Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
I didn't even realize there WAS a Dharma Battleground section on DhO, or maybe I noticed it and knew it wasn't for me, as a working class medtation slob just trying to make a living wage until the next dharmic impoverishment. But it turns out (someone mentioned it recently) that I've been frequenting the Dharma Battleground for a while, on the Adaita and Buddhism thread. So I'm a combat veteran after all, and it turns out i actually really like it when the shit is hitting the fan. You learn things under fire that you just don't learn anywhere else.

I busted my ass on the Advaita and Buddhism thread to try to sift through to the truth of what everyone was trying to say (nod to AA), and to consider whether the war i was fighting in meant anything at all (many Vietnam vets served under that same horrific suspicion of the blood and guts and sacrifice and heroism being for naught or worse), and for quite a while I suspected that the thing would inevitably spiral down into fruitless ugly word-chopping in mutually alien languages that no real human being could possibly find a rosetta key or common language for, that we should all just stick harmlessly as possible to our peculiar spiritual languages and idioms, and shut up pretty quickly at the first signs that it was becoming a point of pointless suffering with a speaker of a different language. The closed-sesame, if you will, of this approach is "Agreed, 100%," as some sage put it right smack in the middle of no-man's land during the height of the Advaita-Buddhist interactions.

The thing was, you could see real people who I knew were not just aspiring toward an actual fruitful discussion, but were capable of it. And indeed I think there are dozens of beautiful collegial exchanges throughout the A-B thread. This got me to thinking about what IS worth "fighting" for? What are, as curious opened the A-B thread, "fighting words"? Because I really could recognize the readiness in myself to tear someone a new asshole, at various points, and not just in the A-B thread of course, but I'm working on those issues, seriously, and my therapist is pleased with my progress.

So what would make me take the karmic and dharmic risk of making things worse, of possibly "doing harm" generating ill-will, exhibiting something potentially ugly and dukha-inducing, dukha-worsening, and stirring the pot of that evil brew while inviting others tp share in the poisonous feast? And I retired, far out in the forest, for eons, under corona virus quarantine, and it came to me: the only thing worth arguing about that is is even potentially worth the dukha risk is dukha itself. The first noble truth of Buddhism, for starters.

So I am tentatively framing it thus, for those who wish to venture into the hellish bardo of creative new asshole tearing: the Boddhisattva takes the suffering, not just of her/himself but of all sentient beings, as real enough and serious enough to vow to return into rebirth until all sentient beings are free of it. Enters the hell voluntarily, if you will, in the extreme case of a Bodhisatta vow by a Buddha, fetter-free among the fetters. Most of us are still dragging along some degree of clanking chains, of course, but the crux of the Boddhisattva vow, the reality of suffering, and the related question of skillful means amid sufferers, still applies: we learn by first learning how we create suffering. At some point (i think it is high Equanimity) we can glimpse a different kind of possible activity, something that is neither creating more suffering nor doing nothing until oblivion or nirvana snuffs our flame. It is being active in some way, and not i but Chris in me, among the damned, amid samsara, in hell, frankly. Incarnation after incarnation, for eons (Ambitabha Buddha did five eons before he crapped out and created the R % R camp of the Pure Land. Wussy). And then there are those who have another view. I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole. Beyond that, I'll take it the same way as that Supreme Court Justice who said that he couldn't define pornography, but he could recognize it when he saw it.

There is also plenty of room here to tear new assholes on the kind of Boddhisattva wannabes who think their shit don't stink in the present incarnation.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I think this question is interesting, so even though I can't see why it would be something to fight over, I'll chime in for the sake of poking my own fetters (not that I buy into the fetters' model in any litteral sense).

 I'm interested in different takes on what a Bodhisattva vow would even implicate, given that nothing is permanent and there are no separate and continuous entities that can be reborn as such. I suppose many just think of this as some religious residue, and maybe it is, maybe it isn't.  As I understand it (and I'm definitely no Buddhist scholar, so those who are, are very welcome to enlighten me), what is supposedly reborn according to the Buddha is karma itself, not anyone who has it. That can be interpreted as cause and effect of one's actions. I think that's a popular view within Pragmatic Dharma (again, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). Another interpretation has to do with remaining tendences that continue to pop up in awareness until they are resolved, kind of like the western idea about ghosts having unfinished business but without the actual ghost, or like those demons in Korean netflix series. Assuming the we buy this hypotheis, just for the sake of exploring it, I suppose those karmic tendencies could very well be spread out among many different individuals and continue to have ripples as long as there are people feeding them with drama. So what would this mean for the Bodhisattva vow? Would a Bodhisattva just be tendencies for spiritual development? Or would those tendencies somehow have a life of their own?

I like Daniel's version of Ken Wilber's different bands of operating in the world. I haven't read Ken Wilber so I have no idea if I would like the way he presents them. I just listened to some podcast where Daniel talked about it, and it made perfect sense. I'm thinking that since the different bands have different internal logics, there can be different truths here. In some band, the tendencies can manifest as a being, and that's how people can get real insights from invoking some Bodhisattva. Or one version of it. In a more science-based band, the reason for that working is simply that the symbolic language speeks to one's subconscious. 

Now for the sake of exploring this further, let's assume that the tendencies can actually manifest as a Bodhisattva on some level. Would that then be the same Bodhisattva through eons and eons? That would go against the three characteristics, and I'd assume that a Bodhisattva would not buy into the delusion of actually experiencing being the same entity throughout all those eons and suffer from it. That would be a pretty crappy Bodhisattva, wouldn't it? They would probably see through the three C:s and even through the concept of time. It would probably all be just this moment for them. That suddenly doesn't sound so tough. However, if it were to be the case that it will never come to the point that everybody awakens, that would according to some interpretation mean that they don't get to experience Nibbana. Then again, what is Nibbana anyway? It seems to be not existing at all and not experiencing not existing. So is there something to lose? 

One thread to explore further is whether everybody will at some point awaken. Another thread to explore is what the Bodhisattva vow vs non-vow would mean for the relative world, and yet another thread is whether that matters. 

My current view (yes, it is a view - I don't know) is that emptiness has an innate tendency to become aware and thus somehow manifest as existence. I don't see how that would suddenly not happen, especially since time is a construct and there is no linearity outside it anyway, just time and beyond time. That's what referred to as the dance of the stillness, as I understand it. The very idea that there are separate beings that can awaken or not doesn't even fit into that. It seems to be more like a kaleidoscope, but without the actual substance. Still, as human beings it is hard to imagine anything beyond linear time, which is why the Bodhisattva issue arises. If it were the case that tendencies for spiritual development either continue to arise or die forever when an arahant or Buddha dies, that sounds pretty hopeless. I think the world desperately needs spiritual maturity (as well as psychological maturity and compassion). This is where the Bodhisattva vow resonates with me as an idea. For now, however, I find it likely that the world would be better off without maintenance of my unskillful tendencies, and I'm not convinced that my spiritual development so far necessarily makes up for the suffering that my karma would also induce. Actually, I think very few of us if any are even close to the Bodhisattva ideal. Would we improve the average karma? Dunno. But if we get there - I'd hope that it would continue to make a change for the better. Call it clinging if you wish, but I care about the suffering in this world, even if it's all just a delusion. Then again, there have definitely been points where I would have done anything to just get some rest from all of it. Or at least I thought I would. 

For a while I said I wanted a vacation life next time, as a well-fed mallard (fed by people who both know and care about the fact that bread is harmful for mallards and give them birdseeds instead) or something. I guess I screwed that up, if I am to believe in some teachings. 
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spatial, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:
And then there are those who have another view. I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole.

Why can't you just have both? Suffering is unreal once you see it, and you're going to take it upon yourself to remain in hell with others and help them see it?

(I could write a book on the amount of dukkha I experienced while trying to tease the questions out of the lengthy posts even in just this thread!)
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I removed myself from two online dharma places because of this very issue. I just fucking hate the idea that one can discard one's humanity in the form of thinking, feeling or whatever, i.e.; that suffering is unreal. The first time around it was obvious to me that Actual Freedom was actually bullshit. The second time around it was obvious to me that while you can suppress your mind's natural processing of things for a while, that process inevitably returns, and often with a vengeance.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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You just became my hero. 
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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That's probably too much responsibility for you to bestow on me, but I have fought many a battle over this. You can ask shargrol. He picks up after me sometimes.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
That's probably too much responsibility for you to bestow on me, but I have fought many a battle over this. You can ask shargrol. He picks up after me sometimes.


Then recuse yourself as jikijitsu on this thread and get shargrol to play catcher in the rye, just so you can join in the mayhem fun. I'm here to put a world of hurt on any motherfucker saying suffering is unreal. I just tore spatial a new one, and i love the guy. Plus he is keeping my darkest secret so far. So i hurt myself when i hurt him, i tear myself when i tear him, and my new asshole feels, uh, it's giving me both pain AND suffering.

(edit) i mean, of course, humbly request that sri shargrol-ji replace you within this thread as the one with the onus of responsibility for keeping things, uh, between the buoys, even on the Dharma Battleground, so that you can explore how much room there is between those buoys with the full gusto you have earned karmically from your previous exercise of restraint, with all the skillful means at your present disposal, and knowing that a learning curve finds the lines that cannot be crossed only by crossing them at least once.)
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I've asked shargrol to take on this role quite a few times. Every time I ask he refuses and threatens never to speak to me again. I'll just have to manage.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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One thread! One fucking thread! Ask him again, tell him i threatened you, and you're not sure you're capable of keeping me in line.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
 Every time I ask he refuses and threatens never to speak to me again. 


Well I'm threatening you too! And i'm threatening HIM, that ariya-puggala-to-be-determined motherfucker, trotting around fetter free while you bust your ass trying to cat herd volatile shits like me. One thread! One fucking sutra! What are you, man, Sisyphus? You never get to go out and let that shit rip? Stick a chock under the rock, park the thing, and toss that piece of lazy shit the keys.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Are you calling me a sissy?
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
Are you calling me a sissy?


Only if it might work. Tell shargrol that i have disqualified him in the jokes thread, despite his joke being the early leader, because he is an assole who's left all the dirty work to you. One thread! One fucking thread! What use is moksha if you never get to moke?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
That's probably too much responsibility for you to bestow on me, but I have fought many a battle over this. You can ask shargrol. He picks up after me sometimes.

Don't worry. I prefer my heroes to be human with human limitations. Besides, Tim is my new hero. He just hacked that damn play theory in his bar joke thread. You can have a vacation.
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Milo, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
I removed myself from two online dharma places because of this very issue. I just fucking hate the idea that one can discard one's humanity in the form of thinking, feeling or whatever, i.e.; that suffering is unreal. The first time around it was obvious to me that Actual Freedom was actually bullshit. The second time around it was obvious to me that while you can suppress your mind's natural processing of things for a while, that process inevitably returns, and often with a vengeance.


Before the Advaita thread, I was blissfully ignorant of all the ghosts of dho past I was fighting whenever this came up. May you keep up the good fight so we don't all have to quit our jobs to become full time pit fighters in the dharma battleground thunderdome.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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spatial:
Tim Farrington:
And then there are those who have another view. I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole.

Why can't you just have both? Suffering is unreal once you see it, and you're going to take it upon yourself to remain in hell with others and help them see it?

(I could write a book on the amount of dukkha I experienced while trying to tease the questions out of the lengthy posts even in just this thread!)

Forgive me, but I am compelled by the logic of this thread to tear you a new asshole, spatial, even as i fall on my face in the dust from the fear of God and grief and remorse for having put you through the dukha of reading my part of this thread. SUFFERING IS NOT UNREAL ONCE YOU SEE IT. Because even if you are in the luck zone of denial on your own suffering, you can see it in others, through the human miracles of projection at worst, and informed empathy at best. There is no heaven if anyone is in hell, because if you can see people in hell, you're just in a different circle of hell yourself, to the extend that you see clearly.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I must say, I'm finding this mixed martial arts dharma battlground mode truly refreshing, fun, fun, fun, at least until Daddy take the T-bird away. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole. Beyond that, I'll take it the same way as that Supreme Court Justice who said that he couldn't define pornography, but he could recognize it when he saw it.

So, here is how it looks to me. Maybe I lose friends with some Mahayana buddies, and that's fine. This is just my humble opine.

Taking the Boddhisattva Vow at the beginning of the path (which I have, AND I attempt to honor still) is to take on an idea have no way of ever properly understanding, and thus promising a set of actions we, as people, can never actualize. The pursuit of enlightenment is precisely the same. No-one who takes tentative steps on the path to enlightenment has ANY idea what it really means or entails. 

Despite this, the Vow as a promise to cultivate having compassion for all "sentient" beings (or as it was expressed to me by some teachers, "all appearances") is still a very useful vow to take in this regard, and can have some impact on maintaining moral training/perspective and reducing self-cherishing or self re-creation even post Stream Entry. 

On Stream Entry, a glimpse of Absolute Reality is your gift, and that glimpse makes it clear that there has never been a "self" or anyone to enlighten. It is proof that the ideal of the Boddhisattva is actually preposterous, and impossible as originally stated. Still, in what you might think of as a "healthy" Stream Enterer, compassion arises for the suffering of those "beings" that lack Wisdom/Prajna and the wish to be of service naturally arises, since you are still somehow surrounded by them despite your insight. 

Me? I'm a fan, despite the charade. I think it sets a seeker up for future success. The pursuit of bodhichitta is challenging, and transformative as either a path element, or a central theme. 

Is the Boddhisattva Vow worth fighting for or against? It's an idea, so I vote "no", but I'm happy to receive my new asshole if need be. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling Campbell:
Tim Farrington:

I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole. Beyond that, I'll take it the same way as that Supreme Court Justice who said that he couldn't define pornography, but he could recognize it when he saw it.

So, here is how it looks to me. Maybe I lose friends with some Mahayana buddies, and that's fine. This is just my humble opine.





Hi Stirling, 

first things first, David R on the "moral cost of awakening" thread is specifically looking for you to elaborate on one of your responses on that thread. Rather than telling him you would probably be unable to respond because of the gaping tear of your new asshole, i thought i'd just let you have the head's up on that.

And so to the spiritual mixed martial arts portion of the program: The fact that you are feeling that it might be that you lose some Mahayana buddies simply by trying to be honest, here or anywhere, is heartbreaking to me. I've been burned enough along the way, I'm sure most of us have, to know that you are not being entirely paranoid on that. Sometimes, they really are out to get you. There's been some fascinating historical discussion around here of late of DhO schisms and such, the big hot wars of the past, some old vets reminiscing--- with love, humor, and rueful self-awareness of past sins, invariably; and i've seen actual old battle wounds apologized for and forgiven, healing in plain sight, in real time. Bridges get burned, becauses we are all assholes to some degree, except that one person i haven't met yet. Bridges may also eventually get rebuilt. There are also those learning to walk on water, and using these siddis wisely. That's part of what I'm most interested in, skillful means: what are they, and why would we use them? What does any learning curve point to? As Bruno A said to me lately, "¿Dónde está la biefe?" Where's the beef?

I already have a take on you, as the value of such takes go, from previous interactions,  and even this early in this Battleground conversation, this session on the dojo mat, it is pretty clear to me that while i may delight in practicing all kinds of other moves and even beginning to learn some new ones, I probably wouldn't tear you a new asshole, simply because i just don't think you're coming from the place i find worth fighting all the way about. You value collegial exchange, for one thing. You value anything, for another thing. You are willing to concede value, learning curves, teleological coherence even, though you can that break that one (or any one) down in dialectic to your heart's content and mine. This thread may even reveal that no one is coming from the place i now think is worth fighting about, and lighten my general load considerably. I am only determined to tear a new asshole on someone who shows up here as a consenting adult in the light of that warning up front and is prepared to insist anyway that there is no suffering worthy of anyone's consideration, and so nothing to be learned along the way about what to do, and even what is good, or even best, state of the art, to do,  in the face of suffering. Those guys won't suffer when i tear them a new one anyway, so the Bodhisattva ideal holds up in practice anyway.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Nah, he only says such things when he thinks he knows from his enlightened teacher position that someone needs that kind of poking. I call bullshit, honestly. emoticon
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Nah, he only says such things when he thinks he knows from his enlightened teacher position that someone needs that kind of poking. I call bullshit, honestly. emoticon


Need to know which "such things" you mean here. Could you try again, with at least a tiny reply-with-quote box for bullshit alert orientation?

Although, in pure logical terms, (a bow to your divinity, Ma Lobotomy-ji), the particulars here may not matter, (which i acknowledge belatedly you had already figured out, apparently; forgive my slowness), because assuming you are talking about Stirling, if he is saying ANYTHING from his enlightened teacher position because he thinks that someone needs that kind of poking, he and i are on the same skillful means page anyway. You would only think someone needs that kind of poking if you were truly concerned with what they might actually need. The tearing of new assholes, as my state of the art sense of it goes at this point, would be reserved by me for people who say don't nuthin need nuthin, don't nobody need nuthin, don't nuthin do no good.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Well, he can speak for himself, and my trying to convey it will only distort it, but he was very insistant that there are no conditions and it pretty much sounded like people's suffering is just bullshit. It was in Olivier's thread, I believe. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, he can speak for himself, and my trying to convey it will only distort it, but he was very insistant that there are no conditions and it pretty much sounded like people's suffering is just bullshit. It was in Olivier's thread, I believe. 


Well then, this is why we're here as consenting adults in the dojo, practicing our mixed spiritual martial arts on this particular mat. He most certainly can speak for himself. But admit it, this is "fun with boredom," isn't it, at the very least? "Bullshit" is such a wonderful move, whatever form you practice it in. Calling it, getting better at calling it, is beautiful skillful means, a learning curve worthy of any Bodhisattva stuck wwith learning curves until they close down the bar in hell.

Bullshit, Sitirling! She calls bullshit, bullshit, bullshit!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

if he is saying ANYTHING from his enlightened teacher position because he thinks that someone needs that kind of poking, he and i are on the same skillful means page anyway. You would only think someone needs that kind of poking if you were truly concerned with what they might actually need. 

Then I call bullshit on you too, because caring means respecting things like consent rather than for paternalistic reasons shoving something down somebody's throat if they are not asking for it. Especially if it has to do with how suffering does not matter. And actually, that is key to Dzogchen teachings. 

This was battleground, right?

Anyway, I'm content with just saying that. All fine. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Tim Farrington:

if he is saying ANYTHING from his enlightened teacher position because he thinks that someone needs that kind of poking, he and i are on the same skillful means page anyway. You would only think someone needs that kind of poking if you were truly concerned with what they might actually need. 

Then I call bullshit on you too, because caring means respecting things like consent rather than for paternalistic reasons shoving something down somebody's throat if they are not asking for it. Especially if it has to do with how suffering does not matter. And actually, that is key to Dzogchen teachings. 

This was battleground, right?

Anyway, I'm content with just saying that. All fine. 

Still IS battleground, goddess-ji. 

Okay, now i really do need more specific references, as a sharer of the bullshit position, and one of the ones getting a new asshole torn on my own damn asshole-tearing thread (excellent karmic touch, there actually).

1. I was using "poking" in a positive sense of engaging, in an environment where consent is implied by participation. Yes?
2. "paternal reasons"?
3. "Shoving down somebody's throat"--- shoving what?
4. "if they are not asking for it" see #1.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I'm going to talk about this in a general and principal way, okay?

I have no problem with playful debate inbetween participants who are engaging with it together. What I think can be harmful is when somebody decides that they can take on them to provoke a specific development in somebody else because they know what needs to be done, and then go about doing it in an intrusive way without checking if that is okay. Stirling and I got into a discussion about this, and we may have misunderstood each other, I don't know. My position on this is that an approach like that can be dangerous, and if one doesn't acknowledge that, then one is not yet ready to teach. This pertains especially to things like saying to people that their brain damage or trauma does not matter because there are no conditions. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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So bottom line: when it comes to caring about suffering, I will take a stand. 

I don't necessarily think that the dividing line has so much to do with the Bodhisattva vow, though. I'm not going to pick a fight specifically over the vow. I might pick a fight over people saying that suffering doesn't matter. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Nah, he only says such things when he thinks he knows from his enlightened teacher position that someone needs that kind of poking. I call bullshit, honestly. emoticon

I don't intend to derail this conversation, but let me first say that if something I said upset you I deeply apologize. Upsetting you would never be the intention. I hope to be helpful, but I guess it doesn't always come off that way. Mea Culpa. My comment from what I recall was on something you publicly shared here, and I imagine because you shared it that it was something that could be discussed. I apologize if I misread this - hurting anyone's feeling was not my intention.

IMHO, speaking more generally, our feelings are invitations to inquiry - what we hold tightly about our identity is what is most in our way. It is what reifies the illusory self.  I believe this was the crux of my comment to you. I have been fortunate since I landed here to have various pitfalls pointed out numerous times publicly and privately, and I am very grateful to have had this happen (a nod to Chris here for an offline discussion that oriented me in the right direction when I thought I was "stuck"). You can think of my comment as being from someone trying to honestly pass on the favor. If it backfired, if I read the situation incorrectly, that was never the intention.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I believe you. I don't think you meant any harm, but rather the opposite, and I'm not disliking you. It's just that out of the blue you made comments about your impression of me in somebody else's log and then you kept going on and on. When I explained how I need to establish common ground because being autistic I always get misinterpreted, you treated that as something that needed to be poked on and went on about how that's a teacher's role. When I said that poking might need somebody's consent (and you weren't my teacher after all), you answered ironically to somebody who is autistic. When I misunderstood that, because I'm autistic, you made it clear that you had been making fun of me for bringing that up. You kept insisting that conditionings including diagnoses don't matter. Yet you clearly could not see where I was coming from. For more than fourty years people have been saying to me that my different needs don't matter. I understand very well what point you were trying to make, and I have found that without your help, and I still don't feel comfortable about having it shoved down my throat that my different conditioning doesn't matter. It's not for you to say. 

I needed to say this. I'm not that angry at you specifically, really. At least most of the processings aren't, I think. But this is something that happens systematically, not only to me, but to all my autistic friends in basically all contexts. It's a shared trauma. And even if I'm working with deconstructing all this, most of the others aren't. And when it comes to my deconstructing, I decide who gets to do the poking. I don't need any poking from you. You don't have the sensitivity to know what kind of poking is needed and what is not needed. Not with me. I'm sure it works great with others, but if you don't take my brainwiring seriously while at the same time basically roll your eyes because I take what you say literally, then it just won't work. So please, no poking. You suck at it, and you need to realize your limitations there, even if you are on some honeymoon with your latest realizations. (I guess some processings were really pissed off. Sorry.)

Anyway, I appreciate your constructive reply here, and I do appreciate many of your posts. You seem like someone who really wants to be helpful. That's all good. I appreciate your acknowledging that you might have read the situation incorrectly. That does help. 

I appplogize for bringing this up in this way. It was not the best way of doing it. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Anyway, I appreciate your constructive reply here, and I do appreciate many of your posts. You seem like someone who really wants to be helpful. That's all good. I appreciate your acknowledging that you might have read the situation incorrectly. That does help. 

I appplogize for bringing this up in this way. It was not the best way of doing it. 

You sound as though you might still be angry about this. If you decide some of that is still at me, I am completely open to dialoguing about it. Feel free to message me if you like. If not, I'm glad we worked this out. emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I don't know if I'll take you up on that. I'm in the midst of a grieving process. Things have gone incredibly fast (I only started my daily practice on September 20th, 2018, and I'm in the middle paths, probably somewhere inbetween second and third), so I don't need for someone to poke my traumas to speed things up. I think I mainly need to raise the issue that a certain amount of realization does not mean that someone automatically has skillful means and can decide for others what they need. That assumption is harmful, even with the best intent. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

That assumption is harmful, even with the best intent. 

I agree that assumptions are harmful, Linda. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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That was kind of my point, from the beginning.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

The fact that you are feeling that it might be that you lose some Mahayana buddies simply by trying to be honest, here or anywhere, is heartbreaking to me. I've been burned enough along the way, I'm sure most of us have, to know that you are not being entirely paranoid on that. 

I'm not really worried about it, if it makes you feel better. I'm interested in the bedrock of it all, and if that means letting go of some beliefs or ideas, I'm fine with that.

That's part of what I'm most interested in, skillful means: what are they, and why would we use them? 

My understanding is that skillful means arise spontaneously out of prajna, and when mind is as clear as possible of "self" and the seeds/conditions are ripened - from "Beginners Mind".

What does any learning curve point to? As Bruno A said to me lately, "¿Dónde está la biefe?" Where's the beef?

Clarify? Not sure what you mean. emoticon
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling Campbell:
Tim Farrington:

The fact that you are feeling that it might be that you lose some Mahayana buddies simply by trying to be honest, here or anywhere, is heartbreaking to me. I've been burned enough along the way, I'm sure most of us have, to know that you are not being entirely paranoid on that. 

I'm not really worried about it, if it makes you feel better. I'm interested in the bedrock of it all, and if that means letting go of some beliefs or ideas, I'm fine with that. . . . emoticon

It really does make me feel better, actually. It frees me up to say, Fuck you, Stirling, and the imperturbable horse you rode in on.

p.s. great response to David R.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling:

My understanding is that skillful means arise spontaneously out of prajna, and when mind is as clear as possible of "self" and the seeds/conditions are ripened - from "Beginners Mind".


Agreed, 100%. Upaya arises spontaneously from prajna, at the maximum of anatta (to say that sort of stupidly, pure first draft), and when seeds/conditions are ripened. So to leap into the risky realm of translation, now (i actually feel pretty safe here, in darkness, and secure, as John X puts it): the parable is this: the sower sows the seed. It is a God seed that ripens, and it is the will of God--- not my will, but Thine--- that is done through upaya. To take my interest in this one spiral deeper: given that you and i seem to agree that it is not "I" who does this, is it possible to have a learning curve on skillful means? "We" don't do it, but can we get better at it?
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

To take my interest in this one spiral deeper: given that you and i seem to agree that it is not "I" who does this, is it possible to have a learning curve on skillful means? "We" don't do it, but can we get better at it?

"This" is always already enlightened to its own nature, and has never not been, IMHO. 

You obviously seek in order to avoid the present, and yet the present alone holds the answer: to seek forever is to miss the point forever. You always already are always enlightened Spirit, and therefore to seek Spirit is simply to deny Spirit. - Ken Wilber

There are, strictly speaking, no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity. - Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Time is what eternity looks like when viewed by the mind. - Rupert Spira

"The very idea of going beyond the dream is illusory. Why go anywhere? Just realize that you are dreaming a dream you call the world, and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of the dream and not another. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs to be done." - Nisargadatta Maharaj


All of these quotes strike me as 100% correct.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling, you are beautiful. If your means were not generally so skillful, however the hell you think of that or don't,  if you were not so damned Polite and state of the art collegial and generally diplomatic, attentive to what others are saying, if not always perfect, and--- it may be controversial to say this--- often kind, if you hadn't clearly burned the Bodhisattva vow and compassion so deep in your mind and heart and nerve endings before you became an automatonic drone of This, it would break my heart to have to tear you a new asshole.

emoticon

(edit) "tearing a new asshole" is, to put this in a larger context, a dharma battle ground technical term in my peculiar idiom, by which i mean simply that as my opening post on this thread tries to make clear, i actually do think there's something that is, however relatively, worth fighting about. I haven't actually "torn anyone a new one" on this thread, except sort of tongue in cheek with spatial, whom i felt would take it well, in light of the fact that we both knew that wjat i was tearing was an outdated photographic image of a ghost. i tore nintheye a new one as seriously as i can tear on another thread, and he just laughed it off, and Chris Marti had to give me a yellow card to boot.

I do continue to feel that conversation and dialogue around skillful means is worth the effort of all the word-chopping, dicing, and mincing, in any numbers of not-entirely-well translated spiritual vocabularies. During the great "quantum theory: what the hell does it mean?" debates of the 1920s and 30s, Einstein, who was sort of taking on all comers at that point from the Copenhagen school, would often throw out thought experiments, gedankenexperimenten, to try to point out fallacies or provoke a new angle of thinking. So here's something along the lines of a gedankenexperiment on upaya: consider the position of someone realized, for "whom" everything arises out of the ripeness of all without a doer other than Atman or sunyata or God or whatever. That mind-body complex sets out to learn a new language, or how to play a musical instrument. Or even, sees a deaf person who wants Truth, and the mind-body process of the non-doer starts learning sign language. What's the deal, in your take, on that?

And one more angle, from the over-ripe snake-eating pit of my rabid mind: I would bet anything that if you are honest, you could tell me in many and varied specific instances whether a purported use of skillful means is more or less skillful, by your lights.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

So here's something along the lines of a gedankenexperiment on upaya: consider the position of someone realized, for "whom" everything arises out of the ripeness of all without a doer other than Atman or sunyata or God or whatever. That mind-body complex sets out to learn a new language, or how to play a musical instrument. Or even, sees a deaf person who wants Truth, and the mind-body process of the non-doer starts learning sign language. What's the deal, in your take, on that?

Everything always arises of its own accord naturally, including aspiration. If the conditions exist for learning a new skill at the same time as the aspiration it becomes possible. 

And one more angle, from the over-ripe snake-eating pit of my rabid mind: I would bet anything that if you are honest, you could tell me in many and varied specific instances whether a purported use of skillful means is more or less skillful, by your lights.

I don't think I can. Ideally there is allowing silence to speak and not self. Ideally there is the intention to be helpful, but whose intention is it? 

So okay, what is the difference between a regular person and a sage?

Just the Understanding, my friend. Only the seeing, the knowing; that is all. Just the Peace that passes all understanding. And what good is it? None at all, you could say. Buddha said, "Truly, I obtained nothing from enlightenment." And Huang Po wrote, "There is just a mysterious tacit understanding and no more." The sage is not a super-human, a regular person with something added. The sage is a regular person with something less; the sense of being a separate self, a separate individual, is gone: there is no one home.

I've heard that in the sage, everything happens spontaneously.

Yes. And do you want to know what else? In everyone, everything happens spontaneously. In you, everything happens spontaneously.

I don't experience it like that.

Exactly. That's the difference.

- Perfect Brilliant Stillness, David Carse

Ultimately something that is said or done may or may not be helpful now. Either way, the conditions arise and someone speaks, or doesn't. When are things good or bad?

Taoist Farmer Story:
There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy for what they called his “misfortune.”

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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So basically it was conditions that enabled the insistence that there are no conditions. How very convenient. emoticon

I think the idea that there is no moral agency, even if true, together with long time perspectives of something eventually leading up to something good, is a set of conditions that enables spiritual bypassing if intentions allow it. I agree with Daniel that it is best to assume that moral agency exists for the purpose of doing morality work in the relative world. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
So basically it was conditions that enabled the insistence that there are no conditions. How very convenient. emoticon

If you want a story about how something happens you need chess pieces. Conditions are chess pieces. The story is yours. Ultimately the "conditions" you create are empty of intrinsic existence... there ARE no chess pieces... no story. A story about the absolute might be: "This, happening now.", but even that is poorly rendered. You can choose to see from the perspective of the story, or the underlying reality.

I think the idea that there is no moral agency, even if true, together with long time perspectives of something eventually leading up to something good, is a set of conditions that enables spiritual bypassing if intentions allow it.

See above. 

I agree with Daniel that it is best to assume that moral agency exists for the purpose of doing morality work in the relative world. 

Something we agree on, although I would be more comfortable with "best to act with the intention of embodying moral agency". At best, this is always with the hope of "failing well".
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling Campbell:

If you want a story about how something happens you need chess pieces. Conditions are chess pieces. The story is yours. Ultimately the "conditions" you create are empty of intrinsic existence... there ARE no chess pieces... no story. A story about the absolute might be: "This, happening now.", but even that is poorly rendered. You can choose to see from the perspective of the story, or the underlying reality.


Yes, I know. That’s what I was saying before. And yet all relative happenings have consequences in the only world we know.

I think the idea that there is no moral agency, even if true, together with long time perspectives of something eventually leading up to something good, is a set of conditions that enables spiritual bypassing if intentions allow it.

See above. 


I know. Still valid, if one cares about the world we are living in with its partly shared stories, aka people’s lives.


I would be more comfortable with "best to act with the intention of embodying moral agency". At best, this is always with the hope of "failing well".


Fine by me. I think that is well put. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim
What does any learning curve point to? As Bruno A said to me lately, "¿Dónde está la biefe?" Where's the beef?


Stirling:

Clarify? Not sure what you mean.

emoticon


It was in the context of ongoing practice talk, swapping perspectives. Bruno A is from Argentina, and getting the joke partly depends on being familiar with an old tv commercial where some weird woman (i think, there may have been a variation with a man too, it was an ongoing ad campaign) says, in a totally unique weird voice, "Where's the beef?" meaning, in in the advertising context, what's the pay-off? Why buy TTHIS? So Bruno and I were using "¿Dónde está la biefe?" as a humorous shorthand way to talk about what we aspired to in practice. Like, "What is enlightenment?" "The shit pile in the courtyard," kind of thing.

(edit) the culturally enlightened Christ Marti offers this: it was a wendy's commercial--- 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riH5EsGcmTw ---

Only Bruno knows how the hell that wendy's commercial has anything to do with Argentina.

(second edit) upon further Spanish review: donde esta el bife! no wonder i haven't found it, i've been asking for it with the wrong fucking word!
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:
the Boddhisattva takes the suffering, not just of her/himself but of all sentient beings, as real enough and serious enough to vow to return into rebirth until all sentient beings are free of it.

What about beings that are not sentient?
If you start excluding beings to reduce their numbers you won't get far in this Bodhisattva business...
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Ni Nurta:
Tim Farrington:
the Boddhisattva takes the suffering, not just of her/himself but of all sentient beings, as real enough and serious enough to vow to return into rebirth until all sentient beings are free of it.

What about beings that are not sentient?
If you start excluding beings to reduce their numbers you won't get far in this Bodhisattva business...
emoticon. Okay, rocks are in. Although I have a sneaking suspicion about the sentience of rocks, actually. But name me a non-sentient being, and the tent's open to them.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:
Ni Nurta:

What about beings that are not sentient?
If you start excluding beings to reduce their numbers you won't get far in this Bodhisattva business...
emoticon. Okay, rocks are in. Although I have a sneaking suspicion about the sentience of rocks, actually. But name me a non-sentient being, and the tent's open to them.


I can name one: corona virus.
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svmonk, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Hi Tim,

Couldn't help responding here. Suffering is real to the beings who are experiencing it. Telling them that it is not real is kind of like telling someone who is about to die from coronavirus pneumonia that they are better off dead because global warming is going to fry the world in another 20 years anyway.

I've got a sort of interesting relationship with the Bodhisattva Vow. I practiced with it for around 8 years as a Zen monk, reciting it at retreats and sittings, but then gave back my robes to my Zen teacher, because she moved too far away for me to regularly visit, and started practicing vipassana/jhana. In 2009, I was at a 10 day jhana retreat, had gone into retreat a couple days early, and had come to a pretty solid state of access concentration during my sits. When I was walking to the retreat hall for a talk, the Bodhisattva Vow sort of grabbed me by the back of my neck and shook me. It wasn't just words anymore. I literarlly felt in my whole body the vow to keep getting reborn endlessly in ways that could help relieve suffering. Now, the interesting point is, I don't and didn't actually believe in rebirth, mainly because I don't think it really matters if I believe in it or not. What matters is how I live my life right now. So I don't know how I could actually achieve the vow in any real sense. I still have that feeling now and then of the Bodhisattva Vow, and various stuff comes up in meditation around the Bodhisattva Vow and Avalokitashvara, the Bodhsattva of Compassion.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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svmonk:

 I don't and didn't actually believe in rebirth, mainly because I don't think it really matters if I believe in it or not. What matters is how I live my life right now. So I don't know how I could actually achieve the vow in any real sense. I still have that feeling now and then of the Bodhisattva Vow, and various stuff comes up in meditation around the Bodhisattva Vow and Avalokitashvara, the Bodhsattva of Compassion.

Agreed! BTW, I sometimes forget your story, but I live not far from you in the Santa Cruz mountains and would love to compare notes if/when you feel inclined. emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Maybe the vow fills the function of keeping the practicioner from spiritual bypassing?

I'm not part of any scene so I haven't taken any official vows, but for some reason the Avalokitashvara/Chenrezig archetype has come to be meaningful for me in my practice. I start my day with the Avalokitashvara heart dhurini mantra.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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svmonk:
Hi Tim,

Couldn't help responding here. Suffering is real to the beings who are experiencing it. Telling them that it is not real is kind of like telling someone who is about to die from coronavirus pneumonia that they are better off dead because global warming is going to fry the world in another 20 years anyway.


Hi, Fra Silicon Valley,

I am trying out a new siddhi that just came today, with multiple response boxes within a single reply. Yeah, baby, watch me work!

I've got a sort of interesting relationship with the Bodhisattva Vow. I practiced with it for around 8 years as a Zen monk, reciting it at retreats and sittings, but then gave back my robes to my Zen teacher, because she moved too far away for me to regularly visit, and started practicing vipassana/jhana. In 2009, I was at a 10 day jhana retreat, had gone into retreat a couple days early, and had come to a pretty solid state of access concentration during my sits. When I was walking to the retreat hall for a talk, the Bodhisattva Vow sort of grabbed me by the back of my neck and shook me. It wasn't just words anymore. I literarlly felt in my whole body the vow to keep getting reborn endlessly in ways that could help relieve suffering.

Amen. 

Now, the interesting point is, I don't and didn't actually believe in rebirth, mainly because I don't think it really matters if I believe in it or not. What matters is how I live my life right now. So I don't know how I could actually achieve the vow in any real sense. 

Yeah, I have no idea how any of it could possobly "actually" work, even without getting started about the Three Characteristics. I think of it sometimes as a way to frame the reality of activity amid suffering, of acknowledging skin in the game--- "let's make it interesting," as the gamblers say, meaning, up the stakes. For me, in that sense, the Bodhisattva thing is the most interesting game in town, the table I want to play at.

 and Avalokitashvara, the Bodhsattva of Compassion.

Given my cradle Catholic love for the devotional/bhakti side of things, Avalokitashvara, pray for us.


nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:
So I am tentatively framing it thus, for those who wish to venture into the hellish bardo of creative new asshole tearing: the Boddhisattva takes the suffering, not just of her/himself but of all sentient beings, as real enough and serious enough to vow to return into rebirth until all sentient beings are free of it. Enters the hell voluntarily, if you will, in the extreme case of a Bodhisatta vow by a Buddha, fetter-free among the fetters. Most of us are still dragging along some degree of clanking chains, of course, but the crux of the Boddhisattva vow, the reality of suffering, and the related question of skillful means amid sufferers, still applies: we learn by first learning how we create suffering. At some point (i think it is high Equanimity) we can glimpse a different kind of possible activity, something that is neither creating more suffering nor doing nothing until oblivion or nirvana snuffs our flame. It is being active in some way, and not i but Chris in me, among the damned, amid samsara, in hell, frankly. Incarnation after incarnation, for eons (Ambitabha Buddha did five eons before he crapped out and created the R % R camp of the Pure Land. Wussy). And then there are those who have another view. I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole. Beyond that, I'll take it the same way as that Supreme Court Justice who said that he couldn't define pornography, but he could recognize it when he saw it.
As I see it, the Bodhisattva vow is a way of orienting the mind towards a larger, less selfish-stance that helps it grow quiet and orient inwards.

But technically speaking the vow is something like saying, to paraphrase Ramana Maharshi: "I refuse to wake up from my dream until all the other characters in my dream have woken up too."
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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That's what I figure too, and that doesn't sound very risky. Especially since the other characters in my dreams sometimes wake up before me (in my latest lucid dream the other guy immediately realized that he was also me whereas "I" did not, and so he did those things that I had planned to do in my lucid dream whereas "I" was annoyed that he wouldn't let "me" try, even though it was "my" arm he moved "his" arm through).

For me the Bodhisattva vow signifies the willingness to care about the suffering in the relative world rather than just withdrawing into one's own bliss or equanimity. It is perfectly allright to do both, but indifference and looking down on those who are deluded enough to still suffer is not okay in my book. 

Edit: I realize I'm contradicting myself now. I mean that it is possible to assign that meaning to it, and if that's what one means, then it's important to me. If we are talking in a more literal sense, that's another story. 

I usually don't call the caring Bodhisattva vow, but refer to it as compassion and as not falling into the trap of spiritual bypassing.
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's what I figure too, and that doesn't sound very risky. Especially since the other characters in my dreams sometimes wake up before me (in my latest lucid dream the other guy immediately realized that he was also me whereas "I" did not, and so he did those things that I had planned to do in my lucid dream whereas "I" was annoyed that he wouldn't let "me" try, even though it was "my" arm he moved "his" arm through).
Interesting! Well to be clear the quote was about waking up out of a night time dream entirely (i.e. the waking body has its eyes open and the dream has vanished except as faded memory), not merely lucidity. It would be difficult to conceive how any characters could 'wake up' in that sense out of someone's dream. Indeed, even "you-as-your-dream-character" do not wake up out of your dream in that sense. Following our analogy, it is the human being who wakes up, not the dream character.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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nintheye:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's what I figure too, and that doesn't sound very risky. Especially since the other characters in my dreams sometimes wake up before me (in my latest lucid dream the other guy immediately realized that he was also me whereas "I" did not, and so he did those things that I had planned to do in my lucid dream whereas "I" was annoyed that he wouldn't let "me" try, even though it was "my" arm he moved "his" arm through).
Interesting! Well to be clear the quote was about waking up out of a night time dream entirely (i.e. the waking body has its eyes open and the dream has vanished except as faded memory), not merely lucidity. It would be difficult to conceive how any characters could 'wake up' in that sense out of someone's dream. Indeed, even "you-as-your-dream-character" do not wake up out of your dream in that sense. Following our analogy, it is the human being who wakes up, not the dream character.
I wasn't entirely serious. I knew it wasn't what you were referring to. Was just trying to say in a jokeful way how absurd it is to even think that one character can wake up if the others don't. The example did happen, though.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Nintheye:
As I see it, the Bodhisattva vow is a way of orienting the mind towards a larger, less selfish-stance that helps it grow quiet and orient inwards.


hey 9th, always happy when you come out to play! Welcome to the dojo.

How funny that I find myself wondering whether "Bodhisattva vow" was too crude and stupid a way to say what I was getting at! lol. That we are even speaking of "ways" here, and of orientation, with the implication of a value ("larger, less selfish", e.g.) and direction, and thus the possibility of a learning curve, and a meaningful engaging with skillful means, is so, um, i am caught between "gentle," "mild," and "sweet," on your part. But I am grateful. The meek are set to inherit.


But technically speaking the vow is something like saying, to paraphrase Ramana Maharshi: "I refuse to wake up from my dream until all the other characters in my dream have woken up too."


While walking, standing, sitting, or lying,

the empty luminosity must not retreat before appearances -

bless me to ever remain a child of illusion


(This gem from Linda at some point from the previous Dharma Battleground.. )

nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
Tim Farrington:

Nintheye:
As I see it, the Bodhisattva vow is a way of orienting the mind towards a larger, less selfish-stance that helps it grow quiet and orient inwards.


hey 9th, always happy when you come out to play! Welcome to the dojo.

How funny that I find myself wondering whether "Bodhisattva vow" was too crude and stupid a way to say what I was getting at! lol. That we are even speaking of "ways" here, and of orientation, with the implication of a value ("larger, less selfish", e.g.) and direction, and thus the possibility of a learning curve, and a meaningful engaging with skillful means, is so, um, i am caught between "gentle," "mild," and "sweet," on your part. But I am grateful. The meek are set to inherit.


But technically speaking the vow is something like saying, to paraphrase Ramana Maharshi: "I refuse to wake up from my dream until all the other characters in my dream have woken up too."


While walking, standing, sitting, or lying,

the empty luminosity must not retreat before appearances -

bless me to ever remain a child of illusion


(This gem from Linda at some point from the previous Dharma Battleground.. )

Heh. Well, as to that request, ask, and it shall be given you, for every one that asketh receiveth... emoticon
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
9th, lololol. I'm telling you, man, i'm gonna close down the bar in hell, put the chairs on the tables, sweep and mop and make sure the last loads of dishes are done, and turn out the light on my way out. I expect you to be down the road for the afterparty.
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
Tim Farrington:
9th, lololol. I'm telling you, man, i'm gonna close down the bar in hell, put the chairs on the tables, sweep and mop and make sure the last loads of dishes are done, and turn out the light on my way out. I expect you to be down the road for the afterparty.
Sounds like the start of a novel I wanna read... 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
nintheye:
Sounds like the start of a novel I wanna read... :


You are really cracking me up, sir. And you apparently think like me, on what constitutes a seed for a novel. Those lines are, to me too, spoken in a comic over-the-top voice with its own energy and resonance that might actually be viable for a whole damned story. I made a folder (in what i call "seeds and sprouts,") with the line, just in case that dark horse mustard seed wants to go boom. Thank you. If I write the damn thing, it's dedicated to you already.

in fact, your remark was so eerie that i'm presenting you with a variation on the "be careful what you wish for" theme of earlier: the actual start of my work in progress, which is weirdly close in voice to the line you noticed: just the first page, I promise:

     The guy sitting beside me at the bar says that he is an angel, which is all right with me. My working theory about my own condition, even on my first beer, is that I am dead, or something very like it, and that this bar near the oceanfront in Virginia Beach is a circle of theafterlife somewhere in the proximity of hell: so far from heaven, so close tothe United States. If I am really sitting beside an angel, it seems possible tome that I am in purgatory, technically speaking, which is a much prettier theory. It offers the possibility that my prayers might not be empty, that some yet unimaginable repentance can still make this pain stop, and, even more unlikely, make sense. That my heart may yet rejoice in the Lord.
     I’ve met people claiming to be angels before, but most of them are actually just insane in fairly obvious ways.Others are simply obnoxious, with exaggerated notions of their own purity that get tiresome quickly: dilettantes who think that angel shit smells like gardenias. Some of these have their angelic stories together enough to make money off them in one way or another, and so are slaves to an audience of people who want badly to believe in something, even an angel whose shit smells like gardenias; but I could never see the appeal in preaching to a choir of idiots, and don’t think much of an angel who would. The main thing about every wannabe angel that I have ever met, though,
is that they are bores. And so I just never hang around them much. Heaven for the climate, hell for the company, as I believe Mark Twain once said. Or maybe it was Oscar Wilde.
     The angel beside me at the bar is not boring yet, so I buy our next round of drinks. The angel is drinking Blue Moon, with an orange garnish; I’m drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon in a longneck bottle, the cheapest stuff the bar offers. I would love a good Pilsner or some microbrewed pale ale, but even lost souls have a budget and mine is invariably stretched. . . .

and so on.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
nintheye:

As I see it, the Bodhisattva vow is a way of orienting the mind towards a larger, less selfish-stance that helps it grow quiet and orient inwards.

But technically speaking the vow is something like saying, to paraphrase Ramana Maharshi: "I refuse to wake up from my dream until all the other characters in my dream have woken up too."

I agree 100%... again. To me the vow is taking a stance about an illusory problem... yet, having tried so hard to maintain it, it still colors what I do in a positive way, so I see no reason to renounce it. In a way, I see it as Mahayanas primary surrender tool, along with the practices in something like the fucking excellent Lojong training (my favorite version being "The Great Path of Awakening" by Jamgon Kongtrul). Surrender is not something I ever in engaged in as a practice, but it is now something I do as often as possible and absolutely see the value of. 
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I think you can get to the same place as a Bodhisattva vow based on "enlightened self-interest".

When I know I’ve hurt someone then I feel bad. The pain might be buried, but it’s there and eventually it rears its ugly head. When I help someone then I feel better about myself. Simple as that, no need for reincarnation.

You can phrase it in terms of karma (cause and effect) and momentary rebirth though: hurt someone and get a bad momentary rebirth (feeling bad about yourself); help someone and get a good momentary rebirth (feeling good about yourself).
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
agnostic:
I think you can get to the same place as a Bodhisattva vow based on "enlightened self-interest".

When I know I’ve hurt someone then I feel bad. The pain might be buried, but it’s there and eventually it rears its ugly head. When I help someone then I feel better about myself. Simple as that, no need for reincarnation.

You can phrase it in terms of karma (cause and effect) and momentary rebirth though: hurt someone and get a bad momentary rebirth (feeling bad about yourself); help someone and get a good momentary rebirth (feeling good about yourself).

agnostic, what you said, amen, (I love the concept of good and bad momentary rebirths! and "no need for reincarnation"! you've hacked the wheel of rebirth!);

and this, along the same lines from a different angle, from Stirling C somewhere, ditto amen:


Stirling Campbell: 

"If we believe/experience all phenomena as emerging from the same field and realize the impossibility of separateness, then we must accept that all things are interconnected and interdependent. In this way, when we work to enlighten ourselves, or transform our relation to this interdependence, since we have no intrinsic existence, we impact all things in this field. "
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 216 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Hey everybody,
What a synchronicity, Tim, that you open this discussion just as I realize that :

I am a Bodhisattva!

You guy-irls, are pronouncing powerful vows, but it seems that all of you are somewhere AFTER first path, meaning you have at most seven more lives to serve ignorant mankind, having partly escaped the wheel yourself already.

Me, I have chosen a technique that guarantees that I will not go through the gate, however long I contemplate the scenery outside. Here is the quote from my journal (Day 21, meaning april 8th) :
Another interesting thought popped up when he was talking about Buddhahood and Bodhisattvas. If you bring back this Bodhisattva ideal to moment to moment awareness (innumerable moments of existence vs innumerable lives), which we do without hesitation when we contemplate dependent origination, then the scanning could appear as the way of the Bodhisattva: We willingly stay in the cycle of existence (at the level of sensate experience) instead of escaping into extinction (by total letting go of the object)... The only thing, is: of course, we are supposed to volunteer for the way of the Bodhisattva, it is a vow, and here we are lured into thinking we will get liberated... Here, I am trying to make sense of my reluctance at taking that last step (pointed to me many times by Shargrol, Paul, Jason Massie and others in the other thread), and recognize that I know some kind of liberation from suffering already...
Because actually I am sure that I have got something really precious from my practice, though it lies below the attainments advertised on this forum. It has to do with the "purification" of the energetic field (ok, that word "purification" seems so wrong to me, I usually try to avoid it... I mean "repeated disembeding from the perceptions of feelings on the body, which leads to change") and it seems not to be always completed (well, to lack) in the reports from some of those who witnessed a drastic change in perception (that "purification").

You see what I mean. Contrary to you, I did not have to take any vow, which has only ONE possible explanation: I took a vow in a past life, where I was already part of that crew (that's why I am so good at that particular technique). And Goenka is quite clear: He says we are aiming for final liberation, not for some half-baked realization, hence the endless purification. There is absolutely no risk that we reach the end of our materiality, we might have glimpses but something will always remain.
I quote a small passage of this video about this very subject:
" People said U Bah Kin was a Bodhisattva, and what did that mean exactly? He (Goenka) told me: in the experience of meditation, you go deeper and deeper and deeper, and you come up to the gate. And you can peer through the bars of the gate, and you know that behind the gate is a pool of pure water, and you can even feel the coolness, but the gate does not open for you. And, this happens once, and then it happens repeatedly. And you don't go through that gate! Then you know, at some time, you took a vow, to wait for the experience of nibbana until such time as another Buddha arises or some time you have taken a vow of some kind that, in this life, you won't experience it, you will meditate as fully and as completely as possible, serve, and that's what you are doing in this life, so, that was how he explained it to me. We were talking about U Bah Kin but I am very very sure he was talking about his own experience." William Hart (the first teacher appointed by Goenka and the author of "the art of living")

(Brings water to my mill, doesn't it? Or maybe he just did not have the right key for that gate, and made sense of it that way...)

Actually, we've been wandering around since the beginning of time and we will 'til the end of time... Since we are all "One", we have to spiritualize all matter as in the "yoga of the cells" of Sri Aurobindo, where the Supermind has to go down in the deepest recesses of the obscurity of matter.

With your attainments, you are jumping off the wagon, whatever vows you sign for. And you will be caught up by the universal karmic debt. Liberating "yourself" is an illusion, your karmic bundle will not be hold together by your self "illusion" and it will just dive back in the primordial soup and get all mixed up again in the suffering at the root of existence. Because it has not been fully purified before your realization. That's why the Tibetans go for Rigpa and not for cessation. They keep control of their rebirth. In the Goenka tradition, that's what sila is for: so you are sure to get a good quality human life in the next one.

Hmmm... Looks like I have been channeling the collective subconscious of the Goenka gang. Make of it what you will. I was joking but I'm quite impressed with what came out... (and that typing the Bill Hart bit! It gives some credit to my rambling, no?)

with loads of metta to balance the rueful attack
smiling stone (with a big smile today!)

PS: Tim, that's all your fault, you are contaminating quiet members of this board with manic joy, out from their lone retreat into he battleground

"It is a battle worth fighting the one I wage against myself"

Edit: the links don't work today... or maybe they do now? and date of journal
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Smiling Stone:
Hey everybody,
What a synchronicity, Tim, that you open this discussion just as I realize that :

I am a Bodhisattva!

You guy-irls, are pronouncing powerful vows, but it seems that all of you are somewhere AFTER first path, meaning you have at most seven more lives to serve ignorant mankind, having partly escaped the wheel yourself already.

Me, I have chosen a technique that guarantees that I will not go through the gate, however long I contemplate the scenery outside. Here is the quote from my [url=]journal : (Day 21, meaning april 9th)
Another interesting thought popped up when he was talking about Buddhahood and Bodhisattvas. If you bring back this Bodhisattva ideal to moment to moment awareness (innumerable moments of existence vs innumerable lives), which we do without hesitation when we contemplate dependent origination, then the scanning could appear as the way of the Bodhisattva: We willingly stay in the cycle of existence (at the level of sensate experience) instead of escaping into extinction (by total letting go of the object)... The only thing, is: of course, we are supposed to volunteer for the way of the Bodhisattva, it is a vow, and here we are lured into thinking we will get liberated... Here, I am trying to make sense of my reluctance at taking that last step (pointed to me many times by Shargrol, Paul, Jason Massie and others in the other thread), and recognize that I know some kind of liberation from suffering already...
Because actually I am sure that I have got something really precious from my practice, though it lies below the attainments advertised on this forum. It has to do with the "purification" of the energetic field (ok, that word "purification" seems so wrong to me, I usually try to avoid it... I mean "repeated disembeding from the perceptions of feelings on the body, which leads to change") and it seems not to be always completed (well, to lack) in the reports from some of those who witnessed a drastic change in perception (that "purification").

You see what I mean. Contrary to you, I did not have to take any vow, which has only ONE possible explanation: I took a vow in a past life, where I was already part of that crew (that's why I am so good at that particular technique). And Goenka is quite clear: He says we are aiming for final liberation, not for some half-baked realization, hence the endless purification. There is absolutely no risk that we reach the end of our materiality, we might have glimpses but something will always remain.
I quote a small passage of this video about this very subject:
" People said U Bah Kin was a Bodhisattva, and what did that mean exactly? He (Goenka) told me: in the experience of meditation, you go deeper and deeper and deeper, and you come up to the gate. And you can peer through the bars of the gate, and you know that behind the gate is a pool of pure water, and you can even feel the coolness, but the gate does not open for you. And, this happens once, and then it happens repeatedly. And you don't go through that gate! Then you know, at some time, you took a vow, to wait for the experience of nibbana until such time as another Buddha arises or some time you have taken a vow of some kind that, in this life, you won't experience it, you will meditate as fully and as completely as possible, serve, and that's what you are doing in this life, so, that was how he explained it to me. We were talking about U Bah Kin but I am very very sure he was talking about his own experience." William Hart (the first teacher appointed by Goenka and the author of "the art of living")

(Brings water to my mill, doesn't it? Or maybe he just did not have the right key for that gate, and made sense of it that way...)

Actually, we've been wandering around since the beginning of time and we will 'til the end of time... Since we are all "One", we have to spiritualize all matter as in the "yoga of the cells" of Sri Aurobindo, where the Supermind has to go down in the deepest recesses of the obscurity of matter.

With your attainments, you are jumping off the wagon, whatever vows you sign for. And you will be caught up by the universal karmic debt. Liberating "yourself" is an illusion, your karmic bundle will not be hold together by your self "illusion" and it will just dive back in the primordial soup and get all mixed up again in the suffering at the root of existence. Because it has not been fully purified before your realization. That's why the Tibetans go for Rigpa and not for cessation. They keep control of their rebirth. In the Goenka tradition, that's what sila is for: so you are sure to get a good quality human life in the next one.

Hmmm... Looks like I have been channeling the collective subconscious of the Goenka gang. Make of it what you will. I was joking but I'm quite impressed with what came out... (and that typing the Bill Hart bit! It gives some credit to my rambling, no?)

with loads of metta to balance the rueful attack
smiling stone (with a big smile today!)

PS: Tim, that's all your fault, you are contaminating quiet members of this board with manic joy, out from their lone retreat into he battleground

"It is a battle worth fighting the one I wage against myself"

Edit: the links don't work today...


Hi emoticon Stone (any relation to Sly? If so, give my best to the Family). Welcome to the fray, so glad you're in it for the long haul, due to your past-life idiocy of vows. But don't look at me, here, really, because once I took the Bodhisattva vow, I don't even have to do anything else for all eternity, because in swearing that pagan atheistic oath I brought the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus down on my ass with all the fire at His infinite disposal, and I'm am doomed to burn in the lake of samsaric fire for eternity. Being the last one of all sentient beings to be saved is actually the pretty theory, for me. I am relying on people like you to eventually get my ass out, and would appreciate a little help putting all the chairs up and sweeping the place out before we shut down the bar.
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 216 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Hi Tim,

A pleasure! That's me,  the one staying late to tidy up at the end of the party.
I saw you dug in my dung, I bow to your wisdom, you dhamma bee, crosspolinating the forum with the pollen from different flowers...
So we'll be there til the end... if we don't escape!

with metta
smiling stone
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Smiling Stone:
Hi Tim,

A pleasure! That's me,  the one staying late to tidy up at the end of the party.
I saw you dug in my dung, I bow to your wisdom, you dhamma bee, crosspolinating the forum with the pollen from different flowers...
So we'll be there til the end... if we don't escape!

with metta
smiling stone

I've actually been blessed and graced to find my way into a spontaneous sesshin under the direction of Chris Marti for now, and he's got me working technique in much more rigorous vipassana fashion, moving toward a noting practice. My first serious insight is that it seems to me that i quite literally can't stand sensation offering itself any faster than pulses of at least a couple of seconds; anything faster and it's fireworks, contortions, spasms, bolts of lightning, burning rivers of flame and lakes of fire, and speaking in tongues with Tourette's default. My Bodhisattva vow is easy-peasy, because my projected pace, by all available data, will make me the last person out of the bar whether i want to be or not. And believe me, I have tried everything to escape, it just tightens the knots. I rely on the metta of friends and strangers, in the long run.

Olivier put up a whopper of a mind-blower on music and meditation. I'm pretty busy right now fucking myself up with this vipassana shit, but after my nervous breakdown I'm going to blow his mind back. Feel free to blow everyone's mind in the meantime.

love, tim
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Super cool Tim.  Practice well!
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
curious:
Super cool Tim.  Practice well!


Thanks so much, Malcolm. My practice log thread is disguised as "Equanimity? Help, please" in the dark night section, if you want to drop by and view the carnage.
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 216 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Hey Tim,

All the best with your exploration... we're dhamma buddies, then!
As for for the stone, althoug I dig Sly and his Family, mine comes from the profile picture!

Love back at you
smiling stone
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Smiling Stone:

" People said U Bah Kin was a Bodhisattva, and what did that mean exactly? He (Goenka) told me: in the experience of meditation, you go deeper and deeper and deeper, and you come up to the gate. And you can peer through the bars of the gate, and you know that behind the gate is a pool of pure water, and you can even feel the coolness, but the gate does not open for you. And, this happens once, and then it happens repeatedly. And you don't go through that gate! Then you know, at some time, you took a vow, to wait for the experience of nibbana until such time as another Buddha arises or some time you have taken a vow of some kind that, in this life, you won't experience it, you will meditate as fully and as completely as possible, serve, and that's what you are doing in this life, so, that was how he explained it to me. We were talking about U Bah Kin but I am very very sure he was talking about his own experience." William Hart (the first teacher appointed by Goenka and the author of "the art of living")


With characteristic humility, here is what I would have said to Goenka:

You can't go through that gate. Through the gate is the end of you as you think you know yourself and no you will ever take that apparently final step. If that is recognized then the gate might pull you through anyway and you will see that there never really was a gate or a you to go through. Nibbana is not an experience that you will have, it is all experiences remaining the same minus the experience of you having them.

(ADDED) Personally I find it fascinating to hear the founder of a highly successful meditation franchise admit that his meditation and service were a way of avoiding nibbana (assuming he was indeed talking about his own experience).
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 216 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
(ADDED) Personally I find it fascinating to hear the founder of a highly successful meditation franchise admit that his meditation and service were a way of avoiding nibbana (assuming he was indeed talking about his own experience).

Hi Agnostic,
I was a little bit disappointed with your answer as it did not address my post, but your ADDED makes me realize you did not get my point... I totally agree with you, that's why I took to myself to listen again and copy that very quote!

Me Renegade Bodhisattva!
Me Goenka little black sheep!

with metta
smiling stone
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Smiling Stone:
(ADDED) Personally I find it fascinating to hear the founder of a highly successful meditation franchise admit that his meditation and service were a way of avoiding nibbana (assuming he was indeed talking about his own experience).

Hi Agnostic,
I was a little bit disappointed with your answer as it did not address my post, but your ADDED makes me realize you did not get my point... I totally agree with you, that's why I took to myself to listen again and copy that very quote!

Me Renegade Bodhisattva!
Me Goenka little black sheep!

with metta
smiling stone

Do I detect a little bit of Professor Longhair there?  Or maybe Dr. John?  Don't know so much about Professor Longhair, but Dr. John could definitely be Vajrayanan in the tradition of Drukpa Kunley or Chogyam Trungpa!

emoticon

Malcolm
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 216 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
curious:
Smiling Stone:
(ADDED) Personally I find it fascinating to hear the founder of a highly successful meditation franchise admit that his meditation and service were a way of avoiding nibbana (assuming he was indeed talking about his own experience).

Hi Agnostic,
I was a little bit disappointed with your answer as it did not address my post, but your ADDED makes me realize you did not get my point... I totally agree with you, that's why I took to myself to listen again and copy that very quote!

Me Renegade Bodhisattva!
Me Goenka little black sheep!

with metta
smiling stone

Do I detect a little bit of Professor Longhair there?  Or maybe Dr. John?  Don't know so much about Professor Longhair, but Dr. John could definitely be Vajrayanan in the tradition of Drukpa Kunley or Chogyam Trungpa!

emoticon

Malcolm

Hey Malcolm,

Due to my cultural bias, maybe more Lee Scratch Perry, the great Upsetter himself... loosely!
I wouldn't bet on Dr. John spiritual orientation, though... Should we dig in the connection of New olrelans voodoo with post-tibetan neo-vajrayana?

metta, I don't do smileys
smiling stone
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
Smiling Stone:

Another interesting thought popped up when he was talking about Buddhahood and Bodhisattvas. If you bring back this Bodhisattva ideal to moment to moment awareness (innumerable moments of existence vs innumerable lives), which we do without hesitation when we contemplate dependent origination, then the scanning could appear as the way of the Bodhisattva: 

Any practice can be dedicated all you really need is a typical dedication to make your practice about enlightening the entire dharmakaya, like:

Through this merit, may all beings attain the omniscient state of enlightenment,
And conquer the enemy of faults and delusion,
May they all be liberated from this ocean of saṃsāra
And from its pounding waves of birth, old age, sickness and death!
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 216 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Hello Stirling,

Thanks for your input. Dedication is one thing, it is good and orient the mind in the right direction. And everything starts in the mind.
Living the ideal of service to the last of your action, that's the next step.

When it comes to living up to this ideal of Bodhisattva, Goenka comes as a fair candidate, whatever his flaws.
I met a woman who was ironing his shirts in the eighties, and she told me : "I quit because I found it very hard. He did not let anything personal come into his relation with people. There was nothing personal about him." I find it is an interesting take on anatta as well, to really endorse a function to the point of sacrificing the ego for it. Amma comes to mind in this regard. Obviously quite a few monks of every tradition qualify (that's what you do when you are a monk), but these two had (have) a kind of special siddhi to move things on a large scale, which I would link to the Bodhisattva ideal (I am not talking about the outcome here)...

with metta (metta being my sole contribution for the welfare of humans so far,  I'm not giving any lecture to anybody, just wanted to share this)
smiling stone
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I have been thinking about the hazards of wanting to do good and clinging to the identity of someone who knows how to help. That's risky business. Nothing wrong with the ambition. The ambition is a great one to cultivate. But I think it is really important to integrate that with acceptance of the fact that we are bound to screw up now and then. Otherwise we risk getting trapped in the image of ourselves as someone who does good and thus miss out on the clues that we are causing harm and/or driven by other motives than we would like to admit to ourselves. We need to work on appreciating all the signs that we are assholes, because that's what allows us to be less of an asshole. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I have been thinking about the hazards of wanting to do good and clinging to the identity of someone who knows how to help. That's risky business. Nothing wrong with the ambition. The ambition is a great one to cultivate. But I think it is really important to integrate that with acceptance of the fact that we are bound to screw up now and then. Otherwise we risk getting trapped in the image of ourselves as someone who does good and thus miss out on the clues that we are causing harm and/or driven by other motives than we would like to admit to ourselves. We need to work on appreciating all the signs that we are assholes, because that's what allows us to be less of an asshole. 


Amen, and karma is a bitch. I have the fear of God in me, truly. And I rely on the feedback of friends like you. Chris came in on this thread at the peak of my tantrum and gave me the full yellow card warning. And as you see, 9th himself doesn't take me particularly seriously.

You see what happens when you leave me alone in the Nighthawk Cafe for a few hours?

(edit) oops, this thread is mild salsa, actually. I got my yellow card this morning on this thread: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/19762950
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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You know, there's another way of thinking about the idea behind this vow that comes from the vedanta tradition... it is embodied in this idea, that comes from the text Yoga Vasistha, where the sage Vasistha teaches Rama, the hero of the mythological epic the Ramayana, the knowledge of the Self.

At the end of the text, Rama is enlightened, and sinks into deep formless meditation. But Rama is a king, and has people to save and govern and what-not. 

Vasistha enters his sushumna nadi (nerve at the base of the spine) and wakes him up, saying “O Rama, this is not the time to rest! Get up and bring joy to the world. When people are still in bondage, it is not proper for the yogi to merge in the self.”

Rama then wakes up and says: “There is nothing I should do or should not do. However, your words should be honored.”

A straight-up contradiction! But there we are… neither being lost in deep meditation forever ("extinction in formless nirvana," one might say) nor "waking up" and helping the world are actions in the light of Knowledge, is the real point. But there is some notion of "what is proper" about the latter that nevertheless is true, at least from one perspective.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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nintheye:
You know, there's another way of thinking about the idea behind this vow that comes from the vedanta tradition... it is embodied in this idea, that comes from the text Yoga Vasistha, where the sage Vasistha teaches Rama, the hero of the mythological epic the Ramayana, the knowledge of the Self.

At the end of the text, Rama is enlightened, and sinks into deep formless meditation. But Rama is a king, and has people to save and govern and what-not. 

Vasistha enters his sushumna nadi (nerve at the base of the spine) and wakes him up, saying “O Rama, this is not the time to rest! Get up and bring joy to the world. When people are still in bondage, it is not proper for the yogi to merge in the self.”

Rama then wakes up and says: “There is nothing I should do or should not do. However, your words should be honored.”

A straight-up contradiction! But there we are… neither being lost in deep meditation forever ("extinction in formless nirvana," one might say) nor "waking up" and helping the world are actions in the light of Knowledge, is the real point. But there is some notion of "what is proper" about the latter that nevertheless is true, at least from one perspective.

Oh man, 9th, i love this. Did you notice a somewhat synchronous post on my part on the brahmic/vendantic tradition in dialogue with the upstart Buddhists, on Advaita and Buddhism? I take this scripture citation as holy, mete, and Word, and full props to Vasistha and Rama for being ahead of the curve on this bodhisattva shit. And to you for the lovely notion of "what is proper" in its paradoxical, uh, glory.
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:
 Did you notice a somewhat synchronous post on my part on the brahmic/vendantic tradition in dialogue with the upstart Buddhists, on Advaita and Buddhism? I take this scripture citation as holy, mete, and Word, and full props to Vasistha and Rama for being ahead of the curve on this bodhisattva shit. And to you for the lovely notion of "what is proper" in its paradoxical, uh, glory.


Yup, I saw that, and it's a nice observation... it is indeed analogous to Old Testament/New Testament situation. These graftings and transplantings on the family tree of the spiritual life have been going on a long time.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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So how does this go? What's the view about this? Bodhisattva doesn't want to enter the Gate? And the gate is Crssation/Nirvana as in attaining the 1st Path right? 

What about if that Gate is at the point of entering the 4th Path? Not willing to Surrender the sense of a self. Hence being subject to Rebirth. 

I know folks say 7 more lifetimes max for the Sōtapanna but let's assume that's bullshit dogma talk. 

Let's assume that it's the 4th Path that's the end Gate. That very Gate leading to Pari-Nibbāna. 

If so then I can safely practice well and safely attain 3 Paths so to get direct knowledge of them so to be of good fucking service to the countless beings in need of liberation. 

How the fuck can I help anyone if I have no knowledge of dependent origination in the first place??? Makes no sense to be some fucked up Bodhisattva-wannabe amongst the Ignorant in need of Bodhisattvas guidance. 

Any way. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Papa Che Dusko:
So how does this go? What's the view about this? Bodhisattva doesn't want to enter the Gate? And the gate is Crssation/Nirvana as in attaining the 1st Path right? 

What about if that Gate is at the point of entering the 4th Path? Not willing to Surrender the sense of a self. Hence being subject to Rebirth. 

I know folks say 7 more lifetimes max for the Sōtapanna but let's assume that's bullshit dogma talk. 

Let's assume that it's the 4th Path that's the end Gate. That very Gate leading to Pari-Nibbāna. 

If so then I can safely practice well and safely attain 3 Paths so to get direct knowledge of them so to be of good fucking service to the countless beings in need of liberation. 

How the fuck can I help anyone if I have no knowledge of dependent origination in the first place??? Makes no sense to be some fucked up Bodhisattva-wannabe amongst the Ignorant in need of Bodhisattvas guidance. 

Any way. 

well put, Honored Sir.

love, your devoted fucked up Boddisattva-wannabe piece of shit
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Well Che,

It looks to me that the belief that arahants (including the so-called "technical" 4th growing around here) will experience no rebirth comes from the same place as the belief in the seven lives of the Sotapanna.
Just sayin'
metta
smiling stone
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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And well, Papa Che,

Let me tell you I think you are absolutely right, if we buy in this Bodhisattva thing in the first place. You can manifest whatever path, the more realized you are, the more good your actions might produce if you so incline to...
I apologize that my own ignorance made me say that about stream-enterers... It was just pushing the logic to its conclusion, with the help of a little bit of medieval dogma!

And actually (to Agnostic who was appalled by my quote), Goenka is widely regarded as an anagami in this tradition (U Bah Kin as well).
So they certainly had enough "dips" into the lake, just did not drown and merge for good... for the benefit of all beings. Their definition of nibbana is not so clear, though...

Metta, guys
smiling stone
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Seems like a good place to post this article by Ajahn Amaro, Between Arhat and Bodhisattva.

A student of Buddhism asked, “Which do you think is the best path: that of the arahant or that of the bodhisattva?”

“That kind of question is asked by people who understand absolutely nothing about Buddhism!” Ajahn Sumedho replied.

Don’t be an arahant, don’t be a bodhisattva, don’t be anything at all—if you are anything at all you will suffer.” —Ajahn Chah






Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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agnostic:
Seems like a good place to post this article by Ajahn Amaro, Between Arhat and Bodhisattva.

A student of Buddhism asked, “Which do you think is the best path: that of the arahant or that of the bodhisattva?”

“That kind of question is asked by people who understand absolutely nothing about Buddhism!” Ajahn Sumedho replied.

Don’t be an arahant, don’t be a bodhisattva, don’t be anything at all—if you are anything at all you will suffer.” —Ajahn Chah

Well, mate, you pot-stirrer, this is not really my battleground or my battle, but because i love you  i will say that Ajahn Sumedho is absolutely right, as i read it, and that Ajahn Chah is absolutely right, as i read it. I would never have to make a case for what is the best path, because i am "something" that suffers, and it is my present evaluation in the light of everything i know about anything and nothing, that my learning curve on doing much about either the "something" that I am, or the suffering of that something, would seem to indicate that my learning curve on this shit is the shallowest i have ever encountered and that, mythologically speaking, if this Bodhisattva shit has anything to it, I will probably be that last "something" being "saved." So as something who understands absolutely nothing about Buddhism on the one hand, and who suffers anythingness on the other, i can pretty much say any fucking thing i want.




Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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a bodhisattvic-type tale, punker than most:

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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That's some good writing.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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lol, Chris telling me he's send me the book after he read it has freed me up to tear my last copy here apart page by page.
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's some good writing.
That was the first thing I noticed about Tim - exquisite writing.  Which is of course kind of insulting to him as a person, to reduce my first clear attention to just that.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's some good writing.
That was the first thing I noticed about Tim - exquisite writing.  Which is of course kind of insulting to him as a person, to reduce my first clear attention to just that.


Malcolm, no insult possible, there! Jesus Fucking Christ, I spent my whole adult life training to make that first impression.
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Ha ha, I thought you might say something like that.  But actually, it is true. :-)
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:
curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's some good writing.
That was the first thing I noticed about Tim - exquisite writing.  Which is of course kind of insulting to him as a person, to reduce my first clear attention to just that.


Malcolm, no insult possible, there! Jesus Fucking Christ, I spent my whole adult life training to make that first impression.

Well, it worked. 

I just ordered three of your books, by the way. New ones, because shipping from the US costs about as much anyway. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Tim Farrington:
curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's some good writing.
That was the first thing I noticed about Tim - exquisite writing.  Which is of course kind of insulting to him as a person, to reduce my first clear attention to just that.


Malcolm, no insult possible, there! Jesus Fucking Christ, I spent my whole adult life training to make that first impression.

Well, it worked. 

I just ordered three of your books, by the way. New ones, because shipping from the US costs about as much anyway. 
which three?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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The two monk books (the third book in the trilogy wasn't available) and Slow Work
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
The two monk books (the third book in the trilogy wasn't available) and Slow Work


Perfect. The third monk book is The Lazarus Kid, right? That's self-published. I'll check if i've fucked up there somehow and try to get it available again. If you get through the rest of that shit and still want to read it, there a copy here with your name on it.

edit    try this--- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1726700240/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i7
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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That's the one, yes. Amazon doesn't ship to Sweden right now, which is annoying, because Swedish bookstores often have limited access to the books I want. So are those the ones you would have recommended?
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's the one, yes. Amazon doesn't ship to Sweden right now, which is annoying, because Swedish bookstores often have limited access to the books I want. So are those the ones you would have recommended?
Lazarus Kid should be available as a Kindle thing too, but i would be truly delighted to send you one.

Those are indeed the ones i would have recommended to you. You might also want to check out A Hell of Mercy: A meditation on depression and the dark night of the Soul, my only real non-fiction work. I also wrote a truly nifty introduction to the HarperCollins Spiritual Classics Series version of The Cloud of Unknowing--- https://www.amazon.com/Unknowing-HarperCollins-Spiritual-Classics-Paperback/dp/B00DWWARWO/ref=sr_1_176?dchild=1&keywords=The+Cloud+of+unknowing&qid=1587119130&s=books&sr=1-176 
which is just a few pages and hard as shit to find, among the cloud of Cloud books.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I don't have Kindle. I'm one of those oldfashioned people who still read printed books. I'd love a signed copy, but only if it doesn't cost you much to send it or is too much bother. 

That's what I guessed. I thought I'd ask you first but that would be no sport. Yeah, I was planning on getting hold of that one later.

Now you got me curious about that nifty introduction, but that one will have to wait. It's available in Swedish bookstores as well so that's good to know.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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get me your address and i'll send you the Lazarus Kid,
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Much obliged! I sent it to your email address.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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got it, thanks.
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Ho Tim,
You have been around for a long long time...
Still want to stay until the end?

smiling metta
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Smiling Stone:
Ho Tim,
You have been around for a long long time...
Still want to stay until the end?

smiling metta


well shit yeah, it's just starting to get really interesting, amigo. Drinks at The Bar of Last Resort are on me for the duration.

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