RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Olivier, modified 3 Months ago.

Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Re:Tommy in Steph's thread.

Can't figure out how to paste your post, would you mind doing that so that others know what's going on ?

There was a big debate a while back about Vedanta VS buddhist realization, i think, this thread is about buddhist vs christian. 

Let's discuss this without fighting ;)
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Noah D, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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I think the question itself has a frame / paradigm / assumptions behind it which are useful to examine.

ive encountered a sort of rejection of cosmology  & ontology in favor of direct experience while hanging out in certain circles .  The idea is that it doesn't matter what ones idea is about after death, it's moreso about direct experience in this life.  I think this stems from maybe western culture influence - collective trauma from Catholicism, embrace of scientism instead , maybe something about Protestant revival instead? In any case it seems to result in a thread of anti intellectualism within the mystical arena .

the problem with all this is that it can divorce modern practice from key aspects of esoteric practice in religious traditions.  More specifically , from a Buddhist perspective, intellectual understanding about the way human experience "actually is" is not seperate from realization / awakening etc.   in the Buddhist view , other religions aren't "bad" or "evil", but they are objectively wrong about the nature of human experience, particularly after death.

all of that is to get to this point - from a traditional Buddhist perspective, a Christian in the strict sense of the word , literally can not be awakened in the Buddhist sense of the word.  UNLESS we say that great saints in the Christian secretly realize "right view " according to Buddhism but outwardly they still espouse eternalist monotheistic Christian doctrine out of compassion & skillful means for the needs of their students.
Tim Farrington, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Noah D:
I think the question itself has a frame / paradigm / assumptions behind it which are useful to examine.

ive encountered a sort of rejection of cosmology  & ontology in favor of direct experience while hanging out in certain circles .  The idea is that it doesn't matter what ones idea is about after death, it's moreso about direct experience in this life.  I think this stems from maybe western culture influence - collective trauma from Catholicism, embrace of scientism instead , maybe something about Protestant revival instead? In any case it seems to result in a thread of anti intellectualism within the mystical arena .

the problem with all this is that it can divorce modern practice from key aspects of esoteric practice in religious traditions.  More specifically , from a Buddhist perspective, intellectual understanding about the way human experience "actually is" is not seperate from realization / awakening etc.   in the Buddhist view , other religions aren't "bad" or "evil", but they are objectively wrong about the nature of human experience, particularly after death.


Hi Noah,

When you say "objectively wrong about the nature of human experience, particularly after death," you have my full attention, lol. Could you be more explicit, particularly about the after death part? Are we talking bardos and rebirth here?

Noah

all of that is to get to this point - from a traditional Buddhist perspective, a Christian in the strict sense of the word , literally can not be awakened in the Buddhist sense of the word.  UNLESS we say that great saints in the Christian secretly realize "right view " according to Buddhism but outwardly they still espouse eternalist monotheistic Christian doctrine out of compassion & skillful means for the needs of their students.

i have long suspected that a Judeo-Christian (meaning, lol, this Judeo-Christian) literally cannot in the strict sense of the word be "awakened" in the Buddhist sense of the word. I'm okay with the fruits of different trees being different. I think a lot of "monotheistic" practioners would disagree, though.

Rumi would be an interesting test case as a possibly awakened person espousing an eternalistic monotheistic doctrine.

love, tim
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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When you say "objectively wrong about the nature of human experience, particularly after death," you have my full attention, lol. Could you be more explicit, particularly about the after death part? Are we talking bardos and rebirth here?
It may interest you to know that it's entirely possible to experience the bardo while still alive. In fact, the experiencing of it in the first place is the means by which we can recognize it at the point of physical death. If this has occurred and we recognize it, there's actually a choice to be made and we can choose to return to samsara as a Bodhisattva with the goal of brining all sentient beings to liberation.

The Tibetan systems go into great detail about the death process, the retraction of the winds into the heart-centre and the dissolution of the five elements. It may surprise you to know that we can actually practice this process while we're alive in these bodies, so it's not some abstract, transcendental thing with no relation to this world.

This is a deep, deep subject and it may not be helpful to get into it too far right now. I don't say this to discourage or to be evasive, it's purely through a sincere wish to avoid creating confusion or conjuring up semantic ghosts.

i have long suspected that a Judeo-Christian (meaning, lol, this Judeo-Christian) literally cannot in the strict sense of the word be "awakened" in the Buddhist sense of the word. I'm okay with the fruits of different trees being different. I think a lot of "monotheistic" practioners would disagree, though

I have no desire to proselytize, it's only the individual who can make those choices as to how they practice their faith and I fully support you in following your heart.

When we speak about "awakening" in the Buddhist sense, all that refers to is the first experiential glimpse into the illusion of continuity of an independently existing self. For most of us, awakening is a gradual process that unfolds over time in a very much non-linear manner, although there are certainly exceptions. Gotama himself didn't become a Buddha instantly. In fact, he exhausted every other spiritual system of his time and almost died due to his hardcore ascetic practices before sitting under the Bodhi tree, so it's not helpful to think about it in terms of being this one-off, miraculous realization that brings about Enlightenment (with a big E). 
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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When we speak about "awakening" in the Buddhist sense, all that refers to is the first experiential glimpse into the illusion of continuity of an independently existing self. 

Have you considered that this explanation of "awakening" is already biased.  It was based on the philosophical ideas present in the Buddha's time. Maybe he would have given a different explanation if he had the same experience in the present time.  
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Angel Roberto Puente:
When we speak about "awakening" in the Buddhist sense, all that refers to is the first experiential glimpse into the illusion of continuity of an independently existing self. 

Have you considered that this explanation of "awakening" is already biased.  It was based on the philosophical ideas present in the Buddha's time. Maybe he would have given a different explanation if he had the same experience in the present time.  
Yes, of course it's biased. I didn't say otherwise, but I'd be happy to clarify if necessary.

As for what the Buddha would have maybe said under different conditions, it would be a massive waste of time to speculate because we already know - or at least have a decent idea of, given the length of time between him attaining parinibbana and the Tripitaka being compiled - what he said.
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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I argue from the point of view that consciousness is a universal trait, shared by all humans in all times. Difficult to explain because any direct experience of it is beyond concepts. Religions are the result of trying to explain the experience.  I don't have any interest either in speculating what Buddha might have said.  I was just trying to point out that the modern explanations of the significance of having such an experience are prone to be different.
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Thanks for clarifying, I'll see if I can offer anything further that may be helpful in coming to a mutual understanding.

I argue from the point of view that consciousness is a universal trait, shared by all humans in all times. Difficult to explain because any direct experience of it is beyond concepts. Religions are the result of trying to explain the experience.  I don't have any interest either in speculating what Buddha might have said.  I was just trying to point out that the modern explanations of the significance of having such an experience are prone to be different.
We should probably be clear about the terms we're using here, especially regarding "consciousness".

What is your understanding of "consciousness" as it relates to this conversation? Not trying to be slippery, simply seeking further clarification to ensure we're on the same page and so that we can avoid confusion. I'll respond to whatever you come back with, but in the meantime will offer another perspective.

Consciousness is very much conceptual, conditioned and dependant upon the presence of a faculty through which it can be experienced. If there were no human beings, would consciousness arise? If not, then how can it be said that consciousness is anything other than conditioned phenomena, i.e. arising dependent upon causes and conditions?

Already, you can see why I'd appreciate some clarification on your use of the term!

Next, to say that religions are the result of trying to explain the experiencing of consciousness is a massive oversimplification, to say the least. Some religions may well have started in this way, but over time they become systems of social control and the original meaning of their symbols is lost. This is why you find mystical interpretations of, for example, Islam in the form of Sufism. Those mystical interpretations are usually viewed as heretical or blasphemous, which usually and unfortunately leads to heads being chopped off, people being burned at the stake and so forth. That's not very useful to anyone aside from those with a vested interest in controlling the meaning of the symbols, and thus controlling the behaviours of the adherents of whichever system.

This is also why Buddhism is not a religion. Sure, some may practice it in the manner of a religion, but that's not what the Buddha taught.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you're suggesting that what Siddhartha Gotama realized (thus attaining Buddhahood) is comparable to the realizations of Jesus, Mohammed, et al. I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is not the case. If that were the case, why did the man himself practice every single spiritual tradition of his time and come to the conclusion that none of them led to true liberation from habitual rebirth?

The keyword here is liberation. Not union with God. Not becoming one with the source. Liberation from samsara, rebirth and the removal of all emotional and cognitive obscurations, including ideas of 'unity', 'oneness', etc. which all posit a static, unchanging 'thing' into which we dissolve or unite with.

Buddhahood is unique and the methods (plural, not singular) by which it can be attained have been laid out plainly (and not-so-plainly) for the last 2,500 years. It doesn't require blind faith, it doesn't require a billion prostrations, mantras or rituals; it requires applying the teachings for yourself and finding out exactly why, through direct experience, the Buddhadharma is completely different to any theistic religions or spiritual systems. Seriously, there are no words I can say that would, could or should convince you otherwise. The only way to find out is to do what Gotama did and engage in hardcore, relentless attentiveness to the nature of experience as it occurs. 

Whether modern explanations are different or not is neither here nor there. Unless they convey the actuality of what is factual, as the Buddhas have done throughout all of time, then their value is limited.

I've rambled enough here, so I look forward to your reply.

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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M:
Thanks for clarifying, I'll see if I can offer anything further that may be helpful in coming to a mutual understanding.

I argue from the point of view that consciousness is a universal trait, shared by all humans in all times. Difficult to explain because any direct experience of it is beyond concepts. Religions are the result of trying to explain the experience.  I don't have any interest either in speculating what Buddha might have said.  I was just trying to point out that the modern explanations of the significance of having such an experience are prone to be different.
We should probably be clear about the terms we're using here, especially regarding "consciousness".

What is your understanding of "consciousness" as it relates to this conversation? Not trying to be slippery, simply seeking further clarification to ensure we're on the same page and so that we can avoid confusion. I'll respond to whatever you come back with, but in the meantime will offer another perspective.

Consciousness is very much conceptual, conditioned and dependant upon the presence of a faculty through which it can be experienced. If there were no human beings, would consciousness arise? If not, then how can it be said that consciousness is anything other than conditioned phenomena, i.e. arising dependent upon causes and conditions?

Already, you can see why I'd appreciate some clarification on your use of the term!

Next, to say that religions are the result of trying to explain the experiencing of consciousness is a massive oversimplification, to say the least. Some religions may well have started in this way, but over time they become systems of social control and the original meaning of their symbols is lost. This is why you find mystical interpretations of, for example, Islam in the form of Sufism. Those mystical interpretations are usually viewed as heretical or blasphemous, which usually and unfortunately leads to heads being chopped off, people being burned at the stake and so forth. That's not very useful to anyone aside from those with a vested interest in controlling the meaning of the symbols, and thus controlling the behaviours of the adherents of whichever system.

This is also why Buddhism is not a religion. Sure, some may practice it in the manner of a religion, but that's not what the Buddha taught.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you're suggesting that what Siddhartha Gotama realized (thus attaining Buddhahood) is comparable to the realizations of Jesus, Mohammed, et al. I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is not the case. If that were the case, why did the man himself practice every single spiritual tradition of his time and come to the conclusion that none of them led to true liberation from habitual rebirth?

The keyword here is liberation. Not union with God. Not becoming one with the source. Liberation from samsara, rebirth and the removal of all emotional and cognitive obscurations, including ideas of 'unity', 'oneness', etc. which all posit a static, unchanging 'thing' into which we dissolve or unite with.

Buddhahood is unique and the methods (plural, not singular) by which it can be attained have been laid out plainly (and not-so-plainly) for the last 2,500 years. It doesn't require blind faith, it doesn't require a billion prostrations, mantras or rituals; it requires applying the teachings for yourself and finding out exactly why, through direct experience, the Buddhadharma is completely different to any theistic religions or spiritual systems. Seriously, there are no words I can say that would, could or should convince you otherwise. The only way to find out is to do what Gotama did and engage in hardcore, relentless attentiveness to the nature of experience as it occurs. 

Whether modern explanations are different or not is neither here nor there. Unless they convey the actuality of what is factual, as the Buddhas have done throughout all of time, then their value is limited.

I've rambled enough here, so I look forward to your reply.

     The view of consciousness I refer to is the scientific one.  To be conscious is to know what is received by the senses.  There are other aspects that are in dispute or investigation. I will refer you to an article provided by Chris Marti on this subject https://www.quantamagazine.org/neuroscience-readies-for-a-showdown-over-consciousness-ideas-20190306/
     The problem is in trying to fit in the actual experience to a belief based on a religion and despite the view you prefer, Buddhism is a religion and is also used for control.  And depending on which of the many versions that can be practiced you may be required to prostrate and follow ritual. I can't imagine where your 100% certainty that Buddha realized something different from Jesus or Mohammed comes from. They could never compare notes.  When followers of these and other religions have come together to discuss their mystical experiences they find agreement.  I refer you to the Snowmass Conferences. 
     There's no need to trouble yourself with convincing arguments of the validity of applying the teachings, I've been applying them for almost 60 years.  Finding what, as you say is the "actuality of what is factual" is the goal.  We may find that memorizing suttas, Pali terminology, and applying minute distinctions is not a prerequisite or necessary for discovering the Buddha Mind.  
 
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Thanks for the links and suggestions, that clears up your position on this. I'll see if I can offer anything further.

The view of consciousness I refer to is the scientific one.  To be conscious is to know what is received by the senses.

This is where things get interesting. Scientific views of consciousness and Chalmers' formulation seek physical reasons for the arising of consciousness, which I suggest is a case of 'looking in the wrong place'. When I say this, I'm referring to seeking explanations of consciousness in samsara, which itself is dependent upon root ignorance. I have little doubt that models will be developed to explain consciousness in material terms - the Orch OR model of Penrose-Lucas & Hameroff being a very interesting example, but also one that's heavily disputed by scientists and philosophers alike - but as someone who isn't a scientist I can't even speculate on what those might look like.

In terms of Buddhadharma, consciousness is conditioned phenomena since its dependent upon the arising of the other four skandhas. If you've been practicing for almost 60 years, I'd be interested to hear your insights into the nature of consciousness and why you value the scientific view as a means of understanding that in any ultimate sense. The scientific view is simply the scientific view; it's not Right View and so, I would argue, is largely irrelevant to yogic practices beyond a convenient, conventional model relating to the world of people and things.

There was a theoretical physicist, Vajrayani and Dzogchenpa on this site who went by the name of Omega Point, who I believe has been in retreat now for the last six years and so hasn't been active online. He possessed a degree of insight and realization which is far beyond what's commonly discussed on here, but also spoke about correlations between models found in various scientific fields and those attained through practices such as the Six Yogas of Naropa. Searching for his posts on here may be useful in clarifying areas that I'm not remotely qualified to address.

The problem is in trying to fit in the actual experience to a belief based on a religion and despite the view you prefer, Buddhism is a religion and is also used for control

This has nothing to do with the view that I prefer. I call myself a Buddhist purely for convenience. I follow the Buddhadharma with the Dzogchen teachings as my primary practice, so "Buddhism" as you're using it means very little to me. I don't disagree, and even mentioned in my reply that Buddhism is treated as a religion by many, many people throughout the world. With that in mind, I'm completely in agreement with your statement that it's used as a method of control. This doesn't negate the fact that such applications are wrong and based in the same ignorance that gives rise to consciousness, and thus samsara in the first place.

And depending on which of the many versions that can be practiced you may be required to prostrate and follow ritual.

Agreed, but then we need to get into deconstructing the purposes and the correct practices involved in those prostrations, rituals, etc. Some teachings necessitate empowerments before one can even read certain texts, never mind practice them and so there is considerable nuance involved. Some practices even seem to contradict one another depending on which vehicle you're working with, as well as ones own karmic propensities.

I can't imagine where your 100% certainty that Buddha realized something different from Jesus or Mohammed comes from.

Correct, you literally can't imagine where this certainty comes from and I don't say this to imply any sort of superiority. The only way to confirm it is to find out for yourself. Sure, you've been practicing for almost 60 years but that means very little if you still cling to wrong view with regards to the nature of appearances, consciousness and Buddhadharma.

Both Jesus and Mohammed posit impossible states of being, as does advaita-vedanta, as do the various non-dharmic yogic systems, as does every other system with the Buddhadharma being the only exception.

When followers of these and other religions have come together to discuss their mystical experiences they find agreement.

Finding agreement in mystical experiences is one thing, but liberation from habitual rebirth is something else entirely. Even the most sublime mystical experiences are nothing more than experiences, and without Right View they pull one deeper into samsara. Unless one returns from these mystical experiences with a fundamental shift in perception based on insight into the nature of the thing, then they're no more or less important than waking up every morning. Mystical experiences can be considered as signposts indicating that one is practicing correctly, but they aren't the Path and without the correct view they're mere distractions.

Finding what, as you say is the "actuality of what is factual" is the goal.  We may find that memorizing suttas, Pali terminology, and applying minute distinctions is not a prerequisite or necessary for discovering the Buddha Mind.

Have your practices led to the recognition of Buddha-nature? What, specifically, do you mean when you say "discovering the Buddha Mind"?

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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Correct, you literally can't imagine where this certainty comes from and I don't say this to imply any sort of superiority. The only way to confirm it is to find out for yourself. Sure, you've been practicing for almost 60 years but that means very little if you still cling to wrong view with regards to the nature of appearances, consciousness and Buddhadharma.

Both Jesus and Mohammed posit impossible states of being, as does advaita-vedanta, as do the various non-dharmic yogic systems, as does every other system with the Buddhadharma being the only exception.

     I will bow out of the discussion at this point. Your certainty has overpowered me. I'm a simple client, and as far as the Buddha goes. I just tested the truth in his advertisement, that there was an end to suffering. In this respect, he delivered, I give him five stars. 
    I found his instructions were simple, stay close to what you are conscious of through the senses. Don't add or subtract anything. Don't run from or towards anything. If you do this you'll see clearly my mindset and be of the same mind. I saw. Simple. 
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Absolutely respect your decision, and it's been a pleasure to discuss this in the first place. If you've sincerely found liberation through your practice, then I am positively ecstatic for you and wish you all the very best in all future endeavours. Thanks for taking the time to engage with my incessant walls of text! Hahahaha!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M:
 Thanks for taking the time to engage with my incessant walls of text! Hahahaha!

"You talk too much" - Thor to Thanos emoticon emoticon 
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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"You talk too much" - Thor to Thanos emoticon emoticon 

I know, I know...but then again, I'm not a Zen practitioner so I'm prone to probably saying far more than is necessary. emoticon
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M:
"You talk too much" - Thor to Thanos emoticon emoticon 

I know, I know...but then again, I'm not a Zen practitioner so I'm prone to probably saying far more than is necessary. emoticon

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Olivier, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Correct, you literally can't imagine where this certainty comes from and I don't say this to imply any sort of superiority. The only way to confirm it is to find out for yourself. Sure, you've been practicing for almost 60 years but that means very little if you still cling to wrong view with regards to the nature of appearances, consciousness and Buddhadharma.
Both Jesus and Mohammed posit impossible states of being, as does advaita-vedanta, as do the various non-dharmic yogic systems, as does every other system with the Buddhadharma being the only exception.

Hi Tommy,

I created this thread specifically to adress this statement which you also made in the thread this one is branching off of. Would you mind expanding a bit on this notion of impossible states of being please ?

I know a lot of people with absolute certainties, certainties which usually contradict each other ;) my protestant step father for instance. Or a salafist person i met the other day. Etc.

so when i meet someone who knows 100% that "this or that" , i'm usually very skeptical. And what you've written so far doesn't make a particularly strong impression, tbh.

Specifically, i'm of the contrary opinion from the one you seem to hold - since you asked emoticon

Also, you seem to be assuming that people here don't have experience and insight or are operatin from book inowledge.  ... Why is that ?

Lastly : don't get vexed, but is it possible that you're going through some a&p phase ? I'm getting that energy from your writings, a kind of zealot energy which i usually get when i'm in the a&p.

Cheers

Edit : sorry about the editing problems, i can't get all the functionalities with my phone emoticon
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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so when i meet someone who knows 100% that "this or that" , i'm usually very skeptical.

Rightfully so! As mentioned, there's nothing I can, could or would say that should convince anyone of anything. I merely speak of my own confidence in the Buddhadharma, based on direct experience and nothing more. I'm actually very glad that you are skeptical because you're more likely to look at your own experience, rather than comparing it to mine.

And what you've written so far doesn't make a particularly strong impression, tbh.

Never intended to make any impressions.


Specifically, i'm of the contrary opinion from the one you seem to hold - since you asked


Could you be more specific? Are you saying that you also believe that the realizations of Jesus, Mohammed, et al are the same as Buddhahood?

Also, you seem to be assuming that people here don't have experience and insight or are operatin from book inowledge.  ... Why is that ?

You do realize that this is entirely your own projection, don't you? I haven't mentioned anyone lack of experience, insight or reliance on book knowledge.

Lastly : don't get vexed, but is it possible that you're going through some a&p phase ? I'm getting that energy from your writings, a kind of zealot energy which i usually get when i'm in the a&p.

No vexation here. I've been cycling through the ñanas for the best part of 20 years, so I'm intimately familiar with the specifics. This is just the way I write, and I happen to have a lot of free time at the moment to respond in detail. I was active on this site for several years until around 2013 and you're free to go through my posts, claims to attainment, etc. for context.

I have to ask why you're practicing the Buddhadharma if you believe that the realizations available are the same as those found in any other spiritual tradition? If you're familiar with Knowledge of the Arising & Passing Away, then you've clearly gone into depth with this model due to a serious interest in attainment. That being the case, why would you have any doubts about the uniqueness of the Buddhadharma?
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Olivier, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy : That being the case, why would you have any doubts about the uniqueness of the Buddhadharma?

O : i don't have doubts that it's unique like i don't doubt that thai cuisine is unique. In terms of function or results though, it's not essentially different from french food.

I got into buddhist practice and at first i thought "hey, this is it, no other tradition has figured it out" ; experiences and réalisations seemed to confirm that. But the more i practice, the more i read, particularly about other traditions, and the more it seems to me that the big guys are talking about the exact same thing, and the more it seems like i was naive before.

If regular people like us can practice for a few years and become "true men", ie attain 4th path, an attainment many traditions mention, why wouldn't all cultures on earth have figured out ways to get there through the centuries ? It's not so hard. Just pay attention.

It's always been the same nature of mind, hasn't it. 

As for there being further realizations after 4th, again, several traditions mention that, taoism for instance. See René Guenon's book The great triad. It's not something specifically buddhist imv.

Would you mind expanding on the "jesus and muhammad talk about impossible states of being" ? I'm curious what you mean.
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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I only use the formatting/quoting as a convenient way for me to break up my replies and address specific points, so don't worry about having to do the same. I can understand your posts just fine! emoticon

I got into buddhist practice and at first i thought "hey, this is it, no other tradition has figured it out" ; experiences and réalisations seemed to confirm that. But the more i practice, the more i read, particularly about other traditions, and the more it seems to me that the big guys are talking about the exact same thing, and the more it seems like i was naive before.

Do you believe that you've attained Stream Entry? Not asking this for any other reason than trying to understand why you still consider other systems to be of equal value.

The most overwhelming change for me when attaining 1st Path was an instantaneous, unshakeable belief in the Buddhadharma. The reason this was so utterly baffling to me is that, as I've mentioned earlier, I honestly saw Buddhism as being just like every other system and even thought it was weak and ineffective. I had zero interest in Buddhism, never read a single book on it and considered myself a dyed-in-the-wool magick practitioner, so when it happened I was left wondering what in the hell had just gone on. Yes, self-view blinked out and never returned, but even that wasn't as important or profound as "opening the Dharma eye" for the first time.

It was only through finding Daniel and reading his writings that I realized "Holy shit, THAT!" and subsequently threw out almost £1000 worth of books, ritual paraphenalia and notebooks covering, at that point, 10 years of practice. When I read Daniel's book, the whole thing fell into place and I eventually ended up on this site, asking whether what I'd experienced was actually Stream Entry. Only after I outlined my experience and got some questions from Daniel did I even begin to accept that this was the case.

I say this just to provide context on how my own Path has unfolded and to demonstrate that I also had doubts regarding this stuff. It's not an A&P thing at all, but I can certainly understand why you'd think that based on my lengthy posts and devotion. I'm a wordy bastard, but I'm like this whenever I write about anything. emoticon

If regular people like us can practice for a few years and become "true men", ie attain 4th path, an attainment many traditions mention, why wouldn't all cultures on earth have figured out ways to get there through the centuries ? It's not so hard. Just pay attention.

Arahatship is unique to Buddhism, although we could find parallels with the higher attainments found in Western Mystery Traditions such as the Ipssissimus grade of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Thelema. Crowley considered the attainment of Ipssissimus to be the same as Arahatship, but it's not really possible to debate this without having an A/B comparison based on using both systems over an extended period of time. 
Another major issue we encounter is that, even by Daniel's own admission, the use of 4th Path as discussed in pragmatic dharma circles doesn't entirely line up with the scriptural definitions of Arahatship. In all honesty, I'm in no position to get into the details on this because I simply don't know enough about the sutras to even begin to defend/dispute it. It's a complicated discussion but I'm sure others could offer something more substantial in relation to this.

In the past, I also thought that it was just a matter of paying attention too. Now, I have quite a very different view on that although I do consider the proper balance of samatha and vipassana to be superior to 'dry vipassana', i.e. vipassana without the stability of samatha. Every other practices hinges on the mental equipoise gained through that combination, and without having cultivated that one-pointed concentration and attentiveness in tandem then more advanced practices aren't even possible.

It's always been the same nature of mind, hasn't it.

This then begs the question: What, in your view, is the nature of mind? How does that feel as an experience?

As for there being further realizations after 4th, again, several traditions mention that, taoism for instance. See René Guenon's book The great triad. It's not something specifically buddhist imv.

Again, massively complex subject with considerable nuance and necessity for having attained to those states to even begin to discuss whether or not they actually do align with any other states. Unless we have direct experience and can do an A/B comparison, then it's just intellectualizing.

I'm not familiar with Guenon, but from a cursory glance at his work he seems very much rooted in Advaita-like theistic models which do not correspond with the Buddhadharma.

Would you mind expanding on the "jesus and muhammad talk about impossible states of being" ? I'm curious what you mean.

The phrase "impossible states of being" is found in Dzogchen. I've given a very rough example in an earlier reply to Tim in relation to the Madhyamaka school, but it's probably easier to read this article on StudyBuddhism.com than to have me muddy the water any further.

Before I go, I just want to make it clear that I have absolutely no issue with you or anyone else on this site. I know my writing style can come off as being quite confrontational, and maybe even emotional but, as I've said, this is just the way I write and the way it comes out. With that in mind, please feel free to question, criticize or call me a twat if you feel it necessary! Hahahaha!
Tim Farrington, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M

I know my writing style can come off as being quite confrontational, and maybe even emotional but, as I've said, this is just the way I write and the way it comes out. With that in mind, please feel free to question, criticize or call me a twat if you feel it necessary! Hahahaha!

I'm glad you mentioned the elephant in the living room here. You do allow yourself some spectacular rhetorical liberties, and some of your more absolutist pronouncements are troubling to me, in light of the well-established reality of human beings having been killing each other over words for millennia. I'm glad to know that the dzogchen technical word for this is "twat." In my tradition, I think the equivalent technical term is "flaming asshole." But this is exactly the kind of terminologically humble cross-tradition dialogue-type interaction that keeps the DhO conversations interesting, and hepls our mutual common vocabulary become more refined and nuanced. With all due respect, you zealous twat. emoticon
Tommy M

The keyword here is liberation. Not union with God. Not becoming one with the source. Liberation from samsara, rebirth and the removal of all emotional and cognitive obscurations, including ideas of 'unity', 'oneness', etc. which all posit a static, unchanging 'thing' into which we dissolve or unite with.
There's an embarrassment of riches, a vast tangle of threads interesting enough to pursue, in all you've said, but this one strikes me as promising. I think you underestimate the deconstructive potency of the Judeo-Christian apophatic tradition, on the one hand, and also the extraordinary dissolvent nature of the dark night of the soul, in its extremes. Your vocabulary of "nothingness" and impossible states of being is by your own admission distinct from other ways of approaching sunyata, the void, nothingness, etc., even in the range of Buddhist usage, but whatever you want to call the non-ness of everything-ness that is revealed through the realization of the three characteristics, I will stipulate that (and then, if necessary, subvert the stipulation, and contradict the subversion). I think the removal of emotional and cognitive obscurations is covered under "give us this day our daily bread," in the dark night.

Union with God as I understand it is a participatory union of a soul that is in itself nothing and knows that, coming into attunement through its own naughting with a God who is beyond all conception--- a God beyond "God," as Meister Eckhart put it. This union from the local level is a whole-hearted Yes to God's will as it is dynamically revealed and unfolds in its incomprehensible and un-anticipatable love. I think dependent origination is in the same ballpark as "God's will," in these terms, for the purposes of conversation. And if the eventual "end" of dependent origination is the salvation--- call it the liberation, if you will--- of all beings, I am perfectly happy, as the flaming asshole that I am, to keep calling this cluster fuck of samsara whatever you want until then.

love, tim
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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I think you underestimate the deconstructive potency of the Judeo-Christian apophatic tradition, on the one hand, and also the extraordinary dissolvent nature of the dark night of the soul, in its extremes.

Put simply, these are examples of "wrong view" in terms of Buddhadharma. Apophaticism still hinges on dualism by its very nature.

Your vocabulary of "nothingness" and impossible states of being is by your own admission distinct from other ways of approaching sunyata, the void, nothingness, etc., even in the range of Buddhist usage

My use of these terms is perfectly in line with Buddhist usage. Ideas of "the void" or "nothingness" do not correlate with emptiness/sunyata. "Voidness", as it relates to the nature of mind, is not the same as "the void" or "nothingness".

"Impossible states of being" is not a term I invented, it's commonly used in specific traditions and for good reason. I also explained this earlier in the thread and how it relates to the conversation.

but whatever you want to call the non-ness of everything-ness that is revealed through the realization of the three characteristics, I will stipulate that (and then, if necessary, subvert the stipulation, and contradict the subversion).

This has nothing to do with "whatever you want to call" anything. Nothingness is not the same sunyata, by any stretch of the imagination.

Realization of the three characteristics is not a conceptual understanding; they are the very nature of samsara.

I think the removal of emotional and cognitive obscurations is covered under "give us this day our daily bread," in the dark night.

You're free to think whatever you like and to defend your beliefs, but that doesn't negate the fact that you're completely misunderstanding what emotional and cognitive obscurations are. The Lord's Prayer has nothing to do with the teachings of the Buddhas.

I think dependent origination is in the same ballpark as "God's will," in these terms, for the purposes of conversation. And if the eventual "end" of dependent origination is the salvation--- call it the liberation, if you will--- of all beings, I am perfectly happy, as the flaming asshole that I am, to keep calling this cluster fuck of samsara whatever you want until then.

Again, you're free to think whatever you like and to defend your beliefs as you see fit.

Dependent origination has nothing to do with "God's will"; it refers to a specific causal chain present in every sensation arising as appearance.

As I've said, I'm very happy to support your beliefs if they help you to live a life of service to the happiness and wellbeing of all sentient beings. Where I draw a line is in trying to force-fit your theological, and/or negative-theological understandings onto an atheistic system with entirely different goals to those found in mono/polytheistic systems. If it helps you to be a better, more helpful person and your faith gives you hope for something beyond this world, then that's great and more power to you.

I don't think you're an asshole, flaming or otherwise. You're defending your beliefs and your faith because you value them above other belief systems, which is commendable. I'm not interested in making you question them and wouldn't dream of doing so. The only real dispute in this whole thread centers around trying to map other non-Buddhadharma systems onto the Buddhadharma.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Do you think some fusion of Judeo-Christian and Buddhist approach can be one of those conceptual models that are helpful until you are realized enough to transcend conceptual models entirely? 
Tim Farrington, modified 2 Months ago.

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Tim

I think dependent origination is in the same ballpark as "God's will," in these terms, for the purposes of conversation. 

and
Tommy

Again, you're free to think whatever you like and to defend your beliefs as you see fit.


Dependent origination has nothing to do with "God's will"; it refers to a specific causal chain present in every sensation arising as appearance.

Tommy. what I was trying to get at here in juxtaposing DO and GW was simple that both are concepts addressing the mysterious coherence of what arises and passes away.

I think Shargrol Of Course helps clarify this, in this passage:


Dependent Origination: supernatural feeling vs conventional scientific materialism. That “often times life events seemed tailored to fit where I've been in an insight cycle” is a big observation actually. Life and practice start blurring together... and there is a tautological aspect to it. Somehow the link between interior attitude/view seems to co-arise with external experience/meaning. "Is my life this way because I feel this way? Or do I feel this way because my life is this way?"


Quite honestly, this is the real heart of the idea of dependent origination. The introductory teaching of DO makes it sound like a chain of events, this cause that, which causes the next thing... but that's really just another way to talk about conventional scientific materialism. The deeper and much harder to grasp insight of dependent origination is that cause and effect seem to arise at the same time in the same mind moment. So this has a much more supernatural kind of feeling where inner meaning and out experience seem tightly linked --- and they are. It is very difficult to separate life events (and their interpreted meaning) and where we are internally (psychology and insight cycle). 

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Chris Marti, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tim -

I think you underestimate the deconstructive potency of the Judeo-Christian apophatic tradition, on the one hand, and also the extraordinary dissolvent nature of the dark night of the soul, in its extremes. 

I have trouble with any spiritual path claiming ascendancy over any other spiritual path, but then I've already declared my ridiculously fervent agnosticism - and more than once. Again, the mind is the basis for all of this "stuff", and I'm pretty sure that's something common to all.

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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Just to elaborate a little bit on my last comment:

Since we all possess the same mind (as human beings), I have no doubt that this mind can be explored in many, many contexts, religious, cultural, scientific, and so on. I suspect that when pursued with dedication, passion, and due diligence, most of these explorations can end up in the same places as governed by the subject and the process of what is being investigated.

This is just my personal view but I find it helpful as I encounter others with different ways to approach awakening - Sufi, Christian, Zen, Pagan, Native American, whatever. It helps avoid making snap judgments. I used to think otherwise, but time, age, discussions like this one, and other explorations have helped me see the error of my ways.

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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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This is just my personal view but I find it helpful as I encounter others with different ways to approach awakening - Sufi, Christian, Zen, Pagan, Native American, whatever. It helps avoid making snap judgments. I used to think otherwise, but time, age, discussions like this one, and other explorations have helped me see the error of my ways.

In that spirit I'd like to share this article that has some very interesting information: 
https://aeon.co/essays/the-hard-problem-of-consciousness-is-a-distraction-from-the-real-one

By the same author, there's this article on the history of consciousness studies:      https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2398212818816019 

Looking at different approaches to understanding ourselves, which is the bottom line, can't hurt.  The "don't know"  mind is not affected by any ideas we ultimately may prefer. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Chris Marti:
Just to elaborate a little bit on my last comment:

Since we all possess the same mind (as human beings), I have no doubt that this mind can be explored in many, many contexts, religious, cultural, scientific, and so on. I suspect that when pursued with dedication, passion, and due diligence, most of these explorations can end up in the same places as governed by the subject and the process of what is being investigated.

This is just my personal view but I find it helpful as I encounter others with different ways to approach awakening - Sufi, Christian, Zen, Pagan, Native American, whatever. It helps avoid making snap judgments. I used to think otherwise, but time, age, discussions like this one, and other explorations have helped me see the error of my ways.

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I find that this approach is helpful for me too in order for me to avoid making snap judgements. My position is that I don't know but I use this as my working model because it seems to make my errors less harmful than any other working model tht I can think of. 
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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I use this as my working model because it seems to make my errors less harmful than any other working model tht I can think of. 

Maybe we can say this is the DhO version of a physician's oath to "Do no harm."
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

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Sure. And it seems to be equally vague and open to interpretation too. 

Edited to add:
I don't necessarily find that a choice that I make for myself because it makes me less prone to do harm is also the same choice that I prefer from others. Personally, I think I have a very strong preference for straightforwardness over humbleness, from others towards me. I really don’t have any problem with strong statements as such if it doesn’t lead to oppressive behavior and/or abuse. I prefer when people are uncensored enough to make their personal biasses clear rather than being vague even if it’s for the purpose of not offending anyone. I find that hidden biasses can often be much more harmful. For me, the way I'm wired, the world would be much easier to navigate if it were more common for people to just blurt out their standpoints more openly, even if they are inconsistent over time (which they will inevitably be), and if that was generally considered as making explicit one's current position for the sake of clarity rather than a conflict about some Real Objective World. 
Tim Farrington, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Chris Marti:
Tim -

I think you underestimate the deconstructive potency of the Judeo-Christian apophatic tradition, on the one hand, and also the extraordinary dissolvent nature of the dark night of the soul, in its extremes. 

I have trouble with any spiritual path claiming ascendancy over any other spiritual path, but then I've already declared my ridiculously fervent agnosticism - and more than once. Again, the mind is the basis for all of this "stuff", and I'm pretty sure that's something common to all.

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hey chris, thank you for this. I remember near the beginning of the buddhism/advaita thread, in a similar kamikaze vein to this one, that you and shargrol and some others all promptly settled in with popcorn and a variety of adult beverages to enjoy the messy show. Consider your next drink to be on me, and when my popcorn is done, i'll refill your bowl.

love,
dualistic road kill
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tiiiim! emoticon There is no toilet paper in the toilet of The Bar(do) of Last Resort! ... Oh emoticon I see you brought all of it to this place emoticon I guess we bar flies will need to use water instead emoticon 
Tim Farrington, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Papa Che Dusko:
Tiiiim! emoticon There is no toilet paper in the toilet of The Bar(do) of Last Resort! ... Oh emoticon I see you brought all of it to this place emoticon I guess we bar flies will need to use water instead emoticon 


emoticon OOOOOPS! Sorry, Papaji, poor resource management there, mea culpa. I did use an ungodly amount here trying to get my head out of my ass. emoticon  For the next eon, all drinks will be on the house, to make up for the inconvenience.
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Chris Marti, modified 3 Months ago.

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It's always been the same nature of mind, hasn't it.

That's the agnosticism I mentioned up-thread emoticon
Tim Farrington, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M

Correct, you literally can't imagine where this certainty comes from and I don't say this to imply any sort of superiority. The only way to confirm it is to find out for yourself. Sure, you've been practicing for almost 60 years but that means very little if you still cling to wrong view with regards to the nature of appearances, consciousness and Buddhadharma.

Both Jesus and Mohammed posit impossible states of being, as does advaita-vedanta, as do the various non-dharmic yogic systems, as does every other system with the Buddhadharma being the only exception.
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Olivier

Hi Tommy,


I created this thread specifically to adress this statement which you also made in the thread this one is branching off of. Would you mind expanding a bit on this notion of impossible states of being please ?
ah, Olivier, Thank God you checked in! (I mean, uh, gratitude arises, is seen to be transient, dukkha-inducing, and without reference to a self, and passes away, I think) I was worried that this thread's original intent might have gotten lost in the shuffle. Now I can relax and enjoy the brawl.

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Noah D, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy:
It may interest you to know that it's entirely possible to experience the bardo while still alive

We're all in the bardo now! 

https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Bardo_of_this_life
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

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Yep, bardos & rebirth are the traditional buddhist dogma.
The bardos, including this one, and rebirth are not simply a belief that's held without question or without certainty, which is what dogma is.

As mentioned, you can indeed experience the bardos beyond this one prior to death. Of this there is absolutely zero doubt.

Rebirth, understood correctly, is much more complex than you might imagine.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M:
Yep, bardos & rebirth are the traditional buddhist dogma.
The bardos, including this one, and rebirth are not simply a belief that's held without question or without certainty, which is what dogma is.

As mentioned, you can indeed experience the bardos beyond this one prior to death. Of this there is absolutely zero doubt.

Rebirth, understood correctly, is much more complex than you might imagine.
Like agnostic I'm curious about your experiences of bardos, if you are comfortable sharing it, and also about that correct understanding of rebirth. I understand that it's a whole lot to write, so I won't blame you if you don't want to get into that. I think it might be relevant for a fair understanding of the topic, though. 

I'm also wondering if you have found that never experiencing anything ever again is the end goal of the practice, and if so, at our personal death or when all beings are liberated? That's of course a very ignorant question, because time is conditioned, but if we are to compare it with other traditions, it is relevant too.  Feel free to rephrase it in any way that makes it possible to answer. 

I also wonder, for totally personal reasons, if you consider it possible to be in contact with Buddhas/Bodhisattvas through the Samboghakaya, and if so, how that is possible if Buddhas are liberated. Do we manifest them with our own karma? And is it possible to visit other realms? Or is that just the religious part? 

EDIT: I see you have already posted again, so if you have already answered any of this, please just ignore it. Now I'll read it.

EDIT again: Of course, what you aren't allowed to share, you shouldn't share, so forgive me if I have asked inappropriate questions. 
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

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Of course, what you aren't allowed to share, you shouldn't share, so forgive me if I have asked inappropriate questions.

Not at all! It's really not about me not being allowed to share anything. I haven't taken any vows of secrecy or anything like that, it's purely down to me wanting to avoid creating confusion where it doesn't need to be. I don't know the language of the texts well enough to use a lot of terms without introducing my own misunderstandings, so take what I say with a shovelful of salt and go research it for yourself.

With those caveats, I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my limited abilities.

I'm also wondering if you have found that never experiencing anything ever again is the end goal of the practice, and if so, at our personal death or when all beings are liberated? That's of course a very ignorant question, because time is conditioned, but if we are to compare it with other traditions, it is relevant too.  Feel free to rephrase it in any way that makes it possible to answer.

I definitely wouldn't say that "never experiencing anything ever again" is the goal, by any stretch of the imagination. The idea itself is based in that pesky ignorance that even gives rise to experience in the first place, so the untying of that knot involves understanding that experience as we know it is the very suffering we seek to alleviate. This goes for the most pleasurable experiences as much as it goes for the most unpleasant experiences, since both depend upon the same fundamental misperception.

I also wonder, for totally personal reasons, if you consider it possible to be in contact with Buddhas/Bodhisattvas through the Samboghakaya, and if so, how that is possible if Buddhas are liberated. Do we manifest them with our own karma? And is it possible to visit other realms? Or is that just the religious part? 

Oooft! Tough questions, but I'll throw some thoughts out there if it's helpful.

Bodhisattvas make the decision to return to samsara for the sole purpose of leading others to liberation. It's a level of compassion that literally brings tears to my eyes, because to reject personal liberation so that we can benefit all sentient beings is a sacrifice beyond comprehension. It's not something that's forced onto you, it's a choice that's made with the full understanding of its implications.

It's entirely possible to visit other realms, and it's not just dogma or superstition. Even very, very strong samatha can lead to experiencing the brahma-viharas, so that's not unrealistic in the slightest.

With regards to Sambhogakaya, it needs to be understood in the context of Dharmakaya and Nirmanakaya since the three are not separate. Whether we can be in contact with the Buddhas through the Sambhogakaya, I would be inclined to think not because it requires an immensely high level of realization that very few have attained. To be clear, I haven't attained that level either so I'm not suggesting that I'm one of those who have. emoticon
 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Thanks Tommy for being willing to talk about this type of questions. I find that most people here seem to either go for science or just say something cryptic and evasive while implying that it all will become clear once I get to the level of being one of the cryptic ones. I’m not really expecting anybody to actually know, but I’m interested in what people believe based on their practice. I think that if we are to compare different traditions of realization, this is fundamental. We can’t really compare anything if we evade the question of what it’s all about.

Tommy M:

I definitely wouldn't say that "never experiencing anything ever again" is the goal, by any stretch of the imagination. The idea itself is based in that pesky ignorance that even gives rise to experience in the first place, so the untying of that knot involves understanding that experience as we know it is the very suffering we seek to alleviate. This goes for the most pleasurable experiences as much as it goes for the most unpleasant experiences, since both depend upon the same fundamental misperception.


So, basically... you do not rule out some kind of experience beyond what we know? If so, I hope you are right about that. I feel like I have been around the block a few eons too long, but just having any kind of experience completely wiped out for the rest of eternity sounds rather anti-climactic, even though I know that time is conditioned.


Bodhisattvas make the decision to return to samsara for the sole purpose of leading others to liberation. It's a level of compassion that literally brings tears to my eyes, because to reject personal liberation so that we can benefit all sentient beings is a sacrifice beyond comprehension. It's not something that's forced onto you, it's a choice that's made with the full understanding of its implications.


According to Lama Lena (a Tibetan pre-monastic cave yogi, queer and autistic and born in the west, who teaches Dzogchen and tantra using words like unfuckupable), there is no choice to make, because Bodhisattvas get to hang out in purelands until they get used to the idea of not having any personality, and when you go rainbow you just continue to help sentient beings through their own karma, and there really is no individual liberation. I hope she is right.
It's entirely possible to visit other realms, and it's not just dogma or superstition. Even very, very strong samatha can lead to experiencing the brahma-viharas, so that's not unrealistic in the slightest.
Cool. I have only maybe been to a cave in India to meet with a yogini that I'm sponsoring. 
With regards to Sambhogakaya, it needs to be understood in the context of Dharmakaya and Nirmanakaya since the three are not separate. Whether we can be in contact with the Buddhas through the Sambhogakaya, I would be inclined to think not because it requires an immensely high level of realization that very few have attained. To be clear, I haven't attained that level either so I'm not suggesting that I'm one of those who have. emoticon
Yes, I know that Sambhogakaya isn't separate from the others, so it was perhaps a poor phrasing, but if I understand it correctly, there are teachings that claim that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can manifest in so called enjoyment bodies in pure lands to teach the dharmas, and that advanced practicioners can go there for teachings. There are quite a few pragmatic dharma practicioners that claim to have reached pure land jhanas, but I haven't heard anyone mention getting any transmissions of new teachings there, so I'm guessing that it's not that kind of pure land.

To tie this back to the topic of the thread, since none of us has been there*, how can we be sure that Jesus, for instance, doesn't hang out in some pure land? Ni Nurta had a great rhetorical punchline, but actually there are Buddhist teachings that claim that Buddhas will keep coming back to introduce the dharma when it has been forgotten, just like Jesus is said to come back. I practice Buddhist tech because it's great tech and I don't know of anything that gives as clear results, but maybe not everyone needs the tech, and maybe some just find it on their own thanks to great karma or through revelations from some realized being. I'm not ruling it out. 

*) It really wasn't a trick question. I hadn't planned to turn it into rhetorics. The thought just popped up. 
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

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We can’t really compare anything if we evade the question of what it’s all about.

To reiterate, it's not a matter of evasion. What I've said already has sewn considerable confusion and I regret this, but that's on me and I need to deal with the consequences of that.

When we get into things like bardo yogas and try to discuss it with people who haven't experienced it for themselves, it leads to attempts to conceptualize non-conceptual realizations and thus to confusion. When I say "people who haven't experienced it for themselves", this isn't to imply anything about levels of realization or suggest superiority in any way. Many people experience after-death states without any meditative training whatsoever, but discussing what those states are and how they relate to deathlessness is beyond my abilities, hence my increasing reticence.

So, basically... you do not rule out some kind of experience beyond what we know? If so, I hope you are right about that. I feel like I have been around the block a few eons too long, but just having any kind of experience completely wiped out for the rest of eternity sounds rather anti-climactic, even though I know that time is conditioned.

This is rooted in clinging to experience itself. Much as I don't like being cryptic, it's something that needs to be understood directly and any speculation based on the misperception of our own experience as being unique will only lead to more confusion.


According to Lama Lena (a Tibetan pre-monastic cave yogi, queer and autistic and born in the west, who teaches Dzogchen and tantra using words like unfuckupable), there is no choice to make, because Bodhisattvas get to hang out in purelands until they get used to the idea of not having any personality, and when you go rainbow you just continue to help sentient beings through their own karma, and there really is no individual liberation. I hope she is right.

Not familiar with Lama Lena, but I completely agree with the comment that "there really is no individual liberation". Same as there really are no appearances, no samsara and no nirvana. She's a Dzogchenpa, so it's important to have stability in the view of that system to really get what she's saying. This goes back to my earlier comment on the necessity of teachers, transmission, direct introduction to the nature of mind and all that good stuff.

Yes, I know that Sambhogakaya isn't separate from the others, so it was perhaps a poor phrasing, but if I understand it correctly, there are teachings that claim that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can manifest in so called enjoyment bodies in pure lands to teach the dharmas, and that advanced practicioners can go there for teachings. There are quite a few pragmatic dharma practicioners that claim to have reached pure land jhanas, but I haven't heard anyone mention getting any transmissions of new teachings there, so I'm guessing that it's not that kind of pure land.

Revelation of termas via the Pure Lands/Buddha-fields isn't something we can even try to discuss here. Not being cryptic, it's just an incredibly complex topic with little practical value to those of us without a deep connection to the guru.


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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M:
We can’t really compare anything if we evade the question of what it’s all about.

To reiterate, it's not a matter of evasion. What I've said already has sewn considerable confusion and I regret this, but that's on me and I need to deal with the consequences of that. 

Oh, I didn’t mean that you were evading anything. On the contrary, I find so far that you are one of the few who don't. I just said that to legitimize asking all those questions in this particular thread, because I thought some might see it as a digression from the topic. 

I don't find you confusing at all, after that initial confusion about mental masturbation I mean. I just assume that there's an implicit "So these are my subjective thoughts about this topic at this precise point in time, as I make sense of it for myself in my own practice and life choices, based on my experiences as I recall them right now:"  before everything you say. There. Problem solved. emoticon

I look forward to reading more, but I really need to take a break and practice now, and maybe do some mundane chores... I just wanted to clear up that misunderstanding as soon as I saw it. 

Your contribution has been very helpful for me. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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I couldn’t stop myself from reading the rest of this post and thread anyway.

Tommy M:

When we get into things like bardo yogas and try to discuss it with people who haven't experienced it for themselves, it leads to attempts to conceptualize non-conceptual realizations and thus to confusion. When I say "people who haven't experienced it for themselves", this isn't to imply anything about levels of realization or suggest superiority in any way. Many people experience after-death states without any meditative training whatsoever, but discussing what those states are and how they relate to deathlessness is beyond my abilities, hence my increasing reticence.


Yeah, I get that. It’s practice-based realizations, not opinions to debate based on our intellect. And yet as long as we remain in samsara, it still gets filtered through our intellect and the values that we cling to. I think my motives for asking people questions like this are mixed. Part of it is that I want pointers for my practice. Part of it is an ignorance-based need for validation of my own observations in times of doubt (not of the dharma but of myself). Part of it is a control need in the sense of mapping which particular concepts and values people still cling to, so that I can filter any pointers from them through a bias caveat when I triangulate pointers (ultimately ignorance-based clinging to a false sense of security, but one hell of a well-functioning temporary raft). Part of it is just curiosity and the joy of getting to know a diversity of perspectives and maybe thereby become more conscious about my own biases.

So, basically... you do not rule out some kind of experience beyond what we know? If so, I hope you are right about that. I feel like I have been around the block a few eons too long, but just having any kind of experience completely wiped out for the rest of eternity sounds rather anti-climactic, even though I know that time is conditioned.

This is rooted in clinging to experience itself. Much as I don't like being cryptic, it's something that needs to be understood directly and any speculation based on the misperception of our own experience as being unique will only lead to more confusion.


I’m leaning towards an interpretation along the line that there is no continuous entity there to begin with, so there is nothing that will miss anything, but that’s not just because you can’t miss anything when you don’t exist, but because you never existed to begin with. And yet, as long as needed, any realizations ”made” by ”me” will still not be lost, because the need for them will make them appear somehow in some form when things are ripe for that because that’s just part of how karma works, so in that sense, nothing can ever get lost. And if it’s possible to throw in at least a flash of recognition that this whole mess has come to its resolution and maybe some refined celestial body version of group hug, that would be nice after all those eons of subjective suffering, even though it's not the same subject over that time that never ultimately existed. It's probably a very ignorant human thing to ask for, but I can't help thinking that it's only fair to get some kind of closure, even if it's only closure being aware of itself for a moment in time that doesn't ultimately exist. 


Not familiar with Lama Lena, but I completely agree with the comment that "there really is no individual liberation". Same as there really are no appearances, no samsara and no nirvana. She's a Dzogchenpa, so it's important to have stability in the view of that system to really get what she's saying. This goes back to my earlier comment on the necessity of teachers, transmission, direct introduction to the nature of mind and all that good stuff.


Yup. I have had the pointing out instructions, transmission on all four levels of Dzogchen as she teaches it. I have also taken refuge with her and received the name Yeshe Chodak.


Revelation of termas via the Pure Lands/Buddha-fields isn't something we can even try to discuss here. Not being cryptic, it's just an incredibly complex topic with little practical value to those of us without a deep connection to the guru.


Fair enough. I think I mainly wanted to check if there is anyone here who believes in this stuff and doesn’t consider it religious superstition, apart from the few people I know of, because I’m leaning towards believing it to be possible albeit a rare grace. I recently realized the extent to which scientific materialism is taken for granted even by people who have been practicing regularly for decades. I’m not talking specifically about DhO now. I’m very content with finding out that there is variation here, and that I’m not necessarily as extreme as I thought that I maybe was.

Edited to add: Lama Lena's policy for teaching in the dreamtime is that it's open to anyone skilled enough to find her there and ask for it. As far as policies go, I find that a clever solution for dealing with demands from people that wouldn't benefit from it anyway. I'd guess that most manifestations of Buddhas/Bodhisattvas that could ever be accessed through our practice might very well have a similar policy. So everyone needs to decide for themselves whether it's worth trying, I guess. 
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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My fervour for the Buddhadharma, along with my annoyingly verbose posts has probably hindered more than helped in this thread. I'll keep my contributions to a minimum but will still happily respond to specifics if necessary. Not looking to back out of the conversation, just trying to respond more skilfully and with more (explicit) compassion, rather than the wrathful manifestations that come naturally to me...hahaha!

I’m leaning towards an interpretation along the line that there is no continuous entity there to begin with, so there is nothing that will miss anything, but that’s not just because you can’t miss anything when you don’t exist, but because you never existed to begin with.

Bingo. Rest in what has been pointed out by your teacher and you can't go wrong.

Much love to everyone emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Will do.

Just know that you are welcome to be verbose and seemingly wrathful in my threads anytime. 
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Hello guys,

Tommy, your contribution is not causing confusion at all, in fact i would think what you're saying is not new to most people who've been around the dho for a while, nor is it excessively verbose, to me at least. However, the ignorance (in the relative sense) and dogmatism of dome of the claims youve made are causing annoyance for this one emoticon

The buddhadharma is also empty.

I'm waiting to connect on my computer to develop my answer but i wanted to adress something JW said specifically.

It's about the messiah thing. IMO it has nothing to do with wrong or right view - it's an archetype aimed to structure the collective psyche not the individual. It's a form of imaginal magic, a symbolic, memorial fabrication, which purpose is to provide social cohesion but also has deeper functions and powers. In a word : a myth.

Just like there is no experience without some degree of clinging, just so, there is no functional human community without myth. The truth value of the myth is almost irrelevant, it has a structural and magical function, i would say. We all have blind beliefs, and shared blind beliefs, at that, here in this very thread (;))

That's my opinion anyways.

It's skillful when you think about it. It structures the collective as well as the individual psyche, and sanctifies existence. Very important. Our current scientific materialist worldviews have little sacralizing power, unfortunately, and that can be dangerous emoticon 

Just the same with buddhism. The guy's story is a big narration, isn't it ? Even the story of his meeting three people before going forth is a rewriting of a much older veeic story involving the god indra, i think.

Fun fact : did you know, that after a few centuries, the story of the buddha actually made it to medieval europe through word of mouth, and he became an official saint by the name of Saint Josaphat ?

When Marco Polo met his first buddhists (and at the time, even different buddhist sect didn't know about each other, which says a lot about buddhism as a unique thing), he recognized that their guy was saint Josaphat , and so theorized that there was probably a forgotten sister church in asia !

emoticon

Edit

I believe we've been mythically empoverished by a few centurîes of positivism/scientism and are looking at other cultures to allow ourselves to fulfill this need we all have. That's why i said it's easier living in a foreign country these days.

In fact, i would go so far as to claim that awakening is the easy part. I mean, it's always available to all, there's nothing else. The hard part is to construct a civilisation.

Kind of joking and kind of not... Haha

Editedit : is there something ignorant to a myth that is fully seen through the lense of the tetralem , and yet, still appears, still fulfills its functions... ?
Olivier, very good points here. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking 'wrong view' as something that is fundamentally flawed, but ignorance is completely human. To think otherwise is in itself a wrong view.

The ignorance I refer to is, at the most basic level, the ignorant belief that things inherently exist 'out there' and in the context of Christianity and many other religions this translates to the belief in an external God and dualistic world. The messiah pattern seems to emerge as this belief is slowly proven wrong over time, because the systems become increasingly inadequate, benefit people less and less, and so it takes a sort of hero or group of heroes to 'perform the upgrade'.  Due to the monotheistic context it usually leads to the hero individuals actually thinking they themselves are Gods... because, well, it makes sense in that dualistic context.

I totally agree that these myths are beautiful despite their flaws. And there is something magical about seeing that beauty.
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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It's exactly the same thing with buddhism ! emoticon

I invite you to read Pseudo-Dionysius' mystical theology that i linked in the first page of this thread, quoted by tim (thank you tim!)

You will see that god is defined in very close terms to sunyata. There is a formulation of Nagarjuna's tetralem in there, and very good dedcriptions of the unfabricated. Maybe check out Burbea's talk "towards the tracing of a phenomenology of soul".

You have to realize that this is not just your oddball partially awake guy hidden inside a stream of ignorant christians. The Areopagite was and still is studied and revered by thousands of seekers, particularly throughout the middle ages. His text is one of the main inspirations of gothic architecture and its esthetics of light which was elaborated in the Xii th century, 600 years after his death he was still a main reference for the most cultivated/knowlegable minds of this time.

You realize what that means ? It's as if today, people where inventing architectural ideas based on dan ingram's mctb, and built whole buildings based on this, do that people could practice what's in mctb. Lol. 

So, it means there was a time in europe where plenty of people ATLEAST got stream entry - but when you read Eckhart's sermons you realize : hey, this guy is talking about total exertion (see AEN's excellent blog for an explanation of that expression which comes from zen).

Tommy, you're scottish : there are gothic cathedrals where you live, so you will understand me (i'm french). What effect does it have on you, if you imagine that a gothic Rosace is actually, literally, a representation of "the world coming back online after a cessation", an architectutal image of the creation of the world ?





And you can tell, when you look at these old buildings, that these humans, damn man, what made them build such incredible monuments ?


The notion that all of christianity relies on the idea of an external inherently existing demiurgic entity is kind of ignorant. It would be like saying buddhists think buddha is a guy in the pure land and that awakening will come from rituals, and that that's what buddhism IS. If you don't believe that i invite you to go to a traditionnal buddhist country like corea : most buddhists in this world don't meditate and are basically like your standard christian. 


Edited for spelling mostly


Edit 2 : if someone like Nietzsche grew up the son of a current corean zen priest, he would probably be as critical of buddhism as he was of christianity, having been the son of a protestant pastor who held degenerate views ... emoticon

One of the deepest thing i've read recently is a conference by Henry Corbin explaining why it makes sense that if the absolute is absolutely free and non determined, it is also free of non-determination and free to manifest as particular and personal ; hence the notion of a personal god whom you can have a personal relation with. Neither reified nor ontologized.

Burbea has exposed similar ideas and practiced with divinity in his later life. 

Not incompatible with madhyamika.

Last question : if i say that the phrase "god is absent from is creation" + the mystical theology of pseudo dyonisius = the bahiya sutta + the view of anatta,  what would you guys think ?

Cheers
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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And, moreover, just why did that famous semi-mythical Indian Buddhist named Bodhidharma go to the west, after all? Proselytiser that he was  emoticon
Olivier:
It's exactly the same thing with buddhism ! emoticon
I look at the future buddha Maitreya as being a very Christ-like figure, prophecy and all. Or perhaps Christ was a reincarnation of Maitreya?

The Bodhisattva's vow is to quite literally take on the suffering of all living beings ...


fun fact: according to Wikipedia there were quite a few violent rebellions involving Maitreya's second coming... so the Buddhist Christ is not without shadow sides after all!  emoticon
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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J W:

I look at the future buddha Maitreya as being a very Christ-like figure, prophecy and all. Or perhaps Christ was a reincarnation of Maitreya?

The Bodhisattva's vow is to quite literally take on the suffering of all living beings ...


fun fact: according to Wikipedia there were quite a few violent rebellions involving Maitreya's second coming... so the Buddhist Christ is not without shadow sides after all!  emoticon
Maybe Maitreya is not human...

Buddhist texts from several traditions say that beings in Maitreya's time will be much bigger than during the time of Sakyamuni. In one prophecy his disciples are contemptuous of Mahakasyapa, whose head is no larger than an insect to them. Buddha's robe barely covers two fingers making them wonder how tiny Buddha was. Mahākāśyapa is said to be small enough in comparison to cremate in the palm of Maitreya's hand.


Just a thought... emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Ni Nurta:

Maybe Maitreya is not human...

Buddhist texts from several traditions say that beings in Maitreya's time will be much bigger than during the time of Sakyamuni. In one prophecy his disciples are contemptuous of Mahakasyapa, whose head is no larger than an insect to them. Buddha's robe barely covers two fingers making them wonder how tiny Buddha was. Mahākāśyapa is said to be small enough in comparison to cremate in the palm of Maitreya's hand.


Just a thought... emoticon

That sheds new light on the Maitreya posture for meditation... Of course he can't sit in a lotus position. But what's with the chair? 
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

That sheds new light on the Maitreya posture for meditation... Of course he can't sit in a lotus position. But what's with the chair? 
Sitting is the concept of puny little humans. We whales... ekhm, I mean, whales float, and do not need to sit emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Ni Nurta:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

That sheds new light on the Maitreya posture for meditation... Of course he can't sit in a lotus position. But what's with the chair? 
Sitting is concept of puny humans. We whales... ekhm, I mean, whales do not need to sit emoticon

I like how you use that Pac-Man smiley. It's the very same way we used a homemade smurf smiley back in the old days of a forum I used to moderate. The smurf's face looked shrewd, mischievous and disarmingly joyous and innocent at the same time. I have missed that smurf smiley a lot here. 
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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J W:


   I look at the future buddha Maitreya as being a very Christ-like figure, prophecy and all. Or perhaps Christ was a reincarnation of Maitreya?

I look at Maitreya as the spirit that moves all wise/dharmic/holy communications among friends... like this discussion. Maitreya is already here on earth. emoticon



The name Maitreya is derived from the Sanskrit word maitrī "friendship", which is in turn derived from the noun mitra "friend".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitreya#Sources

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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shargrol:
J W:


   I look at the future buddha Maitreya as being a very Christ-like figure, prophecy and all. Or perhaps Christ was a reincarnation of Maitreya?

I look at Maitreya as the spirit that moves all wise/dharmic/holy communications among friends... like this discussion. Maitreya is already here on earth. emoticon
Wow, that's beautiful.
shargrol:

I look at Maitreya as the spirit that moves all wise/dharmic/holy communications among friends... like this discussion. Maitreya is already here on earth. emoticon



The name Maitreya is derived from the Sanskrit word maitrī "friendship", which is in turn derived from the noun mitra "friend".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitreya#Sources 

jw:

Totally. I think the messiah thing is such a problem mostly because people just don't understand it. It's no different than any other shadow side in that regard.  Being Christ-like is just being a good friend, there's nothing special about it.

To quote Leonard Cohen: 

"The bomb has already gone off. We are now living in the midst of its aftermath. The question is: How can we live with this knowledge with grace and kindness?”

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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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You will see that god is defined in very close terms to sunyata.

Defined in close terms isn't the same as the actuality of realizing sunyata and abiding in the view.

So, it means there was a time in europe where plenty of people ATLEAST got stream entry

Put simply, no it doesn't. Your assumption is based on your own understanding of what Stream Entry involves.

when you read Eckhart's sermons you realize : hey, this guy is talking about total exertion (see AEN's excellent blog for an explanation of that expression which comes from zen).

No, you believe that he's talking about total exertion. AEN and Thusness are friends of mine, and I've had the honour of being featured on their blog, so I would be surprised if they shared your views on Christianity leading to the same realizations as those of the Buddha. Perhaps they do, but I can't say either way and would suggest asking them directly about their views on this.

Tommy, you're scottish : there are gothic cathedrals where you live, so you will understand me (i'm french). What effect does it have on you, if you imagine that a gothic Rosace is actually, literally, a representation of "the world coming back online after a cessation", an architectutal image of the creation of the world ?

The effect it has is to cause me question your understanding of cessation in relation to liberation from habitual rebirth.

The notion that all of christianity relies on the idea of an external inherently existing demiurgic entity is kind of ignorant. It would be like saying buddhists think buddha is a guy in the pure land and that awakening will come from rituals, and that that's what buddhism IS. If you don't believe that i invite you to go to a traditionnal buddhist country like corea : most buddhists in this world don't meditate and are basically like your standard christian.

How is it ignorant? Serious question.

Your own statement that "most Buddhists in this world don't meditate" is equally ignorant, given that Gotama taught meditation as the way to liberation. This is why I make a distinction between Buddhism as a religion and the Buddhadharma as the method.

if someone like Nietzsche grew up the son of a current corean zen priest, he would probably be as critical of buddhism as he was of christianity, having been the son of a protestant pastor who held degenerate views

If my brother was a woman then he'd be my sister. That's not the case, and speculation to the contrary would be pointless.

One of the deepest thing i've read recently is a conference by Henry Corbin explaining why it makes sense that if the absolute is absolutely free and non determined, it is also free of non-determination and free to manifest as particular and personal ; hence the notion of a personal god whom you can have a personal relation with. Neither reified nor ontologized.

No sleight on Corbin, but he's a theologist and believes in God. I'm an atheist. Never the twain shall meet, as the saying goes.

Burbea has exposed similar ideas and practiced with divinity in his later life. 

I have nothing but love for Rob Burbea, and his practices were carried out from a firm experiential understanding of the Buddhadharma.

Last question : if i say that the phrase "god is absent from is creation" + the mystical theology of pseudo dyonisius = the bahiya sutta + the view of anatta,  what would you guys think ?

With all due respect, you don't seem to understand the Bahiya Sutta or the depth of the teachings on anatta. To posit a theological basis for these concepts is a gross misunderstanding of the nature of things.
Tim Farrington, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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point taken, Tommy. You're in a league of your own. 
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tim Farrington:
point taken, Tommy. You're in a league of your own. 

Not what I've said, not what I've implied and not what was intended. That said, I accept responsibility for creating this impression but also accept that I can't control yours, or anyone else's impressions of who you believe me to be.

Such is the written word and communication online without face-to-face interaction.
Tim Farrington, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M:
Tim Farrington:
point taken, Tommy. You're in a league of your own. 

Not what I've said, not what I've implied and not what was intended. That said, I accept responsibility for creating this impression but also accept that I can't control yours, or anyone else's impressions of who you believe me to be.

Such is the written word and communication online without face-to-face interaction.

All good, my friend. No harm, no foul.
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Ps : Tommy, educating yourself about your own culture and showing more respect for other spiritual systems (edit : and other people) might be a good idea. There's something stuck there which makes me very uncomfortable.........
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Ps : Tommy, educating yourself about your own culture and showing more respect for other spiritual systems (edit : and other people) might be a good idea. There's something stuck there which makes me very uncomfortable........

It may surprise you, but I actually like you and really respect your willingness to defend your stance. Just because we disagree on various things doesn't mean we can't reach a mutually agreeable understanding, and then move forward having both learned something from our interactions.

I can assure you that there is no intentional disrespect or ill-will here, but I also accept that any assumed disrespect on yours or anyone else's part is partially my own fault and down to my style of communication. This is something I'm working on, and I'm grateful that our conversation has allowed me to become more aware of my shortcomings in this respect.

Something you won't be aware of, since I've never mentioned it here and didn't think it relevant, is that I have ASD which, as you might imagine, does have an impact on my communcation, as well as my (in)ability to understand emotion in others. This is especially true when it comes to online, text-based communication where the nuances of emotion are often lost entirely.

I offer my sincere apologies and hope we can continue to interact without any assumptions of ill-will. I agree that this thread, as is usually the case in these sorts of debate, has come to an end and that nothing or any real value has been achieved. With this in mind, I wish you and everyone else the very best and sincerely hope that you find freedom from suffering in this lifetime.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M:

Something you won't be aware of, since I've never mentioned it here and didn't think it relevant, is that I have ASD which, as you might imagine, does have an impact on my communcation, as well as my (in)ability to understand emotion in others. This is especially true when it comes to online, text-based communication where the nuances of emotion are often lost entirely.


I knew it! That’s why you are so easy to understand. Me too!

Actually, in my experience it is more fair to say that we are a minority with different wiring, some of which may involve deficits in some respects but also the opposite, and some that is pretty much a difficulty on the part of neurotypical people to realize that their default interpretations and preferences for interaction are actually not the only way and not necessarily better. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Actually, in my experience it is more fair to say that we are a minority with different wiring, some of which may involve deficits in some respects but also the opposite, and some that is pretty much a difficulty on the part of neurotypical people to realize that their default interpretations and preferences for interaction are actually not the only way and not necessarily better. 
ASD minority on DhO...

- Hey, we are going to to this cool pary, wanna go with us?
- No... I am sitting here since the morning and need to meditate some more because I might finally get blip blip blip BLIP!

...yeah... emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Ni Nurta:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Actually, in my experience it is more fair to say that we are a minority with different wiring, some of which may involve deficits in some respects but also the opposite, and some that is pretty much a difficulty on the part of neurotypical people to realize that their default interpretations and preferences for interaction are actually not the only way and not necessarily better. 
ASD minority on DhO...

- Hey, we are going to to this cool pary, wanna go with us?
- No... I am sitting here since the morning and need to meditate some more because I might finally get blip blip blip BLIP!

...yeah... emoticon

Haha, yeah, I can relate to that. 

You too? Do you have a diagnosis? 
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Haha, yeah, I can relate to that. 

You too? Do you have a diagnosis? 
                                                     
I put my emotional issues somewhere deep inside and cover them with even more nonsense... just like normal people do
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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My condolances. emoticon
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
My condolances. emoticon
Everyone does it, even arhats / buddhas.
It has fancy names like something falling away, being dropped, being transcendented, etc.... could as well describe it as what it really is.

Oh, and as for autism, I always had some tendencies for it.
It was more in the past and I see general downward trend. Especially last few months I would hardly describe myself as having any ASD whatsoever. I even changed myself from being pathologically introvertic to somewhat extrovertic.

So as far as diagnosis goes I do not see any reasons to get any.
Maybe if I said that my neurons told me they are "neurotypical" I could get something... emoticon
An Eternal Now, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Tommy M:

No, you believe that he's talking about total exertion. AEN and Thusness are friends of mine, and I've had the honour of being featured on their blog, so I would be surprised if they shared your views on Christianity leading to the same realizations as those of the Buddha. Perhaps they do, but I can't say either way and would suggest asking them directly about their views on this.



Hi Tommy, nice to see your posts here. He e-mailed me and I saw this post, so I am going to paste my reply here as well:


 
Meister Eckhart stresses on I AMness:

Sermon 60 wrote:I have sometimes spoken of a light that is in the soul, which is uncreated and uncreatable. I continually touch on this light in my sermons: it is the light which lays straight hold of God, unveiled and bare, as He is in Himself, that is, it catches Him in the act of begetting. So I can truly say that this light is far more at one with God than it is with any of the powers with which it has unity of being. For you should know, this light is no nobler in my soul's essence than the humblest, or the grossest of my powers, such as hearing or sight or any other power which is subject to hunger or thirst, cold or heat, and that is because being is indivisible. And so, if we consider the powers of the soul in their being, they are all one and equally noble: but if we take them in their functions, one is much higher and nobler than the other.

Therefore I say, if a man turns away from self and from all created things, then—to the extent that you do this—you will attain to oneness and blessedness in your soul's spark, which time and place never touched. This spark is opposed to all creatures: it wants nothing but God, naked, just as He is. It is not satisfied with the Father or the Son or the Holy Ghost, or all three Persons so far as they preserve their several properties. I declare in truth, this light would not be satisfied with the unity of the whole fertility of the divine nature. In fact I will say still more, which sounds even stranger: I declare in all truth, by the eternal and everlasting truth, that this light is not content with the simple changeless divine being which neither gives nor takes:

rather it seeks to know whence this being comes, it wants to get into its simple ground, into the silent desert into which no distinction ever peeped, of Father, Son or Holy Ghost. In the inmost part, where none is at home, there that light finds satisfaction, and there it is more one than it is in itself: for this ground is an impartible stillness, motionless in itself, and by this immobility all things are moved, and all those receive life that live of themselves, being endowed with reason. That we may thus live rationally, may the eternal truth of which I have spoken help us. Amen.



By the way as you already know, I see the I AM realization as important and tell others to start from there. It is good that it is pointed out in the Christian tradition.

Compare this with Thusness Stage 1, the Ground of Being:



"Like a river flowing into the ocean, the self dissolves into nothingness. When a practitioner becomes thoroughly clear about the illusionary nature of the individuality, subject-object division does not take place. A person experiencing “AMness” will find “AMness in everything”. What is it like?

Being freed from individuality -- coming and going, life and death, all phenomenon merely pop in and out from the background of the AMness. The AMness is not experienced as an ‘entity’ residing anywhere, neither within nor without; rather it is experienced as the ground reality for all phenomenon to take place. Even in the moment of subsiding (death), the yogi is thoroughly authenticated with that reality; experiencing the ‘Real’ as clear as it can be. We cannot lose that AMness; rather all things can only dissolve and re-emerges from it. The AMness has not moved, there is no coming and going. This "AMness" is God.

Practitioners should never mistake this as the true Buddha Mind! "I AMness" is the pristine awareness. That is why it is so overwhelming. Just that there is no 'insight' into its emptiness nature."  (Excerpt from Buddha Nature is NOT "I Am")



On that specific Meister Eckhart quote above, Arcaya Malcolm commented in 2018 in dharmawheel.com, This business about the soul”s spark is exactly the atman Buddha refuted. Surprised you don’t get that. There is no dependent origination here, no emptiness, etc, just an assertion of an unconditioned substance called a soul.


(Comments: even though it is not anatman, it is still an important realization pertaining to the aspect of Luminosity)


Jesus Christ also stresses on I AMness (Before Abraham was, I AM… …I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.), and also impersonality: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/jesus-christ-cosmic-consciousness-alan.html


The closest to anatta in Christianity is modern Christian mystic Bernadette Roberts, however hers is still more on Advaita nondual, the journey from I AM to One Mind and No Mind, but not anatta. Still Thusness Stage 4. http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/07/bernadette-roberts-interview.html

But even that step, according to Bernadette Roberts, is beyond the spiritual literature of the Christian tradition.


"I must re-emphasize that the following experiences do not belong to the first contemplative movement or the soul's establishment in a state of union with God. I have written elsewhere of this first journey and feel that enough has been said of it already, since this movement is inevitably the exclusive concern of contemplative writers. Thus it is only where these writers leave off that I propose to begin. Here now, begins the journey beyond union, beyond self and God, a journey into the silent and still regions of the Unknown." -- Bernadette Roberts, from the Introduction

It is interesting though, that famous Christian contemplatives vouch for her work,

"One of the most significant spiritual books of our day. One of the best books on this subject since St. John of the Cross. An amazing book, it clarifies the higher regions of the spiritual path." -- Father Thomas Keating

https://www.sunypress.edu/p-1728-the-experience-of-no-self.aspx

Also, some excerpts from Bernadette:

Bernadette: That occurred unexpectedly some 25 years after the transforming process. The divine center - the coin, or "true self" - suddenly disappeared, and without center or circumference there is no self, and no divine."


....

Actually, I met up with Buddhism only at the end of my journey, after the no-self experience. Since I knew that this experience was not articulated in our contemplative literature, I went to the library to see if it could be found in the Eastern Religions. It did not take me long to realize that I would not find it in the Hindu tradition, where, as I see it, the final state is equivalent to the Christian experience of oneness or transforming union. If a Hindu had what I call the no-self experience, it would be the sudden, unexpected disappearance of the Atman-Brahman, the divine Self in the "cave of the heart", and the disappearance of the cave as well. It would be the ending of God-consciousness, or transcendental consciousness - that seemingly bottomless experience of "being", "consciousness", and "bliss" that articulates the state of oneness. To regard this ending as the falling away of the ego is a grave error; ego must fall away before the state of oneness can be realized. The no-self experience is the falling away of this previously realized transcendent state.


Initially, when I looked into Buddhism, I did not find the experience of no-self there either; yet I intuited that it had to be there. The falling away of the ego is common to both Hinduism and Buddhism. Therefore, it would not account for the fact that Buddhism became a separate religion, nor would it account for the Buddhist's insistence on no eternal Self - be it divine, individual or the two in one. I felt that the key difference between these two religions was the no-self experience, the falling away of the true Self, Atman-Brahman.


Unfortunately, what most Buddhist authors define as the no-self experience is actually the no-ego experience. The cessation of clinging, craving, desire, the passions, etc., and the ensuing state of imperturbable peace and joy articulates the egoless state of oneness; it does not, however, articulate the no-self experience or the dimension beyond. Unless we clearly distinguish between these two very different experiences, we only confuse them, with the inevitable result that the true no-self experience becomes lost. If we think the falling away of the ego, with its ensuing transformation and oneness, is the no-self experience, then what shall we call the much further experience when this egoless oneness falls away? In actual experience there is only one thing to call it, the "no-self experience"; it lends itself to no other possible articulation.


Initially, I gave up looking for this experience in the Buddhist literature. Four years later, however, I came across two lines attributed to Buddha describing his enlightenment experience. Referring to self as a house, he said, "All thy rafters are broken now, the ridgepole is destroyed." And there it was - the disappearance of the center, the ridgepole; without it, there can be no house, no self. When I read these lines, it was as if an arrow launched at the beginning of time had suddenly hit a bulls-eye. It was a remarkable find. These lines are not a piece of philosophy, but an experiential account, and without the experiential account we really have nothing to go on. In the same verse he says, "Again a house thou shall not build," clearly distinguishing this experience from the falling away of the ego-center, after which a new, transformed self is built around a "true center," a sturdy, balanced ridgepole.
...
"The truth of the body, then, is the revelation that Christ is all that is manifest of God or all that is manifest of the unmanifest Father. Self or consciousness does not reveal this and cannot know it. In the "smile" there was no knower or one who smiles, nor was there anyone or anything to smile at or to know; there was simply the smile, the "knowing" that is beyond knower and known. The wrong interpretation of the absence of knower and known is that in that in the Godhead knower and known are identical. But the identity of knower and known is only true of consciousness, which is self knowing itself. But the Godhead transcends this identity -- it is void of knower or known. The "knowing" that remains beyond self or consciousness cannot be accounted for in any terms of knower and known. The truest thing that could be said is that the "body knows."" (see Resurrection, page 185, What Is Self?)
....
Bernadette: Your observation strikes me as particularly astute; most people miss the point. You have actually put your finger on the key factor that distinguishes between the state of oneness and the state of no-oneness, between self and no-self. So long as self remains, there will always be a "center". Few people realize that not only is the center responsible for their interior experiences of energy, emotion, and feeling, but also, underlying these, the center is our continuous, mysterious experience of "life"and "being". Because this experience is more pervasive than our other experiences, we may not think of "life" and "being" as an interior experience. Even in the state of oneness, we tend to forget that our experience of "being" originates in the divine center, where it is one with divine life and being. We have become so used to living from this center that we feel no need to remember it, to mentally focus on it, look within, or even think about it. Despite this fact, however, the center remains; it is the epicenter of our experience of life and being, which gives rise to our experiential energies and various feelings.
If this center suddenly dissolves and disappears, the experiences of life, being, energy, feeling and so on come to an end, because there is no "within" any more. And without a "within", there is no subjective, psychological, or spiritual life remaining - no experience of life at all. Our subjecive life is over and done with. But now, without center and circumference, where is the divine? To get hold of this situation, imagine consciousness as a balloon filled with, and suspended in divine air. The balloon experiences the divine as immanent, "in" itself, as well as transcendent, beyond or outside itself. This is the experience of the divine in ourselves and ourselves in the divine; in the state of oneness, Christ is often seen as the balloon (ourselves), completing this trinitarian experience. But what makes this whole experience possible - the divine as both immanent and transcendent - is obviously the balloon, i.e. consciousness or self. Consciousness sets up the divisions of within and without, spirit and matter, body and soul, immanent and transcendent; in fact, consciousness is responsible for every division we know of. But what if we pop the balloon - or better, cause it to vanish like a bubble that leaves no residue. All that remains is divine air. There is no divine in anything, there is no divine transcendence or beyond anything, nor is the divine anything. We cannot point to anything or anyone and say, "This or that is divine". So the divine is all - all but consciousness or self, which created the division in the first place. As long as consciousness remains however, it does not hide the divine, nor is it ever separated from it. In Christian terms, the divine known to consciousness and experienced by it as immanent and transcendent is called God; the divine as it exists prior to consciousness and after consciousness is gone is called Godhead. Obviously, what accounts for the difference between God and Godhead is the balloon or bubble - self or consciousness. As long as any subjective self remains, a center remains; and so, too, does the sense of interiority.” - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/07/bernadette-roberts-interview.html
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Hi Soh,

Thanks for the reply. However, since you're no specialist of christianity, and that contemporary christians are very ignorant of the history of their religion (particularly the western church), i'm gonna go ahead and take this with a huge grain of salt. 

Furthermore, I've seen (read) you assess people's realization based on excerpts of text and then revise your judgment based on further excerpts which you were not aware of. 

So, i'm not trusting your judgment on this one ;)

No ill will on my part towards either of you guys, of course.

Cheers.
An Eternal Now, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Olivier:
Hi Soh,

Thanks for the reply. However, since you're no specialist of christianity, and that contemporary christians are very ignorant of the history of their religion (particularly the western church), i'm gonna go ahead and take this with a huge grain of salt. 

Furthermore, I've seen (read) you assess people's realization based on excerpts of text and then revise your judgment based on further excerpts which you were not aware of. 

So, i'm not trusting your judgment on this one ;)

No ill will on my part towards either of you guys, of course.

Cheers.


I did flip through hundreds of pages of Meister Eckhart and my impression remains the same.

of course, it is not a very thorough reading.

if you have found any quote that sounds like anatta or total exertion, you may share and we may discuss.
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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An Eternal Now:
Olivier:
Hi Soh,

Thanks for the reply. However, since you're no specialist of christianity, and that contemporary christians are very ignorant of the history of their religion (particularly the western church), i'm gonna go ahead and take this with a huge grain of salt. 

Furthermore, I've seen (read) you assess people's realization based on excerpts of text and then revise your judgment based on further excerpts which you were not aware of. 

So, i'm not trusting your judgment on this one ;)

No ill will on my part towards either of you guys, of course.

Cheers.


I did flip through hundreds of pages of Meister Eckhart and my impression remains the same.

of course, it is not a very thorough reading.

if you have found any quote that sounds like anatta or total exertion, you may share and we may discuss.

*Sits back and joins Chris with the popcorn*
An Eternal Now, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Tommy M:


*Sits back and joins Chris with the popcorn*
Thusness/John Tan gave me a nickname early last year

    John Tan

    Soh

    is an anatta bot. If u let him spot a sentence that is substantialist
    non-dual, he will scan through thousand of pages to verify whether u r
    anatta
emoticon
    .14
  •  · Reply
  •  · 1y
  •  · Edited

    John Tan: Next life Buddha will grant u a title "anatta bot"emoticon.
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 108 Join Date: 12/1/20 Recent Posts
An Eternal Now:
Tommy M:


*Sits back and joins Chris with the popcorn*
Thusness/John Tan gave me a nickname early last year

    John Tan

    Soh

    is an anatta bot. If u let him spot a sentence that is substantialist
    non-dual, he will scan through thousand of pages to verify whether u r
    anatta
emoticon
    .14
  •  · Reply
  •  · 1y
  •  · Edited

    John Tan: Next life Buddha will grant u a title "anatta bot"emoticon.

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA! Acarya Malcolm would proud.

    Hope all's well with you and the family, I'll message you on FB. Sorry for not having been in touch sooner. 
An Eternal Now, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
An Eternal Now:
Tommy M:


*Sits back and joins Chris with the popcorn*
Thusness/John Tan gave me a nickname early last year

    John Tan

    Soh

    is an anatta bot. If u let him spot a sentence that is substantialist
    non-dual, he will scan through thousand of pages to verify whether u r
    anatta
emoticon
    .14
  •  · Reply
  •  · 1y
  •  · Edited

    John Tan: Next life Buddha will grant u a title "anatta bot"emoticon.

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA! Acarya Malcolm would proud.

    Hope all's well with you and the family, I'll message you on FB. Sorry for not having been in touch sooner. 
Quite alright here, thanks for asking. Hope all's well with you and your family too.


I forgot to mention: in the four gospels and the gospel of Thomas, Jesus emphasized mostly on I AM and impersonality.

But there is a passage that is about no-mind (although not necessarily about anatta as a realization) and resembles Bahiya Sutta in some ways.



22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies
are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom." They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?" Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner
like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you
make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female
be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom].

http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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During my last retreat, i was doing contemplations on the bahiya sutta after a day of practice, and after doing the contemplation of the "sick people" sutra.

Two lines popped into my head as an extension of the classic bahiya lines : in the experiencing, no experiencer ; in the creating, no creator. And the thought occurred to me : that's the meaning of the notion that "God is absent from his creation."

If you then read the definition of god as neti neti and "beyond being and non-being" provided by the Areopagite in his mystical theology, my sense is that this is very close to anatta. 

Thinking then that within this context no one would attain and abide in the realization of anatta simply sounds implausible to me, but who knows.
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy M:
An Eternal Now:
Olivier:
Hi Soh,

Thanks for the reply. However, since you're no specialist of christianity, and that contemporary christians are very ignorant of the history of their religion (particularly the western church), i'm gonna go ahead and take this with a huge grain of salt. 

Furthermore, I've seen (read) you assess people's realization based on excerpts of text and then revise your judgment based on further excerpts which you were not aware of. 

So, i'm not trusting your judgment on this one ;)

No ill will on my part towards either of you guys, of course.

Cheers.


I did flip through hundreds of pages of Meister Eckhart and my impression remains the same.

of course, it is not a very thorough reading.

if you have found any quote that sounds like anatta or total exertion, you may share and we may discuss.

*Sits back and joins Chris with the popcorn*

Hehe, ok, the discussion is back on, i will provide some texts when i can (i'm not at home these days). In the meantime , may i ask what you think about dionysius the Areopagite, AEN ? His stuff is very short, a few pages at most, so that makes it easier to talk about ;)

Just to be clear, i'm not making any of this into something personal and there is nothing to apologize for. Thanks for the explanations, though, tommy.

Also, to clarify further, I'm definitely open to discussion, and not just trying to defend my own views. I just have the very strong impression/intuition that it makes no sense to think that you can have a strong contemplative tradition going for centuries and not have people wake up. I just don't buy it. And I have a problem with someone claiming ownership on the nature of reality.

So this might be fruitful in the end, at least for me, as a source of further certainty and/or metanoia.

Cheers emoticon
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 571 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Quite a lot of things fall away in your system emoticon
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 108 Join Date: 12/1/20 Recent Posts
Hi Olivier, I'll respond to other points separately when I get a chance, but I wanted to highlight a very good point that's been made here.

I believe we've been mythically empoverished by a few centurîes of positivism/scientism and are looking at other cultures to allow ourselves to fulfill this need we all have. That's why i said it's easier living in a foreign country these days.

Couldn't agree more with the emboldened line here. Are you familiar with the work of Elias Capriles? If not, then please check out his rebuttal of Ken Wilber in particular as I think this might help to understand a bit more about where our views differ, but also where they might align in many respects. He's far better at arguing the intellectual side of things than I am, since I'm not an intellectual by any means.

He goes into a lot more of the Greek philosophy side of things and shows why it's not the same as Buddhadharma.

Edit: Spelling/Grammar/Clumsiness
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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As for impossible states: all states are impossible, aren't they?

And yet here we are, having this conversation. Is it a miracle or a curse?
Both miracles and curses are impossible states, so the question can't be answered. 
Server cannot be found. Please try again later.
What is the server?
Syntax error. Cannot compute. The matrix is broken.

And yet, here we are...
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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You guys are on fire emoticon :p

I'm not familiar with Capriles but will check it out.

I must point out that dinoysius the areopagite is not "a greek" in the sense of belonging to greek philosophers like plato and all, but is what they called back then a "true philosopher", ie one who sees the lux mundi as via, vita and veritas, as Tim pointed out earlier, that is to say, one who has identified the natural luminous mind as the truth and seen that the true original nature could not be characterized, and is primordially open and inconceivably free.

Wink wink.

Greek philosophy is much more naturalistc / materialistic, from what i inow about it... 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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All of the ancient greek philosophers weren't that invested in ontology. Maybe Socrates can be said to have done inquiry? As far as Plato goes, I don't think he really understood his teacher's pointers, though. But then again, I'm not intimately familiar with any of his quite extensive work.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Olivier:

In fact, i would go so far as to claim that awakening is the easy part. I mean, it's always available to all, there's nothing else. The hard part is to construct a civilisation.


It seems to me that it was all too easy constructing it and much harder to live in it. I guess that depends on how we define civilization, though. If criteria for constructing a civilization involve people being able to live in it in harmony, then we are really talking about impossible states. 

Although we would come a hell of a lot closer to it if we could apply less craving, less aversion, less self-grasping and more of the Brahmaviharas. Just sayin'. 
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Easy ??
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Let's just say that parts of me are not a fan of civilization and leave it a that. 
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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Tommy, your contribution is not causing confusion at all, in fact i would think what you're saying is not new to most people who've been around the dho for a while, nor is it excessively verbose, to me at least. However, the ignorance (in the relative sense) and dogmatism of dome of the claims youve made are causing annoyance for this one emoticon

On the contrary, it's caused a lot of confusion but that's on me for not more carefully choosing my words.

When I say "excessively verbose", I mean this purely in the sense of using too many words; an issue I'm trying to address in subsequent replies.

The buddhadharma is also empty.

Not disputed.

Fun fact : did you know, that after a few centuries, the story of the buddha actually made it to medieval europe through word of mouth, and he became an official saint by the name of Saint Josaphat ?

More accurately, Christianity attempted to place the Buddha into their own theistic worldview by changing his name and claiming he was a messenger of Christ. Doesn't mean the same thing as Christianity leading to the same realizations as those of the Buddha.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

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(Edited to clarify: this post refers specifically to the exchange about causing confusion, not the whole debate.)

If I understand this interaction correctly, which may not be the case, I think Olivier and some others are under the impression that you, Tommy,  are thinking that you are talking about stuff that they are incapable of comprehending whereas you are capable of comprehending it. That's not my interpretation of what you are saying. My interpretation is something like this:

- For some aspects/topics, you are acknowledging your own limitations as to doing anything more than speculating, and you are of the personal opinion that speculation is not helpful but rather causes confusion. 

- For some aspects/topics, you find that the Buddhadharma has made such a radical difference in your own experience that it would feel dishonest for you not to express that, and somehow expressing it seems to come out differently from what you intended. 

- For some aspects/topics, you would just gladly share whatever would be helpful for others to find the liberation they seek, because it has helped you so much (whichever "level" of it might be relevant here), but you acknowledge your limitations in discerning how "far" any individual is from the goal and also from which direction they are coming, and you see that you can really only give pointers if you can discern that, and it seems to be a better idea to leave that to qualified teachers. 

- For some more subtle aspects, you find that an internet forum is not ideal, because misunderstandings about tone and what is implied in words make the whole thing confusing.

Would you say that is a fair summary? 

(And if somebody gets annoyed because I have the nerve to take it upon me to act as a mediator, it might be relevant to share that I have been asked to moderate this forum and said yes. Just waiting for the technicalities to come through.) 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
My personal approach to confusion is that hopefully people are enough grown up to take responsibility for themselves as to how much they get involved in discussing something. Since we are all human, we'll probably all make mistakes here, and best case scenario we will learn from that. Engaging is optional, and so is disengaging. 

In practice this means something along the line that if people, hypothetically, choose to spend their time combatting who is more enlightened or more likely to get enlightened, I'm not going to stop them unless it seems to go horribly wrong. It does seem like a waste of time, though, but what do I know.

It is my hope that everyone feels welcome here at DhO regardless of religion and tradition. As far as I know, none of us has gone rainbow or any other ultimate... whatever we call it... so we probably all have more to learn or let go of. 
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 731 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
I agree that this is not taking the direction of a fruitful exchange.

Cheers guys emoticon
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 108 Join Date: 12/1/20 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
(Edited to clarify: this post refers specifically to the exchange about causing confusion, not the whole debate.)

If I understand this interaction correctly, which may not be the case, I think Olivier and some others are under the impression that you, Tommy,  are thinking that you are talking about stuff that they are incapable of comprehending whereas you are capable of comprehending it. That's not my interpretation of what you are saying. My interpretation is something like this:

- For some aspects/topics, you are acknowledging your own limitations as to doing anything more than speculating, and you are of the personal opinion that speculation is not helpful but rather causes confusion. 

- For some aspects/topics, you find that the Buddhadharma has made such a radical difference in your own experience that it would feel dishonest for you not to express that, and somehow expressing it seems to come out differently from what you intended. 

- For some aspects/topics, you would just gladly share whatever would be helpful for others to find the liberation they seek, because it has helped you so much (whichever "level" of it might be relevant here), but you acknowledge your limitations in discerning how "far" any individual is from the goal and also from which direction they are coming, and you see that you can really only give pointers if you can discern that, and it seems to be a better idea to leave that to qualified teachers. 

- For some more subtle aspects, you find that an internet forum is not ideal, because misunderstandings about tone and what is implied in words make the whole thing confusing.

Would you say that is a fair summary? 

(And if somebody gets annoyed because I have the nerve to take it upon me to act as a mediator, it might be relevant to share that I have been asked to moderate this forum and said yes. Just waiting for the technicalities to come through.) 

You've hit the nail on the head, repeatedly. Thank you so much for putting into words what I can only clumsily attempt to communicate, and usually fail miserably at! Hahahaha!
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Noah D, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 1104 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
Tommy M:

Revelation of termas via the Pure Lands/Buddha-fields isn't something we can even try to discuss here. Not being cryptic, it's just an incredibly complex topic with little practical value to those of us without a deep connection to the guru.

Why do I suddenly feel like we're in DharmaWheel forum & not DharmaOverground?  We can discuss whatever we want.  
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 108 Join Date: 12/1/20 Recent Posts
Noah D:
Tommy M:

Revelation of termas via the Pure Lands/Buddha-fields isn't something we can even try to discuss here. Not being cryptic, it's just an incredibly complex topic with little practical value to those of us without a deep connection to the guru.

Why do I suddenly feel like we're in DharmaWheel forum & not DharmaOverground?  We can discuss whatever we want.  

Everyone is free to discuss whatever they like. My point here was that discussion of termas and receiving them directly from Pure Lands has little, if any practical value in the context of the practices engaged in here and in relation to this thread. You can talk about it and speculate till the cows come home, nobody is stopping you. It's just my opinion, and I should have added that as a qualifier rather than making blanket statements.
agnostic, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 1268 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Tommy M:

The Tibetan systems go into great detail about the death process, the retraction of the winds into the heart-centre and the dissolution of the five elements. It may surprise you to know that we can actually practice this process while we're alive in these bodies, so it's not some abstract, transcendental thing with no relation to this world.

This is a deep, deep subject and it may not be helpful to get into it too far right now. I don't say this to discourage or to be evasive, it's purely through a sincere wish to avoid creating confusion or conjuring up semantic ghosts.

I'd be interested to hear more about this. I've been playing around with some of the exercises in Wake Up To Your Life and found them pretty powerful. Interested to know about other references, sources, creative ideas, details about your own experience etc. Thanks!
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Tommy M, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 108 Join Date: 12/1/20 Recent Posts
I'd be interested to hear more about this. I've been playing around with some of the exercises in Wake Up To Your Life and found them pretty powerful. Interested to know about other references, sources, creative ideas, details about your own experience etc. Thanks!
I'm not familiar with the Wake Up To Your Life stuff but I'll certainly check it out, so thanks for the suggestion!

To my knowledge, receiving teachings on things like the bardo practices necessitates empowerments and direct instructions from a recognized lineage holder. I know some people get really uppity about this and won't even discuss it (and with good reason, to be fair), but that seems to be becoming less common as more advanced, formlerly 'secret' practices are being made more readily available from legitimate sources like Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and the late, great Chogyal Namkai Norbu.

Check out a book called "Heart Drops of Dharmakaya" by Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen, which is an incredible text that provides a lot of very practical information. That was the book that really connected me with, what I can only describe as, my own karmic history and previous experiences prior to this life. I don't really like to talk too much about it because, for a start, it can sound like madness and delusion, but also because I'm not qualified to speak on it and am at a point where I need to find and connect with my guru before I can progress my own practice in a meaningful way.

In all honesty, there's been a bit of an internal struggle involved when I've mentioned things like having absolute confidence in the reality of the bardos, and I've felt like going back and deleting what I've written. In the interests of the transparency, honesty, openness and pragmatism we value on this site though, I've left them as they are and will just need to deal with whatever comes up. This is why I keep rattling on about not wanting to say too much about this stuff; not out of fear of reprisals or even finding out that I'm actually completely psychotic, but purely out of a sincere desire to not create confusion in the minds of others.

"Heart Drops of Dharmakaya" is tremendous, but also pick up "Awakening The Sacred Body" and "Yantra Yoga" as they provide much clearer instruction on things like working with the energetic systems. Those books are all written by the real deal when it comes to teachers, and will give much more accessible practices than going straight to the root tantras without the requisite authorization.

Another book to check out, which I'm actually waiting for as we speak, is "Tibetan Yoga: Principles & Practices" by Ian A. Baker; a guy who has trained directly with many great teachers and was directly authorized, and encouraged by the His Holiness, The Dalai Lama to spread these practices. He did a great interview on the Guru Viking podcast that's well worth checking out if you're really interested in this stuff.
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Noah D, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Buddhist realization not the same as other traditions' realization

Posts: 1104 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
Tim:
When you say "objectively wrong about the nature of human experience, particularly after death," you have my full attention, lol. Could you be more explicit, particularly about the after death part? Are we talking bardos and rebirth here?

Yep, bardos & rebirth are the traditional buddhist dogma.

i have long suspected that a Judeo-Christian (meaning, lol, this Judeo-Christian) literally cannot in the strict sense of the word be "awakened" in the Buddhist sense of the word. I'm okay with the fruits of different trees being different. I think a lot of "monotheistic" practioners would disagree, though.

Rumi would be an interesting test case as a possibly awakened person espousing an eternalistic monotheistic doctrine.

Agreed.  I personally like this idea cause it neatly fits all world religions "within" buddhadharma.  It comes from the Avatamsaka sutra.  We can also, of course, view the modern scientific-physicalist & secualar-humanist flavors of dharma as more upaya in this view.  But I can also see how anything that neat & tidy is worthy of a raised eyebrow.