Virtual Hangout #38
7:43PM Jan 7, 2021
On Tuesday during the book Study Group, which by the way this book study group is still going on, you can still join us, where I completely changed my approach to this, this book, those of you who aren't doing it. We started this thing maybe 12 weeks ago, and it's it's basically a entire read through of my deeper dive boat dreams of light. And I've completely relaxed my kind of sprint to just get through the damn book. It has really slowed down to, I think, I think most people seem to appreciate it I do because then I don't feel so stressed out. So, we have at least another four months. Everything's recorded so if you want to come join us you can still do that, and it's definitely a lot more relaxed and playful and I've just completely changed my mo on that. So that's happening you can still join us, it may be Andy if you can post a link to that that'd be great. In terms of nightclub stuff, because remember if you're new, if you haven't been to our gatherings, that we're doing here today we started this with COVID. 38 weeks ago, amazing, I really my intention was, we'll probably do this for two three months Max, but it's it's still alive and kicking so why not, I'm grooving on it. And so what we do here is I basically don't prepare virtually anything which is why I like it. I just show up. I'll have a little riff I actually want to share with you something I wrote just this morning. That'll be my record today. Literally I just wrote this this morning in my book. So I'll get back to that in a second but in terms of nightclub stuff. We're going to be completely. I wouldn't say restructuring but but launching a nightclub 3.0 version where we're behind the scenes constructing. I think it's a really awesome things. So stay tuned around that'll probably take us another month or two to get this stuff implemented and up and running. But because things are so healthy in the community, we're going to be adding a weekly meditation thing where I'll be guiding practitioners every week, specific to meditation, guided meditations a whole series of them questions and discussion, only about meditation, so that'll be offered, there's just a ton of stuff coming up. Just more involvement on my part more participation and so we're quite psyched about that so stay tuned. We released a couple of really great interviews I think they're, they're great not because of me but because of my guests. The one with far Reba walks around if you haven't heard that, oh my gosh what a jewel she is Antwan lots neuroscientist also a friend of mine, who is now a Leon, France, really one of the world's unique contemplative neuroscientists blends kind of First Person third person approaches to mind. He's terrific so we just launched him I think this week. And then my second interview with my pen pal from Baghdad, use of a horror. This guy's a rock star. He's so fun. He's so hip he's so smart. He's just a cool dude. And so oh my gosh we talked for well over two hours I we almost just like put a gun the whole day. So we're about to release that one that was just off the charts. And then in terms of like propaganda programs. January still a little bit of a light side because I'm trying to crank out this book. I'm literally trying to write this entire book within a two month period and I'm getting really close. But I have a is going to put a link up for a dream a lucid dream yoga program I'm doing a retreat center in Vermont called called karma choline, so he'll put a post up for that. And then starting in February March April, that's, that's my kind of spring teaching season so to speak. There's a lot coming up, so. More on that later. But before I turn to your questions. Because that's mostly what we do here. I usually do spend a few minutes, just riffing on something and so I wanted to share with you what I literally just wrote this this morning. this is part of this book that I'm. It's this book is really easy for me to write because I've been dealing with this material for decades, and so it's a real easy right for me. The title of this book is okay I'm mindful. Now what
exploring the wonders of the mind. It's a critique. It's a great support of the mindfulness revolution, but also a critique, how mindfulness slides into muck mindfulness, the commodification of this stuff, how it's being perverted distorted. And then more importantly, you know, mindfulness alone is just a pacifier. Mindfulness will not get you enlightened mindfulness, sedates, tranquilizes, pacifies, mindfulness will not wake you up inside the partner will, or at least can get you in that direction so I do a critique of mindfulness. And then I I list, a whole bunch of things problems around it and then eight 910, other practices that people can do like okay now what well you've got this and you've got this and you've got that and so this morning. I wrote a wrote two sections. One on the incredible role of therapy that therapy in my estimation is vastly under employed in the meditative community. And then, spiritual bypassing. And in conjunction with that this morning I wrote there so I'm just gonna read it to you. And then, if you want to talk about this or anything else we open it wide up so this is what I wrote this morning. Spiritual bypassing is intimate so spiritual bypassing is his term coined by john Wellwood. My buddy who died a couple years ago. It's basically when you use spiritual practices meditation and the like to bypass daily relative concerns. And those of you will know exactly where that came from. As I say on this first paragraph in john john Wellwood was a student of tropper mpj so he acknowledges this spiritual bypassing is intimately connected to spiritual materialism pathology detected by the by the meditation master trooper mbj some 40 years ago. In his amazing book, cutting through spiritual materialism. The idea is as straightforward as it is ubiquitous. The ego is capable of converting anything for its own selfish aggrandizing purposes. practices like meditation that are designed to transcend the ego can be subverted into inflating the ego. Remember Jay defined it this way. So this is him walking the spiritual path properly is a very subtle process is not something to jump in naively. There are numerous side tracks which lead to a distort distorted and egocentric version of spirituality. We can deceive ourselves into thinking we're developing spiritually. When instead we are strengthening or egocentricity through spiritual techniques, this fundamental distortion may be referred to as spiritual materialism. And so, in my experience, it's not a matter of along with spiritual bypassing. It's not a matter of if it's a matter of when you're going to be affected by these issues. So I continue here, a series of recent social studies, these were sent to me they were really, really interesting. Some new studies, a series of recent social studies confirms this pathology is summarized in this abstract so this is an abstract on the paper I was sent quote spiritual training is assumed to reduce self enhancement. That may have the paradoxical effect of boosting superiority feelings. Our results in other words the authors of the scientific paper, our results illustrate that the self enhancement motif is powerful and deeply ingrained so that they can hijack methods intended to transcend the ego, and instead adopt them to its own service. Oh my gosh, this is exactly what spiritual materialism is they don't of course attributed any of this nomenclature to Trump from the J. So back to me. These studies show how easily meditation can be twisted from, how can I be better to. How can I be better than you. If you notice this. And then I found this article on the guardian or this journalist, Barbara, Ellen does a summary. So this is what she writes her wording here is pretty cool so I just took a couple clips from her article. You can find this if you pull up the guardian. This article just came out like this week, I think. So this is her self improvement morphs into a pious one upmanship a contest to become the most perceptive enlighted enlightened empathic evolved and quote it manifests, this is me again it manifests in overt or covert expressions like I want everybody to see just how why selfless and mindful I really am.
I'd love to see Kohlberg just do a whole riff on this or john Stuart, or Trevor Noah, it would just be hysterical. I know there's some comedians out there this is material for you all. So okay, this is back to me this is what I wrote this morning mindfulness meditators can easily slip into elitist or exceptionalist traps. Feeling that their special meditation makes them special or that they are somehow exempt from the messiness of everyday life. The purity quote unquote of meditation can predispose one to look down on the unwashed masses who don't meditate. This meditative quicksand continues to snare many practitioners, and then this Guardian writer continues. This is great I like this wording, it would appear that the mindfulness movement is overrun by preening narcissists such people claim to unmeasurable and irrefutable claims about their innate superiority, such as greater insight into the human condition, deeper compassion for others and more advanced psychic abilities. These people are sashaying and yoga pants banging on about inner peace, and the true self. Smiling with sad wise, eyes at your Earthbound concerns. Like, just perfect. Absolutely still a spot I, I try to do that but back to me anything that has the power to cure has the power to curse, wherever you find light you will find shadows and the brighter the light the sharper the shadow. Mindfulness subverted into muck mindfulness is just one such shadow. Pure mindfulness is a wondrous thing, however, and this is back to her there's a global industry, seeking to monetize it turning people into self absorbed smug crystal stroking monsters incense burning crystals smoking. Dong banging monsters to prove their a cut above a cut above spiritually as well as every other way is just so spot on. And then my last closing paragraph and then some questions from you all. meditative communities and an authentic teacher can help in providing corrective feedback but not always. Sometimes the entire community slides into a codependent cult. With an enabling teacher to boot. And the result is a con or cornucopia of transference countertransference projection and a hornet's nest of unresolved psychological problems and blind spots that can bury an entire community. I won't name names but I can name about a dozen at this point. I have witnessed these pathologies firsthand, and the disintegration of entire communities along with the Masters quote unquote that enabled them. And then once again, this is kind of subsumed under my little riff on therapy. Once again, outside help in the form of therapy and other skillful means are invaluable in keeping things open, honest and on track. There you go. I think this stuff is important to know about. So we'll start with some questions were written in I'll start with those and then we open it up to you all, whatever you want to talk about or not. I know there are a couple questions, Eric and David from last week so Barry my beard my friend Barry. On the last day of one of the recent Bardo retreats. It must have been Mendler rivalry with Bob Thurman, you mentioned that the teachings about the five new yamas were a real game changer. When discussing karma, but I didn't have time to elaborate on them. Can I do that now. Sure, I can. So yeah, they were a game changer for me. And I was surprised. I've been doing this for 30 years. I heard about this before, in fact I won't name names but i i got a little bit curious, you know, and so I started asking some really high Rinpoche islamize Tibetan masters. You know, can you tell me, is why the Tibetans don't talk about than the amas and they weren't able to answer that for me so I originally started learning about this from the theravadan. Practice practitioners and writers, I think it was Arjun Amaro and others really sharp scholar practitioners. And so the five neoma has same term but different meaning than like in the Patanjali dioramas five orders of reality, the way they were game changers for me berry is that.
Again this these are these subtle insidious traps that everybody falls into. It's very easy to criticize Western reductionism scientific materialism feels like physicalism. Oh, these Westerners. They reduce everything into matter, it's, it's that reductionism is just so wrong. And actually it's I wouldn't say it's totally wrong but it's super limited absolutely positively. But what I, but what I then started to discover and this is what I asked one of these teachers, is I said well you know, it seems to me, mpj. That Easterners, ie us. We very easily readily fall into our form of reductionism and we don't even know it. Everything is mined. Everything can be reduced to karma. And I don't think it can. In the conflation takes place in the following way least is the way I saw set out that everything arises based on causes and conditions, I mean that's what the Buddha discovered, that's pretty good powder. The teachings on dependent origination. That's what he discovered underneath the Bodhi tree, you know really 2600 years ago that constitutes, you could say the intellectual content of enlightenment, that everything rises based on causes and conditions. And so what happens then is because karma is based on causes and conditions. It's very easy to conflate all arising with karma. And I think that's that's a form of Eastern reductionism. And so when I read about the new yamas. They Timmy pointed out these other four orders of have descriptions of the arising of the farm of the world. And so, if I remember them tuna Yama is basically the law order that deals with what we would call physics, chemistry, bJ niyama would be correlative to what we call genetics and biology chikungunya neoma would be correlative to what we call psychology in the mind sciences. kamiyama is what we know is what arises because of behavior that's Karma Karma is just one of these five and then Dharma nehama is the last one, which has to do with with fundamental principles and teachings in the Buddhist tradition like the five skandhas and four noble truths, I think, and stuff like that and so for me, Barry, it was the game changer because for the first time. As far as I can suss it out. I was learning about a wider, more integral approach to the, the arising of the phenomenal world that you just can't reduce everything to karma, you can reduce every arising to cause an effect. Because an effect is bigger than karma. And so this is super important to me because otherwise I mean, this is an extreme example but you get comments like, Oh, no, poor thing has cancer it's their karma. Poor thing was hit by a meteor. That's their karma. You can't really say that that's way too fast style that that's shrink wrap simplistic Eastern reductionist thinking. It just doesn't hold water in my book, we have these just not that simple. What do you do about genetic components and environmental components and all these other biological you know the reality is complex in that regard and so to say everything is karmic. That doesn't work for me. And so finally to read about it and it comes from some suitors and stuff and commentaries mostly shots from the commentarial tradition the shastra tradition. This is a big deal for me. So that's enough on that. Nick, I feel like being connected to a particular spiritual tradition. Might evoke deep symbolism embedded in that tradition, for sure. And in fact, before I continue with the question Nick, in this conversation I had with Yusef. We talked for a good 10 minutes. In fact I posed the idea to him after the conversation because I thought that part was so rich. I'm gonna suggest to him that he and then four or five other people that we both know get together and write a book,
an anthology from all the different wisdom traditions, about the promise and peril of tradition that how important tradition is is unbelievably important, but also again, kind of like my opening riff wherever there's cure there's curse there there's also real deep fundamental potential problems with tradition. And we got on this roof about how we were talking about I'd been out to California by the Salton Sea Have you ever been there it's a wild place where the Colorado River was diverted like 100 years ago. Oops. Oops, sorry about that. So, the Colorado River was diverted for like six months, so sorry I didn't mean to really do that. And they created this massive lake that then got cut off and it, and then it just died, it turned into a celebrated Dead Sea basically it's just it's a nasty place I went out there I was so interested in it's like this little apocalyptic place with its really charnel ground type of thing it's really kind of wild. And so I use that as a metaphor with Youssef that this is what happens to me when tradition. When you don't allow tributaries and influxes of new teachings wisdoms skillful means that are not just yours. You know, when you become so provincial so territorial so proprietary about your path, your tradition. I think this is a really big problem. And again, I won't name names but you know the minute these traditions circle their wagons. Don't allow other teachers and cut all the tributaries of new life waters the waters go dead, they turn into these salinated dead seas and so I'm pitching to Youssef and then four or five other friends. Of course, this won't happen because this is like fourth on my list of books to write. But because it's an apology maybe we can do it more quickly where I want these scholars from all these different wisdom traditions to write about the promise and peril of tradition. So anyway, a little bit of a riff before I got to the rest of your questions. So, if you like be connected to a tradition and the dreams might follow this tapestry of symbolism in other words that the dreams might be correlative to the tradition that you're embedded in. Is this true in your experience. For sure absolutely positively, that, you know, most of what we dream at night. We see during the day. And so therefore absolutely within that Maxim, no doubt, the symbolism that you learn the enculturation These are called surface structures, absolutely, positively color your dream. Create your dream tapestry and the symbolism and the vocabulary, no doubt. Okay, so from Debbie and then we open up to Erica and David who were first and second someone asked the question, a couple weeks ago about why it's considered okay to excuse me euthanize pets. I had a question regarding Andrews answer, which I believe had something to do with animals not being aware of death. Before the fact well I actually didn't say that loud, I didn't quite say that but something to that effect you could implicate. If advanced body suffers can be reborn as anything, including animals. Then, wouldn't it be possible than in advance being in an animal body could end up euthanized. And wouldn't that violate precepts, what a, what a fascinating question I'd never heard this question before. Yes, it is possible, um, and again there's so many correlative ideas here. What W is referring to that's so true, that the two phenomena that the rebirth phenomena. You have such power when you attain awakening, that you choose your rebirth. The again the point in the Buddhist tradition is not to get out of rebirth. The point is to get out of involuntary karmically habitually driven rebirth. You continue you in quotes because there's no you this, the fountain of this mindstream continues to take on form. But now it does so voluntarily out of wisdom and compassion, and it doesn't have to be just humanoid, it can be literally anything, not, not just the animal realm. It can be any of the 27 types of other incarnate classifications that's in samsara that's just samsaric levels of incarnation. Then you've got all these trans samsaric
emanations so you can literally come back as any centium form. But where it gets even more interesting is you can come back is a thing, literally, literally, a bridge, medicine, I mean literally any thing. And so therefore Debbie Not only does your question, apply to animals it applies to the planet it applies to what we're doing to the world. And on one level and then I'll be very specific about your question. This is what really this tenet is is really supports the whole principle of pure perception sacred world, that the world in a very real way it is divine and every sentient being and everything, not just the sense of being, I mean this this could be a bodhisatta right here. I mean when I first heard this, like 25, years ago I said, I said are you effing kidding me. When I was just like there's, there's no way you know because I was a bit of a scientific nerd, talking about reductionism. There's no way that this can be a bodhisattva. But I have since converted into this kind of sacred insanity. Good. I drink this Kool Aid now. Again, the world is not made of matter the world is made of heart, mind, spirit and that includes this. And so, think about how your relationship to the world would change, not just animals but to everything. If you realize that you know he literally the body of the Buddha. I mean what a wonderful, wonderful way you know you're living in the body You are the body of the but it's just a fantastic way. But specifically yeah what you're saying is true, but there are a number of ways to maybe I wouldn't say tweak this but work with this. If advanced body sophas can be reborn as an animal. Wouldn't it be possible that, you know, euthanizing an animal would and that yes it's true, but it wouldn't make a bit of difference for the Bodhisattva, and it wouldn't make that much difference for you. Because if your intention, you don't know that. I mean, suppose our level this level you could say you do. But I, I gave these answers, not based on my understanding of this I gave the this reply based on what I've heard from a number of meditation masters capital remember che compare RWJ others, and this is one of the more. I'm not sure if controversial is the right term but not everybody agrees on these topics I mean, I'm sure there And who am I to contest it I can just simply tell you that that others would not agree with this approach. I'm just simply sharing the information that I was given by teachers I really respect that if your motivation is pure. It's okay to put down your pet. Because as they both told me they pets do not learn from their suffering. The way we do. And so, with that you do with it, what feels right for you I've never had a long conversation with December brown she's a PhD. Actually Emeritus I think she just completely retired from Europa, a dear friend of mine. When I was writing my book preparing to die I talked to her about this at length, and she was terrific she said you know and do at a certain point, here's what you do. Here's what I do with it. Meaning her. We're talking about suicide I think suicide and euthanasia and abortion and all these really difficult really difficult issues. And I was asking me like where do you come down on all this stuff and she goes, you know, here's the way I roll with it and my friend Ken Wilber had same conversation with Ken. I said, How do you feel about euthanasia and we had a whole riff on that in fact that was recorded by the way, you'll find that on his integral. Life site where basically both of them said actually more Judith take the information in really reflect upon it. Do your best to understand the laws of karma, and then make your decision, you know, yes, it helps to have these kind of influxes of information from the great meditation masters but I was I was pleasantly surprised to hear from her. She didn't say oh you should just completely capitulate and do whatever your teacher tells you, I mean again that's just her. I appreciated what she said you know digest that yourself look within your heart check your motivation, and then do what feels right for you. So along those lines, I'll let that one go for now. But that's a good question I'd never heard that one before Debbie that's, that's pretty, pretty interesting. Okay, so if Erica and David are online we can bring them on at David's here so we'll bring in David. Oh we got some live ones more live ones came in cool, we can get those in a second to
David, I am. Hi, Andrew. Well, funnily enough, my question talks about dead ones. At least I feel alive here. So, what you've been talking about intersects a lot with with my, my two questions or points. One is on language. And you know you're talking about how just now about how tradition affects it but the language that we speak, is so critical, huge, if we have, if we use the terminologies of a dead world are a world that that's just Cartesian. Then, we believe it, because we're convincing ourselves again and again and if you, if you don't get out of that language. How would you do it I'm trying to remember Shay talked about taming the English language.
you know, and so what do you, what would you say on this and when are you gonna write a book about it.
Yeah, that's great. Right. Yeah. What an oxymoron moronic kind of thing to write a book about the language of books about the limits of language. I thought about this quite a bit my friend, as in fact have a ton of philosophers I mean vidkun Stein, Benjamin Lee Worf, I mean, some of the Alfred North Whitehead, a ton of really sophisticated thinkers have thought a ton about this, and it's super important topic. In fact, if you're if you're doing the book study group you may remember way back in the very first session I started with a 15 minute riff on exactly this where what you're saying is true. Benjamin Lee Worf the great synthesis linguist wrote a seminal book, way back when called language, thought reality, how it is in fact, just like you're saying that language is my friend. Also David Loy writes a lot about this language is a monumental player in the construction of our world. It's dualistic in nature. it's reified in nature. It implies subject object verb, so that's dualistic. It implies nouns so it's therefore reified. And fundamentally those are completely antithetical to the nature of reality right there is no subject object. And there are no nouns, there are no nouns. There's just verbs. And so, you know, languages. It's what separates us from the beasts, but it's it's also that which limits us us limits us dramatically if we don't understand the profound limitations of language and so what we do is we do what we those who are interested, we do what we're doing here we study, we try to understand our captors so that we can make a prison break. And so we use that language, but we try not to let it use us, and that's why we have poetry and music, and the arts, and, you know, as you know, thought transmission lineages symbolic lineages lineage lineage is the transmission of information that are not linguistic in this classic sense. So that's the best we can do, and most people, they wouldn't even know what we're talking about here there's so capitulated to living in a world based on linguistic principles that they don't even know that they don't know. So it's, it's really important I remember that one of the first articles I ever wrote was exactly on this topic that how it is that language, like for instance you know you take the word tree. Right. In fact, I remember, that's what I use as my example. You take the word tree, well tree is a very convenient shrink wrapped conceptual and somewhat immortal. This is why people like to write. It's a form of immortality project, your words go down in infamy or your words go down and in fame and fortune or history.
But you know the word tree shrink wraps, a wildly complex process. The tree, you know, what is the tree it's a incredibly complex interchange on biochemical chemical solar energetic levels. But that's not it's not very convenient to talk about reality in that more honest way, It's a lot more convenient to say tree. Then dismiss the messiness, and the complexity, the deep ecology behind the arising of any phenomena. So, I'm not sure I'm not sure what else to say about that outside of just, you know, this is why in our tradition, we have the three pedagogical processes we have the three tools of hearing that's still linguistic contemplating yeah you're starting to purify you know you're it's less conceptual it's more embodied, not so much language now it's more felt. And then of course, this why we work with meditation. Meditation is completely trans conceptual trans verbal trans linguistic. And that's when you really know. So, you know, it's like memory you know use memory but don't let it use you use language, don't let it use you use technology but don't let it use you. And so, understanding the limitations challenging those questioning those is incredibly important because otherwise we just think that the world actually abides by these maps. The map is never the territory, no matter how elegant. And so yeah I simply can just agree with you that it's incredibly important topic and I sure as heck I'm not going to write on it, because there are philosophers and thinkers much more sophisticated than me that have done this for hundreds and hundreds of years, so I just joined them in this chorus of kind of attacking celebrating the contributions of the map, what it has to offer. But then also being acutely painfully aware of how limited it is in mathematics, the same thing people say what mathematics isn't objective description. Give me a break. We met you regardless rips that idea to shreds. Even mathematics we think it's the purest, you know, non subjective language No it's not, it's still it's still a thought construct it's still a conceptual construct, maybe somewhat cleaner in the sense that you know it's it's a universal language, but it's still a language nonetheless. So anyway, maybe enough on that but that's a good one.
It's wonderful to engage in the yoga of trying to see through our uses Oh No kidding. of language and any other thought construct
and just yeah I mean basically gauge with it in a certain way that's what Nagarjuna did right i mean in certain way that's you know that's why a whole dialectic debate tradition came about where you know you bring this to Nagarjuna and he would just shred it. And then what do you left with nothing. And then that's not very comfortable for people but you know again, then you use these methods as relative skillful means do you use them as tools and pirates you just use them for purposes of benefiting others all the while knowing how unbelievably limited they are. And this is why again I don't have a whole lot of patience anymore. For for kind of professional philosophers professional pedagogues, because in my opinion, they're just really simply spinning around in extremely subtle sophisticated language traps, maps, are you get really bored with that kind of thing if there's no practice if there's no transcending methodology you Paya I'm not interested. Because you can just talk yourself you know that's what philosophers have done in the pejorative sense for 1000s of years, it's just boring to me. So, anyway,
there you go. Second question. Okay. And this is probably even somewhat personal to you. Because, you know, within the Bardo of death. I was really struck at the end of Marcia turns on skis funeral service, oh I heard about that
yeah but she was she was a dear friend. Yeah, I heard of that. Yep.
And of mine too. She used to be a neighbor here. When I first moved to Boulder she was did me an immense good turn of second person there. And just a lasting impression. For years, anyway, new family. Pretty well
So, you know, and to her husband Ludwick said she had signs realization. For the first 24 hours, the heart, warm and the skin supple. Various teachers were saying that she was an accomplished practitioner, and particularly in being very very unassuming about what she knew, and being very humble about it. But when she was asked what what pyramids she wanted to go to. She said she wanted to go into the mind of her teacher Trump peremptory Shay,
And, and I believe that, you know, Trump river shade said, when you're dying, just calling him he'll always be there for you. Now, and I had a personal experience with someone else you might know, did you did you know Paul Halpern used to live. Paul Halpern married Faye Halpern moved out to Erie was costumes costume.
I probably met him well I can't I can't bring a face to the name but anyway.
Well, you know, he, he died of mittens, six or eight years ago, and you know he had some signs, a realization but I went in with some. My son and, and another cousin, and we we did the costume practice in which we invoke purple shades the doors you draw them, and did the fee start performance. The last thing before his funeral for the night. And. And here I'm someone, and I've mentioned before that. Ordinarily I don't visualize. All right, except sleeping right. But here when I did this practice for Paul late at night. I experienced something where I would swear that when we called him from purpose a to come for Paul, that drum corps appreciate appeared and innovation visualization was so strong, I could taste the dust, I could, I could, I could hear the sounds. I'll you know, you know, the visualization is pretty glorious. And it wasn't it. It wasn't a visualization krump or shading. Aim there, there was a vision. Yeah, yeah. And I must swear that Paul saluted him came to attention. And Paul left with him.
I love these stories,
and in the morning. Paul's wife said, What did you do there something special happened up there. And I felt all sudden everything was going to be okay. Yeah. And, and no my son and the other costume, both afterwards saying, Wow, this, this was what we experienced this year. Yeah. My mind was a little stronger than theirs. But it was it was real tough but again it was calling on Trump. At that point. Yeah, lots of preparation, Paul was an experienced meditator practitioner and Shambala Arts in Kyoto and on and on and on, costing work. But it ultimately when both of these cases, it was calling on Trump for appreciate. So, now, I have heard you talk so much about that particular way because we're sure. What, what would you say to this,
I would just say my hope it's a form of Guru yoga POA. And it's actually, it's actually. There's a lot to say here. First of all, what a great story I love this stuff that you know it's actually part of the job description playfully quote unquote of these great minds. I mean, even Padma Sam bhava. If you read his book I think it's called White Lotus. He guarantees this sort of thing, you know that, that if you call from the bottom of your heart to your teacher. It's actually still your mpj and so many other teachers say this that's actually part of their job description. Right. They will be there. I mean they're never, they're never not there, but they're concentrated. Yeah, and and so absolutely positively. It's one of the in fact checking in Byron Bay once when he was teaching on the bardos said his same very similar thing he said you know, when you're dying and and all else fails, or you don't really know what else to do. He just said call out from the depths of your heart to your teacher, absolutely, positively, I used to have this annoying thing about 15 years ago where i, where i used to ask, you know, the most influential people that I was around, sometimes in public settings, you know like, what would you do if you just had a minute left to live what would be your irreducible instruction and I remember a number of really sophisticated and super intelligent people, a number of them would say. Think of your teacher, visualize your teacher. Bring your teacher to mind. So, you know, for those who have a connection to devotion devotion is, everything, everything, it's it's the super juice of adrionna It's what makes the piano so powerful, and also if that isn't harnessed properly so dangerous. It's using the most powerful force in the universe which is what love for the purposes of awakening so in this case it's it's a form of Gurion cupola where you know the bed energy is concentrated your heart opens, that, that channel is whatever kind of phenomenology is taking place there it doesn't really matter that much to us. But that's what I'm going to do when I'm going to die I'm going to do the sadhana Maha Mudra my heart practice. I'm going to think of my teacher, and absolutely positively that's that's what I'm going to do so. Thank you for sharing that story I just say my whole spawn. Cool. Thank you. Okay. Beautiful. All right so Erica was on had a question from last week and then we'll open it up to some others if Eric is here. And I don't think Erica is here actually. Okay. But there's some more raised hands so next week I'm bringing Myra. Okay.
Hello Happy New Year.
Hi Happy New Year.
How are you, so I'm all nervous because I, I've been listening again and over and over to Harvey Butz interview. Because I relate really a lot to her experience, and you may remember that precognitive dreams are my nightmare, in a way, say, a dream dreams so precognition had been my nightmare.
Oh precognitive dreams yeah we started a conversation with that. Yeah.
So, um, and they've been mean my nightmare because they feel heavy on me because I do not know what to deal with them in a way because I find that they can be traps and then I learned through you yeah they are traps in then we talk about some of these things how they you're looking for, not, not seeing us at CVS or relative CD but just allowing them to rebuild your signposts, and do not attach to them but this is the dream and the dream that I wanted to share. I had a joke when I was in your retreat the dream retreat. Last October just before we began. And if I may have a lot of time in this dream I dreamt that I enter into a room that is really white, and I see Melania Trump. And I have been asking trying to see who was going to win the election, and I get close to milania and the first thing is going to be how pity My mind is but I look her and how she has a lot of makeup she's not really that pretty. And after that, I tell him milania milania, I had a dream with you and there was Lucy at that moment I had a dream that you're going to be moving to a smaller house, and still her eyes water all the sudden and I said I'm not telling you what is going to happen I just I'm telling you that I had a dream that you're moving to a smaller house and she was in a lot of pain, and I get very nervous and then to a wall. I see outside of that house and then there is the street is full of people. In a March, and they had a science of plaques and Trump signs. And I say, Why are those people so close to the house, they are too close to the house and that is very dangerous. So I tell everybody this dream, I even share a little bit of the dream in the group when we were sharing with the groups and I told everybody because for me I knew that their dream had some meaning. So the election came I said well she's moving to a different house he lost but yesterday when I came home, and I look at the TV and I saw what the TV was showing, I saw the same scene. It was almost like virtual reality I was transported to my dream. And I saw the same scene that I saw in my dream. So this is the question, those dreams are really heavy and in my cells I don't have any doubt that they happen. I do not know whether they have any more value or, I do not know what I do with them. If I could see previous lives I would tell you that in a previous life I was stuck right there and I don't want them to become so heavy. I don't want to become where you just are blinded by the experience, do I explain my question.
Yeah, I think I got it. Yeah, you know, just like with other things Myra that, you know, any situation only gets as heavy as we impute it to be. So, you know what I'm saying out here and I know you well so I'm going to speak honestly with you that your reifying it a little bit too much, otherwise it wouldn't be so heavy. Otherwise it would just be informative. And so the reification is taking place because you're such a, an impassioned beautiful soul. That is weighing down on your sensitivities. And so you're the one that's making it heavy, in and of itself, it's just information. And so I would perhaps maybe try to honor the dream for what it is given to you, you know, it's you have shamanic talents which is beautiful, it's fantastic celebrate it. But don't take it, you know again take it seriously but don't take it so literally because otherwise these kind of gifts can become a burden. And it's, you know, so I would maybe, maybe pay a little bit more attention to that. And realize just the fact that it is an offering it is a gift that you're, you're opening up your pores transparent enough where and dreams are I mean I have a number of these as the me William James was tormented about these sorts of things you know it, his, his views on. In fact, you should read his book called the illusion of will self and time. William James is reluctant guide to enlightenment. The book starts with a really incisive look at exactly this topic, and precognitive dreams are, these are incredibly impactful powerful events so I would simply recommend. Allow yourself to celebrate the gifts that you get when you receive these types of dreams. And don't think in some way that they're special while at one level they are special. Just don't make them special. Don't make them heavy. Let them simply be these informative glimpses that they really are. And then you can use them to inform you, what you actually do with them as a bit of a personal matter, I'm not going to, you know, tell you what to do with them. But, you know, maybe look at the job descriptions of the shamans.
See, you're like a third person this last six months I've said something to be like that.
Yeah, you know like this What shamans Do you know they have this capacity, and they use it to benefit others so don't don't take these things too personally don't have a certain level I would almost say don't take them at all. Allow them receive them but don't take them. Because you take them you'll take it upon you, then they become a burden, and then they become heavy. And so you know a lot of so called mystic psychic shamans you know they have this access to these relative cities, and then part of what makes a shaman different from, from an amateur is their relationship to these experiences they know how to deal with them as gifts, and they don't burn out they don't get in burden. They just realize hey my radio is just tuned into that frequency. And I'm just going to listen to that pay attention to it it's going to inform me. You know how you work with it to work with others. That's a massive question. Probably beyond our scope it's something like that Myra is what I would do. You know, take it seriously but don't take it so literally and don't take it too seriously. Let it inform. Now,
now that it happened yesterday was almost like there was a release of energy, I do not feel the same heaviness anymore it's almost like a confirmation and I'm, I've been embarrassed all my life of having this kind of dream so
I wouldn't be embarrassed. You may want to look at you may want to look at this, this YouTube clip, just google it airline dream airline crash.
I would watch that a couple times I mean that poor guy, you know he predicted he had multiple dreams about that American Airlines crash that DC kind of Chicago, and he was tortured by it. Um, I know if I was able to talk to him I might say something to him like I said to you, you know, give yourself a break, you know you did everything you could about it, and and receive the dream for the gift that it is and then, as with anything else. Let go. Let it go. So something like that. Yeah, yeah, read up on shamans because you're probably a shaman you just know you need a little bit, learn about, you know, their job description and what they do. You might want to be
funny thing is that we something I fear is the part of the, of the how confusing and blinding that energy can be because it can be so empowering I tie it to what you were saying at the beginning. So, I have a fear of becoming something that is just an egomaniac.
That can happen as well. Right. but that's not going to happen with you. But you know i mean just the fact that you asked that question, means it won't happen to you, but we need to keep asking those questions all the time because otherwise those, you know, it turns into a sorceress trap. You actually can I, I'm blinded by that sort of thing and then it becomes, it can become a problem of and that's why the traditions don't emphasize this stuff at all. Zero. In fact, they weren't against it because relative city has a provisional place for helping others. It's never about you. Absolute city absolute city, you know, don't let that have power over you. That's what the traditions are so as long as you keep asking that question, and being, you know, nervous about the self aggrandizing aspects of these types of gifts, then you'll never have a problem with it, the problem becomes when you stop asking those questions and you somehow think you're special, that's a problem. I mean you're special I love you, but you're. But you're not that special.
Okay. That one quick thing I think you're lucid dreaming book it's an actual very good book to be able to like in my small community I was thinking that maybe we can follow the chapters. Everybody likes having me there and just facilitate the following the different chapters of the book. So I wanted your permission to do something like that. Oh, absolutely. That's That's sweet.
Yeah, Go for it.
Okay, and you know one more live one and then a couple get a couple dead ones. Yeah, we'll bring in Vanessa next.
Can you hear me. Yeah. Awesome. I this is our first virtual meeting I'm so happy to be here. Found you and to be a part of this community.
Well I love your work. I always I'm always really nosy so I love, I love your little bit this is like what this is the cover of one of my children's books. Oh, cool. Yeah, yeah, I can't remember which one but walking walking walking walking anyway sorry I was really nosy about people like what do you hear anyway. Sorry. Sorry. No, no,
no problem. So I I have a couple of questions. The first. The first part is in the last few days of my meditations. I'm noticing I'm getting really relaxed, and then starting to head towards the liminal state because an image will pop up, and then I'm like, oh wow this feels just like trying to fall asleep. So my question is, does in an evolved meditation practice. Does it mirror, falling asleep through waking dreaming sleeping, whatever three brainwaves and states of consciousness and the lucid part is the witnessing of it. Okay, thank you and then state of. Thank you and the state of flow consciousness where I'm in the flow of whatever I'm, I'm, I'm, I lose myself I'm caught up in doing whatever that activity is, is that an inherently lucid state of consciousness, or is that more like being caught up in a non lucid feel good dream,
so I'm a little confused so now you're now you're not talking about a dream anymore now you're talking about awakening experience,
that's a separate question sorry Yes,
right. So, so you're so you're in, you're in a kind of zone flow state in the waking experience right.
Yeah, because in. I don't know I think Marty Seligman who has studied. Right, so he'll talk about the state of flow.
absolutely. And so just to reiterate the actual question behind it. So,
so my question is, is the state of flow in inherently lucid state, or is it more like being caught up in a feelgood non lucid dream.
Oh, you know, it can be either. It depends on you and your, your relationship to the experience you know when a flow state is is actually experienced properly, where it's relatively it's like meditation in action, it's a relatively selfless state where I mean you know what it's like you know you've kind of entered this somewhat transpersonal sometimes then tantric language I use the phrase you know entering the action where there's no longer this constant and this I'm saying this as a description of it, and also as something you can play and work with. You will discover that what actually brings about the flow state is the type of Samadhi absorption state into what's actually happening. And so, when that's done purely incompletely that's the way the Buddha's live, so we we have intimations of that complete flow state where you know you literally just does you become nothing but you become everything you quote unquote just dissolve into whatever arises. That's the ultimate flow state, what we experience while you're talking about are intimations of that, you know, tastes glimpses of that flow state and the reason they're glimpses is because there's still a very subtle reflexivity taking place there still. Maybe, maybe not so much when you're having it, and that I can't I can't say I don't know the depth of your immersion. But there can be little flickering of reference or contraction. Even when you're having it's like well I'm having a flow state. You'll find that if you actually end up feeling or saying that a lot, you're no longer in the flow state so very often those are retrofitted when you're actually purely in a flow state there's none of that commentary, that's what actually defines the flow state. There's none of that. It's relatively thought free. And so that's the issue, how relatively thought free is it how free of self reference is it. And so, if it's completely free of self reference again that's the way the Buddhists live they live in that other completely. It's called spontaneous presence, completely effortless. It's just total liberation spontaneous activity that is just blissful, we can approximate that in these experiences like you're talking about, but because we're not completely open we're still somewhat contracted will will have greater or lesser degrees of this immersion space. So, you know, I simply say, fantastic they're great. Very often these situations happen serendipitously and they often arise in physical activities. When the mind just becomes entrained with the body the body takes over. And the body is always already present and your body is always in the flow state. It's just the mind and the body are not synchronized. So that's why most of these spaces takes place in set some type of physical activity. But with that said, it can be cultivated, you can nurture this and meditation, you know the jhana states the Samadhi states there are type of flow state. So classic flow states you know this is all initiated by this Czech psychologist I love his name and Mihai he, if you can pronounce his name you get a Nobel Prize right Mihai he chick chick Bahai you know he's got this like 16 syllable last name, I guess, is my father who whose first language was check in even he stumbled on it for a second before he told me how to pronounce this guy's name. So you have to be in a flow state, even then say his name. But, something like that, you know, they're they're fantastic but they, they happen serendipitously usually based on physical activities, but they can be cultivated meditation. Tai Chi yoga body movements Lu Jong trunk or all the kind of somatic meditations actually helped bring that about. So they're wonderful glimpses of the ultimate flow state which is awakening. So, something like that.
Thank you so much. And then one quick other question which is, besides you doing dream yoga practices. Do you personally mine your dreams for creativity. Yeah,
I do. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely, positively. Sometimes I'll do them with direct incubation techniques. Sometimes they'll do them a little bit like you were saying with liminal dreaming. If you haven't read Jennifer Doom pears book on that topic literally called liminal dreaming, I might recommend it, but I absolutely, you know, Thomas Edison did it Salvador Dali did it. So many people do it. I do it. Sometimes directly, like if I'm looking for some ideas or whatever. But often, and this is what I was talking about with furry bugs around who I interviewed this really elite beautiful dreamer, who is also an artist. You know, my relationship is very similar to hers where you know I've been living in swimming in this stuff for so long that that I don't necessarily even have to incubate these sorts of things anymore because it's just so much part of my life, that they just it's just a natural byproduct of doing that but on specific occasions yes I will do a very specific incubation or kind of a targeted thing, but most of the time I just stay open and allow the creative impulses to do their thing. Okay. Thank you so much. Nice to meet you in so. So I'm gonna take I got one or two here and then we that were written and then we can take a couple more so, Elizabeth How do you spell niyama, and I why a ma. And where can you learn about it. I don't know of a single text, there are. You'd be surprised. It's almost a cop out but it's true if you just Google it. It's like, well there's a cheap answer if you just Google the five knee amoz. It'll probably take you to Patanjali and the yoga sutras that's not it again same word not the same meaning. But you will find articles lion's roar articles Arjun Amaro. There's some commentarial literature. I don't know of a single source text there is a sutra that talks about it and the title just escapes me now. But if you literally I hate to say it, it's a cop out but if you just Google the darn thing, you will find there's I know there's some Zen writers who have written on it I can't think of their names, my first introduction to it was I think through either Buddha Dharma magazine or lions were a number of years ago and I think it was Arjun Amaro who wrote about it. So there's not a ton out there but there's some, and you can find it. Okay, I'll get to 10 in a second. You have mentioned, this is from art white art bite. You have mentioned in relation to Bardo yoga that death is the dream at the end of time. Yes, that's one way the Buddhists, talk about death. They talk about three types of dreams and death is referred to as the dream at the end of time. My understanding from studies of the Dalai Lama, is that there is no end of time. Well yes or no, let me let me finish and then I'll come back, that there is no end of time therefore there is no time. I'm sorry, therefore there is no death Dalai Lama mentions the Tibetan saying everyone dies, but no one is dead. Can you share some of your insights on this topic in relation to trans migration and or reincarnation. Yeah, sure. Well, yes on one level there is no end of time because there is no time. It's just like language. Time is a construct even space is a construct, and even Einstein said this, you know i mean space and time are constructs. They're not Givens. So time only exist as a construct in relative reality. And therefore, yeah on one level, there is no death, absolutely, positively, what you have to do to play with these sorts of things is kind of centrifuge out relative from absolute truth on a relative level, there is death on a relative level there is time at a relative level there is space, you can't just deny that that's
nihilistic at best. But when you really look underneath the hood and you examine things. There is no time and so therefore there's no end of it and so when they talk about death is the dream at the end of time. Well this is from a relative perspective right i mean he got it, he kind of got to say something's a little bit like David's thing, or what else are you going to do you know I could try to mine it right, I could try to dance it paint it sing it. Yeah, kind of, say something. And so, you know, on one level you could say death and put everything in quotations well death there is death but there isn't any death dream. Nothing's a dream but everything's a dream time. Is there time yes and no. So, you have to centrifuge out these different domains of truth. And I think if you do that you'll solve. In fact, often when you kind of come across these ironies and paradoxes seeming contradictions. Usually it's because you have a clash, a juxtaposition of relative and absolute truth. And if you titrate you centered on that titrate but if you separate those out, you'll be able to find something that becomes workable. So, I'll leave it at that. There is actually a very interesting set of teachings dialogues of Krishna Murthy with David Bohm physicist, something I think it might be. What's the title of it has to do something like, I think the ending of time or something like that, where bone gets into this sort of thing even from a physical point of view. So I think that's probably enough on that. Another alive 1am Andy and then I'll get Ted's political question. We'll bring in Peter next.
Hi, Andrew. Hi.
Thank you so much. I wanted to ask something relating to something you would you spoke about earlier about with karma, because I find. Well, let me say first you kind of really shake me up in the best way. Because I think sometimes like I've got things figured out, like for example, karma. I guess I after what you said earlier today I, I recognize that I, I am a kind of a reductionist when it comes to karma and I'm thinking, everything ultimately is related to the karma and it's not just like a cause and effect yeah but it's cause and effect in terms of actions of the body, physical actions in terms of speech, and in terms of mind you know what your thoughts so all of that take all of that, and you want to understand that you want to be comprehensive, it all comes down to karma. So there's a lot operating here, so I thought you know okay I've got it all, I kind of got it all figured out. Similarly with the expression centium being so when I understood centium being to be feeling anything that feels anything that can experience suffering, or pain. So anything that has sentiment. So that's a sentient being. And then I felt Okay, now I've got my, my universe kind of mapped out. And here you come along or before. And you say something about the boat about yourself when you pick up the pen and you say, so this is a boat this could be a bodhisattva. So that kind of floors me I've done
which has no feeling as far as I can tell, or a wall. There was a time once actually when I recall someone saying you know this wall here which protects us from the cold and the wind. That's a bodhisattva. I remember being taken aback by that a bit, and not discounting it, I thought, yeah, there's some kind of truth to that. but that was a long time ago. So recently I mean just now when you talk about a pen or a bridge, being a bodhisattva. I'm thinking, Okay, maybe I could understand this, but give me a handle, or in the sense, no pun intended, or what give me a bridge, so I can go to that thought. And then make it feasible in my mind.
Empty incentive means feeling sensible, you have sensitivity so you can suffer, or you can have pleasure and pain there. Yeah. how do you how do you see an object of so called inanimate objects things physical things in the world. How can they be beings that feel
well they again. Not necessarily. This is where you have to centrifuge out again. The difference between sentience and things like mine. Trust me when I first heard these teachings I had exactly the same checkmate. This kind of checkmating of the mind and like you know our watch. And that's why I asked, I so many teachers because I said this is so antithetical to my view so there's a number of things thrown in here. You know the issue of sentience is one that which experiences pleasure and pain. That's the way they define that. How intimately that is connected to what we're talking about here. I'm a little bit agnostic or open ended on that. But way, the place, one of the places to go, specifically, and then generally around this stuff is to look at the tupu phenomena. There are four types of tukui, again, it's just beyond the scope of what we can talk about here. But interestingly enough, his name Toku toondah from Vijay has written. I think it's the only book on this topic and it's right around the corner with a title of course that I can't remember.
Yeah, I have to run out and pull it out I know exactly where it is but it takes me 30 seconds to tuned up if you look at his books. He has one entire book on the Toku phenomena, where he he discusses this type of process you will also read about it in the second chapter of shantideva Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life the body chariots avatar aware, you know, when I first read that thing. Remember, if you remember those verses may be a bridge for those who are on the IB the medicine, may I be a book. I said oh that's lovely What a nice poem. Oh, how sweet. And then I realized later, it's not poetic, he's actually being quite literal, you know, may I be that bridge May I be that whatever. And so, Let me share a story with you. Well actually I'll end with the story. The other place I would go to to work with this is a deep understanding and study of the teachings on emptiness because what we need to do is empty out our physical allistic materialistic view so these proclamations are regulatory of our unconscious defaults into physical allistic reductionist materialistic views, and again that's not our fault. It's the way we were raised in the cult of scientific materialism. We're raised in this in this perverse cult. And it's deep in our system and so that's why when we first hear this. It goes against the tide of everything we've been trained and. So, the way to really kind of wrap your mind is to blow your mind by studying the teachings on emptiness, you know, and so just ever so briefly here again I keep referring to Campbell Rich's book progressive stages of meditation on emptiness just because it's so short. And I wouldn't say accessible but pithy. And so in his five stages right. The second stage is going from the shabaka, which is still materialistic, they still assert dharmas kind of atomistic nature, the colossal transformation from the first days to the second stage from trop shabaka to CIT democra. This is an enormous shift. This is where you go basically from one extreme to the other. You go from a physical only world which is the way we are trained to a mind only that's literally the mantra. And so that's where you start. And then what you do is then you refine what well what exactly is this mind, because otherwise what happens then Chitta mantra becomes another form of reductionism everything's just mind. Well, yes and no. I mean, what kind of mind are you talking about, and so then you have the other three stages that refine that you know so tantric image amika prasangika jamocha and then shentong by jamocha, but all come on afterwards to help you understand this thing called mind. And so the only way you know it's like the guardian or I think it was the guardian of the king of emptiness one said you know when you understand emptiness, anything is possible. If you don't understand emptiness, nothing is possible. So what this comes up, what this reveals and it did the same thing for me. It revealed my limitations of my understanding of emptiness, and my reductionist views, and so it took me a long time, you know, to shape shift and this also if you're a tantric practitioner. You studied duck now you study pure perception threefold purities the sacred world. So we're talking about a pretty colossal transformation, a revolution in both not knowing and being that shifts us into this, you know this radically elevated view so we're basically replacing a reductionist view with an elevation view, you know, instead of reducing everything to frisky dirt. My friend Ken Wilber talks about it I love that phrase, reducing everything to frisky dirt, you elevate everything into divine heart, mind, spirit is beautiful. But we're not raised that way you know we haven't been brought up in that cult so to speak that tradition that way. That's what constitutes the path. So I'll leave you with one last thing and then set you out for you to work on this on your own, so I asked these exact same questions I asked in public, to pull up OBJ ones. I'll never forget it, because I was just like you I just been reading this stuff and it's like, why. And so I asked him, he said, which I I cannot wrap my mind around this this is so out there it is just like are you kidding me and and i said i can you help me. And he said something and I'm just gonna leave it at this I will not run commentary on it. He says something like, in fact not something he said this. Oh, actually I asked the question, here's what here's what I said Robert J. How do I know how do I know that this called. This is called diversified nirmanakaya it technically that's what this is. In the four types of mnemonic hyah Toku. This is called variegated or diversified nirmanakaya, that's the technical term for this in that tradition. So I said, Remember che said how do you know if one of these diversified variegated nirmanakaya is actually appears to you. Right. And this is what he said. He said, Well, Andrew. You said it's like this. He said it's like well you know you cross over this bridge, and you turn around and the bridge is no longer there.
And I said a rubbish a that's really helpful so I'm going to leave you with that final statement. That's really helpful. Okay.
Yeah. Thank you very much.
The tutor mantra, like, yeah, now I've got something to wrap my head around it should Tinder mantra that you mentioned is that the middle Middle Way school.
No, no it's not that middle way school is a jamocha Chitta mantra is there two wings of the Mahayana Yes, just a mantra, and that I'm sorry, two wings of the Maha Yala or the mme aka. Yeah, yoga Chara. Again, it's hard, it gets technical but that, I mean, I'll just put it out there, Chitta mantra is often confused with the yoga Chara but it's not yoga Chara to tomato's like a subset of yoga Chara. So, it's not the same as in Norway. It's different. It's also called a vision app. And you can you can read about this on that topic. A book I might recommend is luminous heart. Translated by Carl Bernhardt so he, he, he goes after the whole chip democra thing with real elegance. So I might write his 100 page introduction to that book is really good. It's an introduction to the yoga Chara tradition with a razor sharp critique of Chitta modra. The Chitta mantra is not you know we tend to think, Oh, you know, it's all mind. The way Carl puts it is his Chitta mantra is not an honorific reifying honorific Chitta mantra is a pejorative saying that everything is mind means that everything is a projection of the conceptual mind. But that's what Shepard separates Chitta module from yoga Chara slash shentong. When you say everything is mind at that level that's a whole different mind that's clear light mind Chitta mantra is projection samsaric mind. So whenever when people say it's all mind. First thing you have to say is what kind of mind are you referring to. So the granularity The only way to suss this stuff out man, you got to just wrestle with it struggle with it, understand the granularity understand that the schools the traditions the practices that lead you to this. It's not easy, because it goes against the tide of everything we've been trained, but you know it's worth work. It's worth the effort. Because it'll it'll radically transform the way you look at reality, and then someday you'll you'll realize that. Here's the other thing. Not only is this the Buddha, but this is, is Ken Wilber once you know this question I alluded to earlier. You know if you only had a few minutes left to live what would you say, and again I asked him in a public setting and he said, You know, I was really surprised because he's like the super intellectual, he said well, hug the person on either side of you and realize that you're hugging a deity. So the world is full of Buddhas and deities and everything around you is fundamentally the body of the Buddha. And what that said I set you out on your journey until you can come to that realization on your own. Okay, thank you, Andrew. Yeah. You're welcome. Okay, so two more and then I got a run from Evelyn and then Ted. And then that's it for this week. could regularly experiencing the peace and absorption of flow states help others. Even when these experiences are solitary. Yeah, so of course, it can do this in several ways. One is that in a more esoteric way if you believe in this thing and there's actually a book on this. What a surprise, called the Maharishi effect that. Again, we're not separate from other beings we're not separate from other animals and seemingly inanimate forms and so actually Ken Wilber writes about this really elegantly in his book, integral spirituality, pretty complex chapter where he talks about are called cosmic habits and how it is that when, when people enter these absorption states when they clean up their own mind and heart because of the interconnectivity that on one level we're all deeply inextricably connected. You're actually kind of paving, a path for others you're at you're actually being of benefit to others.
So on one level this happens on that cosmic bandwidth that that when you again when you understand the nature of reality that it's not just the stupid materialistic clunky thing, then that is made of heart, mind, spirit whatever you want to call it that what you do with your heart, mind, spirit has an effect on the world has effect on others. That's the kind of cosmic level on the more kind of immediate level, the peace and absorption of the flow states that you experience will leave a trace with you they will eventually transform you. And then that will definitely benefit others because then when you come out of that space that tranquility that stability that flow state, actually becomes somewhat contagious. It can really influence other in a more direct embodied way so absolutely positively. You're not just doing this stuff for yourself. When these practices have more impact than you think. I mean on a, on a Converse level here's the way it works on the other level. And this might be interesting as well, in relation to the previous question in a I can't remember the text, but Trungpa j just an amazing master once said something along somewhat along these lines that really struck me. This is my language to what he said you know he's talking alluding to the kind of interconnectivity of mind and world, where in a Converse way what he was saying was that you know if people in a particular environment are really aggressive. And again, you draw your own conclusions on this but I was blown away when he said this. If people in a particular locale or really aggressive environment nasty mean, he said eventually that environment will be infected. And you will notice Earth things like earthquakes and floods and disasters. Hello, world. Hello. And so, again, this is stupefyingly interesting slash profound you know that, that when you work in a really positive way. You have a profound impact on the environment and in fact, this is an interesting plug on a program I'm doing two programs with Bob Thurman this year on pure lands. And one of the teachings is one of the programs is going to be on tantric pure lands Adrianna pure lands where we're going to talk about what I at least I'm going to be talking about what's called bejewel hidden lands and sacred geography, and how it is that tantric pure line. Pure Land pure mind. Pure Land, that, that what you do with your mind affects the environment, and this is why when we go paradigmatically to sacred spaces power places pilgrimage spots. If you've ever been to these places. Oh my gosh, are they powerful I mean well the first time I stepped into bodhgaya where the Buddha attained his alignment. I almost fell over. I mean there's so much spiritual energy they're in that physical place. What's that about. Well that's because not only the Buddha, but all these amazing beings for so many years have been in that location. And because their mind mixes with that environment, they stamp that space with the purity and the awakeness of their mind and that's why you feel that sacred quality when you go to those spaces. Conversely, you know, you have a completely opposite kind of mind. It has a completely opposite effect you know you can walk into an environment sometimes this might even save your life. I've entered some neighborhoods I've added some spaces where it's like, I insane here man. The vibe was so negative, the environment was so dark. It was like, I'm getting out of here as fast as I possibly can. And I'm sure psychics intuitives you've had these experiences. J says it goes even further than that and they will actually start to affect that land earthquakes hurt. I mean, just like what in the world today. Right. This stuff is fantastically powerful so we're going to be riffing on this Bob Thurman, and I think the second question program is sometime in March, so I love this stuff but maybe we'll let it go for now. And on that note, we're going to end on a very cheery question from Ted This is a great way to pollute the whole day. Thanks, Ted for this question. Just kidding, I love this guy. I would love to hear and you talk about the shit show in Washington. Oh, that's a great way to end. Yesterday, maybe how to deal with it. Yeah. How about that yesterday, huh. Obviously I don't need to run commentary on what happened. Welcome to samsara samsara on steroids Welcome to the Kali Yuga, how to deal with a TED oh my gosh like is this a big topic or what
we want to have. We want to be big enough. The issue here Ted as I see it is to have a heart and mind, big enough to contain to relate to this experience in a way that can bring about benefit to self another, it's extremely easy to fall it's a little bit like this warning I gave about spiritual materialism, to fall into these elitist exceptionalist stances is spiritual practitioners that oh that's just samsara that's just whatever you know I'm above that. Well I'm one level, you so to speak your view can be above that. But, I mean, what good is that gonna do. I mean yeah maybe it may help you because you know then you won't take it so personally. So the way I work with is Ted I can simply tell you that I can tell you how I work with it is I let these experiences, touch me. But I don't let I don't give them a place to land. In other words, what I mean by that is I don't obsess about them. I don't dismiss them I don't indulge them I register them. And then to the very best of my pathetic abilities. I tried to bring some level, 50,000, foot view of what is really going on here. Because once you collapse down to the street level, you've lost your view. And then you get swept up in this kind of, you know, ideological kind of mob mentality you just don't see you take everything which is a fundamental mistake you get aggressive. So, this is when you have to really look at the big thinkers Gandhi the Dalai Lama Martin Luther King, people who, who dealt with this stuff on a level that we as as me as privileged white man. I will never deal with this. I don't you know I came in approximate with these great men have have had to work with. But I can admire them I can emulate them, and I can realize that therefore maybe I can have a heart big enough that can accommodate this have tremendous compassion for the people that are involved in in particular and this is where it gets really hard. Try to nurture compassion towards the perpetrators. I mean, this may sound like almost cliche, all the great even traditional exoteric traditions talk about, you know, loving thy enemy. Well, not easy, right. So there What that means is it tech not Han right so beautifully about this, it does this relationship of inter being raising our gaze, trying to understand that someone like Trump is not the cause he's a symptom. And so what's the symptomatology here, what what are the causes and conditions, interesting and our theme today, what are the causes and conditions systemically that are giving birth to this. That's what we need to do, because if we single out, you know, kill that person change that. It's called single action by us if you just try to get simplistic and go just that, you'll have a temporary band aid on it but it's not gonna solve it. So you have to like the really sensitive thinkers, you have to step up 50,000 feet look down adult perspective look down, not in a dismissive sense and say WTF is really going on here, lack of education developmental issues, fear, samsara these are psychological spiritual educational developmental issues. And until these situations are addressed in this complex multifactorial systemic way. They're never going to be solved. You'll have temporarily obtunded them in the sort. So, you know, I guess we could riff on this for days, but for the purposes of time. I feel these things. It's like, Ken Wilber said you know when you progress on the path, you feel things more, but they hurt you less. So personally I feel it more but I'm not going to let it hurt me, because I'm not going to give it a place to land. The near enemy of that is, oh I'm not going to feel it, let somebody else deal with that know that spiritual bypassing. So then I take this view, and then try to enter the morass in whatever way I can. What can I do, how can I help. And then again, that's a massive topic.
Hundreds of very sensitive thinkers are reading thinking writing about this and so over the last 10 years. Again, interesting, this is what I started or riff on today. I just increasingly raise my gaze and open my heart to all these other skillful means really intelligent people that are so to speak not spiritual have a lot to say about how we can help. And so my bias is I try to bring in an integral way, as many of these strands as I possibly can. Realizing my role, how am I, contributing to this, what am I doing good is crew creating co conspiring even my silence is conspiratorial, I should contributory. If I don't act, even my silence my participation is contributory, what am I doing to contribute to this so I would recommend reading tech not hands work on inner being. He has some really profound things to say and he has extreme examples about like a killer. You know, he, this is a not his terminology this my terminology, but it's basically story their existence. If you were living in Donald Trump's shoes. If you were born in his environment, I read about this guy read Mary Trump's his toxic his toxicity what this guy lived in and what he was brought in, not just missing his role, but you know it's like could I have done any better. Can I actually develop compassion story his existence. What is it, they conspired to create what we know is this monster. And again, it's a monster that's just in a tremendous amount of pain. I mean you cannot act this way towards the world without expressing these states towards yourself. And so from that is born, the compassion of these great masters like Gandhi and I mean these great religious spiritual figures that transformed culture, because of the power of these views.
great question I'm going to let it go for now, this would be a terrific thing to have an entire weekend discussion on, but that's the way I work with it, my friend. It's tough stuff but you know, the greater the obstacle, the greater the opportunity, what are the opportunities here, what can we really do to change. Do we capitulate and just say we're all left, and you know, go on vacation until we all die or do we say no, you know, do we David Loy eco Dharma from an ecological perspective read that book. Brilliant, about what you do listen to the interview I did with him. You know you don't worry about fruition, you just do it. You just do what needs to be done. And then the question is what does need to be done. That's it. I'll probably let it go because otherwise we'll never get out here and I need to run. So something like that, my friends, great to see everybody back next week, same time, same place. Join us on Tuesday night for the book group if you want. Otherwise I pre appreciate the the questions the comments and see you around the block. Okay.