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03:24 PM on 04/13/2010
"Best is to get rid of thought all together...and see what happens." I predict what will happen is the consciousness of cows and other ruminants. Not much going on there other than lookiing for the next mouthful of grass and watching out for predators. If you think this is what the Buddha taught, you have missed the golden boat, Waltfl.
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Waltfl
Μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί
04:00 PM on 04/13/2010
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Still, if you get a chance, try to find a translation for the buddhist term "nirvana", or look in Hinduism, if that suits you better:

"Thus keeping his mind always in communion with Me, and with all thoughts subdued,
he shall attain that Peace which is mine and which will lead him to liberation at last." (Bhagavad Gita, 6, 15)
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juanjo
Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est.
04:20 PM on 04/13/2010
Ultimate wisdom refers to a direct realization which is non-dualistic, and contradicts the way in which we ordinarily perceive the world. The experience of ultimate truth or emptiness is beyond duality. It is important to remember that emptiness here does not refer to nothingness or some kind of nihilistic view. Emptiness refers to the fact that ultimately, our day-to-day experience of reality is wrong, and is 'empty' of many qualities that we normally assign to it. Describing this non-dual experience in words is not really possible, as language is based on duality and contrasts. Trying to explain this experience - which contradicts our normal perception - is a bit like explaining colors to someone who is born blind; difficult to say the least.
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juanjo
Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est.
04:19 PM on 04/13/2010
In Buddhist thought we focus on the ultimate wisdom. In the world we live in there is conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom relates to understanding the world as we know it. Traditionally it refers to understanding the manner in which karma functions; to understand which actions bring us happiness and which bring us suffering. Conventional wisdom covers all understanding of the world as it functions, including science. So conventional wisdom tells us the water is composed of two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen; that all animals are divided up into categories; that certain physical “laws” control the interactions of solids, fluids and gasses in this world
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juanjo
Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est.
04:24 PM on 04/13/2010
We humans look at the world in a dualistic fashion, that is there is me and there is something else. Our Western Christian view of the world is full of dualism. You are a human and subject to the whims of a deity who has the absolute power of life and death over you. You are separate from the animals and plants and inanimate objects of the world and given dominion over them. Sin in the theology of Christianity is a transgression against God, i.e., an external and all powerful being. Since by definition in Christianity all humans are imperfect and incapable of refraining from such transgressions then it is only the mercy of this external deity which can save the human from experiencing eternal damnation. In Buddhism, “sin” is defined as an action that one takes which interferes with one’s own path to enlightenment; an action which allows you to continue to suffer. There is no external deity who controls our fate; ergo one cannot transgress against that all powerful deity. We ultimately are responsible for our own actions and have the ability to move forward into enlightenment, see the world for what it is and live free of suffering.
03:21 PM on 04/13/2010
There's a very interesting Buddhist/Punk community thriving in the US. A seminal figure in this scene is Noah Levine; his story, as outlined in his autobiography Dharma Punx, is excellently portrayed in the documentary "Meditate & Destroy", which is now out on DVD.
The official website for the documentary is here:

http://meditateanddestroy.com/test/
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atexasdem
Pointing out the foolishness of republican voters.
03:26 AM on 04/15/2010
Having known Noah during his teen years it's fascinating seeing Noah today. He was a regular around our house in Santa Cruz and my son is talked about in his book. Noah spent many a night on our couch during his rebellious period. Today my son is active in the Dharma Punk movement which is a good thing. We too follow the Buddah's path though with a different teacher. Funny how things work out isn't it. Young people, especially troubled, searching young people can learn much from Noah. Parent's of troubled youth - the book is worth a buy. Believe it or not they all turned out pretty good in the end, those that survived that is.
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Waltfl
Μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί
01:35 PM on 04/13/2010
What is the difference between loving, peaceful thoughts, and other thoughts, if "good" and "bad" are simply modes of the mind? Attachment to a loving thought is as unfavorable as attachment to a hateful one. Attachment to non-permanent things can be see as the root-cause of disturbance and disappointment.

What is the mind anyway, other than an accumulation of thoughts? If there is no thought, where is the mind then? If there is no mind, where is good and bad, and where is attachment?

Best is to get rid of thought all together, and see what happens, by seeing what is permanent.
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edude
01:59 PM on 04/13/2010
I don't believe the point is to get rid of thought all together, nor do I think that's possible. The mind thinks, thoughts happen. That's the nature of the mind. Unless you lop out your brain, you probably won't have much luck eliminating thought.

The question might be: Who's observing those thoughts? Who's witnessing that mind in all its roilng glory?
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Waltfl
Μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί
03:43 PM on 04/13/2010
“The fact is, it takes no effort to stop thinking. The thoughts do not come. Indeed there is no vacuum - but I mean to say that there is no thought about the mission.” (Ghandi)
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atexasdem
Pointing out the foolishness of republican voters.
03:29 AM on 04/15/2010
One of the purposes of meditation is to open the mind. Don't worry about witnessing thoughts or observing thoughts. In opening the mind we can open ourselves to entirely new ideas and concepts. Think of meditation as learning to listen.
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ZenGardner
I only disbelieve the unbelievable.
02:57 PM on 04/13/2010
Please, do that. I need a new lawn gnome for my garden.
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Waltfl
Μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί
03:42 PM on 04/13/2010
I hope you are not suggesting Buddha was a lawn gnome?
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MrNCN
Lean not upon your own understanding...
01:04 PM on 04/13/2010
awake from the dream
cultivating mindfulness
our buddha nature

thank you Lama Surya Das

Nam myoho renge kyo
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juanjo
Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est.
04:35 PM on 04/13/2010
Actually it is Namu Myoho Renge Kyo but let's not quibble over an elided "u". I agree with the rest of your comment.
06:18 PM on 04/13/2010
I think you're both nuts.
12:17 PM on 04/13/2010
"Being awake is paradoxically to live both as a particle -- as the ever-changing world of our day-to-day life -- and as a wave -- the (potentially) uninterrupted experience of Nowness-awareness through which the particles continuously pass."

I believe the wave is the illusion part. Ya got it backwards, or maybe this physics metaphor doesn't work at all.

What is mindfulness? You can't reach enlightenment in the way Buddha was speaking about it without being a member of a disciplined sanga, or joining a monastery. The concept of "beginners mind" doesn't change that fact.

The Buddhist practice is way too radically different from our stressed-out modern consciousness to ever make a difference in any ones' western cultural life. You have to disconnect. Even in Buddha's far more simple era, he set up his following as a separate community. Or maybe just mouthing nice Buddha-ish platitudes will do it for people. That sounds like the usual American take on most things.
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ZenGardner
I only disbelieve the unbelievable.
12:38 PM on 04/13/2010
With the attitude of "can't" you're completely right. You can't. So don't even try.
02:29 PM on 04/13/2010
I lived in a Zen Buddhist sanga. I know the difference between real practice and mouthing platitudes. Do you?
yappnmutt
humping legs for liberty
01:11 PM on 04/13/2010
but you don't have to disconnect. work on that part of your reasoning and you have a chance for enlightenment.

buddhism does not ask you to be anything more than human. it, in fact, tells you that being aware that you are human is a key to your enlightenment.
06:08 AM on 04/13/2010
thank you

Nam myoho renge kyo
12:34 AM on 04/13/2010
.
h a i k u for
lama surya das

      left out in the rain
stone buddha
      perfectly at home

.
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diasehmai
11:26 PM on 04/12/2010
Good article, but it didn't touch on the thought forms which comprise the attachments which imprison virtually every person in the unenlightened here and now. People cannot just start having loving, peaceful thoughts and living in the oneness of the Now until they realize they are imprisoned. Bound by ego awareness (ego is an illusion), by physical desires, and fundamentally by the thought patterns which manifest these desires. Karma is volitional energy, operating through the law of cause and effect. Americans, in particular are so oriented around immediate gratification that we don't take time to examine from whence desirous thoughts and impulses arise, and that our sensory and egoic desires can never actually be satisfied, nor can earthly gain or status bring fulfillment. In Christianity, "seek ye first the Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you" is akin to seeking enlightenment, which is literally the extinguishing of karma through liberation from attachment and self-centeredness. Therevada Buddhism gave way to Mahayana then Zen, and lost emphasis on the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Buddhism is wonderful but this world needs supernatural intervention, which will inevitably arrive in the form of a decimation of the human race, probably within the next twenty years. Have a nice day.
09:02 PM on 04/12/2010
No more "Popes." It will be "the Real Deal"!!!
09:01 PM on 04/12/2010
... And, according to St. Malachy, after the next and final Pope, the Catholic Church (and presumably all of Christianity) will be led by "The Stern Judge of Humanity," to quote St. Malachy.
08:54 PM on 04/12/2010
Lama Surya Das: "Far better to be a Buddha than a mere Buddhist today. Shall we be awakened living Buddhas rather than sleeping Buddhas? Can we awaken from our collective somnolence, ignorance and enervating distractionsm?" => Interestingly, in order to advance farther into the "End Times" cycle of events, EACH AND EVERY "WORLD RELIGION" HAS TO ADOPT THIS EXACT SAME ATTITUDE AND AGENDA. Of course, this reveals the tremendous gulf that exists between Christianity - where "THE IDEAL" is for each Follower and Believer to be a passive and mindless sheep. Imagine how much different (and how much better) the world would be today IF EVERY PRACTICING CHRISTIAN WERE MOTIVATED BY THIS DESIRE: i.e. "Far better to be a Christ than a mere Christian today. Shall we be awakened, living Christs rather than sleeping Christs? Can we awaken from our collective somnolence, ignorance and enervating distractionsm?" Further, this "suggested" agenda and attitude will actually be accomplished in the near future, as supported by the Prophecies of Saint Malachy (1094-1148) who had a Vision of all 112 Popes from his time until the end of the Catholic Church (and presumably ALL OF CHRISTIANITY). According to St. Malachy, the current Pope is #111, and the next and last Pope will be "Peter the Roman," indicating that he will be working directly for "The (Returned) Messiah. And, according to St. Malachy, after the next and final Pope, the Cath
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spilkus
I'm in the art world, for Pete's sake.
01:31 AM on 04/13/2010
More like St. Malarky!! A hundred and twelve popes, that's a good one.
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editorjuno
Musician, wordsmith, accidental mystic, etc.
03:11 PM on 04/13/2010
Shoot, the one we have today is surely one too many!
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edude
02:32 PM on 04/13/2010
Hey man, you need to ease up on that future trippin' business. Live in a little in the here and now, bowl, smell the lacquer. Abide.
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editorjuno
Musician, wordsmith, accidental mystic, etc.
03:01 PM on 04/13/2010
Fanned -- "bowl and smell the lacquer" indeed! :-)
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Balzac
07:03 PM on 04/12/2010
Well, if Buddha intended not to establish a religion, he failed, because there is one, and his fat self is seated on many altars. Note to any future messianic types - if you don't want to start a religion, remain silent and do not write anything.

Seriously though, it's a good body of knowledge. For some, Buddhism is a religion, for others, it's a secular discipline, and for many more it is both. I do not describe myself as a Buddhist, but I'd also like to say that I wouldn't say I'm not one either. I do reject it when someone chides me to live up to some religious ideal.
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editorjuno
Musician, wordsmith, accidental mystic, etc.
01:49 PM on 04/13/2010
Well stated, Balzac -- it is quite clear that there are nominal Buddhists who worship a "Lord Buddha" not very different from the Christian notion of "our Lord Jesus Christ" and then there are those who actually embark on the inner quest the Buddha so strongly recommended. More here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-thatamanil/what-does-the-buddha-have_b_532004.html?show_comment_id=44493847#comment_44493847
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05:17 PM on 04/13/2010
"I do not describe myself as a Buddhist, but I'd also like to say that I wouldn't say I'm not one either."

I'm just in the exploring stage of Buddhism, but I do like this sentiment. The label itself could be a form of attachment that may bind a person too strongly to Buddhist teachings, to have them see a dogma when there are only signposts.
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Mishal Zeera
06:41 PM on 04/12/2010
Yay! Lama Surya Das!! Keep em coming.
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fairwitness
You can observe a lot by watching.
06:33 PM on 04/12/2010
While the truth of this explanation of Buddhahood is admirably and subtly expressed, doesn't the final quote by Longchenpa rather belie the injunctions to strive and emulate ideals that fill the body of the article? Doesn't it say "relax the knot of effort and the urgent desire for things to be different than they are--if in fact the teachings are correct and Being is what we are, all that is, whether it realizes itself in us as personalities embodied and deluded or not...then the urgent need for things to be as we imagine they should is hilarious!"

I don't see that the realization of Buddhahood--that "my" consciousness, "my" being, is actually not the limited, myopic, constricted "self" that I thought but is in fact the living presence of Being here and now and always and, most particularly, not idealized but just as it "presents itself" in all it's myriad and diverse forms, deluded, asleep and all--can be an object of desire and a goal of striving by a fictional "self" which seeks to escape it's suffering and fear by, essentially, self-inflation.

In other words, when the imaginary self thinks it can and should liberate itself by personal effort, "You might as well just burst out laughing!"
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onlyThis
How do you free a bird from an empty cage?
12:46 PM on 04/13/2010
Yes! I agree! One does not "have" Buddha nature, one IS Buddha nature. Buddha nature is all there is we just don't realise it, hence the "enlightenment" or "awakening" to what is and indeed has always been.
06:08 PM on 04/12/2010
You make it sound so simple. Thanks