108 Likes on Facebook! Yeeesssshh!

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108 Likes on Facebook! Yeeesssshh!

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Oh, Enlighten up a little, would ya?

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Oh, Enlighten up a little, would ya?

Coulda, Buddha, Gouda

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Three Kinds of Meditation

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A comment to the question "Does anyone use sutras when they meditate?" in the Buddhism and Meditation community on G+

According to the Indo-Tibetan tradition, there are 3 kinds of meditation, and sutras would definitely be useful for 2 of them. The kind we are most familiar with is_jok gom_, or placement meditation. That is focussing single-pointedly on an object; such as the breath, a Buddha image, sensations, etc.

What is really helpful for changing the heart are shar gom and che gom, review, and analytical meditation. In a deep, quiet mind state, you can review a sutra, a list of problems or benefit from sutra, for examples. Analytical meditation is to kick it around: do the steps follow? Does this accord with my own experience?

Using such things as following the breath as a warm-up, contemplation like this is much more powerful than just thinking about stuff.

All 3 could actually happen in one session even: suppose you recall the steps to death awareness. Then you examine them. Out of that may pop-up a powerful personal realization of you own impermanence. Then focus deeply on this realization to "burn it in" to your mind.

Hope this helps.

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Two Realities, yo.

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"You've yet to realize the thought of the Able
As long as two ideas seem to you disparate:
The appearance of things—infallible interdependence; And emptiness—beyond taking any position.

At some point they no longer alternate, come together; Just seeing that interdependence never fails
Brings realization that destroys how you hold to objects, And then your analysis with view is complete."

Je Tsongkapa, "The Three Principle Paths"

Originally shared by +****

Ditching conventional truth.

Since I start participating actively in G+ Buddhist communities, it is quite often when someone (specially among Zen practitioners) comes up with ultimate concepts, like the very typical questions "who is the one is talking?" "there is no (insert here whatever, from selves to objects)", etc.
Sometimes is very ok to talk in ultimate terms, but only when the conversation is about ultimate or is used to teach something and there is no other way. More than often is used as a fallacy, instead of engage into the conversation´s subject or when someone is in trouble answering, switching to an ultimate question to invalidate any "personal" mentions.
Talking in ultimate terms is not the middle way. But in case someone doesn´t know what is ultimate and conventional truths, here a briefing:

The Buddhist doctrine of the two truths differentiates between two levels of truth (Sanskrit: satya) in Buddhist discourse: relative or commonsensical truth, and absolute or ultimate truth.
The doctrine was first expressed in complete form by Nāgārjuna.
The two truths doctrine states that there is:
Relative or common-sense truth (Sanskrit samvṛtisatya, Pāli sammuti sacca), which describes our daily experience of a concrete world, and
Ultimate truth (Sanskrit, paramārthasatya, Pāli paramattha sacca), which describes the ultimate reality as sunyata, empty of concrete and inherent characteristics.
The Sanskrit term for relative, "samvṛti", also implies false, hidden, concealed, or obstructed, as well as other nuanced concepts.
The conventional truth may be interpreted as "obscurative truth" or "that which obscures the true nature" as a result. It is constituted by the appearances of mistaken awareness. Conventional truth would be the appearance that includes a duality of apprehender and apprehended, and objects perceived within that. Ultimate truths, are phenomena free from the duality of apprehender and apprehended.

The Lankavatara sutra is quite explicit in assuming two forms of knowledge: the one for grasping the absolute or entering into the realm of Mind-only, and the other for understanding existence in its dual aspect in which logic prevails and the Vijnanas are active. The latter is designated Discrimination (vikalpa) in the Lanka and the former transcendental wisdom or knowledge (prajna). To distinguish these two forms of knowledge is most essential in Buddhist philosophy.

But even that if ultimate truth is the ultimate reality, which seeing trough it leads to the end of suffering, conventional truth is necessary, Nagarjuna said:
"Without a foundation in the conventional truth,
The significance of the ultimate cannot be taught.
Without understanding the significance of the ultimate,
Liberation is not achieved."

Conventional truth is necessary in order to proceed toward enlightenment—and to practice compassion—but its value is not intrinsic. Even though is necessary. At the end of the day, all language implies the use of conventional meanings, knowing the ultimate reality (sunyata) does not mean conventional concepts (using "I", "you", etc.) should be discarded from everyday life.

An enlightened being is not a mute being (and yes, in before someone of the "persons" I´m talking about points it out, in the ultimate truth there is not even a being or "enlightened being", but this article is written using conventional terms! 😛 )

Always talking in ultimate terms outside the right circumstances, is an extreme, is not the middle way, and can be quite annoying. 🙂

 
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The Guru Effect – the tendency for people to "judge profound what they have failed to grasp."

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This article is about social sciences, but very relevant to spiritual writings. My Teacher is very plain-spoken, and often translates even names of Enlightened Beings into English. Thus, Manjushri (Skt.) aka Jampel Yang (Tib.) becomes "Gentle Voice," just the way Tibetan translated Sanskrit to their own language. The point is to enlighten (and Enlighten), not to mystify. I feel discouraged when people write about the teachings and throw tons of Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese or Japanese out there. Just pretend we are not linguistic scholars, m'kay? It might be technically correct, but do these writers have any experience or realization of what they are talking about? I doubt it, if they can't explain in their own English words.

Have You Fallen Victim to the Guru Effect? | Big Think
Four years ago a paper by Dan Sperber published in the Review of Philosophy and Psychology coined the term: The Guru Effect – the tendency for people to “judge profound what they have failed to grasp.” The paper examines how self-professed Gurus have a knack for inspiring devotion through speaking …

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