this blog is the continuation of a genuine mystical tradition, unless you get in daily contemplative time and abstain to a significant degree from "entertainment" then you are just wasting your time and mine !
zen_mystical message board
its unfortunate because it is such a stunning area. i've heard multiple times of how "stuck in their ways" they are. hope they can get over it and get with the times.
going to my doctor on the 13th to get my blood sugar tested out. how do hair tests work? wouldn't mind getting one of those too. also going to my eye doctor on the 2nd. will tell him about the macular edema problems.
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hair tests are interesting, you just send a bit of hair off and they analyse the minerals in it !
Practice in natural scenery, frequent solitude, reading insightful literature or poetry, celibacy, and good nutrition seem to be essential to good Zen practice. This seems to be the core of it. However, recent Japanese Zen Buddhism is more about rigidity, duty, and inflexibility whereas Chinese and Korean Zen were more fluid.I think Soto Zen places could use more diverse activities than just Shikantaza in "proper" posture. Stuff like getting solitude in natural scenery, playing go/weiqi, karuta, watching art-house films, reading poetry aloud from diverse authors to each other (Persians do this a lot), gardening, and etc. could all be used to deepen one's insight into infinity. It's just people get used to one thing, Shikantaza, and stick to it. I think gardening and many other activities could be better than Shikantaza...For example, Muho is one of the worst Buddhist teachers ever. He received Dharma transmission from Miyaura Rōsh. He is head abbot of Antaiji. In one of his videos he said Zazen is more important than gardening or other activities than around the monastery, and they just garden in order to support their practice of Zazen:"However, self sufficiency for us is no goal in itself – it only serves to support our practice of zazen."He's a shit teacher with no spark, so to speak. When did Buddhism become like this, an OCD complex for sitting meditation?
how have you progressed in the last two years? i see you've posted here for about that long
It has its troughs and peaks for me. I've been lucid dreaming more though.
doesn't Andrew say lucid dreaming isn't healthy? have you been taking supplements? if so, have you noticed?
Where did he say that?A recent study showed lucid dreamers have a more well-developed prefrontal cortex:http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-01/m-lda012315.php
sepehr, imo the sort of lucid dreaming you do which is sort of visionary is a special talent, almost unique !it comes from contact in 'the third place' however that doesn't mean there isn't a problem, death and the slow process of death and decay also comes from the 'third place' or is it just some parallel meaninglessness ?without supplements and the bcd diet I would be dead at this point, lucid dreaming is also a failure for the brain to shut down "properly" for sleep, that is you are in the area of physical damage to it !you have sorta got a certain level of understanding , but seem to not or be unable to move beyond it, sort of making a comfy place to lie down for your yourself, a literal "waiting at the end of time" which I have criticized zakaj forif you won't go into supplements and diet then you won't escape the 'waiting at the end of time" trajectory !one thing zakaj has taught me is that "waiting at the end of time" doesn't work, something he also seems to have figured out since he says he is making some changes by getting some contemplative and retreat time in !I mistakenly never had a criticism of "'waiting at the end of time" since it seemed to me to be a valid way of passing the time in a very screwed up situation, but in fact it is flawed at its outset/onset, since that you could do such a negative empty thing only speaks of the loss of the contact with the 'third place' or infinity !the human brain is very fragile and all we are is that brain ! :o ) (the truth of the real zen is solipsistic, there's just you and the rest of the world can go to hell, you are proxying your movement into this with its opposite, a reliance and concern for others, which is in fact a false step, what you have got right is this proxying is into quality art and literature which actually creates or improves the foundation of the step rather than making the usual destructive mess of low quality reading, drugs and music that for instance seems to be the "plat de tous les jours" at reddit zen and the hardcore zen blog !you have to do something to improve your sleep quality, my lithium page offers some ideas, otherwise you will just slowly decline and spin into an unstable life which I think you are too fragile to withstand, the homeless are amongst other things 'survivors', the ones that don't survive we don't see do we ?I have put a lot of time into writing this out for you, do me the courtesy of taking it seriously ! :o)(http://mueller_ranges.tripod.com/links/compendium/lithium.html
andrew,thank you. .i'm making less than minimum wage, 8 dollars an hour, working 9 hours a day. I really want to continue playing Shakuhachi, i'm making a lot of progress and my teachers say it themselves! but it's 50/hr plus the $20 train ride. and i really want to continue taking the supplements.. houstons and the blackmores are pretty expensive but my health is worth it. just complaining !
you are investing your time in a mechanical skill that takes a lifetime to develop and and is much better and easier done with computer software, that's an easy delete !I was just advising a friend of mine not to waste her time learning the craft skill of felting, t h e s e d r e a m s w e p u r s u e ! :o)
what do you mean mechanical skill? shakuhachi music with computer programming?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7s-wXZWT5ono I mean its lifetime's work to get the manual dexterity !basically computer music software has replaced these archaic skills !
what they are looking for is someone who is sane, can get along in a community and can do the large amounts of physical work that needs to be done, it is you who are doing them the favour and not vice vera !
Jason, what you would be better doing is getting skills useful in zen center maintenancegeorge bowman learnt carpentry and he could stay anywhere with that, not because he had a good understanding of what zen is about !what went wrong for him was a work injury and health problems !when I stayed at the providence zen center my electrical skills put me in good stead there, I had to do some ducking and diving to avoid doing too much !unskilled work is just hopeless these days, you need to put yourself on a higher income level, have a think about it !the one thing I have really learnt about zen and it's the most frightening in these last years on the net is most people who go on to teach are stoney broke and in poor health . . ! :o(
i don't plan on teaching, ever.i do need to figure out what my income will be in the future..i could get a job in carpentry, but i want to move away from where i live !
why not ask Kentucky about what they find useful in terms of skills and what they can offer in their development ! ?a basic electrical course would be useful, just to be able to use a multimeter and identify and fix simple faults !
Sepehr it's interesting you mention Muho! I actually stayed in that temple (Antai-ji) when I was in Japan. It's very strict. Germans have the same macho, ultra-discipline, Nazi approach to spirituality. Already before him, Antai-ji was super anal, but he, being German, made it even worse than the Japanese ever could: wake up at 3.45AM, 4 hours meditation on NON-MEDITATION days. And his instructions for meditation is: "You have to sit with the determination to die."
(The problem is that in Antai-ji, they don't let couples in. So if you go with your GF/wife, you have to separate while in there and the relationship has to temporarily terminate. That's all good the problem is, however, that the abbot himself is married and has children! I thought it was hypocritical. He is a zazen maniac though. He used to practice on Osaka Castle walls so that if he fell asleep, he'd fall and die. That forced him to stay awake for inhuman hours. Anyway, that Samurai approach to spirituality doesn't convince anymore. I'm too effeminate for that. I've no problem to admit. I'm soft and I'm OK with it. Fuck the Samurai.)
Zakaj...You're definitely right about how "Germans have the same macho, ultra-discipline, Nazi approach to spirituality." I'm actually kind of macho myself, especially when I was boxing, but I'm more like the Dude from The Big Lebowski, but I'm not as promiscuous and I don't drink. I do have a smoking problem now though... I can be serious when the time calls for it, but in general I am very relaxed.I like how Sri Ramanaha Maharshi would read comics or lie down. I wouldn't mind drinking wine while reading poetry and occasionally meditating, and then working for money, and then being lazy the rest of the day possibly gardening or whatever. I like Li Bai and Hafiz's approach. There's no need to stress or worry oneself out more in life than necessary. Just get a good paying job, with a stable income, and practice your noble, auspicious hobbies with grace and mindfulness, and be poetic and austere in how you do it.
Zephyr: I find that absolute abstinence works best for the contemplative life. Cigarettes are bad because every 5/10 minutes, your brain is "lacking" something and that prevents one from single-minded focus for extended periods of time. To be honest, I can't imagine how a smoker could ever live a contemplative life, but I don't want to prejudge anyone. It just seems unimaginable to me. Moreover, alcohol is a devil. And marijuana is one of the worst drugs for its paranoid-inducing properties. I guess you need to be a special person to enjoy marijuana. But for an introspective, marijuana is a ticket to paranoia hell and self-loathing. This is the truth of why the spiritual traditions recommend asceticism and abstinence. Because those are the conditions that make it possible; the mental stability that is required cannot come from a drug-induced mind.The only drug I'm addicted to right now is coffee. And I'm taking it seriously: I'm not sure whether this addiction is as innocent as the doctors say. I'm thinking of giving it up and replacing with tea. Terrence McKenna said many crazy things, but one good thing was that each era/civilization is defined by a specific psychoactive substance; for instance, the native Americans with the Teonanacatl, magic mushroom, the Indians with soma, etc. for our civilization it's definitely coffee. We keep ourselves restless and active. We feel the pressure to be active and "productive" (it's more about the appearance really, the illusion of productiveness; for self and others.) It's possible some people don't need to quit all habits, people who can control their drinking etc. but those are truly rare individuals. For most, it's far better to follow the advice of the Five Precepts and simply give up intoxicants, addictions, and even sexual thoughts / tendencies if possible.Those things are toxic to this body. Today it's not popular to say things like that, it sounds very "Catholic" and "backwards", but if you test it, you see it makes perfect sense and it's far better to live by those rules .
(Actually, I shouldn't have used the word "rule"; it's really just about testing different things and seeing what works.)
(As for the relaxed attitude, I don't know; I feel there is something to discover. Something to realize. The masters repeatedly stated that the human birth is rare, and that time shouldn't be wasted.)
I can attest to the paranoia side effect.
When I make more money, I think I would be able to practice better. Right now I have to go back to school and get another B.S. in Computer Science. There are no jobs for a Neuroscience degree, really. I don't smoke marijuana or drink. I do smoke cigarettes and want to quit. I also want to get into my regiment of meditation more. Right now I'm neither an end of timer nor a good practitioner, but I'm more just trying to secure the stable income. In this Kali Yuga, one has no choice but to make money to practice well.
Andrew works on a farm
If I lived on Australia, I wouldn't mind working with him for contemplative and health purposes if he permitted me. However, I don't, and I have to save up my own money to create a similar celibate, contemplative, environment of solitude and poetic religious practice for myself and wife.
Good idea. What I was getting at is it doesn't require a crazy amount of money to create that.
Property tax can get expensive...
I think the danger is that one can procrastinate eternally by waiting for the perfect combination of conditions: adequate income, eminent habitat, a Zen-like garden, stars aligned, moon in the 12th house, properly aligned furniture (feng shui), healthy balanced neurotransmitters, dogs & cats well fed and healthy, wife content, etc. While of course we should strive onwards and upwards, strive to fix ourselves, ultimately, saṃsāra is a shitty and tedious series of inevitabilities; conditions can never be perfect. The Dharma uses the metaphor of the white lotus blossom precisely because the lotus flower is so beautiful yet rooted in the muddy pond below. The lotus seed begins immersed in the muddy pond. That's why that metaphor was chosen. We are now lotus seeds immersed in the mud. Isn't this the most favorable situation? Could there ever be a better one?
good bit of writing zakaj, preferred your first version tho,"I think the danger is that one can procrastinate eternally by waiting for the perfect combination of conditions: adequate income, eminent habitat, a Zen-like garden, stars aligned, moon in the 12th house, properly aligned furniture (feng shui), dogs & cats well fed and healthy, wife content, etc. While of course we should strive onwards and upwards, ultimately, saṃsāra is a pile of shit and tedious inevitabilities; conditions can never be perfect. The Dharma uses the metaphor of the white lotus blossom precisely because the lotus flower is so beautiful yet rooted in the muddy pond below. The lotus seed begins immersed in the muddy pond. That's why that metaphor was chosen. You are now a seed immersed in mud. That is exactly the most favorable situation! There is no other "the white lotus analogy is the weakest part, too cliched !
sepehr you write"Right now I have to go back to school and get another B.S. in Computer Science. There are no jobs for a Neuroscience degree, really"you can download complier for programs like c+ off the web and teach yourself programming in a month you have a limited time window to pick up[ this skill since you are getting olderwhy not look at what programing is done at work and aim to get involved in that ?with rl programing experience under your belt you don't need a degree !
(There are also websites like http://www.codecademy.com/ that teach you programming step-by-step, they basically take you by the hand with simple tutorials, and give you tasks "make X program that will do Y". It's never been easier to learn than it is today. I tried it many times though and never did learn, I think it's not for me. But what andrew says is true: if you create a portfolio online with a few open source projects of your own, you can get hired even without a degree. My brother got a good programming job before he got his CS degree, and then focused on the job for 7 years without getting the degree. He finally got the degree only when he changed jobs and had time to complete it. Both my father and my brother are computer programmers and both of them tell me the skill consists mostly in "Googling questions and finding answers". Most of problems have already been solved by others. A lot of programming nowadays consists of copy/pasting code from other people, and tweaking it a little to serve your own purpose. The most important thing is to not focus on "learning to code" but instead on "learning to solve real-life problems USING code".)
I typed this and refreshed the page by accident, losing it. So I'm typing it again.Ever since I received my B.S. in Neuroscience with a 3.5 GPA, my mind has felt debilitated. The school work and lab work, of having to decapitate rats and collect their brains while being overly pressured, left their toll on me body and mind wise. I know plenty of other people have dealt with much worse, but lately, I have felt no motivation to study theoretical, mathematical, computer, or scientific related material anymore. I've been more motivated to study Dharmic literature, poetry, art-house films, and so forth, but I can't form an interest to study anything else. My brain feels lesioned whenever I try to practice math even though I take supplements like vit. B12, fish oil, and so forth. I just want to read poetry, study the Dharma more, or so forth, but even then I don't feel like I'm doing well due to stress and remorse over not spending time more meaningful. These past 3 months I have literally done nothing but watch art-house films, read neurophilosophy, understand Nagarjuna, read some poetry, play video games, and etc. I haven't gotten enough solitude or even meditated... My mind feels like a mess because of a feedback loop with remorse over not studying and the debilitating effects preventing full immersion in what has to be done or so... Sometimes I regret quitting my lab work because of experience, but I wasn't paid well, pushed too much even though I did my best, and it was so far, having to wake up early in morning and be on time precisely.Recently, I watched two films that moved me deeply.One of them was a French duology called Jean de Florette / Manon of the Spring. It had such beautiful natural scenery and a very powerful tragic story. It was about 2 greedy farmers wanting to steal a plot of land next to theirs, so they can channel the big spring's water to their carnations garden for more profit. A good family man with strong values recently moved in on plot of land the 2 greedy farmers aim for, and the family man, who used to be an accountant, came prepared, having spent a lot of time researching on how to support himself and the family through breeding rabbits and growing a gardening. In order to steal the farm, one of the greedy farmers befriends the jolly man, and lies that the nearest well is about 10 miles away. This sets the stage for a tragic story wherein the 2 greedy farmers ultimately come to face the negative consequences of their actions in part 2 of the story, Manon of the Spring. The scenery was really breathtaking, and I liked the use of Catholic imagery symbolizing repentance.The other film I watched was the Sanskrit film Adi Shankaracharya directed GV Iyer (1983). It was a very good film that had breathtaking scenery and beautifully depicted the culture of Indians during Sanskrit time. Adi Shankara would have debates on mystic topics with interspersed cathartic hymns or poems. Their culture and mannerisms were very close to the Sacred. I liked it a lot, and it's not like contemporary Bollywood trash. I wish I could live a meaningful life like a Renaissance Man during Europe's Renaissance, a Sannyasa during India's times of prosperity, or an ascetic celibate Chinese Buddhist monk during Yuan Dynasty (i.e., the time Stonehouse/Shiwu lived). Instead, I live a life surrounded by meaningless demands that my brain can't keep up with, and I feel like I am slowly dying. I have become an end-timer that no longer lives life with vigor, and sometimes I come to desire my dreams or movies more than facing my own life head on. I may just sell my house and move to Vietnam hoping to do something more physical like gardening or whatnot, but I heard the economy is becoming more industrial and farmers get paid less...
thanx for that informative reply on programming zakaj ! :o)
I already know some Python. I think employers want more C# and Java skills though.Python is actually fun to learn unlike C# or Java because of how intuitive it is... The others are just counter-intuitive and painful to learn.
sepehr, yeah jean de florette / manon of the spring are great films !I don't think you are getting the supplements right, there's always a lot of ongoing work sorting them out !I agree, once you get into quality art/literature/mysticism, everything else loses interest. . .I was rather shocked to read up on joshu a bit, starving in old age and living in an abandoned temple in a hostile small town, makes you realize how hagiographical most of zen is and the level of bullshit about how things are, arseholes like themselves are the ones who left joshu to starve ! ..one of the quotes in his records is some-one making an explicit criticism of joshu not preparing for old age ! ..what fits your talents, real estate?, you never know ! :o)(
Sepehr: If you already know Python, then you can advance quickly. Have you taken a look at Ruby (and Rails)? It's very intuitive and elegant. Similar to Python, it's made in Japan. I like the code more than Python's. You can try it online now, interactively: http://tryruby.org
Jason, the problem is there is no fixed ground of shouldn't, as usual you just rest in idiot nonsense that they spew on on reddit zen, puffed up frauds who never done any real zen in their life except that walking in the wrong direction they call buji zen or 'practice"
typo: "In one of his videos he said Zazen is more important than gardening or other activities around the monastery*"
Andrew, have you seen Interstellar, the new Hollywood blockbuster? Even if you didn't, or won't, it doesn't matter. It has the typical Hollywood structure (family drama etc.) but it has something that made me reflect upon the connection between the multiverse or higher dimensions (higher than the 4th, ie. beyond time) as they are conceived in science. See this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf2CxZPl7KIHe also has another version that's 1 hour long if you want.I think it's where science and mysticism meet. I'm curious to hear about your thoughts on that vid. and on the "infinity" conceived as the 10th dimension in theoretical physics.
Sorry, that wasn't the right video. He made a newer version that's much better. Here it is - watch this instead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqeqW3g8N2Q
That timeless point ("Omniverse") he talks about in the end as the infinity of the 10th dimensional "space"!
that video gave me a headache, dude. I like Dharmakirti's arguments for nominalism in relation to time and space:http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dharmakiirti/"This not only rules out horizontal universals, like blueness, which would have to be present in several blue particulars at one time, but it also rules out vertical universals, or substances persisting throughout time, the numerically identical individual that would be present in each time-slice of a thing. It is only series of qualitatively similar moments that constitute what we conventionally take to be enduring objects, but there is actually nothing that remains numerically the same for more than one instant."