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Six Realms

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Six Realms
Answer
5/17/20 3:16 AM
Does anyone here have any good resources that would help me understand the six realms? I did some research on the internet but it seems that there is a lot of contradictory information. I spoke with Kenneth Folk a while back and we discussed the six realms, but I totally forgot what each realm was about.

RE: Six Realms
Answer
5/17/20 4:44 AM as a reply to ivory.
FWIW https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83s%C4%81ra_(Buddhism)

RE: Six Realms
Answer
5/17/20 5:34 AM as a reply to ivory.
a cut and paste from my notes:



The two english books (that I'm aware of) that discuss 6 realms are:

1) "Wake Up to Your Life" by Ken McLeod There's also a lot of articles/recordings on KMcL's website: http://unfetteredmind.org/?s=six+realms

2) "Transcending Madness" by Choygam Trungpa (short write-up on this book: http://arobuddhism.org/books/transcending-madness.html)

I know the folks in the Aroter tradition have some good practical material on it, but I only found this the last time I searched: http://www.meta-religion.com/World_Religions/Buddhism/6_realms.htm

RE: Six Realms
Answer
5/17/20 1:30 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
a cut and paste from my notes:



The two english books (that I'm aware of) that discuss 6 realms are:

1) "Wake Up to Your Life" by Ken McLeod There's also a lot of articles/recordings on KMcL's website: http://unfetteredmind.org/?s=six+realms

2) "Transcending Madness" by Choygam Trungpa (short write-up on this book: http://arobuddhism.org/books/transcending-madness.html)

I know the folks in the Aroter tradition have some good practical material on it, but I only found this the last time I searched: http://www.meta-religion.com/World_Religions/Buddhism/6_realms.htm

shargrol are you back? I sent you a private DM

RE: Six Realms
Answer
5/17/20 2:05 PM as a reply to ivory.
ivory:
Does anyone here have any good resources that would help me understand the six realms? I did some research on the internet but it seems that there is a lot of contradictory information. I spoke with Kenneth Folk a while back and we discussed the six realms, but I totally forgot what each realm was about.
There is a pretty good book on the Six Realms "Awakening from the Daydream: Reimagining the Buddha's Wheel of Life" by David Nichtern and published by Wisdom. I can recomend thiis one based on class use.

RE: Six Realms
Answer
5/17/20 8:50 PM as a reply to ivory.
https://shargrolpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html#6realms

RE: Six Realms
Answer
5/18/20 6:40 AM as a reply to ivory.
ivory:
Does anyone here have any good resources that would help me understand the six realms? I did some research on the internet but it seems that there is a lot of contradictory information. I spoke with Kenneth Folk a while back and we discussed the six realms, but I totally forgot what each realm was about.


Ken Mcleod (already referred to above) has an online blog and he's been exploring the Six Realms teachings recently.

Scroll down on this page https://musingsbyken.blogspot.com/2020/  and start at the last article, then work your way up. Background motivation, pointers to external source material, detailed practice instructions, it's all there. (He's posted 3 of 6 realms so far.)

Easily the best intro I've seen online.

RE: Six Realms
Answer
5/18/20 12:51 PM as a reply to ivory.
ivory:
Does anyone here have any good resources that would help me understand the six realms? I did some research on the internet but it seems that there is a lot of contradictory information. I spoke with Kenneth Folk a while back and we discussed the six realms, but I totally forgot what each realm was about.


aloha ivory,

    Sure, the six realms. The whirlpool of samsara. Chogyam trungpa calls the six realms, "styles of imprisonment." He discusses the realms extensively in "the myth of freedom." As we experience each realm we cling to the comfort and familiarity of habitual patterms of thought and behavior. We are afraid of the spaciousness and insecurity of the awakened state and cling to our prisons, finding comfort and security in being occepied with confusion and suffering. Secure and comforted by the fact that we are just like everyone else.

    They are called "realms" because they are worlds in which we live, collections of emotions and attitudes and habits, each one a particular version of reality. We have 1) the realm of the gods, 2) the realm of jealous gods, 3) the human realm, 4) the realm of animals, 5) the realm of hungry ghosts, and 6) hell.

   The realm of the gods is pre-eminently one of spiritual materialism. We believe we have achieved. We become one with our ego and pain is experienced as pleasure. It's all one and we are blissed out, satisfied, fulfilled. Ego completely bloated, we become insufferably smug. Trungpa calls this realm "self-absorption." One practices meditation and achieves great things, visions, transformation, rebirth. Hope and fear lead the struggle for higher achievement through meditative practices. We imagine we have transcended ego and are permanently high, and feel tremendous satisfaction. Trungpa calls this "the self-destructive perversion of spirituality into materialism." Eventually karma brings about irritations and we lose faith in our enlightenment, we begn to doubt.

   We enter the realm of the jealous gods, another style - this is the whirlpool of samsara. The realm of the asuras is characterized by paranoia. We see others as competitors, as critics. We want to confront them, attack, justify. Everyone is our enemy, not to be trusted or listened to. Life is a game, and others are our opponents. We are preoccupied with comparing and measuring our progress.

   The human realm is characterized by passion and the rational pursuit of happiness and avoidance of pain. One admires people who have achieved and wants to emulate them. One has high ideals and strives by thinking and contriving to bring them about. One is overwhelmed by ideas and possibilities. One searches but finds no satisfaction. One suffers and knows it, and is dissatisfied.

   The intellect and passion of the human realm fades into the ignorance and stupidity of the animal realm. We respond automatically to stimuli and refuse to see ourselves from another's point of view. We plod along without awareness or understanding, stubbornly clinging to what has worked in the past. Honest, sincere and serious, one pursues oes desires unreflectively and defends oneself without openeness or humor.

   The preoccupation with one's desires leads us to the realm of the jealous gods, characterized by poverty. The preta seeks fulfillment which is never enough. Every morsel only whets the appetite for more: the preta is characterized by a being with a tiny mouth and neck and a huge belly. Always hungry but never able to be satisfied. Everything is attractive and nothing is obtainable. We have teachers, we have methods, we have notes; we consult them obsessively, ponder them and draw comfort, but we just can't get there.

   The hell realm is characterized by anger, by aggression. Hatred. We feel stuffy and claustrophobic. The anger seems to come from outside us, people are aggressive, demanding. We want to kill others, kill ourself. We flame out at people, and they flame us. We communicate anger and oneupsmanship. When we win our wars we drive people off and are alone. We have to fight constantly to feel real.

   Tiring of hell, we engage in practice, rediscover spiritual materialism, achieve happiness and satisfaction once again.

   Rinse and repeat.

terry 



   They asked salvador dali if he took drugs. "Drugs?" he said. "Me, take drugs? I don't take drugs, I am drugs!"
    

RE: Six Realms
Answer
6/6/20 12:28 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
ivory:
Does anyone here have any good resources that would help me understand the six realms? I did some research on the internet but it seems that there is a lot of contradictory information. I spoke with Kenneth Folk a while back and we discussed the six realms, but I totally forgot what each realm was about.


aloha ivory,

    Sure, the six realms. The whirlpool of samsara. Chogyam trungpa calls the six realms, "styles of imprisonment." He discusses the realms extensively in "the myth of freedom." As we experience each realm we cling to the comfort and familiarity of habitual patterms of thought and behavior. We are afraid of the spaciousness and insecurity of the awakened state and cling to our prisons, finding comfort and security in being occepied with confusion and suffering. Secure and comforted by the fact that we are just like everyone else.

    They are called "realms" because they are worlds in which we live, collections of emotions and attitudes and habits, each one a particular version of reality. We have 1) the realm of the gods, 2) the realm of jealous gods, 3) the human realm, 4) the realm of animals, 5) the realm of hungry ghosts, and 6) hell.

   The realm of the gods is pre-eminently one of spiritual materialism. We believe we have achieved. We become one with our ego and pain is experienced as pleasure. It's all one and we are blissed out, satisfied, fulfilled. Ego completely bloated, we become insufferably smug. Trungpa calls this realm "self-absorption." One practices meditation and achieves great things, visions, transformation, rebirth. Hope and fear lead the struggle for higher achievement through meditative practices. We imagine we have transcended ego and are permanently high, and feel tremendous satisfaction. Trungpa calls this "the self-destructive perversion of spirituality into materialism." Eventually karma brings about irritations and we lose faith in our enlightenment, we begn to doubt.

   We enter the realm of the jealous gods, another style - this is the whirlpool of samsara. The realm of the asuras is characterized by paranoia. We see others as competitors, as critics. We want to confront them, attack, justify. Everyone is our enemy, not to be trusted or listened to. Life is a game, and others are our opponents. We are preoccupied with comparing and measuring our progress.

   The human realm is characterized by passion and the rational pursuit of happiness and avoidance of pain. One admires people who have achieved and wants to emulate them. One has high ideals and strives by thinking and contriving to bring them about. One is overwhelmed by ideas and possibilities. One searches but finds no satisfaction. One suffers and knows it, and is dissatisfied.

   The intellect and passion of the human realm fades into the ignorance and stupidity of the animal realm. We respond automatically to stimuli and refuse to see ourselves from another's point of view. We plod along without awareness or understanding, stubbornly clinging to what has worked in the past. Honest, sincere and serious, one pursues oes desires unreflectively and defends oneself without openeness or humor.

   The preoccupation with one's desires leads us to the realm of the jealous gods, characterized by poverty. The preta seeks fulfillment which is never enough. Every morsel only whets the appetite for more: the preta is characterized by a being with a tiny mouth and neck and a huge belly. Always hungry but never able to be satisfied. Everything is attractive and nothing is obtainable. We have teachers, we have methods, we have notes; we consult them obsessively, ponder them and draw comfort, but we just can't get there.

   The hell realm is characterized by anger, by aggression. Hatred. We feel stuffy and claustrophobic. The anger seems to come from outside us, people are aggressive, demanding. We want to kill others, kill ourself. We flame out at people, and they flame us. We communicate anger and oneupsmanship. When we win our wars we drive people off and are alone. We have to fight constantly to feel real.

   Tiring of hell, we engage in practice, rediscover spiritual materialism, achieve happiness and satisfaction once again.

   Rinse and repeat.

terry 



   They asked salvador dali if he took drugs. "Drugs?" he said. "Me, take drugs? I don't take drugs, I am drugs!"
    


    I've been thinking about the six realms and how they relate to the mahayana concept of "realms," specifically, the 18 senses, sense-fields, and their objects.

   The quote which got me thinking about this was from huang po, "zen teachings of huang po," trans blofeld:



25. The term unity refers to a homogeneous spiritual brilliance which separates into six harmoniously blended 'elements.' The homogeneous spiritual brilliance is the One Mind, while the six harmoniously blended 'elemenls' are the six sense organs. These six sense organs become severally united wilh objects that defile them - the eyes with form, the ear wilh sound, the nose with smell, the tongue wilh taste, the body with touch, and the thinking mind with entities. Between these organs and their objects arise the six sensory perceptions, making eighteen sense-realms in all. If you understand that these eighteen realms have no objective existence, you will bind the six harmoniously blended 'elements* into a single spiritual brilliance - a single spiritual brilliance which is the One Mind. All students of the Way know this, but cannot avoid forming concepts of 'a single spiritual brilliance' and 'the six harmoniously blended elements*. Accordingly they arc chained to entities and fail to achieve a tacit understanding of original Mind.*


    Vajrayana originated when lamas came down to india from tibet and requested gurus from among the enlightened buddhists. The gurus came upon a society which believed in gods, demons and ghosts (animism) but also had a vibrant native religion of some depth (lamaism).

   In response to local conditions, a scheme was devised to rationalize native beliefs in a buddhist form. The six senses became the hierarchy of beings.

   The realm of the gods is like the realm of the heart-mind, pure imagination, free of material constraint. No attachments, with the freedom of the dreamer, the wish-fulfilling gem. As a station in samsara, mind dominates the senses and feels itself independent of phenomena and above them. This is the realm of knowledge and insight.

   The realm of the jealous gods is like the realm of vision, which sees all. The gods begin to see forms, and envy and coveting come into play as some forms are enticing and some are repellent. The beautiful implies the ugly, and so on. The world is divided into what looks good and what doesn't. There is competition and contention.

   The human realm is like hearing, "thus have I heard." We hear in all directions, we live surrounded by an auditory world. We have family life, we have social life, we listen to others and they listen to us. We emulate the good and despise the bad; we have ears on both sides. (My personal favorite idea for a new organ which would improve the human body would be: earlids.)

   The realm of the hungry ghosts is like the sense of smell. Notice we are going down the face in the order of descent. Smell much more than sight or hearing immediately determines what smells good from what smells bad, or neutral. Judgment is always attached to smells. Smell relates to our finer sensibilities, and discriminates. We seek the best and avoid the worst, making our way among the herd without really seeing, hearing or knowing. Everything has an enticing aroma, or it stinks. Preoccupied with discriminating, we can't enjoy things.

   The animal realm is like taste, the finer sensibilities gone, only sweet and sour, salt and bitter. If it tastes good we chew it and neither reflect or feel very much unless we are made to suffer, and then we squeal. We plod along without direction tasting whatever comes to hand and stopping to consume what we find appealing until it is gone, then we move on.

   The hell realm is like touch. If it feels good, do it, with the usual complications. Here is where pain is really felt. Blind, deaf, stupid, insensible  and tasteless, we can't help but hurt ourselves, and others

   This could be elaborated further but anyone who has read this far no doubt gets the point. If this is all wrong it is entirely my own error.

terry

RE: Six Realms
Answer
6/6/20 1:53 PM as a reply to terry.
Interesting !

Earlids !!! yes.

How do you put the six realms teachings in practice terry ?

RE: Six Realms
Answer
6/7/20 11:39 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Interesting !

Earlids !!! yes.

How do you put the six realms teachings in practice terry ?


they put me...

RE: Six Realms
Answer
6/7/20 12:03 PM as a reply to terry.
I'm really curious.

RE: Six Realms
Answer
6/7/20 12:31 PM as a reply to ivory.
In Buddhist terms our worldly realm changed from animal realm in 2019 to hell in 2020 to change to hungry ghost realm in 2021 emoticon