Virtual Hangout #44
8:52PM Feb 18, 2021
series of programs with Professor Bob Thurman, who's pretty cool guy pretty big voice and American Tibetan Buddhism. And this one is on. It's the first of two, three day weekends one next weekend the one a month from them. And sutra and Tantra Pure Land, and I want to say a little bit about that I actually I was looking at my calendar. I haven't presented this material 14 years. So it's been fun for me to go back and reread stuff and read, new material. And so I wanted to share just a little bit about why this material actually is so interesting, and perhaps why you may be of interest to you I started diving into it pretty deep, maybe 16 years ago when I interviewed, or had an interview with one of my main teachers. Back then, Trungpa Rinpoche j amazing teacher. Some of you may know him. And I asked him a couple of questions I said, you know what what in your estimation rubbish because he's obviously a master teacher. I said, What do you think is you know in relation to like preparing for death. What do you think is a topic that should be really presented in the West, but isn't really being presented and I was a little bit surprised when, when he said, pure lands, you know it's like what the Tibetans never talked about pure lands, so like that was amazing. And then later in the conversation I asked him a similar question I you know because I was asked when I was writing my book. And so I said mpj you know if a person realized they only had like a year left to live, you know they had some, like terminal diagnosis. What, what meditations should they emphasize what should they really focus on and again. He said pure lands, and I was like what. So, that was like oh my gosh. So I started to dive into it in a big way read a ton is I'm proud to do. And I have to say, the more I jumped into it, the more taken I was by how profound these teachings are and how much is actually there. And so I wanted to share a little bit about all the things that kind of circumambulate this topic. In terms of the Bardo teachings. Short of attaining full blown awakening. In, in the Bartos which is obviously not such an easy thing to do, the single best thing you can do. Like if you become lucid to connect us to lucid dreaming if you have a lucid dining experience. The single best thing you can do after you die is is actually move your transfer your consciousness and take rebirth into a pure land. So this is deeply connected to Bardo yoga, it's deeply connected to power ejection of consciousness, it's also deeply connected to what's called dream yoga POA which is where you can use actually lucidity and lucid dreams as a practice of POA. And, and so it has just tremendous application to those topics. It's also core to a very deep look at the thing that is so flippantly talked about, which is merit. I mean, we are, especially in the Buddhist Tibetan Buddhist arena we are talking about dedication of merit. And most of us, you know, pay lip service to it right like oh yeah merit Whatever, let's get it over with. Get under the real guts here. But marriages is an extremely subtle sophisticated topic. It's actually married, that created the pure lands, and its merit, that will get us to the pure land so a really deep dive back I'm going to paint, Bob. We're talking about what topics to cover and I gonna suggest to him that we both should talk about merit, because it's just, it's not discussed enough and it's a really big, big deal. Also around us as the role of faith and devotion. And so, conversely doubt where does that come into play. Because most people on the west. And sometimes it doesn't help when when teachers like taking out hon I hate to say it says things are, you know, the Buddhism is pure land Buddhism is for beginners, it's kind of like Buddhism light. I I actually have to say, with all due respect to him, I really don't agree with that. And this is why you have to kind of centrifuge out kind of pseudo pure land from tundra pure land to pure land is actually really profound really really deep but you can't really talk about that before he talks about the sutra thing. So that's what we talked about during this first weekend gig. How is it created, what exactly is a pure land. How many different types of pure lands are there,
the relationship of Shambala Shambala is a carolann, what kind of a pure land is it, it's connected to what are called the hidden lands or was called bail. You could be in one of these right now. And not even know it. So it's deeply connected to that. It's also connected to the Tohoku phenomena reincarnation rebirth, I mean it's just there's so many different topics that come to bear around this. The role of Amitabha you know he's another great way to call meditation, but as jhana Buddha's in many ways he's the, he's the patron Buddha of this realm of the realm of desire that's what we live in. So that's the other thing that's talked about here that's really cool. Is this is the the body of teachings, where cosmology is really unpacked. You know the 27 different states of samsaric existence, all the different realms outside of samsara because what we're talking about is like okay like what is this pure land where is it, how do I get to it. How does it fit in. How is it different from heaven. How is Amitabha different from God. And so these are all the things that are really explored here. And for us Amitabh is a big deal you know i mean he is kind of the the try out of his manifestations, you know Amitabha is a dark dharmakaya, but uh, his emanation is of locutus fara Chen razie, he's a symbol gochain Bodhisattva. And then from that emanates all these amazing nirmanakaya is, including Padma sun bhava the Karmapa is the Dalai Lama's Tara. I mean just incredible cascade realized beings that all kind of are in line with the Buddha of limitless light, that's what Amitabha means, and Amitabha is live a Buddha of limitless life, and so also connected to this is a really deep topic. The role of light, but of Infinite Light what does that really mean. And, you know, a more sophisticated look at what I playfully refer to as spiritual photosynthesis. Right. Our idea is that we're fundamentally made of light and then that pureline teachings are a type of solar theology. And so all these kinds of topics, really are core to this, this fundamental teaching. So also, there's an entire classification of liturgies in Tibetan Buddhism, called day one. There's at least 50 aspirational prayers and we're I'm probably going to be using the one that I've used before, but it kind of took me around PJ. I met him I met his, his emanation his reincarnation. Some 12 years ago in actually in Katmandu I had an interview with him, and I talked to him about this sort of stuff. So we're going to use a very famous liturgy from Kama chug mpj, and then to sleep meditation, that's connected I do this every single night I've done it for maybe 15 years even before I started studying the parallel teachings, there was a kind of a pure land sleep meditation. I do this every single night or none so we'll be introducing that. And then just a ton of stuff, all the different Tibetan masters who endorse it tsongkhapa or dolpopa. I mean so many, and one in particular I wanted to close and then we can open it up for q&a discussion is. Some of you may know magic love drops she's one of the most famous masters female masters in Buddhism big hitter. Big hitter founder that should tradition. And so the reason I'm gonna. I want to share a little bit from her because most of the Tibetan practitioners that I talked to they look a little askance at the whole Pure Land thing. They gain oh geez you know what value is this but, you know, there's in one account one scholar estimates that 13%. He's somebody who did the research, 13% of all the Buddhist teachings were devoted to the pure lands. And so there's a reason for that, like why
is that there.
And so we talk a little bit about that but I wanted to share with you just a very short thing from logic loved ROM, that she writes, and then we can open this up for q&a discussion around this or anything else, a couple of questions came in, so I'll address those and then we just open the floor. So this is an excerpt from quite a longer piece I'm going to read next weekend but here's just a little bit through the power of Buddha Amitabha his prayers birth and sukawati so that's his Pure Land sukawati the day watch and in Tibetan land of bliss in contradistinction and this is my term, we don't live in sukawati we live in Ducati where Duka is the word for suffering. So, this is my, my playful term, not the great land of bliss the great land of non bliss the great land of suffering that's where we are, do comedy through the through the power of Buddha Amitabh his prayers birth and sukawati has been guaranteed by the Buddha Amitabha himself. We talked a little bit exactly about that like how does that happen, how can how can this, this, you know, archetypal Buddha, how can he actually guarantee our transfer into his pure on what because it has to do with transfer of merit, you know merit is we'll talk about it's like it's like cosmic spiritual currency. And Matt married can actually be transferred. So why don't we do things like dedication of merit, we usually think oh yeah like whatever. Well there's real spiritual energy actually being communicated. And so one of the reasons Amitabha can guarantee rebirth into his Pure Land, if you believe in it and that's the kicker is because of the capacity to actually transfer this type of spiritual energy that's what marriage is about, For which we're using you must by, by all means you must strive at prayer for rebirth and sukawati. Without doubt suspicion laziness or resolution and by means of certainty, and with ardent exertion. You must pray. While recollecting the array of the psychopathy field and its qualities. Because even common ordinary persons who are burdened with the afflictions may be born in psychopathy, it is exceptional. So this is a really cool thing about it. There are countless butterfields. But what makes the comedy so unique, is it has the easiest Visa requirements. Anybody can go there every other problem Butterfield you have to have at least what's called the first Bhumi or if not the eighth Bhumi. That's pretty elevated visa requirement. That's hard. But sukabumi is unique because it has by far the easiest access. Back to magic ladram, having been born there all your wishes will be realized just as soon as you can see them, and you will not be tainted by the mirrors obscuration or affliction.
Moreover, because you are permitted to Germany to whichever among the bloody fields you wish, it is exceptional, and it is exceptional because Buddhahood is swifter than in the other fields and so this is kind of cool it's like but it's like the marketing thing, you know, location, location, location, right, it's everything. So, the pure lands are all about location location location. It's like being in a neighborhood, I've reflected a lot on this actually is like being in a in a neighborhood. In this case I'm entire realm, but it's like being in a neighborhood where everybody is is is a realize being like everybody in the neighborhood is a to Kumar a bonus offer a Buddha, right. So the developmental center of gravity is so high. You know, it's just like it can't help it kind of magnetize him pull you up big problem when the in the dark age is the center of gravity of course is so low, and everybody the peer pressure gets stuck down so the so called peer pressure quote unquote in a pure land is is phenomenally powerful. I mean, imagine living where everything is about the Dharma. Every person lives breathes teaches the Dharma. I mean it's just like, it's like, I mean, going to Harvard mixing metaphor, it's just like you couldn't ask for a more conducive environment. So this is why you want to go there. And then people often say well Geez You know if I if I make aspirations to go there, what does that do to my Bodhisattva vow Am I not supposed to like not leave and come, you know, am I not supposed to come back, blah blah blah. Well, again, you want to go there because you can develop so much more rapidly. You can attain. It's not equivalent to awakening it's not equivalent to Buddhahood. But on one level, it kind of sorta is a little bit because it's your last life before attaining Buddhahood In other words, once you're in. It's non retrogressive, you never fall back. You never fall back. And so that's why you want to go there and then once you're there. Again, psycho spiritual development is really rapid you develop all these really cool powers. I'll be talking more about what those are later as well. And then you have the ability to help people like through dreams do images do all kinds of things. Like it's pretty magical This is what among the most magical kind of otherworldly teachings and all of Buddhism, and it has a tremendous capacity to it to Expand your horizon of what's actually possible certainly did that for me. Okay, back to her. But his Buddhahood is swifter than in the other fields because there is nowhere another field that is closer to being attained than sukawati in other words is the easiest to get to, which is endowed with the aforementioned and other qualities beyond our conception. It is exceedingly important that you strive in prayer for birth, and sukawati. When I first read this stuff. It was like You gotta be kidding me. I mean here's a magic love drawn like one of the most Tibetans of all the Tibetans doing this amazing endorsement of the pure realms. And so, in Tibetan Buddhism, even though there isn't a strong, there isn't a kind of a pure land sect, per se, there's actually quite a powerful Pure Land orientation. And this is what I'm sure Bob and I'm sure I'm going to be talking about it, I'm quite sure Bob is going to be talking about it as well. So more, maybe a little bit more about that next week but that's my kind of intro riff for today. I think Eddie we had a couple of questions that were piped in and then we open it up for you guys.
And you want me to read the chat questions,
because I don't have my other computer here.
This is from Cassandra two questions. First one, tear guard instructor courtland doll briefly mentioned body practices used in the completion stage advisory practice in an introductory lecture with these the practitioner can attune to and cut through the energy currents that correspond to dysfunctional mental, emotional and behavioral patterns, clearing the debris is that obscure recognition of one's true nature. He seems to say that these practices are as effective as the nature of mind approaches such as Xhosa and mahamudra. Have you ever used any of these body approaches and could you share your knowledge and opinion of them.
Sure I have opinions about everything right. First of all court is a is a dear friend. He's amazing. courtland doll is amazing individual. I have tremendous respect for him. So yeah, so I'm spot on with what he said, You know, there are two contenders you probably know there are two kind of overarching paths of the budget miana in relation to the kind of nature of my thing that you're talking about. So this is a little bit more insider talk so directed specifically to this question. There's the path of liberation, which is more mahamudra absorption that's kind of what you're referring to. And then what courts talking about is called the path of liberation. I'm sorry the path of method, the path of method. And technically again. There are other classifications, these, these path of method inner yoga practices are also called completion stage practices with characteristics that's another term, or if you want another classification of it is called profound generation stage practice or unpro found completion stage practice, and they're incredibly powerful. I have worked with them extensively especially in the last year my three year retreat. I mean, almost the entire year. So I've literally spent years in retreat during these. They're exceedingly powerful they work, the path of liberation and the path of method. Basically a modern language they work with this bidirectionality thing that that path of liberation is more mind work so when we think of meditation like mahamudra Xhosa that's, you know, you're working with your mind. Well mind and body again they're not separate right so even though you may not be directly working with your body. You are indirectly working with it. You know what you do with your mind affects your subtle body. So, what the path of method does is it engages by directionality the other way works with subtle body to invoke changes in mind and that's one of the main kind of characteristics of Tantra vegetariana altogether it. You can say it redeems matter, in the sense that body is as important as mind and Adrianna. And so these paths of method, transform transformations are exceedingly powerful, they're sometimes called raffle methods of liberation, or forceful methods of liberation, and this is where they get a little dicey that you have to be prepared for these practices because they're, you know me if I remember Jay talks about them you're going to the very roots of this samsaric construct at the at the way samsara is generated at the subtle body level and so what you're doing is you're literally I'm tying this is what court is talking about these knots these some scars. You're going after those very directly with physical movements, sometimes quite rigorous, you know, semi raffle physical movements to literally break loose, these, these energetic cysts. And, and so the admonition here that's why these practices are a bit advanced, you know, anything that has a kind of thermonuclear power to cure has the shadow side it, it can cause some real issues if you're not prepared. So there has to be some stability here because otherwise you know when you break literally forcefully break loose. These energetic cysts these some scars these knots. I mean all hell breaks loose, because that's where Hell is trapped. It's trapped in your subtle body, same thing by the way that happens in the Bardo when, when all those knots come undone, through the process of death. That's what makes the battle so challenging all hell breaks loose in the Bardo because that stuff comes up. Here it comes up on on this level of level of practice and so there has to be some level of stability. Otherwise you can run a pretty serious risk, there are only two or three practices that are really prescription strength where you have to be really supervised really careful, they really require proper instruction proper motivation proper implementation, otherwise you can get burned, you can get in trouble with these. The winds enter in the wrong place you get these what are called sock lung disorders when disorders. These are non trivial, and and I know people I you know, I know people who have gotten really kind of wigged out when they try too hard or whatever the winds, move in the wrong place. You can get in trouble.
Six Yogas of Naropa are primary practices of the Kagyu tradition that work with path of method. And of those, the main beam of course is tumo chandauli the key practice that that's what burns up releases all this energy. So maybe enough on that super powerful super profound. But you got to be super careful, got to be prepared. You got to do it by the book, you got to have instruction you gotta have pure motivation. And if you do it, they're among the most transformative practices in the industry. People talk when I interviewed Sharon Salzberg you know her little bio caught me a little bit off guard you know where it says she's an industry leader. And I say, wow, I guess, I guess meditation is big business now that big, you know, you get where I'm coming from right. The said with tremendous affection for her I love her. Just tongue in cheek. But these are among the most transformative practices in the business in the industry, so to speak and so they're there, but you got to be careful. So unless there's a follow up on that this is a colossal topic, I might let let that one go for no big deal stuff really cool, or I should say really hot.
So, this is a second part of your question. So you alluded to turbocharge tantric practices in the book club that can catapult the practitioner into the quote dimensionless dimensioned and quote of one's true nature. Could you say more about this.
I think I just did. I don't remember where, when, you know, I don't remember that context so I'm pretty sure was probably about this. There's again there's only two or three others are like this, that have this kind of power so my guess is I was probably referring to this path method stuff. I just don't remember saying, I'm saying that in what the actual context was so unless you can jog my memory a little bit more probably refer to what I just talked about. That's I can do with that
one. All right, I read this chat question from Jolene and then we'll go to some of the live questions. I recently listened to an interview that Sam Harris had with Ian McGilchrist who. Cool, who you've mentioned before, and who wrote the master of the emissary. I was intrigued by the roles that the different hemispheres have in our understanding of the world. It occurred to me that left hemisphere dominance, or lack of right hemisphere participation, may be responsible for the conspiracy thinking that is so prevalent and much of the Republican Party these days. Also that cptsd and other forms of trauma may shut down the right hemisphere and cause distorted and delusional thinking by the dominant left hemisphere. Knowing this has allowed me to feel a bit of compassion towards conspiracy thinkers, can you comment on this.
Yeah, well first of all you know Ian McGilchrist is amazing that book. The Masters emissary. What is it, what's the subtitle. Something about the you know the the the hemispheres and the creation of the Western world, it's a fantastic book it's a tour de force masterpiece. I think it took, even like a decade to write this thing. It's a great book. And Sam Harris's amazing, I mean, he's a controversial character, but he's also really bright, I haven't heard that one, I have to check that out. I actually heard him recently. Do a, I listened to his stuff every now and again he did quite an interesting one with Rupert Spira, which was actually quite okay so have to check it out. But yeah, you know, this is another really great topic, um, what to say yeah you know the master and his emissary so this is what basically happens with the colonization of the less left hemisphere, you know, logical, rational, a kind of just goes into runaway colonizes dominates right hemisphere, so we're way too much left brain oriented, Reggie Ray riffs on this a ton his work is really good on it. To me, Ian's is that kind of Bible but beyond that. the other one I reference a lot is my stroke of insight that book by the neural anonymous Jill Bolte Taylor. What she writes and this is what I'll speak a little bit about is that, you know, she's, she had a massive left hemispheric stroke. That basically shut down her entire left hemisphere, and you have to read this book or listen to her YouTube or her TED talk I think it's like one of the top five most popular TED Talks, ever. It's an amazing book. And it's really revolutionary because here's, here's a neural anatomist neuroscientist having a massive left hemispheric stroke, and so she's relating to it from from both a scientific and first person approach, like hey this is happening to me. And it's incredibly interesting because she, she absolutely positively, as their left hemisphere went, basically, Dad offline. She had experiences that when you read it I mean were utterly completely spiritual, you know, loss of boundaries field vision with the external world. Everything that you would hear from people having these, you know, truly utterly spiritual experiences but what's incredibly important here is that, and this is in many ways the take home of that book for me that definitely ties into Ian's book is that even though she had this unbelievable kind of spiritual experience. She couldn't function. so that that doesn't mean like the left hemisphere is the bad boy. No, no. It's just the left hemispheres is excessive it's it's gone into runaway, you know, that's, that's what colonizes, and basically stops the right hemisphere. And so, the issue isn't one of like you know flatlining the left hemisphere the issues want to balance because even though she had this amazing, you know, truly life transforming spiritual experience. When her left hemisphere shut down that's the neurological correlate right that's the part of the brain that supports, seeing the world in this reified dualistic egoic way. But, you know, as she and other writers since that have pointed out, she couldn't function. I mean, she was basically a kind of a you know I can't say spiritual basket case because it wasn't all spiritual right but you can do anything. And so, so the issue is not so much, you know, getting rid of the left hemisphere, obviously, it's just putting it in harmony with the right, you know, male, female, whatever, making it more imbalanced and in harmony. So, I find these things really interesting. They're there again in this in this kind of genre of what's called neuro phenomenology right, that there are brain and neurological signatures correlates to certain states of mind. And interestingly enough, this also ties into lucid dreaming, because, you know, mostly in lucid dreams left hemispheres is dramatically reduced right hemisphere kind of takes over, which is one reason parenthetically it's harder to read in a dream, because you know that that capacity comes mostly from the left side. So,
I mean, that's an amazing book Ian's book is a real tour de force masterpiece text. If you can get through it's not an easy read it's big it's long, it's incredibly well researched but it's a kind of a masterpiece, and it's caused quite a bit of a stir over the last, I don't know maybe eight 910 years since it's been published. So I'm not sure where else I can run with it I honestly I, for most people listening I would probably recommend Jill's tale gibble to Taylor's book first, it's a lot easier to read. Plus it's a riveting story. And then for deeper divers Ian's book is without peer, in my opinion, so unless there's something else on that domain that's kind of what comes to mind is really cool stuff. But here's what happens you know the deepest levels right just briefly is at a certain point you know mind is no longer contingent dependent on brain period at all. So, that's the other thing that maybe we're throwing into the mix, that there are dimensions. This ties in a little bit to the earlier question about subtle body stuff. There are dimensions of experience awareness that are not contingent on brain at all left or right. And so I think that's the we're throwing it to the next, at least from an Eastern perspective, you know obviously not from a Western scientific perspective but unless you have something else to say about that joline that's kind of where I'll let that one run. Okay.
All right. Great, live, live questions. Bringing Glenn and Barry and Ron.
Hi. Andrew, I've been watching on Netflix, the six part series surviving death. Two thirds of the way through. And I realized after watching the first one and then heading into the second that. So let me just give you my impression and I'm interested in your comments. So, in by the second show the, the operative question the series is asking, is I think wrong because what's happening. So the first one is a depiction of really interesting near death experiences. First Person, and they're all based on first person accounts, so they to me they're quite understandable and then, in, in the ones involving mediumship physical, mental, and then signs that deaf people or dead people are giving back to their lovers. It seems to me that the issue is healing of the living person, but it's pursued as if, is this a verification that indeed there is life beyond death, and that the person who dies remains and is alive in your thing, but it doesn't ask the question, who is trying to reify that there's a God based on reifying that there's an other, and it and the whole notion of non duality never crops into this discussion. So I, I just found it an interesting series to watch for the various ways they talk about different types of mediums shifts and all that kind of stuff. And I'm wondering if you'll also comment on the use of articles by the Dalai Lama I've seen a couple of documentaries on the three or four there. But,
yeah, yeah, yeah so yeah the nature local thing so yeah I watched the first one, which I thought was quite compelling or what's the, I think the fifth one on rebirth reincarnation, I found that compelling. I started the second one on the medium thing I got a little bored with it. I found it a little bit amateurish a little bit, I mean like you said it just, it was interesting, but it wasn't exactly like turning. Any new stones over for me. I mean, honestly I like what they're doing altogether Glenn because they're at least, you know, putting out into the to the domain, the possibility of of life beyond body beyond brain, especially the the thing. We rebirth reincarnation I mean this stuff the work of Ian Stevenson and you know the all these others from University of Virginia. I don't see how you can you can explain this any other way, you know, I mean, it's actually more outrageous to come up with explanatory theories, than to just admit that you know the tenability of having rebirth. So I find that really interesting I think what Ian did along that lines is really interesting. I completely agree with you, they don't touch on the non duality thing at all. I'm a little surprised they didn't do anything on that kind of a to cu thing. Um, so I found it pretty limited after a while, but I also found you know I thought the first one was, like you said, These people are really genuine these nd ease experiment you know experiences, they're pretty compelling to listen to. So I think the you know the great benefit like I said it's just people ask questions when they see this and they start looking they start expanding for, you know, probable non materialistic approaches to death and I think that's the great contribution of it. But outside of that, it's somewhat limited, you know along those lines I heard something in the New York Times couple of weeks ago, this billionaire actually has a little competition now his wife died suddenly I can't no not mean it suddenly his wife died of cancer and he was just absolutely devastated and so now he's on this real passion to prove sight, you know, prove life after death and so he actually, he's offering like a $500,000 prize for the winner of this competition. And he mentioned the the gal who, whose book was the see for this Netflix series, and so on one level. I mean that all that kind of stuff is good because it, it starts to shake up this reductionistic physicalist ik approach his materialistic approach to life and death and so I think that's what I take out of it, you know it's part of the. I sometimes use this phrase, you know, with Republicans have tried to do with Obamacare you know repeal and replace. Well it doesn't certainly replace, but it helps repeal. And so anything that helps repeal the materialistic physicalist reductionist no mind his brain, you're dead. That's it. I think that's really helpful. And so in that regard I applaud it. Some of the other stuff. I you know I'm agnostic, it's interesting that if I don't find it terribly convincing. Some of it, you know from my understanding doesn't make a whole lot of sense I thought what you were saying earlier, that makes sense to me, that kind of healing that's taking place that really could be the essence of a lot of what takes place with these mediums. But again, I reserve too much. Kind of opinion or judgment on that. Because, you know, there's there's room for a lot of different views in this arena in terms of the Dalai Lama and the nature, Oracle just stuff is super interesting. I've been to his temples both in Tibet. There's an entire model of temples devoted to the nature miracle I've seen that also in India.
And if you watch these videos, they're really haunting right i mean if you've seen them. You've probably seen that one in particular is really powerful where the Dalai Lama right. He's sitting on the throne in the background like just doing nothing, but just his just his presence there empowers the whole scene so he's sitting there, not saying a word. And then below him is this amazing thing right this monk comes in who's just like a like ordinary Joe Schmo but monk. And then he goes into this amazing kind of trance thing and then the Oracle comes down, takes possession of him. He wears the colossal 100 pound headdress, you know, completely transfigures. And then he starts, you know, the scribes are there using it right the scribes are there the nation article starts ripping away and the scribes, they are all writing it down. And this stuff. This is pretty commonplace in any shamanic tradition commonplace if not a little esoteric in Tibetan Buddhism, but this stuff has been around for 1000s of years and I have no problem with this whatsoever, because again it just. The reason we find it incredulous or even unbelieving, is because we have the centric and the supremacist ways these kind of ontological premises ways that the only way you can know reality is through the brain and mind in a waking state, the only reality is this, I mean like Give me a break. It's just ridiculous I mean we're surrounded by an AGI is non human intelligences. And we have the capacity. In fact, somewhat connected to the Pure Land thing you know, that's what can happen from from pure land activity. I mean, these incredible beings can kind of transmit down. Metaphorically and then be of tremendous benefit so it completely fits into my worldview is unbelievable as it may seem, but again it's only unbelievable. If you put all your ontological eggs in the materialistic basket. But if you expand your horizons and you start to realize, you know the world is made of heart, mind, spirit is not made of matter. And there's these nh eyes they're absolutely everywhere. These are just the nature of Oracle and others are just individuals who have the capacity to open their awareness, kind of in a certain way Get out of the way. And, you know, I guess you could use the word possession and the West, you know, kind of come through and then they channel this this information that is profoundly beneficial. You know the Dalai Lama is not doing this for social purposes right he's doing this for, for tremendously applicable helpful insights into both his, his kind of domain of experience and others. So yeah, I find those accounts I've seen them they're incredibly compelling to me. And so unless you have something else to say with that, that's kind of what comes to mind.
So comments in a couple of the documentaries they say one, the lifespan of the Oracle is generally short, and that Once identified the Oracle undergoes special trade.
Special let special free. Yeah, no doubt. Yeah, again I have no doubt it's probably many I don't know about that kind of training but it's probably like what shamans go through, you know, again, this stuff is so common, you know, 90% of the world's traditions, really look at it the world in a multi phasic polyphasic way it's only the Euro centricity though, my friend Alan Wallace goes ballistic on this is the kind of white supremacy, Euro centricity that oh you know we've got the goods, we in the West, we know more than all these slanty eyes, again, we know more about them, reality than these Asians. I mean, give me a break. It's so arrogant. So, I, yeah, they probably go through some specific type of training I have no idea what that's about. But once you raise your gaze and look at things more deeply it's just like this is just part of the magic of reality you know it's not this ridiculous shrink wrapped physical thing. I mean, I find that's what Ken Wilber talks about flatland. Everything's just reduced to dirt. It just makes no sense to me. So anyway, yeah, was there anything else that you're good. Okay thanks Lynn.
Next we'll bring in Barry and then Rana.
Hi Andrew America. I don't you can see my,
I can that's that's the man, that's the Amitabha and I have a Tonka very similar to that that's a comedy. Very cool.
My wife said that's my passport. And I've been I should be looking at that 15 minutes a day. So again, you're actually building all this stuff.
Well, it's not just learning to play something that's actually spot on my friend. And it's not just you. It's your pets. If you have, if you have your pets, your animals, they should be looking at it. You should be reciting Amitabha is pure land mantra to your animals. Because that you know that will actually plant a seed in their, in their pocket, you know into their unconscious mind. So not only looking at stuff like that. reciting the mantra around other animals sentient life wars and whatnot so your wife is spot on my friend, you
should she plays that song outside for the for the animals, so therefore the squirrels and the birds and they shall actually play it out there, so that they can move on. Love it. Yeah, so I was gonna ask about that but there's another thing a second thing that Glenn talked about my wife is also in touch with Oracle's, and we actually had an Oracle call last night, who's in training in Bhutan, a seven year retreat. And it, it's just something that she actually sometimes she gets possessed, you know like, she'll shake and she's told me that if she ever gets in that position to touch her and ask her a question, because she'll be able to answer any question. And she's had some contact with Oracle's and some training, but it was just interesting that that Glenn brought that up because it is something that is, is it took me a long time to actually incorporate that in my own Western view, but the more you talk about it, the more I, I feel better about it.
Yeah, you're not.
You're not crazy. Yeah, totally, totally thanks for sharing those stories. That's awesome. That's awesome.
Yeah, you should listen to her as our as of course you do. I'm teasing you when I say that because I know how much you admire what she does and her wisdom, but yeah I mean absolutely spot on, and that I have one very similar to that, that Tonga is just beautiful.
Yeah. With that in the chat, in case anybody wants to see what that looks like if they wanted to get a copy. If they went, get that, that one.
Yeah, in fact one of their three main sutras associated with sukabumi with the what's called the longer to cavity sutra the shorter cavity sutra and the meditation sutra, and the meditation sutra is largely a series of 16 visualization contemplations literally about the landscape the topography of sukawati is one of the four classic there in the Tibetan arena. There are four principal ways to get just a cavity. And one of those is in fact contemplating what it's like to be there, literally, you know in logistically you know the mountains are like this and the rivers are like that and. And so these tacos were, were drawn with these liturgies in mind in fact I actually created berry about 15 years ago when I first started teaching this stuff. I created a video with a film film guy where I had him go around the talk a very similar to this. And then just kind of focus in on all the little you know details there and as he was doing that I was actually reading the verses from the meditation sutra, which are about that because that's one of the ways to stamp your passport, so to speak. That's awesome and very good
Excellent. Excellent. Beautiful Thank you man.
All right, excellent bringing Rhonda and then there's a few more chat questions. okay. Excuse me.
I want to acknowledge that I'm intimidated, but not knowing enough. And yet, I have a question. And the question is, I have been naive completely naive in my life. I started, you know, in Shambala and very soon. I was affected by the creating enlightened society so I went to Iran and I started meditation group. And the situation in Iran is quite obvious to many at least. So, now, I am in the point, it's still going on and I wonder about merit, you were talking about. And I don't know what I've done. Actually, I'm clear about my intention, but I don't know, I'm doubting that there is any merit, maybe, you know, I'm questioning, whatever I've done, you know, and also I want to acknowledge that being an artist and make art out of dead bodies, not not literally but making it in a way people feel like this is a dead body of the bird or dead body of someone burn themselves and. So I go to places, I don't even know. So this not knowing. I have a passport for places that I don't have any idea where I'm going, you know. So, for that. I'm wondering. I'm wondering if I'm hurting. If I'm not actually benefiting what's going on. I mean, it's too late to go back. But still, I, you know,
why do you Why, why do you even feel that there might be some harm or hurting. I'm curious what creates that that even that sense that what you're doing may be hurting
because things that it comes and smash my ego like you know the pain of going through the meat grinding machine
of the spiritual path.
Yes. Yeah. Yes.
Well, again you know these teachings are hazardous to your egoic health so when you're talking about harm. That's what's clear to me. Are you talking about harm towards yourself or harm to others. What can you say more about that, or both, or
Yeah, well, you know, I mean, tricky to say right i i don't know you well enough You don't look like the person who's, you know, written with intentions that are that are malicious somehow. Again you brought up so many different things. I'm not quite sure what you want me to focus on the, the, the issue of marriage. This is a very subtle deep topic that what came to mind when you were again saying this and I don't know if this is what you're kind of pointing towards is that, that this kind of spiritual power from merit dedication of merit and all that. It has an effect whether we know it or not, it has more effect if we believe it. So one of the things that you're, you're kind of circumambulating here also is the issue of doubt. And so, as you know, both in Shambala teachings and absolutely in the pure land in fact I think it's the second sutra of the three sukawati sutras is entirely devoted to this issue of doubt, because this stuff sounds is just so unbelievable, you know, especially Western minds just they're infected without so doubt is a colossal issue around this. You know it's a little bit like, you know, I'll believe it when I see it is actually replaced by I'll see it when I believe it. And so doubt is incredibly important. Marriage is critical to the entire affair and again I'm trying to just track into some of the many things you were talking about and then you can just I'll pause for a second. You can tell me what you want me to focus on. One of the things that comes to mind, based on what you were saying is that when we dedicate our marriage, if we do it with a proper intention if we do it with with as much belief and conviction as we can. It has actually tremendous power, but it's not in our place to sit back and look for those results. It's like they say in the low junk slogans remember slogans. Don't expect applause. You simply do this sort of stuff, because it's the right thing to do, you don't do it, expecting something in return. So, if you're a member of my club listen to the interview that we did that I did with David Loy at the very end of this wonderful conversation with David, we talked a little bit about this in terms of the ecological crisis, you know how, how is what I'm doing have any benefit in any effect and David says on one level, it doesn't matter. And then he talks about that with real elegance. The other thing again. You mentioned this artists thing and where you go. You know, that's part of what the artists does the two artists has this kind of transparency the porosity permeability where where they can go to vast wondrous dimensions for for insight for inspiration that, that are not too dissimilar from the arenas that even shamans can go to I mean artists on one level are kinds of artistic shamans you know they're they're bringing back, so I'm shooting all over the place here a little bit because I'm not entirely sure what you're what you're asking you're going for. So I'm going to pause and maybe you can direct me a little bit. It's just not entirely clear what the main issue is for you.
I apologize. Because I don't know You see, I jumped. 2004 I jump with complete naivety, I just
saw I'm gonna I'm gonna stop you a little bit so when you say you jump. That means you jumped, while a thing or What didn't you jump,
well I went back to Iran and I started a group. You know, in a environment that that I couldn't even say, I am a Buddhist, and my friends were executed you know it was. I did some, you know, I know that in my heart, I was resonating with creating an enlightened society still alive in me. But now, after so many years, I'm thinking. Who the heck did you know, do you think you are you what, what, what load I took, you know,
what's up, let me say, let me ask you this when you say the load you took that means is kind of low that you want it, that you somehow feel instrumental, or part of the enlightened society construction project is that the load that you're talking about. Is that what you're referring to is that the naivete that somehow you would have the ability to actually work in creating something like that.
Yes, I, I bow to Shogun Trump or mpj, I never met him in person but in my dreams he's very alive and. And then I I followed his footsteps you know now I realized that I didn't know when I did it. You know, you say something to a new culture.
So are you saying that like that you're also regretting that or that's not clear to me either. You're just,
I don't regret, but I don't know where going forward going backward going left going right going bottom
will always go right i mean that's a great eastern side right so you always walk forward command they can't maintain that vision, and then in terms of the aspiration for creating enlightened society, you know, there's something to be said for the bumper sticker think global but act local. So, creating enlightened society starts with creating an alliance society even within your own mind, within your own immediate environment with within your household within your family, that's that's a microcosm of of enlightened society so that's where you start, you start with a society of your own mind, the Society of your immediate environment. You work to create that enlightened society. And then with that as a very workable tenable platform, then, that, you know, to greater or lesser degrees depending on the individual will expand into maybe creating a meditation group like you're doing or whatever and so it's not naive, you know, we do these things because on one level, fundamentally, there's no other honest game in town. this is the only thing that really matters. And we do so with tremendous sense of humility and service and without expecting any type of recognition. You know most of the great beings are actually completely utterly anonymous people engaging in incredibly selfless service, creating a lion society is literally is as simple as offering a smile to someone, offering kindness to another person. That's a momentary generation of enlightened society and so to me that's the way I work with it, that, you know, think global act local. You just work with your immediate persona, your immediate being your immediate network with whatever is around you, with no sense of wanting applause no sense of needing feedback, no sense of recognition. You just do it because it's the right thing to do. And, you
know, is is the right thing to do. That's the issue I don't want recognition or whatever, actually, unsure anybody in any kind of this approach what they get is actually resentment, they don't get any of it. And you know, I didn't see that. But anyways, I appreciate your response, it's. I have to go through something which I don't know what it is, but, but I'm in it.
We all go through something and we don't know what it is, and when again you know the vision of the Great Eastern sun you just keep walking forward towards the you know the Great Eastern sun which is always ahead of you. And you do it in, armed with the purest motivation that you can find it and this is something that actually can become a practice. I mean I work this up again very immediately very practically before I say or do anything, almost like a mantra preemptive mantra, you might actually as a practice say you know why, why am I doing this, what is my motivation. That in itself is very is regulatory because it you know it will often reveal Geez, you know, that is about me that is somewhat self centric that is about, oh Lord Jesus busted. It's about me. But you know eventually, you start to clean that up a little bit and then you realize you know I'm actually saying I'm doing I'm creating my art for others. I'm speaking to benefit others I'm acting in this world to benefit others. And then you know eventually it's a fake it till you make a thing you just continue to do that becomes more and more natural. And then, you know, you just find yourself more and more aligned with that kind of deeper resonance with reality and truth. So, you know, continue to study the work of that genre, you know, Trump remember he was a genius. Yeah, Shambala teachings are unparalleled, you know, despite all the silliness that happened, his his transmission of that terror mode is unbelievably powerful and it's completely applicable. So just continue studying reinforcing that don't worry about some of the distortions. Unfortunately that happened recently, you know the heart of what he brought across a lot is really just incredibly brilliant. And so, you know, something like that, just be true to yourself, check your motivations using that mantra, you know like, why am I really doing this, I do it all the time. Why do I say this, why do I do that. If it's well if it's self referential, don't do it. If it's for the benefit of others just like Elon the Nike thing, just do it, don't think about it, just do it. And then don't worry about Apple, you know. Applause. Just without sense of feedback recognition you simply do it because it's the right thing to do. Okay. Thanks.
I know we're at the hour mark but there's a few more chat questions
like two more and then we can close it up for today I have to run a little bit early. Okay, from
Peter from a Buddhist point of view, does believing something, make it so. So is the verb to believe, have a more active or passive nature. Is there a verb form that is neither active nor passive but something else.
No believe doesn't make it so I mean again depends on what level, level of literacy literality you're talking about. In other words, you know I can believe that. When I step out of this airplane, I'm not gonna fall right I'm not gonna I'm gonna fly well. Doesn't matter what you believe gravity is gonna throw you to the ground. So I doubt that's what you're talking about. Belief at a more personal individual level, obviously has a tremendous amount of power, like I was alluding to earlier. So, in that regard, what you're suggesting points a little bit more towards. In fact what the pure lands are about you know like I mentioned, I'll, I'll see it when I believe it. So it's not complete that belief can create reality, at every level one extreme level being the physicality. You know the other completely applicable level would be, you know, the sob cystic thing that what you believe within the context of your own mind actually becomes that reality. But if I'm understanding what you're saying. Belief faith devotion, obviously has tremendous effect. But it's, it has to be tempered. So I don't mean to be contradicting. What I might have said earlier and this is why it's always a little tricky when I get these questions in written format I don't have the opportunity to dialogue, if you're on and can come on, and you can tell me a little bit more about what you're thinking maybe I can be a little bit more specific. Belief has tremendous application, especially in the Pure Land arena, but it's not absolute. So unless there's something else you want to, you know, supplement or challenge and come in with I'm not quite sure where you're one with that one.
Okay, this is from SCCM. So you mentioned at the beginning that merit creates the pure lands. What does, what do you mean by that who's married.
Yeah, well this is obviously a huge topic. So very briefly in a long, you know it's like a, like a, like a campfire story, you know, in a place far far away, long, long ago. In a previous cycle. A kapa Budda pre, pre but actually a monk by the name of Dharma karma, which his name literally means field of merit. He went through a tremendous set of inspirations and made a set of incredibly famous now vows. In some of these vows were all about creating this particular domain, they were all of the ilk you know may not attain enlightenment, until this is created may not attain enlightenment until this happens and so what to make a very long story short, what fundamentally happened over a period of innumerable carpets right and a culpa is depending on who you talk to the shortest duration of a call I've ever come across is 4,320,000,000 years. That's a lot of years, over four or something innumerable kaupas. The Buddha on the other pre Buddha, Dharma Kira, just created, vast oceans of merit. And then that and this is what we talked about in the program. Eventually that merit transformed in a certain sense, that spiritual potency that energy transformed into his awakening, that transformed our macara into the Buddha Amitabha. And then what happens with that type of thing and this is where it gets really profound is the awareness of a Buddha. That level of archetypal boat is such that it actually can create you know you create this kind of ultimate real estate, you, you literally it's the highest form of Toku where when you become a Buddha you you have allegedly the power to create these lands. So fundamentally again, it's hard to shrink wrap these things in short periods of time but one way to look at this, even even using just the analogy don't take it too literally but, you know, equals mc squared right energy is just mass times the speed of light, using that as an analogy don't take it literally that that mass and energy are interchangeable. And so using that as it is an analogy, this tremendous creation of enlightened potential and mind energy merit can actually bring about, you know, the kind of conversion into so called real estate. This is what the Puroland sutras say I am not making this up. This is not my story. If you read the literature if you read the book, especially the longer Puroland sutra. This is what that sutra is all about you know exactly how this particular Pure Land came about and so to really understand this. This is not such a simple thing. That's why it's it's relatively unbelievable. For many in the West, it's like are you kidding me. Well, this is where you have to really understand karma merit specifically this is what Bob and I are going to be talking about in this has different meanings across the vehicle so the hinayana merit is different from the Mahayana merit is different from the vegetariana merit. And yet all these work together in really quite powerful magical ways that in the Pure Land teachings can be of such power that literally an entire dimension can be created. And so, you know, short of just reiterating what I'm going to be talking about during the weekend program. That's probably the best I can do with that in the short little bullet point, it's out there, I mean you know when I first read this stuff. It was like are you kidding me. I kept reading it. I read everything I could find, I started talking to the teachers, especially you know, because most of this comes from, you know Korean, Vietnamese Japanese schools I'm not that familiar with those schools, I was more interested in finding the Indian roots through vasubandhu, a Sangha, and then particular the Tibetan roots. And so, kind of supplementing all these strands from all these different arenas. Slowly slowly it started to make more and more sense to me, because I was able to refine my understanding of this, of this kind of
spiritual energy the spiritual power that's also associated with blessing it you know there's there is a type of energetic transmission that takes place when we work with this thing called married so just for the purposes of time. Probably the best I can do with that. In the short period that we have here, so it's out there, but it's also kind of a big deal to really understand, and the Puroland teachings are all about this I mean this is the guts of them. So, That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Okay everybody, I kind of got to run. I'm out of town I got some commitments where I'm at. So, thanks for joining us. Next week, you know, the usual we're putting out a little weekly calendar now we just started that this week, that'll be picked up I think on Sunday night What do we, what are we actually doing that Sunday night. And that will list everything that's coming up during the following week, but check out the link. Did you put up the link for the Pure Land thing
in the jacket it in twice. Awesome, man.
Yeah, check out the link in the riff on that. I'll be sending some stuff. Shortly to Menlo which will then be sent out to the people that are registering including some liturgies and aspiration prayers and things like that. So if this has any interest to you, it'd be great to have you guys in that program, it's pretty cool stuff, it's out there. But between now and next week. Everybody stay healthy be happy and meet you on the Puroland. Ciao.