starts on April 17th 2011
We are a phase in the great unfolding. What we do in life echoes in eternity.
“A lot of good things sound crazy. And a lot of crazy things sound good.” – @hokaisobol
Christian “Holy Spirit” = Buddhist “impermanence” = Chinese “chi”
God is dead. Are Buddhists the last to notice?
We’ve had 50 years of reformation and deconstruction in Western Buddhism. Now we need counter-reformation and reconstruction.
We must not reduce Dharma to the lowest common denominator, just because profundity is painful to egalitarian sensitivities.
Your life is a continuation of your formal practice by other means.
This world is *not* our oyster.
Every day we die a little. Every day the deathless is revealed a little.
Shichi ten hakki! [or, in other words] Nana korobi yaoki!
And there, where I become nothing, is the magical point from which all good things come.
At the origin of every riddle, and every guess, stands someone who knows.
Deities are *not* imaginary friends living in fantasy worlds. All iconic forms and symbols are useful conventions at best.
Here is a primordial wakefulness of which all manifest spirituality is but an outward expression. It’s alive and kicking.
The line between genius and madness is as thin as our virtue.
Bodhicitta is the one siddhi.
Seeking does not lead to finding, but seekers have no choice.
If you suck at meditation, do not despair. There are other ways. Some more challenging, some more fun.
(cont.) there are yogas of devotion-grace, learning-knowledge, action-service, relationship-intimacy, and virtue-purity.
Insight divorced from four immeasurables is pseudo-wisdom, a kind of spiritual zombism.
We have little genuine choice in spiritual matters. It’s essential we exercise awakened will where we do.
All conscious action stems from imagining alternative futures.
Cultivation of awareness begins with imagining a meaningful alternative present.
Sudden awakening, lifelong cultivation. Serious intentions take time to actualize. Start today.
This body is the one holy place of buddhadharma. By sitting every day, erect a stupa.
Genuine practice exposes many gaps in our awareness. However embarrasing, do not stuff these gaps with shoulds.
Most people getting into meditation without proper guidance get worse as reactivity and repression grow stronger.
Even with proper guidance, meditation is not for everyone.
It’s not just how things are, it’s also how we could be.
Genuine potential is not a mere option that we can ignore without painful consequences.
Intense practice liberates energy. Without due awareness and skill, it will reinvigorate self-defeating habits.
Awareness is always immediate.
Although always immediate, awareness is never found separate from experience of variable subtlety.
Everything we ever experience depends on mind. Mind is the one asset worth working on from birth to death.
Ethics is wisdom applied to daily life.
Genuine, unbiased curiosity is rare and precious.
Spiritual diversity in 21st century is likely to replicate the trends of linguistic diversity and biodiversity.
Mainstream Buddhism in every culture is first and foremost mainstream, dominated by prevailing socio-memetic forces.
Mainstream Buddhism in the West accommodates and perpetuates the culture war, offering no genuine alternative.
With any lineage and path, there’s outsider info and insider experience. Both are useful, but don’t confuse the two.
Most polemics in traditional sources are not products of sectarian dispute. Some, however, are blatant abuses of argument.
Numerical indications – ie oneness or even not-twoness – are mere reminders or invitations, not to be taken literally.
Sacred texts always point beyond themselves to the source of meaning itself.
The power of speech comes from who’s speaking, resonates in how it’s spoken, and signifies through what is said.
Everything in the relative realm comes with a price, has a flip side, and potentially a dangerous shadow.
Make sure what you learn serves you and others well. Genuine knowledge has a purpose.
If this body is buddha-nature, what then is this world?
Cultural conversion and travesty is not the best way to help Western Buddhism, or the emergent global Buddhism.
Je pense que je vais commencer à enseigner le Dharma en français.
Without reflecting on past and future events, we have no way of improving our lives now.
Trusting *everything* and *everyone* holds a mirror to your completeness can take you a long way into genuine awareness.
In the past, Buddhists worshiped sutras and stupas. What are 21st century Buddhists worshiping?
Genuine devotion is very rare. Most often we’re lost in childish projection and brute totem worship.
Awakening to mystery of being, and the resultant liberation and realization, do not begin or end with any historical tradition.
Common views only express visceral beliefs. Without exposing these, there can be no genuine development.
Philosophy doesn’t progress when it’s reduced to thinking, divorced from deep contemplative experiment and social engagement.
Awakening is the central, but not the sole purpose of Buddhist teachings.
Buddhahood is always already open source. Learn your code and get to work.
Subitism is cure for gradualism; gradualism, for subitism.
The 4th turning of the wheel of Dharma is trans-cultural, universal, yet flexible and diversified.
Truth and goodness, but beauty – without beauty we are lost.
To be a genuine Buddhist, be directly accountable for what Buddhism is like in this time and place.
Deepest meaning of Dharma is beyond words, not beyond expression. Where words fail, art and ritual take over.
Emphasis is crucial, because it reveals the purpose.
Passion, anger, dignity, and discrimination are expressions of awareness.
Service is the ultimate Dharma, wherein all teachings converge.
Peace is not mere absence of conflict, just as health is not absence of disease. Peace is beyond opposites.
Sensing our life we find it’s life itself doing the sensing, and thus we relax. Nothing to escape from, nowhere to escape to.
The central tool for awakening is the body.
When you think, say, or write “Now I am aware” – who is the author of this?
Our practice *must* have aesthetic, cultural, and political meaning beyond the circumstances of our personal lives.
Comment: having faith, one shuns all beliefs, the only safeguard being one’s own deepening experience and awareness.
As mystery, you give rise to awe. As miracle, to wonder. Is it possible that you have always been here with me, within me?
Samsara is a joyful garden.
Genuine effort equals opening and accepting what arises to reveal what is.
Four foundations of mindfulness are my consorts. Good practice is our love song.
Spiritual power is never usurped. It is bestowed by the student for reasons that may vary. Ultimately, power is born in-between.
Very few people are genuinely interested, or capable, in bringing awareness to emotional and energetic extremes.
What you discover in genuine practice is directly related to *everything* you experience, to what you are, and your whole world.
Dominant conventions may define legitimacy, but authenticity is beyond their scope.
Genuine esoteric practice is neither self-empowerment nor other-empowerment, but can be viewed as either, or both.
To progress through stages, generate and cultivate an irresistible urge for awakening of every experience in everyone.
No complaints book in meditation.
Meditation is not something we do in isolation, just for ourselves. The world depends on us.
Deity yoga is an example of sacred imbalance and asymmetry. Matching the intensity of the deity, we become transformed.
Genuine Dharma is just as shocking today as it was back then. Insofar as today conditions are different, so is the Dharma.
The esoteric approach is inherently transgressive, cutting through both social and spiritual conventions of happiness.
Medieval mindsets and parochial sensitivities are real life-draining obstacles making any meditative progress meaningless.
Siddhartha was a human being, just like you and me. Let that sink in.
Conditioned behavior, emotional reactions, subject-object duality, are veils that obscure and distort. Awareness is the light.
Embrace ups & downs with wonder and equanimity. Nothing’s wrong. You’re alive!
Open into the mystery. Let her make you laugh and cry. And then, bright and wounded, drop any sense of separation.
Fear nothing, especially fear itself.
Where three kinds of duhkha occur, only there can one find mahasukha.
What and how you practice comes from why you practice. Don’t cultivate a noble intention before knowing your actual reasons.
If one really loves life, how can one fear death?
The rich clarity cultivated through genuine practice dispels the inebriation of habitual, emotional, and perceptual veils.
A deeper meaning of dependent co-arising: what appears stands for, and actually means, what is. Reality in plain view.
We choose or let the choice be made for us, which amounts to the same thing. Deep down, we hold the power.
Deities, spirits, protectors etc. in esoteric Buddhism are contingent entities, real enough yet ultimately not other.
With understanding and compassion, aka bodhicitta, comes a sense of urgency unlike any other form of will we’ve come to know.
Actions mean what they do and vice versa.
The path of innate wakefulness is hard work, day in day out.
For most of us, 99% of taking Refuge is giving up deluded hopes. The remaining 1% is simple reliance on what is.
[There is no one teaching, and no one teacher, appropriate and helpful to everyone at any given time. #openDharma]
Yet the teacher principle is ever active, responsive, and adaptive, always there for the curious, receptive mind.
To say that everything matters is such an understatement.
The purpose of imagining oneself as deity isn’t to escape your condition, but instead to fully embrace what you are.
Practical wisdom, the “how to” of awakening mind, is precious and rare.
Even though evolutionary time is deep, it ain’t eternity. Deep features of the human phenomenon are not timeless, just enduring.
Right views are not right beliefs.
ends on March 14th 2012