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What did the Sakyamuni Buddha have to offer?
February 20, 2006
12:28 pm
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Who and where is that self - I dont know.

But thats an answer coming more from depression and hopelessless, rather than from um.. really thinking about it. You know? But I do feel that way sometimes what you're refering to yes, and I'm light at that time. Feeling like that ALL or most of the time is the challenge for me.

February 20, 2006
4:59 pm
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On the 20-Feb-06 you wrote:

"Feeling like that ALL or most of the time is the challenge for me."

"Feeling like that" is called suffering. Few if any people escape suffering in life. It is just a question of how much suffering and how to prevent future suffering by effectively addressing its causes.

That is what the Buddha is on about.

February 23, 2006
6:00 pm
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Posture of the Heart:

When we think we are our body, our mind, and our feelings, we set the stage for feeling threatened, needy, and wounded by pain. These identifications are erroneous ideas about who we are. They are vanities, and they seem to require protection, care, and satisfaction.

Our identifications and our habitual reactions around them shape our stance toward life and our sense of reality. What we feel to be real about ourselves and life is the "posture of our heart." It includes who we unconsciously think we are and what we feel compelled to accept as true about life. Our heart postures move us toward whatever we consider real, and we will not stop seeking evidence to support such beliefs until our experience conforms to that reality. If we feel that disappointment and regret are real, then we will continue to push situations until we experience disappointment and regret. If we consider danger to be real, we will find evidence of threats in our environment and in our relationships. If we consider gratitude to be real, we will plumb our experience until we feel gratitude.

Our heart postures generate the stands we take about who we are and what we need to do. Our heart postures are also the standard by which we judge ourselves and validate the relevance of what we learn.

Searching for Happiness and Belonging:

In our desire for happiness and a secure sense of belonging and connection, we search for satisfaction in one activity after another, one experience after another, one relationship after another, one job after another, one book after another, one look after another, and one place after another. We dance, study, fall in love, marry, have babies, buy houses, cars, stereo systems, computers, take vacations, and walk in nature. Some of us seek a path in yoga, T'ai Chi, and meditation in our attempts to find something that will make us happy and free of suffering.

There is nothing wrong or bad with any of these things, in fact, they make up much of the activity of our life. The problem is that we approach our careers, marriages, and possessions as if they contain some inherent ability to make us happy. But even if they are temporarily gratifying, none of them lasts. Like everything else in this world, they change and disappear. We feel distressed with this impermanence. Our own feelings change with new desires and we become discontented with what we have. Eventually we doubt even what we are striving for.

Our dissatisfaction is also propelled by the momentum of our seeking. In this questing mode, not only are things not inherently gratifying, but we have formed a habit of seeking. As seekers we feel tension between what we want and what we have. We fragment ourselves by suppressing impulses and feelings that do not serve our quest.

When we fragment ourselves in this way, we make the completion of our quest a prerequisite for experiencing clarity, happiness, peace, and joy, holding hostage fundamental aspects of our aliveness. By making aliveness a reward of our quest, we further rationalize and motivate that quest. We suppress and disassociate happiness in the moment, "knowing" that we will only be truly happy when we attain our goal. We need to he about the fact that it is ourselves who linked our happiness to our goal. We keep it hostage there, waiting for our heroic rescue of it at some time in the future.

Often the short-lived gratification we do feel with an achievement is the temporary relaxation of the tension that seemed necessary in our pursuit. Even this experience of being at ease is unfamiliar. The habit of seeking reasserts itself, partly from the momentum of our past pursuing and partly from our sense that the agitation to attain something is familiar.

Our Catch 22:

We also feel trapped by the impossibility of our situation. Our desire to prove our worth is continually frustrated by the methods we use for validation. We set up double-binds for ourselves. For instance, if we try to manipulate the people we love into unconditionally loving us by appearing attractive and interesting, we become testy if they respond. We try to find out if our manipulation has worked. If the manipulation worked, then we fear that they only love us because of the manipulation. If it fails, then they clearly don't love us unconditionally. We want to know now that their love is forever, while believing that it cannot possibly last. We trap ourselves in what Joseph Heller described as a "Catch 22."

"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind.... Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. (Catch 22)"

March 8, 2006
2:29 pm
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sup Tez, I remebered you saying you kill threads. Well here I am, reviving it with new life!

Ok so, this article is basically about.. you got, low self-esteem :D.

>> When we think we are our body, our mind, and our feelings, we set the stage for feeling threatened, needy, and wounded by pain. These identifications are erroneous ideas about who we are. They are vanities, and they seem to require protection, care, and satisfaction. < < Well that is what we are, we're our mind and the body and the feelings. If this article is asking us to disown our feelings, thats the most horrible thing we can do - right? Our feelings are our own, thats a critical step for good self-esteem. If we tear ourselves away from everything, this means we're just shutting our eyes to everything. When we think we're our body and minds, we ALSO set the stage up for happyness and pleasure. The article is negative. Pain and pleasure is life. There's no such thing as a pain free life, like there's no such thing as a rose without thorns. Death itself is suffering for those whose loved one died. Bhuddism cannot prevent this pain. The 2nd part of the article says, we're wrong if we seek happyness in material things like job and relationships. Thats right. One has to be happy inside. Only then can they be happier with a job and other things. One has to be OK with who they are. Thats all we need. And again, I find it really suspicious that this article has effectively said that we must noit associate ourselves with our feelings. Owning our feelings and feeling them is crucual to good mental health. This article is also "in the air". So far, I havent heard of any good strategy to eliminate or well, minimize suffering.

March 8, 2006
2:32 pm
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Should have read in the 2nd line:

"article is basically about .. you got IT .. low self-esteem"

March 9, 2006
9:29 pm
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On the 8-Mar-06 you said:

"If this article is asking us to disown our feelings, thats the most horrible thing we can do -"

No, the article is not suggesting that feelings and the underlying emotions be denied or ignored - exactly the opposite in fact.

Then you said:

"Ok so, this article is basically about.. you got, low self-esteem :D."

No it is not about self-esteem.

It is about learning who and what this "self" is that is doing the evaluating of that 'self-perception' that results in the ever changing level of "self-esteem".

Self-esteem is not constant, it is a changing phenonema that is very time and context dependent. For example in the company of hobos my 'self-esteem might rise, whereas in the company of learned academics it might fall. With a couple of whiskies it might soar. With a severe hangover, it might fall. Self-esteem is very perspective and mood dependent both of which fluctuate over time.

Please remember that self-esteem is the direct result of a prior evaluation of one's worth in one's own eyes. That evaluation involves comparing our self-perceptions with criteria regarding how we think we ought to be within a particular context.

Buddhism is about focusing upon who and what that 'self' is in the context of the impermanent and 'empty'(not non-existent) nature of all things within this universe.

The movie "What The Bleep is Going On" asks the question "How far do you want to go down the rabbit hole?"

See the movie to find out both what this question means and about the 'empty'(not non-existent) but very wonderful nature of the universe.

Don't get fixated upon self-esteem as being your 'holy grail'. It isn't. Low self-esteem is simply a temporary unpleasant mental state, the consequence of a 'unenlightened' mental process of self-evaluation.

March 10, 2006
2:15 pm
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That movie huh, that main girl told me to watch it too. [part of me misses her a lot, part of me tells me she's not faithful and has whims for every 4th man she meets. oh well]

>> When we think we are our body, our mind, and our feelings, we set the stage for feeling threatened, needy, and wounded by pain. These identifications are erroneous ideas about who we are. They are vanities, and they seem to require protection, care, and satisfaction. < < Well, what are we then, if we're not our feelings and our body? I dont get it.

March 10, 2006
2:40 pm
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Is the Holy grail - not having any holy grail? Is that it? Heh. If so, how do we get to that place?

March 10, 2006
7:17 pm
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"Is the Holy grail - not having any holy grail? Is that it? Heh."

The 'Holy Grail' to my mind is a metaphor for a 'magic fix'. In one way of looking at it there is no 'Holy Grail'. In another sense there is. The Holy Grail for me is one's own mind and seeking an understanding of its true nature and fantastic power.

"If so, how do we get to that place?"

Well if you mean how do we get to know our own mind then the answer is to turn within and 'look'. That is easier said than done. When you are conditioned to believe that the mind is severely limited by our brain, upon which it depends for its existence, then you will be stopped by this very belief that will form the boundaries beyond which you will be unable to go.

This is what the Buddha's teachings are designed to do, to break through this conditioned ignorance.

There is no 'quick fix' buddy. Watch that movie "What the Bleep ... ". It is a very good start to get the ball rolling. If you want a university degree you must study. If you by a 'degree' from a dodgey organization without doing the footwork you will have nothing but a piece of paper for your miniscule effort.

It is in your ball court! What appears deceptively simple and easily glossed over above is not so. The Buddha gave a great many teachings in order to cover a large spectrum of human understanding abilities. Finding the right teaching for you is your quest. But that is only the start. A teaching (sutra)is nothing more than fingers pointing the way - the way must be 'walked' by each individual for themself. Buddha cannot 'save' anyone anymore than Christ can - though Christians would have you believe otherwise.

"Well, what are we then, if we're not our feelings and our body? I dont get it."

We are the Mind that manifests as the ignorant mind about which most of us, moi included, know very little!!! Our body and brain are the 'vehicle' that helps in the delusion. The mind thinks that it is a separate entity which somehow 'owns' a body complete with a brain. The body is not a separate 'thing' but an integral part of a much greater process. The body's boundaries have been arbitrarily created by the mind. They are really undefinable - see that bloody movie over and over again until this point dawns on you as being fundamentally true!!!

But if you want potatoes go grab a hoe(not the human female kind). 🙂

I'm hoeing away to the best of my abilities given my present 'state of mind' - i.e. a mind in manifest ignorance trying to 'let go' of past conditioning.

Buddhism is not so much about what we can 'gain' but more so about what we lose - our delusions of 'selfhood' as we think we know it.

Ultimately there is nothing that can be permanently gained or lost and no 'one' to do the losing or gaining. Yet the world is still to be seen and observed - albeit through the 'deceiving eyes' of the mind that interpretes the raw data from our visual sensors, our eyes, re-creating that world in our minds.

All is not what it seems!!

March 11, 2006
4:01 pm
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Ok so I guess I gotta see that movie huh. You forgot to mention I should watch it with a female companion to get the MOST out of it. lol. Actually I hope to see it with that office girl. I'll invite her later to my house, depending on how our first 'expedition' of watching a movie in the cinema goes.

I'm going to slowly advance the situation. In the first movie watching, we'll be wearing all our clothes. In the 2nd, we'll take off our shoes and so on. That will help us to see ourselves beyond the mind, I mean beyond the clothes. lol. Hmm. oh well. Lets see.

I dont get the rest of your post, its as usual much "in the air" cause I'm not getting what Mr. Bhudda is trying to teach us, but I'll be waiting to see what it means to look at ourselves beyond what we "seem" to be.

March 11, 2006
7:17 pm
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On the 11-Mar-06 you said:

"I dont get the rest of your post, its as usual much "in the air" "

Well ... perhaps you have a way to go yet before you can glimpse reality on another level.

Do you have some limited understanding of atomic theory and the nature of the sub-atomic universe? If this is too "up in the air" for you also then so will be the movie "What the Bleep ... ...".

If so don't waste your money.

March 11, 2006
8:49 pm
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Oh I do know yes, electrons, protons but thats it. Nuecleus, yea! covalent bonding. hehe.. yea, we studied it in school. I guess that should be enough? I dont know much deeper than this.

March 16, 2006
12:01 pm
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Tez,
I'm putting this here since you're going to read it most likely here because its your thread and Bhudda is your favourite topic.

I'm putting it here also because Bhudda was into meditation.

Have you had any experience of meditations?

What role can meditations play in being in touch with our inner child and bringing peace and harmony to our selves?

I'm really interested to know if there's any connection between meditations and inner peace. Also I wonder if there's any inner peace, does it last long? Do meditations work only in the beginning and later do not when it becomes another boring routine?

March 25, 2006
8:58 pm
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On 16-Mar-06 you asked:

"Have you had any experience of meditations?"

In terms of how the average person would see things, I have had lots and lots of meditation experience.

In terms of a Buddhist master sees things, I am a rank beginner who doesn't practice meditation anywhere nearly enough or on a regular enough basis to advance very far.

You asked:

"What role can meditations play in being in touch with our inner child and bringing peace and harmony to our selves?"

A critical and powerful role indeed!

Great masters who have attained ultimate peace and harmony use meditation extensively. The Japanese soldiers in WW2 entered a Buddhist monastry in which many monks were meditating. A soldier walked up to the first monk with a pistol and blew his brains out. The monks kept meditating without even a flicker. The soldier blew the brains out of the next monk. Still the rest covered in bits of brains kept meditating. The Jap soldiers spun around and left the rest alone. That's how powerful Buddhist meditation is for practitioners of many years experience.

Then you asked:

"I'm really interested to know if there's any connection between meditations and inner peace."

Is there any connection between the electron microscope and advances in the physical sciences?

Meditation is the analogous 'electron microscope' that allows us to see who we are and exactly what it is that disturbs our peace and harmony and what we can do about it.

In fact meditation allows us to literally see down to the 'quantum level'. The Buddha did exactly this!! Though he never had our modern day terminology to describe what he saw, reading his sutras on this leaves little doubt in my mind that he indeed did see at this level.

When the Buddha was at the levels proposed theoretically to exist by modern quantum physicists and below, he saw BOTH the 'void' between the subatomic 'particles' AND the interconnectedness of all things! Modern physicists have two thousand five hundred years later posited this Buddha acclaimed interconnectedness as 'String Theory'.

Dr Carl Jung, the father of the Jungian School of Psychoanalysis and Dr. Pauli the great nuclear physicist secretly worked to find this interconnectedness between the quantum fields and consciousness. Pauli for fear of ridicule by his peers didn't publish his findings. However the only person that Pauli wanted at his own deathbed was Jung!

The Buddha taught about this 'void' of any underlying 'selfhood' in the atom by calling it sunyata or 'emptiness' and the interconnectedness or 'interbeing' of all atoms as the 'Oneness' of all beyond which there is no other. The Buddha called this underpinning Oneness, the Strings and basis for all that is,'the Tathagata'.

Modern day science is well and truly on its way to discovering what the Buddha through meditation already knew 2500 years ago. This is why Buddhism welcomes the advances in our scientific knowledge with open arms. I think that it was Albert Einstein who said that Buddhism was the religion of the future - something like that.

What greater peace and harmony can possibly come from seeing for yourself in deep meditation that the 'you' that you fear being harmed has neither boundaries nor limits?

Going deeply into your 'self' in meditation doesn't reveal any boundaries between the 'self' and 'other' but only interconnectedness at a quantum level and lower, between all 'that is'and what you think is 'you'.

Thus deep meditation leads to the intense feelings of peace that comes from being bathed in the meditation experience that there is no 'one' to be harmed or to do the harming; no 'thing' that can be gained or lost and no 'one' to do the gaining and losing.

In deep meditation, the 'inner child' is seen for what it 'really is' and in the very 'seeing' of this, it is 'soothed' wonderfully beyond belief.

And you asked:

"Also I wonder if there's any inner peace, does it last long?"

'The mind is its own place and in itself can create a hell of heaven or a heaven of hell.' - Blake(I think)

It lasts as long as you want it to do so and don't let the old ways of thinking 'leak' back to override your new experiences.

It is our preconditioning of our minds that creates our inner 'hells'. If we see that preconditioning in deep meditation and let go of it then we have peace for as long as we don't 'become' that preconditioning again. When powerfully triggered it is so easy to slip back into our old ways of thinking. That is why Buddhist practices must continue day after day to maintain the mind in its new state of consciousness.

Old EMOTIONAL memories still exist and can be retriggered. What can change is how we respond with our thoughts to these periodic retriggerings. There is no magic bullet; just two steps forward and one step back over very many years.

"Do meditations work only in the beginning and later do not when it becomes another boring routine?"

If very little is attained in ten minutes, sometimes Westerners often grow impatient and give up. In my case I had startling results quickly; results that I found hard to replicate later. I often let my priorities get out of wack and I pay the price.

Boredom is a concept of which I know very little. Sweeping road gutters all day for a week after I joined the Royal Australian Air Force at 20 years of age was the closest that I came to boredom. I was waiting for my rookie course to start.

Life has never been boring for me - exactly the opposite, my mind is very active and interesting even if my external circumstances sometimes are not.

March 26, 2006
2:43 pm
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>> he saw BOTH the 'void' between the subatomic 'particles' AND the interconnectedness of all things! < < I may sound foolish but allow me to be so. I think I can see them both too, now that you mentioned it. The sub-atomic particles are seperate, yet eveything connects each other. I'm connected to the air which is connected to the wall. I guess though that isnt how you or he meant it, but hmmmmmm - anyway. heh. I'm sure thats now what it means to be able to see both things because this everyone can see. You're right, Einstien's actual quote was: “If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.” >> In deep meditation, the 'inner child' is seen for what it 'really is' and in the very 'seeing' of this, it is 'soothed' wonderfully beyond belief. < << I wannt do it! I wanna do it I wanna do it! eeeeeeeee >> results that I found hard to replicate later. I often let my priorities get out of wack and I pay the price. < < well ,that is obviously disappointing. I hope I dont see that happening to myself. Teach me this meditation. You see I'm trying everything to improve my mental health! Hell if someone said I walk down the street 20 times in polka dot shorts, I would do it if it helped. No really, I want to learn this deep meditation and gain that great inner peace you talk of. I feel I might be able to get it quicker too. I want to try and see what it is. I take you're an introvert, like me? Or not? (you by saying you're never bored. I am sometimes but I can make time pass, its not a problem)

March 26, 2006
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Also, tell me, how meditation relates to taking care of childhood wounds and all the abuse we suffered in our dysfunctional childhoods - which causes us to ignore our needs and feelings, which causes us to be "weak", and in anxiety. You know? All those things which come about by having an abusive childhood when we were not loved by our parents.

And how does it increase my self-esteem? To this you may say what you've said before that, when we're at the point we want to be, self-esteem doesnt even matter. You might say that, being in that place is better than having higher self-esteem?

March 26, 2006
5:00 pm
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Tez,
I know you teach Buddhism here on aac, as you very knowledgable about the subject. guest,guest, do not mean to interupt, so Tez when you want to answer, would you mind answering:
What has Buddhism and the practice of it done for you? How has it enhanced your life, changed your life?

March 27, 2006
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hi OMW, not a problem.

Tez

As I was coming back to work, I thought: Is meditation a way of "staying in our heads" ? The Bradshaw video talked about an emotional brain and a thinking brain (and a visceral too). If we stay in our thinking brain, we numb ourselves to the emotional storms going on in our dysfunctional minds. That isnt right. We must feel our emotions.

Now, does Meditation help keep us numb to these emotional storms? Then meditation is not a good idea.

Or, maybe the correct answer is: It helps us to deal more peacefully with the storms and calm them down.

But how do we know for sure which answer is correct?

March 27, 2006
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Tez, also, I got emailed back from the Bhuddist guys, they meet once a month. I also got a CD on meditation. I know what you're thinking! You're thinking that I'm looking at meditation as if its the "holy grail" (searching for it like you used to). Well I think it could help, I HOPE it helps. I'm also hoping it IS the holy grail. It'll be interesting at the least so I'm willing to try it and will do it more than those 10 minutes you mentioned.

March 28, 2006
10:35 am
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The guy wrote back:

Please read Steve Hagan's book, "Buddhism Plain and Simple" to get an introduction to Buddhism

I'll attend the meeting. Should I buy and read this book? I hate reading books. I might look into a website.

March 30, 2006
5:20 pm
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on my way

On the 26-Mar-06 you said:

"Tez, I know you teach Buddhism here on aac, ... "

Yikes!!!

I'm horribly embarrassed. I hope none of the monks read what you wrote. They would be equally as horrified as I am to think that I am teaching Buddhism.

Though I do not deliberately mislead anyone, I am expressing my very flawed impressions of Buddhist thinking as an amateur.

I express my thoughts with the sound knowledge that they are in all probability a mile off the mark. But at this juncture they are my present reality; a reality that is always changing.

All words are only fingers pointing at some reality not the reality itself.

You asked:

"What has Buddhism and the practice of it done for you? How has it enhanced your life, changed your life?"

It is the electron microscope that has allowed me to look at what I thought was me and to widened that vista considerably. It holds the promise to continue widening that vista to infinity and beyond. The Sakyamuni Buddha was one such perso who has 'gone beyond'! There have been and will be many other Buddhas(enlightened ones) who have 'thus gone beyond'. One day in the eons to come this 'mind stream' hopes to attain such a vista also.

March 30, 2006
5:31 pm
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When the pupil is ready the master will appear.

You wrote:

"I'll attend the meeting. Should I buy and read this book? I hate reading books. I might look into a website."

Why not do all three.

Why I keep bringing up the "Holy Grail" from time to time is because I know how many "Holy Grails" I thought that I had found over my life time only to discover that they all were but "rungs on a ladder"!

Life is like a jigsaw. If you hammer in the pieces to make them fit you end up with a very distorted image. If you let the pieces float until the right place appears for them then eventually the total image will appear.

Meditation is a tool that is helpful in seeing the mind in action and what lies at its depths.

Keep 'walking your walk' you are doing just fine, bro.

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