Virtual Hangout #45
8:49PM Mar 4, 2021
Hey everybody. Hola.
Hola. Okay, so we do this totally geeky thing everybody has to turn on their camera. So I can say hi, a brief look at all the humanoids out there oh there are humans out there after all high humanoids humanoids really we we all we're all just hanging out in this virtual cyber space. It's really kind of cool. Excellent. Great. Thanks, everybody. So here we are, our weekly gathering which we started almost a year ago. Amazing. We did it. If you're new to this we, we launched this just as a way to hang out when COVID started coming down. It's been a year. I remember very well because I was literally no exaggeration. I'm a big skier. And I was heading up to Vail I was literally halfway up to Vail car loaded up with all the goods for a week, literally halfway up or when I got the pain, closed, like talking about you know expectation is premeditated disappointment. I was so looking forward to the whole weekend and total shutdown so I pulled a U turn came back and then the rest is history, so to speak. So, we started this a year ago as a way to hang out. I like these sessions because I don't have to prepare anything. This is a place where we get to just hang out, I usually have a few spontaneous comments about whatever comes to mind. So I'll share a couple things. And then, I always do a little bit of a upcoming attractions thing so let me do that first. We started our meditation group thing about a month ago. And so we've done three sessions on introduction to mindfulness yamata. We're going to come back to that but this week I introduced Tong Lin. This really powerful practice especially for this time and age. And so this coming Monday, we're going to do more on tongue land I'm going to read some instructions from Pema children who I mean she's so good at this. We've got movie night for those of you who are nightclub members movie night on Saturday I think it's our avatar today. Right. Yeah. And speaking of avatars. I read, I haven't read this book yet. But, Frank, I think is Vilcek. This Nobel laureate physicist wrote a book something like the 10. Something 10 factors of reality or something like that I just read a review review of it in the New York Times is a very interesting comment in that in excerpted from the book and the review where he says that particles, really interesting comment particles, but we know is matter particles are avatars have this zero point field, I thought it was a great description right particles or avatars of the zero point field, that's a really interesting thing David Bohm said the same thing, or I don't know I can't say because I don't know if Frank's complete riff on this but this is what Bob was talking about is the implicate order, or I should say the explicate order arising from the implicit order, which is basically their scientific ways of talking about from the Buddhist perspective that the trakia that out of the formlessness of the dharmakaya arises the rubric is some vulgar kaiya nirmanakaya. So anyway avatar, great movie. On Sunday, Saturday, Sunday booksharing group. Next week I'm interviewing. Krishna das, I love this guy, you guys know his music. The Cure time this guy's like the rock star of yoga of cure time. He's such a cool guy. And so he and I think we probably recorded on Monday and then tried to release it by next Friday. It was gonna be cool is you know there are two things in my interview series I have not touched on that have been really big in my life one is music. I'm actually trained as a classical pianist. And so actually I'm going to be playing a clip from Katie's, as he likes to be called one of my favorite Katy, con chants. And then also a little rock manof clip from me, which I'm somewhat shy to do but. So it's going to be about music. What is the role of music in on the path, how does sound playing and where's mantra fit in, how does it work with a subtle body so I'm super psyched to talk to him about that. And for those of you who speak Korean. Tomorrow, tomorrow and Saturday I'm doing an E. Two evening presentation for this community I hooked up with a number of years ago, in Seoul, Korea. They want me to talk about mahamudra and death.
So, if you're really if you are interested in that put the link in the column. If you speak Korean. I suppose you could come on if you speak English, but it's going to be you know English with a, it's not a simultaneous translation, you know, I'll go two or three sentences and then look up who's my pal over there will be translating. But this is something I've actually never put together, you know, kind of, officially joining mahamudra with death. So that's coming up Friday, for those of you who are interested in the Korean approach so to speak. But I thought what we met what might be good AI is you know I've been doing a little bit more. Starting ending with, you know, opening raising our gaze to what's happening in the world so that what we do here doesn't become too, spiritual, so that, you know, what we do is actually have some relevance to this world, because that's so easy, isn't it, maybe maybe I'm just being confessional to take the spiritual teachings, or whatever it is we're doing here and use them for spiritual bypassing so simple so easy. So, what I wouldn't you know what I like to do now more and more especially with COVID you know what is a 520,000 people now 2000 people a day still dying. The likes is less for the next minute Tomlin for the next minute on each in breath through every pore of your body. Breathe in the pain and suffering of these 520,000 people, and the millions of loved ones around them that have suffered all the caregivers whole you know basically all the pain and suffering in the world. Breathe that in as a representative of the cosmos and then radiate out quality of healing. So for the next minute on the medium of the breath and again if you're not familiar with Tang Lin. Come join us on Monday night we're talking about it. So one minute of tonglen practice for all the suffering in the world.
There we go.
One of the things we'll talk about this Monday is one breath tonglen meditation session, which I do a lot, a lot, I started doing this somewhat spontaneously. A number of years ago when I was reading the morning paper, or listening to the news. And just hearing about all these just endless disasters right i mean so much, so much pain. And instead of feeling and I just felt all this contraction and just like I just samsara. And so what I did a little bit like in the spirit of the conditioning that we have around when somebody sneezes right, we've been trained to say, bless you or Gesundheit or something. And so I've been doing this for so long now that whenever I read something that's like oh these you know these 18 people that were killed in this car crash in California, these, these solo illegal immigrants. I feel the contraction and I literally I just do one one breath Tong Lin, just just to connect, because otherwise it's so easy to just go numb, you know, there's so much pain and suffering that it's easy to just flip the page or whatever and so Tomlin is is the really, really powerful practice skipped over I think in appropriately. So what I wanted to talk just a little bit about today, somewhat related is I just finished this program with Bob Thurman on the pure lands which was is always with with Professor Thurman, it was a hoot. He's a great guy. And we're doing a second one, by the way, I'll be advertising that a little bit later at the end of this month we're doing contract, we did sutra Pure Land. This weekend, end of March, we're doing Tantra Pure Land and that's the stuff I think is just so bloody cool. So first weekend was pure land, second weekend is pure mind, and the connection between pure mind and pure land. But, but one of the things that I presented that I think is really, when I think about the Pure Land teachings which by the way largest form of Buddhism in the world, there's over 100 million. Pure Land practitioners, how much do we know about these Pure Land schools they're colossal. And so, the topic of merits is is really big deal in the Puroland tradition, and it's to me it's the highlight. So I wanted to share a couple things around that one. One is this somewhat humbling story. When I finished my between the actually towards the end of my third year my, my three year retreat. Means you remember he was visiting the abbey next door to where we're doing this retreat and he was coming in to do a presentation which is like we get, you know, the retreatants gets so geeked does nobody ever comes in right we're just totally alone torture torturing each other. And so all it means you mha is going to come in and do a presentation was like, Oh, this is awesome and so I can't say what the other retreatants were expecting but I was expecting. Oh, you know, here we are, we're these big highfalutin retreatants he's going to give us some super esoteric inner secret ultra, you know, Quint quintessence of the quintessence teachings right, only for the postdocs for the post PhDs. Now this is my attitude. It's like he's gonna like give us something that no one else is ever going to hear. Right. And so it was perfect because mengirim Jake came in, and for two hours two hours. He talked to us about merit. And the first time he said, we're going to talk about merit my heart just sunk. It was like, Oh, God, you know, I know all about merit. I realized I didn't know anything about merit and his, His teaching really smacked me in a good way. It was exactly what we needed to hear and, and honestly Ever since then, my appreciation for this thing called merit. That we toss around, we meeting in the Buddhist community you know at the end of each session. We do this thing called the dedication or merit, and again, maybe it's just me confessing my ignorance but you know it always used to be, let's just flap our lips get this over with and get on with life, you know, but means you're mpj and then the deep dive into the Puroland teachings because in the Pure Land, I mean, what created sukawati the apparently in the most pure land schools are about is actually merit, it's where this kind of spiritual energy potency actually, you know, somewhat in the spirit if we, if you don't take it too literally of equals mc square right energy and mass are interchangeable. That
merit can actually create landscapes, literally, and so it's a colossal topic in the Pure Land traditions. And one of the reasons it's super important to understand the real nuances and the subtleties of merit. Is that the more we understand that the more will accumulated and dedicated and whether we know it or not, you know, the vast, vast, vast majority of people that are on so called spiritual path. They're really on the path of accumulation. We are all on the path of accumulation of the five paths of Buddhism, which I can't remember if I said this before to this group, you know, five stages on one extended path, they call it the five paths, but it's just five stages. The the point we really want to get to in this life is called the path of seeing the third path. That's non retrogressive, that's where we want to get in this life. That's when you see the nature of reality in mind for the first time and it's a kind of a before and after experience it's a semi big deal. And also the same time no big deal. And so what actually brings about the path of seeing is actually the first two paths the path of accumulation that's what we are on which principle is the accumulation of merit. Good deeds, second path parenthetically is path of union path of juncture, and the idea is that if when there's enough merit. It's almost like cosmic currency, it can be like transferred you can bring it to the counter. You can bring you can bring it to the counter of the Buddha, and they will transform your marriage into wisdom. And so, it's a big deal, this thing called married is a really big deal. And you know, we flippantly toss it about like Yeah, whatever. But it's connected to karma, to good karma and karma again also. Everybody knows about karma right. No, no. Only the Buddha's the Buddha. Karma is one of the most complex sophisticated topics and all of Buddhism is a really complex topic. Only a Buddha really understands karma. And so merit, you know, it's a big deal. Just to give you some sense of it, the accumulation of merit is only perfected at the eighth Bhumi, which is that really lofty level of realization. So the more we understand about what marriage is, the more we will do meritorious deeds, the more will actually dedicate our marriage. And in the spirit of tongue land, it just increases our event horizon, it just raises our gaze, and allows us to think feel act bigger, bigger bigger and better. And so, there's so much to say here, but I just wanted to read a couple quotes, supporting this stuff. And I did quite a bit of research when I was putting this stuff together years ago. I did some pretty exhaustive research on this topic because again, you know, like so many doubters. I just, I didn't quite buy the whole marriage thing. And I also like most people tended to think of merit like little girl scout Boy Scout badges Right, right, you accumulate certain deeds you get your little boy scout badge or your girl scout badge and it has had this kind of reified almost like almost like pellets right pellets of karma pellets of good deeds. Oh my gosh it's so much more sophisticated than that. It has to do with with spiritual interconnectedness energetic positivity is really really subtle stuff. But I wanted to read just a couple quotes to give you some sense of this and then maybe we can talk about it at length in a different setting but here's just a couple really cool quotes and then we'll open it up for the general q&a. This is from to to to qu tender prompt shape with Marat energy has passed at invisible levels, and quote. So something some thing some phenomena is quite literally being transmitted. And one of the reasons we may be up again speaking for myself I have so much trouble with this idea of merit which can be accumulated, which can be dedicated which can be transferred, you can transfer your merit into the account of another person. In fact, that's exactly what happens in impure lands the Buddha of that Pure Land Amitabha actually transfers his merit into your account, so to speak, and that power of that merit is such that it can actually supersede and negate your own negative karma your net your own negative habits, so this is really kind of awesome stuff. One of the things that makes it difficult for many Westerners to really go back around this is is really
our kind of default mode that the world is made of matter. And that merit is this kind of feeble spiritual thing you know like a, like a, an eco curled up against a big mountain you know like what is it really going to do. Well if you understand the world is not made of matter. The world is made of heart and mind, spirit this ineffable matrix energetic matrix, of which your mind and therefore your intentionality and your marriage is inextricably connected to. Then what you do with your mind and your merit actually has an effect on the cosmos, and we literally. So, a deep deep kind of understanding of merit has to include a deep understanding of the nature of mind, where we realize that what we do with our intentions our aspirations, actually has an impact both internally and externally. We have a lot more power the fundamental teaching really is we have so much more power than we think. And in the Bardo teachings, when someone dies, the single best thing we can do those left behind, so to speak, is actually accumulate merit and dedicated specifically for that person so you can dedicate marriage directly for a person for a pet. Then you know someone who's actually died. Someone who's actually been dead for a while. You can dedicate specifically to them, generally, so there's all kinds of really wonderful elegant nuances around this two other quotes one from Lewis Gomez who he's a wonderful scholar who recently died. Excuse me, the University of Michigan. And he wrote quite a wonderful book. Oh, up until a couple days ago I hate it here. His translations of the two Puroland sutras from both both Chinese and Sanskrit some of these scholars are amazing. So both from Chinese and Sanskrit he translated these and then has this amazing set of commentaries. And so this is part of what I extracted from his book so this is Lewis Gomes. The power of good deeds can be harnessed directed and transformed. So that through good deeds, one becomes capable of affecting the life of others. And even capable of working wonders. Good Deeds can affect changes in reality. Marriage can produce wondrous deeds and events. The fruits of marriage, which would normally mean future blessings to its possessor can be turned into something else IE dedicated, or are turned over to someone else IE transferred. Marriage shapes, human destiny. But its possessor has a degree of control over the way in which it will shape the future and code. And actually, your future. So, you know you want to have a good journey through this life and future lives you know it's like what Padma Sam bhava said you know the great tantric Buddha. If you want to know your past lives look at your current situation. If you want to know your future lives, look it up your present actions. So what we have right now is a consequence of our meritorious the meritorious actions from previous incarnations. What we will live in the future is really actually being established now. So, this is an interesting kind of putting the fear of karma into you. I always get a chuckle out of this like Buddhism can't put the fear of God into you because there's no creator principle right. There's no God, there, there are Gods but there's no you know monotheistic monolithic. God is it is in the, in the theistic traditions, there are many guys but there's not one old kind of pervading Brahma, at least in this tradition. So we can't put the fear of God into you, but you know the tradition actually puts the fear of karma into you. And that's what Lama Zopa Rinpoche actually wrote an entire book on this because it wholesome fear, good fear. Good fear. So this is from Alan Wallace, again, there's so many quotes here. Maybe I'll pick some more of these later, some of this stuff is out there so this is from Alan merit can be understood as spiritual power that manifests in day to day experience. When merit, or spiritual power is strong. There's little resistance to practicing Dharma and practice itself is empowered Tibetans explain that people who make rapid progress on the path and Dharma, gaining one such insight after another. Enter practice already having a lot of merits. By the same theory, it is possible to strive diligently and make little progress Tibetans explain this problem as being due to too little merit. Marriage is the fuel that empowers spiritual practice.
Just as merit can be accumulated It can also be dissipated by doing harm. In general, mental afflictions dissipate merit. The mental affliction that is like a black hole sucking up merit worse than all others is anger and quote. And so then with the tradition say, this is kind of comical to me. It's like, it's like, after you do some meritorious action, you know, hit the Save button right away, dedicate the merit right away before you get pissed off. Otherwise Otherwise you'll you know negate or have Tunde your merit. So there's so much more to say about this. And again, the super interesting part comes when you talk about marriage as positive interdependence, they're really interested interesting kind of non reified forms of this teaching but well beyond what we can talk about today, but that's what just came to mind. Something to riff a little bit about for our entry comments for today so a couple comments came in questions. I'm going to start with those. And then, as always. Excuse me. We turn it over to you to talk about whatever you want. Okay. So there's three written ones a couple of live ones from last week. If Peter and Tony are here. You can raise your hands, and I'll address, you can be kind of put front and center so from Cathy, I have tried to be a vegan and vegetarian for a long time, but not so successful is eating meat a cause for lower rebirth. How can I purify this life habit. I do POA for animals sometimes also what happens to these animals. Also what happens. Oh, that's another question also what happens to these animals kill for food. I feel bad for this lifestyle but I have trouble making vegan work out. Sometimes out of health reasons sometimes out of habit. Is it okay to euthanize pets at the end of life events recommend this. Okay, so lots of questions here. Okay so, um, is eating meat a cause for lower rebirth well, depends on who you ask. A lot of it has to do with intentionality I mean, Joseph Campbell once said you know life lives on life. Life lives on life. The Dalai Lama has to have meat in his diet. Because in Tibet you know where the earth is so hard and it's hard to, you know, have agricultural success like they do in the subcontinent his diet is such that he actually gets really sick he actually has to have meat in his diet. The Dalai Lama, the 17th Karmapa, kind of, you know, in his recent not so recent he's been talking about this for 1015 years now, really strongly recommends a vegan or vegetarian diet to the very best of my ability. I tried to maintain that as well. I definitely don't eat red meat. I'll eat fish now and again, That's it. So, is it a cause for rebirth in the lower realms. I mean, who's to say right i think a lot of it depends on one's intention. This is a really tricky topic in fact there's an I can't remember the title of this book but there's an entire book written on this. The title which escapes me, so it's not such a simple matter but a lot of, a lot of it really depends on your intentionality. Are you are you when you eat meat, are you doing it with a sense of appreciation for the life source, you know like when native indigenous cultures and Indians hunt. You know, a lot of what I've heard and read is that they have a really a tremendous honored relationship to the animals that they kill and then consume. So does that Upton the effects of their actions I think it most certainly does so, a lot of it has to do with our intentionality. It's best. Again, this idea of should should we be doing there should we be doing that. I you know that kind of gets my hackles up sometimes, you know like, you know, I challenge that a little bit when I say don't should on me. But there are certain things that that are helpful to do in in vegetarianism and those seem to be that seems to be a really good thing. We'll have cause for rebirth and law around who am I to say, depends on your attitude your approach. This is a it's not such a simple cut dry answer. How can I purify this life habit. well understand the effects of causality. If you're not dietarily.
You know like locked in, like the Dalai Lama is, then you can slowly wean yourself away from these food sources into a more vegan or vegetarian approach for sure. I've done it over the years, I mean I used to eat red meat and burgers right now now I eat. You know beyond burger or whatever they call it these kind of synthetic soy things. So you can definitely kind of wean yourself away from that. I do pull off for animals that's really wonderful thing to do, what happens to these animals killed for food. Who knows I mean a Buddha has the Lia Buddha can answer a question like that. Who knows. Yeah, the whole I this is this is a painful topic, it's a good one. It's painful right you know i mean you watch some of these things about the farming industry and food farms and my god is just their horrific. Who's to say what happens to these animals I'm in no position to answer that question, but what I can say is they're dying in a terrified state of mind, which unfortunately you know who's the gal from, from Fort Collins, the autistic gal Oh someone I'm sure somebody can ping in the chat column, she actually has a ranch just down the road from me. She devised a way. Her name will come to me in a second. She devised a way to actually help the slaughter industry by trying to make, you know, the paths to the slaughterhouse less fearful for these animals. So dying in a terrified state of mind is not good. And so, I'm not sure where else I can run with this you know these what happens to these animals killed for food. I mean, it depends on their karma right who can answer that only a Buddha. I feel bad for this lifestyle, so do I. But I have trouble making vegan work sometimes out of health reasons sometimes out of habit, the habit thing you can work with. right, the health reasons like the Dalai Lama. You know, maybe you're, you're, that's you don't really have much of a choice. These issues are you know once you start talking about karma and this type of thing these. This is a really complex multifactorial systemic set of questions and it's it's, I try very deeply not to have simple spun out, you know, quick soundbite types of answers. That's why there are literally there's entire books written on this topic. Is it okay to euthanize pets at the end of life, it depends again on who you ask. I have asked a number of teachers this question. Capital social accounts owed to him from a che address this. And again, this is what they say is that is that the only way I can't say, but the teachers I've asked around this, they have said that the pets don't learn from their suffering in this regard, like we do. And therefore, the teachers I've consulted say that yes it's okay to euthanize a pet to alleviate their suffering if your intention is pure and you're trying to do good, but other teachers will tell you otherwise. And so, you, you know, these are the things where you have to do your own homework just do what feels right for you. And it's it's charged sometimes contentious topic and so I tried into these waters with judiciousness with an understanding of the subtlety and the complexity of these topics, best I can do with a good set of big questions. I have put pets down by the way, in when I did it, I did all the things I do for human being, I write about this in my book preparing to die I have a whole section on what to do for when a pet dies. I was doing a type of POA for the pet as the pet was being injected by the vets I was there, literally when the cat was being put down, super esoteric thing. But I was just, you know, hanging the top of the head of the cat, the Brahma rendre and the pet is the type of POA directly in the consciousness of that dying cat to the top of his head so my in my book preparing to die I address some of the stuff, tough stuff. Sky Lauria, what a great name. How are being, how are being aware and surrender related. That's a good question. I think they are related. When we talk about, for instance, you know, devotion bhakti. In Hinduism bhakti yoga guru yoga in Tibetan Buddhism devotion is a type of surrender. And in both these traditions it's it's huge because what it does is it you know if you think about the quality of surrender.
It opens you makes you vulnerable makes you receptive. And so I think they're deeply connected you know the more defensive we are, the more contracted we are, the more that closing the aperture of our heart and mind shuts down awareness, the more self centric we get and the more we surrender and open the more we make ourselves available to awareness, so that's what guru yoga bhakti yoga is they're in a certain way they are surrender practices you're surrendering opening making yourself available vulnerable receptive to. In this case, non dual awareness, so they're definitely connected, Joni. Have you known anyone who became enlightened in this lifetime. I'm gonna add there's a bunch of questions here so I'll answer them as I go along. I don't know, I know people that are sure as heck a lot more enlightened than me. But that's a pretty low bar, right. I'm sure everybody listening is more enlightened than me. So that's a pretty low bar. That's what makes me so happy, right, my bars are so low. I don't you know I can't say me like someone who made this kind of transition from sentience to centium being to Buddha No. But here's the thing around this journey we don't always know, you know, we don't always know I tell you what I am very suspicious over the people who proclaim that kind of thing. Hey, I mean, you know, like they say a God was him right he who knows does not speak he who speaks does not know. So it Could it really be possible that there's someone I know. Who attain certain degrees of enlightenment. So when we talk about enlightenment. I mean what a colossal topic. There is stages gradations of enlightenment. It's exceedingly almost unimaginably rare even though some people overtly or covertly proclaim they're one of these really rare people like King Indra booty, you know like once in a millennia, that they get slapped in the head by a sandal or something like, you know,
who was it
tilopa slapping Europa, and all of a sudden you know you become enlightened. That's like unbelievably rare, even though people in the West would say yeah that's me I'm one of those rare people like, I don't think so. So enlightenment is not you know it's usually comes about in grades like the first like I talked about earlier, the path of seeing is the first glimpse of enlightenment, literally first Bhumi. And then you've got nine other stages above that, and that cartography nine levels of enlightenment. But the point here for me is that those who really do authentically become awakened they're sure as heck not going to tout it. The experience is marked by tremendous humility, tremendous ordinariness. And so therefore it's entirely possible that someone has been that way and I might even know them. But you know the authentic ones, they're not going to talk about it, they're not going to tout it. They're going to keep that experience to themselves, is it possible to become enlightened in one lifetime, absolutely, positively. Having enlightenment, experiences, not that terribly difficult honestly stabilizing those experiences into, you know realization, that's a different story. That is really rare, and that takes some work. By the way, this is also ties into the Pure Land teachings, you know, we, we, the reason apparently teachings came about, is because according to predictions in the, in the, what's called the Great heap sutra and other Sutras, we and in Hindus say the same thing we are in the dark age Kali Yuga, the Japanese Puroland talk about it as Mapo chakra which I talked about it at the beginning of his Southern mahamudra you know the darkest of the Dark Age that's where we're at. So according to these, these great traditions of Buddhism in particular. After the Buddha's death was the age of authentic Dharma 500 to 1000 years where it was relatively relatively easy to become awakened in one life. If you look actually at the history the hagiographies of the sidas. There are a lot more of them back there. Then there was a period of 500 to 1000 years where you entered what's called counterfeiter semblance Dharma, where it just became increasingly more difficult. We are now in in the degenerate age, where it's really difficult. That's why it's called the dark age. And so unfortunately it's harder and harder right now because of the, of the insidious levels of distraction I mean there's, there's so many reasons why it's so hard to wake up because everybody is really you know they're they're more interested in endarkenment than enlightenment and distraction is epidemic and runs rampant. So we are living in this age of counterfeit Dharma, which is what's predicted. And that's why it's harder and harder I mean how many ciders Do you see, I know Ken Wilber and others have done some I don't know where they get this data. And I can't remember exactly what the numbers are but you know point 0000 1% of the population today is awakened. I have no idea where they get those kinds of numbers, and I'm always a little bit suspicious about that kind of thing so these are really tricky questions Johnny, what is being a Butterfield like I, the whole weekend was about it. So I'm not going to go through that again. Read the Puroland Sutras, there are three of them shorter suture longer suture in the meditation sutra. I actually created a little DVD that I showed this, this past weekend about what it's like being at a Butterfield, the sutures describe what it's like. This is a really big topic so I'm going to refer you to those sources. Do the Buddhists and other beings have illusory bodies. These are great questions. Yes, they do. And you know, when you talk about illusory bodies, again, just like with degrees of enlightenment, there are degrees of illusory knows and so this is also really interesting stuff. These are really big questions. They do have illusory bodies. And again, I'll refer you to some resources. Alan Wallace, in his book mind. In fact, I might even have it yeah I have it right here, because I brought it up for the weekend. Here it is. Can you see it. I can't see my page, it's called mind in the balance of meditation and science Buddhism and Christianity. By bln Wallace in this book he has four pages on what's called rainbow body wildly esoteric stuff. I highly recommend it if you're interested really in this stuff is so cool, this has to do with with. I stumble a little bit here because the minute I mentioned one of these topics, you know I opened up a rabbit hole of material that could take us an hour to unpack.
Yeah, to put it as succinctly as possible they do have illusory bodies, they can appear, there's a difference here between what's called self appearance and other appearance. So self appearance means from their side, it's inconceivable what they are experiencing in a certain real sense, they're not even there. But from what's called Other appearances from the way we look at them they appear normal so this a little bit, ties into the first part you could look at it from the outside, oh that looks like Joe Schmo right. But from the inside, they could be what's called the great body, the rainbow body of great transference where they're actually existing as a body of light from their side, such as wildly. I wouldn't say it's esoteric to us, simply because we haven't experienced it but it's actually commonplace and so you're talking about material here Joanie the, you know, when you start talking about the way the Buddha's are, what enlightenment is the way they live their types of bodies, literally not metaphorically inconceivable really mind stretching stuff. So they absolutely positively have illusory bodies as in fact we do we just don't recognize that, and illusory bodies exist across the spectrum. So unpacking that spectrum unfortunately is just a little bit beyond our purview here, what are the activities that occur there in the Butterfield. They play a lot of chess. They play a lot of Pokemon, you know, it's like it's like a retired ultimate retirement center it's like this cartoon is Gary Larson cartoon. I wish that guy came back I wish Gary Larson reincarnated into his job I love this guy shamers really. I used to have his cartoons like everywhere it's kind of a genius. He had one cartoon in particular, they'll answer your question, where it shows this guy in a beard sitting on a cloud right, obviously in heaven, and the Thought Bubble above him He says, Man, I wish I would have brought a magazine. Right. So he's in heaven and he just born out of his wits. What are the activities that occur there in a Butterfield again, literally Joanie, read, read the sutras it's, you know, it's like describing Okay, what takes place in in Malaysia, it's literally like that well you have to go to Malaysia to find out everything very briefly that takes place here is the activities are all about the Dharma, studying the Dharma learning the Dharma. If you're in a Buddhist field. And again, it depends on the type of Butterfield. If you're in what's called a dharmakaya Buddha field where the Buddha's reside. That's completely utterly inconceivable. And then there's that intermediate bandwidth called the sambhogakaya Buddha fields done there's no Monica Buddha fields. And then there's all kinds of variations and gradations among those so again like the other question. What type of buddhafield are you talking about, but you know, outside of having you online and pinging more that's probably the best I can do with a good set of questions. They're really big. And that's probably as far as I can run with them for now. So if Peter or Tony or they're most welcome. I think he is right on the top of the list from last time otherwise we can just open it up.
Yes, they're both here,
so we'll bring in Peter first and Tony asked me an easy question. Just kidding.
yeah this is an easy question.
hi Andrew happy to see you. And my question actually was somewhat lengthy. So, my habit sometimes I and I apologize for that but I was thinking actually of the copying and pasting into the chat. But then I thought maybe it'd be simpler if I just read that, you know, with the added inflections and things to make it make it possibly more clear. Okay. Is that all right. Yeah, sure.
Let's give it a try.
So here we go.
There are so many ways that make that meditation is said to be practiced so many methods being offered. But I find the challenge here to be the metaphor for meditation that one uses. As I see it, experience it. I think of my meditation as an act of reeling in the mind, similar to the way a fisherman reels in a frantic struggling fish. The monkey mind the undisciplined mind is forever darting hither and thither under, under notes, unbeknownst or unfelt by its owner to be actually not at rest, frequently the word agitated is used. One could think of the energetic movement of the of this as the visitation into, into the past or the future as a kind of good emotion, either in the envisaged past are the envisaged future, but never in the choice dimension of the now. Does the so called movement of the mind could be seen as a type of displacement from the past to future from future to the past and so on. Rarely is the agitation rarely in the in this agitation Is there a conscious hankering for remaining in the now. And so as a conscious intelligent countermeasure when figuratively takes hold of this wayward mind and returns it to the now plunk sit down on a stool and remains vigilant blush. The monkey hoist up hoist up its anchor and wander off all over again. Returning to the fishing metaphor. The resting in the practice or, I'm sorry. The reeling is the practice, or the exercise, one performs to try and anchor the mind in the present, because the monkey, or the fish will initially, not be easily tempered or restrained or assuaged. One is called upon to repeatedly reveal in the mind, precisely that repeated action is where perseverance and muscle so to speak comes into the picture. Without that one's meditation, if one could even call it that is something that one might as well, is something one might as well, is some one might as well be doing something else. Is this an adequate portrayal of meditation practice specifically is the repeated reeling in of the mind, the fish. A good metaphor for the right kind of effort, one, one must make to be striving at meditation.
Yeah. Yeah, nice nicely said, Well, a couple of things here. Peter one is a big one is that when we use the word meditation. Meditation is again another one of these kind of multi Vaillant or polysemous terms in other words it has so many meanings so meditation is like the word sport. What kind of sport Are you talking about the sport that you're talking about the meditation that you're talking about, which is fantastically powerful is is mindfulness. In other words, in particular shamatha referential mindfulness, fantastic form of meditation. So within that context what you said is absolutely spot on. You know, again, there are literally dozens of other types of practices where that particular definition actually no longer really applies you transcend but include that definition. But in terms of what you mentioned Yeah, great it, there's absolutely everything correct with what you said you know we're basically trying. It's what Trungpa Shea referred to as manual labor, the path of manual labor where the mind strays, and you bring it back it's like puppy training right the minute the puppy strays away you pick it up you bring it back the puppy strays you pick it up you bring it back. And so what you're doing and so doing is you're reconfiguring you're changing the narrative and also changing the default mode network, literally changing your brain, from a default mode network that is wandering, which is the cause of all our suffering the monkey mind to a you know a default of of ever present awareness and so this can be looked at in several different ways as well. One is what you're talking about, which is the more common. exoteric approach of effort. You know it takes work when mind strays you recognize it, that recognizing by the way as awareness brings it back to mindfulness So mindfulness and awareness training Shay and Tibetan they work together, mindfulness to staying in the present moment. Awareness recognizes that mindfulness is broken and you stray you pick the puppy back up you bring it back. That's the path of effort. Another way to look at meditation, just as viable In fact, on more advanced levels more so, is that the mindful state is actually the natural state. That's actually the natural state so this is the path of relaxation the path of effortlessness more fruition approach where if you simply open and relax your mind properly, you will find that mind coming back to the present moment. That's a slight sidebar. But outside of that. Yeah, everything you said is spot on. It's beautiful. And the more you do it, the more it becomes your default mode, the easier it gets. You go through the nine stages or samata, which are the classic progressions along this path. But eventually, you know, you will find yourself, hopefully you'll find yourself transcending this all together because as powerful as this is it's it's fundamentally just a very sophisticated tranquilizer pacifier. And that's really great when the world's on fire, it's cool to chill out. But this practice ended up itself will not liberate it pacifies to liberate then you have to mature into the passionate, and this is exactly the trajectory that we're doing in a Monday night group that's why we're doing it, so people can understand the nuances the subtleties the differences the nomenclature. And people therefore get a more granular nuanced approach of meditation and therefore their own minds. But in relationship to what you said Peter yeah that sounds pretty good. But you know, there's more from what you said spot on. But you know, at a certain point you will find yourself, hopefully, growing even beyond that. Okay, I can't hear you. Hold on,
again. Okay, go ahead.
Yeah, sorry, I just wanted to ask that you mentioned the parser. I'm just wondering in terms of the sequence, should one be sufficiently attained in, in Sha Mata before one attempts Vipassana or can they be both done, maybe simultaneously. Absolutely,
yeah, you know, and again these Absolutely. You don't have to like perfect Shama to start are practicing be passionate and in fact, these are all aspects of the mind that are that are either overtly or covertly at work anyway so whether you know it or not. Even when you're working with mindfulness, it's not like there's, you know, you put your mind in a silo and somehow the qualities of a passionate can somehow inform mindfulness No, it's not that clean. It's just simply when you transition from formal mindfulness to then mindfulness awareness or trauma to the partner. You're cultivating more that will push that facet aspect. So absolutely, positively you know you can start to bootstrap both because these are just qualities of the mind inherent within these two cultivated meditative trajectories that we actually do lift each other rub. So absolutely, positively you know you can work, focusing principally on this, this foundational practice. And then, all the while knowing that even when you're doing that you're already starting to work the passionate muscle whether you know it or not, it just comes to the fore when you actually do specific of the passionate related practices.
Okay. Okay, great. Thank you so much.
Take care of me go, okay Tony Are you there, bud.
I am here
we go, rigatoni.
Believe me, beats Tony, Tony. Tony macaroni all over the place. Thank you. So, once again, because you invite us all to get out of our comfort zone. I'll again take advantage of that on two counts, if I might. Two weeks ago, two hangouts ago. Um, there was discussion around shamanism. Um, mediumship, stuff like that. Yeah. And, and it seemed It was quite, quite a few people were interested or had questions, or even questioning themselves, perhaps, about what might be occurring to them in turn. That being said, I will come out of the closet a bit. I am a shotgun. Cool. I am also a spiritual healer. Nice, nice. Nothing I can do about that I was born that way. I'm fourth generation Shaolin spiritual healer, in the United States. My, my ancestry goes back to the Azores. My grandma. Great Grandma, where I'm couldn't couldn't get us I'm recording metal or that's, that's kind of like the folks healer. Nice. Okay. Um, my kids sister is a healer straight healer. Um, she's 66 she's 10 years younger than myself. She's 66. She was born blind.
Last night to the Catholic Church three or four times after after she was born. My niece who is fifth generation is a physical therapist and Sharman, and I'm a medium. She's gotten people out of wheelchairs, not supposed to get out. Because I'm. I'm a clairvoyant clairaudient pretension, all that kind of stuff. Um, I have only had one human spiritual teacher in my 76 years. All of my other teachers have been. Oh man I forget the initials that you use. Oh NIH. Yeah. At any time, not,
not yeah National Institutes of Health or non human.
Yeah, so all that kind of thing. So, I'm just putting it out here for folks. I've helped a lot of folks, um, find out for themselves. Whether or not they might be healers, or psychics or, or medium. Many of my friends are mediums I know that there are a lot of vegans out there bullshit. I don't know, none of my friends on campus ages, it doesn't. Um, so, for me, I I'm offering, so I can create merit for myself. Hey, once again, get it. And anyone who has questions about that kind of thing because I have helped people. I mean, you got to understand. I've been doing this since I was a kid. Cool. I'm often uncles would would come to the house when I'm four or five years old Oh Anthony I have a, I have a headache. Just my head. I kiss their head and and headache, would gradually go away. It's always been that way, you know, so I would open up to help anyone. And I'm not talking about money or any of that kind of stuff. If anybody need me to, um, you know, what you can do to our beautiful.
Thank you. What you can do is in the chat column, just put in some connection, where they can meet you for those who are interested. Yeah, yeah, set that up there and then for people who have a connection to that they can reach out to
you. Oh, I would love to help in any way that I can. Yeah, that'd be great. And there is something from last week, a second thing from Claire, Claire Johnson Eau Claire Yeah right. Yeah, um, she ended up with talking, pretty much at the end. Talking about black sleep. Yeah.
I think I remember, okay.
I have never heard anyone use that term in my life. I had black sleeps black sleep, experiences, since I was a teenage. Okay. Extraordinary ones. And I've never heard that. And, and you just bring so much.
Yeah, you should reach out to her. Yeah, pengar, you can reach her she has a really active website and active community, you can just reach out to her if you're interested in exploring her usage of that term and its connection to your experience so don't be shy to reach
out to her, because like, guess what I've called it ever since I was a kid. I thank you again for everything.
I love you. And, and I'm going to fall for one, I have like a question for you, for a drink of light. Okay, that next week. Yeah, I haven't formulated it go pick it up on
Tuesday night and we'll talk about it then. Okay.
Thank you. Take
care. All the best. All the best.
Okay, so we're gonna go to a couple thanks my friend we're gonna go a couple of chat questions and then there's a couple of people in line for live ones you're there. Next, but let me get a couple of these from Jane. What is spiritual bypassing. Keep on hearing the phrase but no comprende. Yeah, this is a term coined by my dear DC deceased friend john Wellwood really brilliant psychiatry psychologist. In his book, psychology of awakening toward a psychology of awakening really wonderful book he was a very sensitive thinker best books on relationship by the way I've ever read journey of the heart, perfect love and perfect relationship as a sidebar. He coined that term riffing on the original term coined by Trump or mcshea called spiritual materialism. So, there's an entire book on this now I recommend it I read it just this past year by Robert Augustus masters, literally by that title spiritual bypassing fundamentally it's it's when you use spiritual practices ideologies beliefs, and the like, as a way to bypass circumvent the messiness of the human condition. If I tell you, spiritual bypassing is epidemic. It's a little bit what I you know it's why I keep trying to bring it to the fore that it's extremely easy ego can very easily come in Co Op subvert anything, even the spiritual practices that are designed to transcend the ego can be converted to distorted to support the ego. So I refer you to the sources. Roberts book is actually quite okay, an entire book by this topic is quite okay so I recommend you check that out but that's the kind of the lineage of where that term comes from. It's an epidemic really it's everywhere. Hang out guy okay hang up guy link the Korean presentation tomorrow night. Yes. You know you are going to have to leave me in the chat column a way to connect to you because I lost you you know I don't advertise these international events, mostly because people don't speak these foreign languages. And so I don't even have a link to this I would have to connect you and I'm happy to do it. If you leave me your at your contact address in the chat column. I can connect you directly to the drip nhuan, who is setting this whole thing up and then he can connect you to this event. I actually don't have a link on it that's why I don't even put it on my site. But thanks for your interest merit spiritual Bitcoin, I like that. Yeah, spiritual Bitcoin, why not. The alternative currency. I'm Donna, can the being. Can the being transferring their merit tell you how much you may already have a chocolate these things because they actually are kind of humorous, can the being transferring their merit, tell how much you may already have. That's actually a very interesting question. Yes. Again, it depends on the level of the being who is actually doing the transferring of the merit. They talk about this is a very interesting term or kind of phraseology here, they talk about really awake beings being able to actually smell the merit of someone they have this, again, don't think too literally but he gets that you get the sense so to speak, you get the drift that advanced beings can can read you that way they, they know. So it depends on the level of the person who's transferring the merit for the awakened one yes they can tell you how much merit you already have, finding one of those things not so simple. And first of all, they would never tell you, you know, they would say oh you know your your stock market just went up, you know they're not going to tell you that. But yeah, great beings can actually see that they can read your karmic DNA for sure. I realized that this is a kind of asking along the lines of having a bank account of marriage. So this may be an irrelevant question. It's not an irrelevant question it's just a really difficult one to answer. You can also tell how much merit you have, and this gets really tricky. By the life circumstances. So I am not going to go into that hornet's nest that's a real challenging one but basically that's what comes to mind Donna. Wendy is married adversely affected when we do something to gain merit for yourself rather than acting selflessly No it's not. It's just that what happens here Wendy is the marriage is exhausted, more rapidly, let me see if I can find a supporting quote on this real quick since I had this note. There's a really good one, if I can find it from Kimball Carter exactly on this topic and if not I'll pull it up for next week, let me see if I can find it.
Summarizing him if I can't find it, is that when you dedicate your marriage Oh, I think I know where it is. Ah, here it is haha found it. So this is from Campo Carter I remember Jay talking about this. If you dedicate merit to one person around one situation. You are one other one, right, then that merit will ripen only once, and the merit will be exhausted. But if you dedicate the merit to all sentient beings the merit becomes an exhaustible merit can also create affluence and wealth for you. The result of and dedicated. That's my interjection so I don't need to throw that in there Mary can also create affluence and wealth for you but this karmic ripening happens just once and is exhausted. With a mind of enlightenment IE bodhichitta in the mirror becomes inexhaustible. Okay, so you can definitely dedicate it for yourself and for others. But there's the limitations in doing that, when we send blessings to someone, are we giving our merit to them, I'll leave that for you to decide there, there is definitely a deep connection between transfer blessings and merit. This also ties in. We talked about it in the weekends, too. It is really super interesting esoteric topic of the transfer of merit, creating the type of cuckoos that we know so just very briefly here just to show you how sophisticated and out there, this stuff is, is that, you know, of the four types of there, number of different types of reincarnates tutus masters that come back. Most of what we know is if you're in the in the Tibetan world Wendy is the Tibetan Rinpoche as most of them are what are called blessed nirmanakaya is and trumper matcha and others talk about it we talked about this over the weekend where what they can do is what happens it's so out there is that in the in the bar, do they have a connection to someone in the Bardo, they can actually kind of inject transfer the merit into that Santana into that mindstream that mindstream then is kind of amped up juiced up with this merit. And that that's what creates what's called a blessed nirmanakaya. So, exactly what you're saying applies here, that becomes a blessed tupu, most of the tokens that we know on the planet today, two 3000 of them. They're in this category. So I'm going to let that go. Because that does answer your question and the subtleties behind behind it, are a little bit beyond our scope. So, Nicole when we send blessings to someone, are we giving our merit to them. Well, again, Nicole This is exactly what I said with a reference to capital Carter, right. So, Kimball Carter statement pretty much addresses that, and if it doesn't come on and I can if there's something else too and I'm happy to elaborate on it. Hi Tim. Do you think there is such a thing as grace, absolutely, positively, not based on merit or karma, but just non spontaneous loving compassion. Oh, for sure absolutely positively. And so whether you append the word grace or merit or blessing to it. A, you know, does it really matter. But I definitely think there is such a thing as grace. I also do think it's connected to merit and karma that that's just me. Cassandra, what is the Tibetan view of euthanasia depends on who you talk to. Some people say, you know, a lot kind of. This is my kind of casting of judgment. Some of the hardliners say no at all cost, then the more sophisticated ones in my humble estimation. Actually, things like Pat they make a difference between passive and active euthanasia active euthanasia is a no no, every teacher I've ever talked to says that active euthanasia is a no no. But, you know, I've had really interesting conversations I had a really long conversation with Ken Wilber on this six hour interview, he interviewed me it was great for my book over six hours over two sessions, we actually talked about this, but carefully. His Holiness thingo cancer mpj and others say they make the distinction between passive and active euthanasia active euthanasia is a Kevorkian thing. Every teacher I've talked to said, that's not such a great thing.
And I have to say all around all these teachings, one of the most. I thought reasonable advices I got was from an Acharya who once said, you know, Andrew. Yes, it's important to ask advice from your teachers to read the text but fundamentally it's your choice it's your decision. It helps to know the karmic implications to understand what karma is so in relation to passive and active euthanasia passive euthanasia is okay, no karmic repercussions and by this. What do you do you stop eating, you stop drinking. That's passive euthanasia. There's no negative karma to that. Based on what I've heard, active euthanasia, you know, the Kevorkian type thing, not such a great thing, but that's, again, that's just certain people expressing that these are things like, Who am I to say, I'm just telling you what I've heard here, this stuff is really tricky. Elaine. Excuse me, I'm contemplating impermanence I'm practicing opening. I am pinging more into suffering in contemplating impermanence, and practicing opening. I'm pinging more into suffering so that's a statement. Yeah, I'm sorry I think I made a copy that wrong from the chat. Okay, I'll let you correct it then I'll go to Linda okay because I don't see a question there. So if you can fix it, then I'll come back to it so from Linda. Enjoy love what you said about at the beginning about applying tonglen to watching the news. You're right on there's so much suffering that comes to our attention. Thanks for the means of responding to it instantly. Oh, you're welcome, you're welcome. Thank you for sharing that. So, is Andy's cleaning that up if there's a live question.
Yeah, we'll bring in Mary row.
Just a quick one and just a bit. Um, any standard question I just was wondering if you have the opportunity to see the gallery version of the first morning of last weekend's workshop to watch, Mr tournament, watching you teaching was the highlight. Are you wait oh my gosh he's faced with like this. And he kept saying, and I was full of pride.
No I haven't seen it at all Oh you're so sweet.
Yeah, he gave me the impression that he was going to fly out today You got him there because he even forgot about it and his madness is so precious. In his intelligence is so beautiful. And I, my ego kept getting bigger like bigger like I know that guy, he's like it.
Well thank you for sharing that I had no idea. I didn't even know he was there because he usually just disappears and you know he's not there yes the fact that he was there, and you're so sweet to say that because
I thought he yes it's just you have to see it because he was very sweet and congratulations I think that if that we can we can, for the people, for the next time. If they come watch it because the way that he discussed not only the pure lens. But softness and interdependence. Yeah, it was a beautiful transmission of, it was just beautiful so thank you
I just yeah he's, he's amazing he's like the classic mad scientist genius. I love the guy to death and he's utterly unbelievable he's so such a delight to work with. And he is so incredibly educated and so well trained. And to me, I delight when he when he takes off his hat. I mean he's old enough, he's so in his skin. He's just so comfortable who he is. And when he runs into his little political commentaries or whatever, like, you know where angels fear to tread. I never go there. But he goes there with such endearment and such authority that I just get bewitched by the character so I love working with him, and I had no idea he was that way with my presentation so
oh you have to do, did you do have to see it but for some of us that keeps saying uh what is not there and the stuff that is not there that is self is not there at me sometimes so difficult to grasp. He's, he's explanation of the emptiness really mind and the interdependence and relationship. He was such a transmission that those of us that did not, I just recommend that and I had to say something,
you know for sure that no bob bob is really is, you know, I mean, especially when he's on he's really brilliant. I mean you really see his expensive training and all the experiences he's had with the Dalai Lama and all these other people, he's he's a really special guy, and he's so bloody humble and just I mean I love him so thank you for sharing that my right hand Oh yeah,
so thank you. Thank you, everybody.
That's very sweet of you. Thank you. Yeah,
I got the question cleaned up.
So when contemplating impermanence and practicing opening, and pinging more and more into the suffering around me than the joy. It can be a downer. Yeah, it can be a Yeah, this is why, yeah. This is why tonglen is so important. Honestly, Elaine. Because you know it when you're working with these types of things this is where the juxtaposition of what's called in techno speak, absolute and relative bodhichitta come into play. Relative bodhichitta is compassion everything we know the loving heart the, you know, the more relativistic approach. But absolute bodhichitta is the groundless ground of all that and by that. What I mean is that is embodied in the practice of Tung land, if, if we don't set the stage with, with some absolute bodhichitta qualities and quality of emptiness. Then what happens is when we work with this stuff we we take this suffering upon ourselves and that's a mistake. We what's actually who's actually taking on that suffering is not you but the cosmos itself. And so therefore, to really work with these practices properly in my opinion, not so that they don't become a downer they become an upper, then the teachings on emptiness in absolute bodhichitta are key that's why all the, all the slogans all the training, the Mahayana training starts with absolute bodhichitta, because then you know, this becomes a downer. When you take it on yourself and then it loads you down. So, the key with a practice here is by working with these more absolute level teachings at first. They open you up so that what happens is something like the following you actually end up feeling things more, but they hurt you less. Let me say that again. You feel things more, but they hurt you less because you're not giving them a place to land, so you feel this tremendous like the Dalai Lama he just weeps openly His heart is constantly broken, but it never gets him down because he doesn't take it personally because there's no person there there's it's that he doesn't make that mistake. So, it doesn't have to be a downer. This is where you know these more spiritual teachings can really really help you prevent burnout prevent any kind of depression, because you know you just have a much wider gaze and a much wider lens so I would really encourage understanding, read Pema children's teachings on Tang land, you know, join our little group on Monday night this is exactly the kind of thing that we're working with in that practice. Okay. Oh, Steph that's very sweet. Andrew your buyers and set loads, is that way because you are truly taught that's very sweet. What do you guys try to, you try to get good merit today, I think that's what's happening here. So Myra said that so she could accumulate merit good for you Myra well done. Steph is saying this so she could accumulate merit. You guys are catching on smart you guys are Smart Cookies right. See, it's a win win situation you make me feel better because it's all about me. And you guys accumulate merit and that's really good. Which really thank you I do appreciate it. Okay, a couple more and then I have to go spend my merit. Let me say something about this actually, this is a bit important, it's a little personal but this is the way I started doing this in my retreats 20 years ago, where it maybe everybody listening here could maybe explore this a little bit. I started realizing and my retreat it just happened. One night, how fortunate I am I a really lucky mofo. I mean I have such a lucky blessed life. I'm not saying it's easy, but I've been exposed to so much teaching to so many masters I feel so fortunate, and I started doing this quirky thing that I really rarely talk about it, where
I started in a certain way, paying homage to my own mindstream. In other words, all the countless previous incarnations that that I am now the beneficiary of, right. and I had this really kind of strange little image that there was like you know this relay race but it's not really a race where, you know, these previous incarnations, obviously did something okay and then they handed the baton on to the next incarnation and they handle the baton. And and I feel like now I'm at the end of this relay race I'm just the latest networking on it, and and I'm just so fortunate I'm so blessed I feel so blessed in this life. And so what came across to me and this is the take home and I mean this really seriously, is I started to realize you know I am not going to go on a karmic spending spree. I'm not going to waste, what has been so to speak given to me. I'm going to do what my previous incarnations have done for me. I am now going to reinvest, I'm going to now create merit for my future mindstream right. And so to whatever extent that works for you. This is a pretty colossal thing for me in my retreat where I started, almost like with bowing had this image of all these previous incarnations doing all this spiritual practice. And then, in a real way, I'm a beneficiary of so to speak their work right. And so what am I going to do just waste it, spend it. No, no, no, no, I'm going to reinvest. I'm going to do exactly what they did to create this schmuck called me. I'm now going to be in that spirit, and I'm going to act in the same way for future lives. And so I share that I'm not sure I've ever said this in public before. But I have to tell you it was it was a semi big deal for me, it really shifted things for me, you know, it's like, I'm not gonna waste this. I'm gonna work really hard for the benefit of all beings and also for this silly mindstream called Santana, the silly thing that now has this little point projectory that it's called. It's called Andrew this pathetic thing. So I just wanted to share that. Oh geez 10 raised hands Yikes. Okay. Let me get these last two, then we probably have to start closing this down because I have to do a hard stop at it, in 10 minutes, but again, all the raised hands, I'll get to them as quickly as, as many as I can. We'll put you at the top of the list for next week like we did before, so a couple quick quick ones here and then we'll shut the door on this for today is accumulating merit the same as accumulating karma. Yes, very similar, very similar, but it's a little bit different because it's karma, that's inclined Parfums with intentionality That's the difference. So it's not just accumulating random karma it's actually karma that set in the trajectory of meritorious meritorious outcomes right so it's definitely connected to karma, but is perfume set off in a different way. What is the relationship between the power and ease in marriage, good question the parameters in the marriage, yes so the six paramitas the six transcendent actions generosity generosity. Discipline patience exertion meditation and prajna wisdom, depending on who you talk to. There's a little bit of a variation in the scholarship here, one through four relative bodhichitta accumulation of merit. Five meditation is a bridge between relative and absolute six prajna wisdom is the fruition of the first five got that. So, in terms of the six power meters and again there are different variations of this the first for generosity discipline. Patience exertion massive mirror collectors, also along with what are called the four brahma viharas right before divine abodes loving kindness maitri metta compassion Karuna sympathetic joy and equanimity. These are the two massive Maha Yana ways of actually accumulating merit. But fundamentally just doing good deeds accumulates merit. These are just specific ways of doing that. Okay, so we'll get some of the raised hands and then, you know, I do have to do the hard stuff in five minutes. We'll pick up next week with those that I didn't get to and you'll be top of the list so we can take a couple more. Okay. Okay. So Jamie Bridget and Sonia, if we can get them. And it does help. It does help. If you can make your, your offerings your questions as succinct as possible I don't want to like, you know, slam everything down and make it just bullet point because the spontaneity the luxury is part of what's fun here, but I think you understand just to allow space for other people to ask or say something. Okay,
Hello, Andrew. Thank you for your, your books and thank you for your audio recordings. Mike, my question is around contractures. I'm, I'm a bodywork practitioner and 30 years ago I learned system from Marian Rosen, that where you put your hands on somebody's contraction that's that they're unable to release and she explained it in a way that it would this was like an emotional type holding, and the release was more emotional, and through the years, come to understand now more that it's more of a contraction of being. Yeah. And, um, and they express the release or the understanding of the holding isn't necessarily emotionally based. Um, and I understood it early on in terms of Tai Chi push hands practice of touching connecting with resistance and yielding and emptying and opening with that. I came into Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, about four years ago and I've been searching for a parallel within this tradition, and I've explored a lot of the somatic meditations, but I've never come across anything around touch and connection and meeting somebody contraction and you as a practitioner, your job is to basically be present. Open empty, and be available to witness, whatever experience, somebody has for themselves. Yeah, variance. Can you resource me in a way to teachings within Tibetan Buddhism. Found your or. Yes,
thank you. Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure,
Yeah, thank you. Thank you for your work. Yeah, really fantastic. So a couple of things come to mind. First let me ask you, are you familiar with Reggie's work have you have you. Yes,
I've read all his books and all his meditations, and I think they're great. There's a lot of, lot of work in the field of cymatics. Yeah, exactly around this Yes,
good for you because Reggie, as you know, talks about this with I think real rigor and elegance you know that the contraction the tension thing and all that I think it's really beautiful. You know, in terms of other resources about touch let me say something quite humorous and revelatory about my experience of Tibetans altogether. And, and also shared by other people that I won't name names but there's some really advanced practitioners who have shared these very humorous types of stories, the Tibetans As you may or may not know and I love them to death I spent so much time in Tibetan communities I work in refugee communities I've spent years with I love them. But as you may or may not know they're not exactly touchy feely, right, they're just not. So here's the funny part and this is hysterical. My dear friend. Anyway, I won't say her name but she's just hysterical. And she's, she's living in the Tibetan communities, and worked with them for, I mean decades and she is. I was doing this big empowerment thing this college hacker empowerment thing. Like 10 years ago in Katmandu with tengo mpj, and there must have been 10,000 people packed into the shrine Hall and what was really kind of out there and this I shared this with her, and she explained to me in a very humorous way, you know, before the gates were open I mean it's like almost like a mob scene out there, you know they're all like squeezing and pressing and they're all like ready to burst in. And when I shared the story with her, she just kind of burst out laughing She goes, I have a theory about this. She said that the Tibetans are so phobic about touch that one of the only ways they can get away with touching each other is in these kind of mob scenes around the teachers, which I thought was actually hysterical and then maybe some truth to that, who knows. But with that said, they really are not a touchy feely or emotive community they're just not. And whether that's a strength or weakness I'm not here to judge that but I can't actually think of any type of touching therapy, from a Tibetan approach that isn't to say that it's not there I'm just not aware of it. They're just not that kind of people you know they they don't work that way. So as you know you know much more about this than I do that the western energetics right you know fell across all this other stuff that you are so much more facile with than I am. I honestly think that's the great contribution from the west. So what I would do is be a trailbreaker, I would be a groundbreaker like you seem to be. Use the armamentarium of the inner yogas and Reggie's work and the subtle body and all that. And then conjoin it with your understanding of touch and somatic work, because I I personally I have tremendous respect for this. And I do think it's one area and again I can't speak with total authority here, where perhaps the Tibetan tradition is, I mean deficient isn't the right word, but perhaps it's not as replete as the more touchy feely emotive Western skillful means and so I honestly can't think of anything. And so what I would do if I were you, is join what you already know, using these two worlds worlds and start to teach about it start to write about it. You know, bring them together in your own experience because I think they have tremendous kind of cross pollination capacities. And, you know, you can bring these schools together and become the resource yourself, if something comes to mind I'll let you know. Okay, but I literally I mean, I'm doing a mental Rolodex here and I can't think of anything. But sometimes when it's over. I'll go oh there wasn't one. And if that's the case, I'll let you know about it later. Okay.
Okay, thank you so very much. Yeah,
I mean very cool I really what you're doing. All I can say is, go for it you know i i am more and more deeply, respectful of the whole somatic approach, and I do think what Reggie's done here is really pretty skillful, but it's just there's so much more to be untapped and massaging I mean all the things that you know about this kind of deep inner work, and breaking through with with touch and kind of juxtaposition of the methods that you're familiar with, with this inner yogic approach I think could really be extremely careful and helpful. And so if something else comes to mind about people that may be doing this, I'll let you know but that's kind of where my mind runs with it for now.
Okay, thank you. Thanks so much, appreciate it, that.
So you guys sorry I need to run hard stop please please please for the nine people that I didn't get to, we will ping you. We'll put you at the very top of the list for next week. And we'll go through those at the very outset, I love this q&a I really enjoy it. And it's always a little hard to just, you know, close the door but at some point we have to. So come back next Thursday. We'll do this again, those of you I didn't get to, you'll be at the very top of the list. Okay everybody so to whatever extent dedication of merit means something to you. I love this simple gesture just bring everything we've done that's of any value, and then give it away. It's a wonderful kind of Zen like thing, the only way you can really keep your merit, is if you give it away. Isn't that fantastic. So, whatever benefit we have for all sentient beings who are suffering in this world and beyond. Let's give it away to all those who need it. Until then, see you all take care of yourself. Thank you so much. Ciao.