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  #391  
Old 18-09-2020, 10:18 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janielee
It's important because what helps and appeals to each person is important.

What you call no bells and whistles is a form of form itself

If someone can't or won't chant, drum and bow, what does that say about their aversion, for example? Giving in at times is going along in my opinion.

JL




I personally find it hard to understand why anyone would get invoilved in chanting or other spiritual rituals, but it's generally fine. Some people like it so they should go ahead. It's just that these things are sectarian in nature, and not universal dhamma. The only reason these ritualistic practices could be problematic is if craving and clinging might be associated with them, which I think maybe there usually is. One example: once a young Christian came to the school to learn the meditation. It was explained as a condition of being taught that participants have to suspend their usual religious practices for the duration of the retreat. I noticed the young Christian had hidden his crucifix (also banned on site) and kept it in his pocket, and at meal times he'd secretly hold the crucifix and cross himself, probably saying grace in his head. He couldn't forsake his rituals for even for the short duration. In the same way, Buddhists from various sects, including fully robed monks, are not allowed to practice their religious bits and bobs during retreat, but they seemed perfectly happy to put all that on hold until after they left,
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  #392  
Old 18-09-2020, 10:34 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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[quote=sky123]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem




' It's not the teachings of Buddha (and if it was there's no reason to believe it on that basis), '


It is actually the Teachings of The Buddha and the reason to believe it is through ' Practice ' .



' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them.'

Kalama Sutta....




I can only discourage believing things on the basis of a religious authority, but it is a good idea to treat the Canon as a philosophical framework and just accept the things that seem to make sense, while still knowing that there is a considerable probability the conclusions you might make could be proven wrong over time. The last thing anyone should ever do is use the Canon as a crutch that relieves them of their actual state of uncertainty.
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  #393  
Old 18-09-2020, 11:12 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by Phaelyn
It's such a wonderful thing as well. When we observe ourselves, we see we typically are dealing with one of those most of the time, when we interact with this world and the beings in it, and when we are focused with our own thoughts. Thought typically is throwing up one of those concepts as applied to whatever we are encountering moment to moment.


Tru dat!


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Even equanimity can be desired and thus it is no longer equanimity


Hmm. Tricky ay?


Quote:
at all and is instead, tainted by thought, by person, by ego. True equanimity has no person attached to it. No thought form. It's this or me as I am, without a thought coloring it, tinting it, being involved in it.


Yes. The philosophy is something about how 'ego' is perpertuated from one moment to the next by the reactive energy...


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It's funny because if we speak of it, talk about it, write about it, it being equanimity or a state of being free of aversion and desire, we are not living or being it at all. Tolle said he becomes a different thing when writing or speaking, and when he is done, he transforms back into what he is. Totally lets go of all that conceptual content the moment his talk is done.


It's OK to talk about it, and because the whole practice is conscious awareness with equanimity of mind, there's really not much else to talk about. I know others will say thete is more to it and there's more advanced stuff and so on, but that is the fundamental basis of everything, not because it's desired, but because equanimity is the inherent quality of awareness. Hence we are not trying to achieve the state, but rather, examining the nature of ourselves to find out what is 'already' true.


That truth applies on all levels, so we can simply be aware of our state of bondage, and the function of that bondage, or aware of our liberated state if such is the case. Accept it simply, without judgement, as a fact. If the desire for liberation comes up, you can see it arising in conscious awareness, and you can see how egomanic it is, and how the desire for enlightenment is the vainest self-aggrandisement of all.


Quote:
I'm a bit hesitant to equate this idea of a "middle way" to this as "a way" conceptualizes a being as form in a specific place, conceptually anyway, in the middle of two things. When really, those two things no longer are present in anyway nor is a middle. More specifically, a person or ego to be involved in this or it.


The middle way is a discourse about excesses and deprivation, which are symptoms of greed and aversion, so where equanimity refers to the absence of reactivity, the middle way is taken through equanimity of the mind. Hence it doesn't refer to things in particular, but to the degree of reactivity or non-reactivity one has to their feelings.


Quote:
But then that "middle way" also is related to the idea of becoming. Where we can do or not do....to become when both are the same in the sense of the one doing both. One is involved if they are thinking, or not thinking. Being mindful or not being mindful. Involved conceptually if one is writing about such things. Using memory etc, ideas.


Yes, but since becoming is impelled by craving, and the reactive tendency perpetuates 'rebirth', equanimity is the cessation of becoming. It is the cessation of the reactive volition that drives the kammic wheel.


Quote:
Not relating factually what is present now in this moment. If one is in equanimity or a liberated state, what is here in some verbal form? Nothing really. That is added content, and one in equanimity is not adding mental content, not involved with mental content, not giving energy or form to mental content. The "middle way" is always a reference to the past, to the known, so always some ego is being carried along. Trying to bring along a piece of the known, into the unknown.


I think the concept which is important to understand is the path described as the middle way is not a path that started in the past and leads to the future. The path is from the gross level of solid, hard experience to the deeper levels of subtle, dynamic experience. The subtler realms bring insight into the nature of reality, which in Buddhist terms is mainly 'impermanence'. To experience the momentary, substanceless nature of your feelings is to know the substanceless nature of everything...

Quote:
It's all here, and quite familiar, well known and loved even, but it is known on that level, by what it is, as opposed to how my thoughts and mind may color it. I experience it as everyone else does as well, before our thoughts change it and give it a personal viewpoint.


The concept of 'knowing' doesn't really pertain to knowledge. It's more like you can check your hand and you know what it feels like.
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  #394  
Old 18-09-2020, 03:33 PM
Phaelyn Phaelyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
equanimity refers to the absence of reactivity,

In the way I understand it, reactivity and aversion are just potential phenomena of identification, as are conflicts of various kinds, and even hard to pinpoint the cause of phenomena such as anger, depression anxiety, unhappiness fear and so on.

The "original sin" there, or root cause, that brings about all of these things that are kind of all aspects of the same thing or same energies, is a lack of self discipline that leads to indulging or participating in identification.

It's like how scientists say, indulging in eating sugar or carbs, actually triggers a chain of events in the brain and body that makes us crave eating too much. These foods are not so "innocent" in a sense. Like I can eat some vegetables or eat some candy bars, thinking, both are just a choice in the now and are both just that, a healthy or unhealthy choice in the now that have no real future effect on me or on my eating.

But scientists have discovered this is not true. Eating the sugar or carbs actually alters all kinds of things in the body and brain and hunger and craving will actually increase to the point one cannot control such things.

In the same way, something like a panic attack or anger has a cause but it is hard to pinpoint or realize what it is, as like eating some sugar in the morning and then uncontrollably eating too much in the afternoon are hard to relate to each other as time went by from one to the other. But there is totally a cause and effect over time going on there.

Like if we indulge in thinking about past memories, going over what we did in high school, romance memories, thinking about what we did and what we would do different, those energies of identification, will effect us hours and even days later. Just like how when we get really angry about something, we can carry those feelings and energies for a long time. Way past the original event. It takes time for energies we attach to and feed with our attention and interest to dissipate. So that's where self discipline comes in. We have to be aware of what is, self aware of where our attention is, in what we are doing or carrying in the now, indulging with in the now, as it not only affects what is experienced now, but in the future as well.

But yea, reactivity and aversion and identification go hand in hand. They are connected. When you are not identified with a certain kind of conditioning or mental content, there can be no reactivity and aversion.
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  #395  
Old 18-09-2020, 04:09 PM
Phaelyn Phaelyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
I personally find it hard to understand why anyone would get involved in chanting or other spiritual rituals, but it's generally fine. The only reason these ritualistic practices could be problematic is if craving and clinging might be associated with them... I noticed the young Christian had hidden his crucifix (also banned on site) and kept it in his pocket, and at meal times he'd secretly hold the crucifix and cross himself, probably saying grace in his head. He couldn't forsake his rituals for even for the short duration.

I'd describe it as indulging in identification, not craving and clinging. For me, even concepts like equanimity or "the middle way" are such. In the now, free of the past, free of the conceptual, free of mental imagery, there are no concepts, even the so called "spiritual ones."

Religion too drops away, Christian and Buddhist and even "Zen." The focus is on what is known experientially, on what is now, while discarding personal identification and mental content, which are optional parts of now that don't need to be included. Such things are always a hair width away, are background, like a book we carry in our pockets, but we can consciously choose when we refer to such things or include them. They have a use, but they also have a danger. Because such things can link us to personal identification.

Those books, that may be filled with concepts like "equanimity' and "the middle way" and "saying grace" and "identification" and "Taoism or Zen" are the same books filled with our memories and personal stories...so a tricky thing there would be how to reference such things, and not identify with the rest of the stuff in those books...the mental content of my whole life lived so far, the past, the conditioning and my personal and egotistic conceptual identity.

The beautiful thing about now and me, is it is untarnished. How it is prior to me coloring it with my mental interpretations. We can find beauty in our dogma, but then we are adding "coloring" bit by bit to now, adding mental content to now.... covering up the pristine and perfect nature of us and now, with our added conceptual mental content. Then when this is here, divisions arise and then become a part of now. My dogma verses yours. I cease to be the same as all others. I am then a part instead of the whole.
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  #396  
Old 18-09-2020, 10:51 PM
sentient sentient is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
I personally find it hard to understand why anyone would get invoilved in chanting or other spiritual rituals, but it's generally fine.
I don’t know Gem.

Imo. everything can be turned into a meditative practice, there being no real boundary or border between mundane activity and meditation.


Before enlightenment - chopping wood and carrying water.
The path – chopping wood and carrying water.
After enlightenment – chopping wood and carrying water.


In Bali I loved the idea/concept that the Balinese dance is not a dance to the audience, instead it is an inward moving meditative offering to their Gods.
This leads to the idea that every act, every movement can be a meditative offering in surrender …..
.... and with that kind of integration, one’s daily life can become a 24/7 meditative flow …

*

My friend from a spiritual commune in the jungles held the same belief about musical performances, so we were on the same page.
But in practice, I over time saw my friend lose his centre of meditative inward autonomy and change from a shaven headed spiritual practitioner to a dreadlocks down his ars* musical circus act for a kind of narcissist need/desire for the attention energy from the audience/fans.

The last I saw of my friend was when he was playing with 2 classical guitarists who went deep within their art and entered into “the zone” – leaving my friend outside the zone, his musical skills having deteriorated - mirroring himself through the eyes of the onlookers ….

Maybe drugs also had had something to do with the deterioration of the attention span and rhythmic coordination etc. ….. I don’t know, but what a waste.

Yet I don’t see this as a ‘moral issue’, but more like the mistakes (the free) will makes, and once we realize our mistake – it ceases to be a mistake.
A learning experience from a meditative centre to losing it and finding it again and now having an in-depth understanding of its value ….

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
One example: once a young Christian came to the school to learn the meditation. It was explained as a condition of being taught that participants have to suspend their usual religious practices for the duration of the retreat. I noticed the young Christian had hidden his crucifix (also banned on site) and kept it in his pocket, and at meal times he'd secretly hold the crucifix and cross himself, probably saying grace in his head. He couldn't forsake his rituals for even for the short duration. In the same way, Buddhists from various sects, including fully robed monks, are not allowed to practice their religious bits and bobs during retreat, but they seemed perfectly happy to put all that on hold until after they left

I don’t see a reason why Buddhist monks would need to go to a ‘school of meditation’ to learn meditation – heh.
Though Buddhists seem to encourage practitioners to gain various experiences from other schools

*
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  #397  
Old 19-09-2020, 12:45 AM
sentient sentient is offline
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Gem,

Is your school of meditation and Buddhist meditation rival schools in a sense?

In your view - yours being purely ‘universal dhamma’ in its approach, because it is not taught in cultural wrappings?

*
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVK9jY-t18I
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  #398  
Old 19-09-2020, 01:29 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaelyn
In the way I understand it, reactivity and aversion are just potential phenomena of identification, as are conflicts of various kinds, and even hard to pinpoint the cause of phenomena such as anger, depression anxiety, unhappiness fear and so on.


Yes. Reactivity always has 'me, my, mine and I' at its centre.


Quote:
The "original sin" there, or root cause, that brings about all of these things that are kind of all aspects of the same thing or same energies, is a lack of self discipline that leads to indulging or participating in identification.

It's like how scientists say, indulging in eating sugar or carbs, actually triggers a chain of events in the brain and body that makes us crave eating too much. These foods are not so "innocent" in a sense. Like I can eat some vegetables or eat some candy bars, thinking, both are just a choice in the now and are both just that, a healthy or unhealthy choice in the now that have no real future effect on me or on my eating.

But scientists have discovered this is not true. Eating the sugar or carbs actually alters all kinds of things in the body and brain and hunger and craving will actually increase to the point one cannot control such things.

In the same way, something like a panic attack or anger has a cause but it is hard to pinpoint or realize what it is, as like eating some sugar in the morning and then uncontrollably eating too much in the afternoon are hard to relate to each other as time went by from one to the other. But there is totally a cause and effect over time going on there.

Like if we indulge in thinking about past memories, going over what we did in high school, romance memories, thinking about what we did and what we would do different, those energies of identification, will effect us hours and even days later. Just like how when we get really angry about something, we can carry those feelings and energies for a long time. Way past the original event. It takes time for energies we attach to and feed with our attention and interest to dissipate. So that's where self discipline comes in. We have to be aware of what is, self aware of where our attention is, in what we are doing or carrying in the now, indulging with in the now, as it not only affects what is experienced now, but in the future as well.

But yea, reactivity and aversion and identification go hand in hand. They are connected. When you are not identified with a certain kind of conditioning or mental content, there can be no reactivity and aversion.




Yes indeedy, ego is sustained by reactivity. 'Ego' is like the delusion that there is 'myself' lasting and enduring in time. It is in the mind and manifest in matter, so subject to cause and effect. Therefore, when something happens to me, it is acting on me and therefore 'me' inevitably reacts, and that action/reaction regenerates 'me' in the next moment, creating the illusion of my continuity.


The meditation (I mean ardent awareness sans reactivity) is the cessation of the cause of such regeneration, which the liberation from 'rebirth', and that isn't 'what works for me'. It's the way nature works,
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  #399  
Old 19-09-2020, 01:54 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentient
Gem,

Is your school of meditation and Buddhist meditation rival schools in a sense?

In your view - yours being purely ‘universal dhamma’ in its approach, because it is not taught in cultural wrappings?

*




No we all meditate basically the same, feel the breath, be aware of the body, understand the mind,,, but my school doesn't get involved in religious things like converting people to Buddhism, shaving heads, rattling beads, spinning wheels and other peculiar sectarian practices. We just do the mindful meditation which is pretty much the same throughout all the Buddhist sects.


Monks from different sects come to our place as well, there's usually a guest monk or two around the place, and they have a proper monk status and are regarded as teachers, and they have various special needs...



The universal dhamma is the way nature works. People can cross themselves or count beads, make an infernal racket with drums and cymbals, spin prayer wheels, bow toward mecca and all the other religious things, but it's just their preference and custom. None of those things are necessary for spiritual purification and liberation. There is way nature works which is the same for everyone, and 'dhamma' refers to 'the way' of nature.


This is important in Buddhism because of refuge. Taking refuge is dhamma is like surrendering to nature's way. The teachings are also called dhamma because they explain how nature is. This doesn't mean the teachings are true. The teachings are only the philosophical aspect of it, and it is only by checking the teachings against yourself that you can fine out if it is true or not, and the way in which it is true.


Unlike Christianity, where you have to believe 'the Word of God', you don;t have to believe anything in Buddhist philosophy... we don;t have a 'blind faith' which we are rewarded for in heaven. The buddhist teaching is like, if you feel your hand you will know what it feels like - you check that out and you find it is true...
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  #400  
Old 19-09-2020, 02:52 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by sentient
I don’t know Gem.

Imo. everything can be turned into a meditative practice, there being no real boundary or border between mundane activity and meditation.


Exactly. Meditation is the ability to keep a mindful balance regardless of what the experience is. As part of the life-long training there is breath awareness and so on, but it soon becomes the practice of everything.



Quote:
Before enlightenment - chopping wood and carrying water.
The path – chopping wood and carrying water.
After enlightenment – chopping wood and carrying water.


In Bali I loved the idea/concept that the Balinese dance is not a dance to the audience, instead it is an inward moving meditative offering to their Gods.
This leads to the idea that every act, every movement can be a meditative offering in surrender …..
.... and with that kind of integration, one’s daily life can become a 24/7 meditative flow …

*

My friend from a spiritual commune in the jungles held the same belief about musical performances, so we were on the same page.
But in practice, I over time saw my friend lose his centre of meditative inward autonomy and change from a shaven headed spiritual practitioner to a dreadlocks down his ars* musical circus act for a kind of narcissist need/desire for the attention energy from the audience/fans.

The last I saw of my friend was when he was playing with 2 classical guitarists who went deep within their art and entered into “the zone” – leaving my friend outside the zone, his musical skills having deteriorated - mirroring himself through the eyes of the onlookers ….

Maybe drugs also had had something to do with the deterioration of the attention span and rhythmic coordination etc. ….. I don’t know, but what a waste.

Yet I don’t see this as a ‘moral issue’, but more like the mistakes (the free) will makes, and once we realize our mistake – it ceases to be a mistake.
A learning experience from a meditative centre to losing it and finding it again and now having an in-depth understanding of its value ….



I don’t see a reason why Buddhist monks would need to go to a ‘school of meditation’ to learn meditation – heh.


It's kinda like a master pianist continues to study music I guess.



Quote:
Though Buddhists seem to encourage practitioners to gain various experiences from other schools

*




I spent time looking at the various Buddhist schools around here, and I'm glad I ended up with this one, because it's quiet and has absolutely no 'bells and whistles'. I can just go to meditate and they give me a room and feed me without asking for anything in return, and, well, I don't have to shave my head and wear a uniform robe and imitate monks. Still there are dress codes like shorts have go down to the knees, you have to wear a shirt with sleeves (no shirtless or tank tops) and other stuff like no exercising like yoga, no religious practice like praying etc, no reading, writing, music or any other form of entertainment. All that suits me and there are good reasons to cut out all of those distractions so everyone gets the most benefit from their retreat. I like it, but I wouldn't suggest going to any Buddhist school. If people want to go to some place, just make sure they built their organisation on the foundations of Sila. If the teacher is, like, hugging people and stuff, allowing alcohol, and the males and females are philandering about and stuff... get out asap.
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