。

 

Yes! Lazy people!! False masters! You will only be more confused and decieved!

 

You need

 

Lambs liver and beef marrow

 

No wait.

 

Chicken liver and duck marrow

 

Dammit, that's not it either

 

Crows liver and hares marrow.

 

That's it :)  Only then you'll be a real person! 

 

(Anyone got any recipes for crows?) 

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6 hours ago, Shadow_self said:

And what has it got to do with Burma?

The Mahasi Sayadaw lineage equates stream entry with cessation experience. Ingram's practice was in this lineage, and he took his cue from them when he equated permanent dropping of the subjective center of experience with arhatship. 

Edited by Creation
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2 hours ago, Creation said:

Ingram'


What do people think of Ingram?

 

I only recently came across him in the guru Viking podcast. He sure like his phenomena! 

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1 hour ago, freeform said:

What do people think of Ingram?

Long story short I think he's a practitioner with some skill and accomplishment (based on his practice logs - he pretty clearly has some skill in concentration) but as he goes by his own interpretations of both his teacher's method as well as the path I have no idea 'where' he really is.  Could go into detail with his own descriptions of the experience.

 

He's also inspired thousands to take meditation very seriously, though I don't know what the net benefit has been for even those who've completed his method (i.e. Frank Yang - not to single out this fellow from thousands but he's well known, and also appeared on guru viking).  So I'm sympathetic towards him because its amazing how many people have taken meditation seriously because of his work and I believe he's being honest in what he believes, and I also understand the criticisms of how his approach has affected Theravadan Buddhism in the West.  'Big Buddhism' took notice of him enough to put out an article basically writing off him and his approach, as well.

Edited by Wilhelm
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