2008.12.20 13:00 - A Buddhist Question

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    Storm Nordwind was assisting our new guardian, Aurora Kitaj, who freely admitted that her knowledge of Buddhist phraseology could fit on the back of a stamp. Aurora provided the comments.

    Storm Nordwind: Hi Adams
    Aurora Kitaj: Hello Adams
    Adams Rubble: Ah. Nice to meet you Aurora :)
    Aurora Kitaj: Nice to meet you too Adams, I've seen your PaB emails
    Aurora Kitaj: they've helped me a lot in preparing
    Adams Rubble: That is nice of you to say. thanks :)
    Aurora Kitaj: although I have to admit to just skimming them this afternoon ;)
    Storm Nordwind: Adams is a PaB veteran now
    Adams Rubble: hehe
    Storm Nordwind chuckles
    Adams Rubble: the second wave
    Aurora Kitaj: hey, perhaps I can have two PaB guardian mentors ;)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Aurora Kitaj: guardian's, guardian's

    Adams has an important Buddhist question

    Adams Rubble is dying to ask Storm a Buddhist question
    Storm Nordwind smiles at Adams and waits patiently
    Adams Rubble: I would be glad to help if I can. Storm is much more knowledgeable than I
    Adams Rubble: Storm, this morning Crusty said that in tantric Buddhism
    Adams Rubble: one meditates and summons a Boddhisattva deity and then dismisses it
    Adams Rubble: I asked why dismiss
    Adams Rubble: and he said that once the blessing or message is received there is no more need
    Adams Rubble: and it shows that one is not deluded about the existence of the deity
    Adams Rubble: I was very interested because as you now
    Adams Rubble: Pema suggested I pray and ask God to come in my door
    Adams Rubble: and that night I had a vision in which I felt I was rocked
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Storm Nordwind: There's a whole load of things there, and if you like I can comment line by line! :)
    Adams Rubble: Of course Crusty said in the west we are deluded :)
    Adams Rubble: yes, whatever you would like to comment on
    Storm Nordwind: First of all, you have to decide for yourself whether something Crusty says, or indeed anyone says, is something that you have any faith or trust in.
    Adams Rubble: oh, I hope that was understood
    Storm Nordwind: Sure
    Storm Nordwind: Now as regards tantra, I do not do it as he described
    Storm Nordwind: And for me that is not the defining characteristic
    Aurora Kitaj: for me the process of contextualising information can take weeks,
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Adams Rubble is listening
    Storm Nordwind: The point of tantra is that it means to me an express route
    Storm Nordwind: It uses special techniques to get you to enlightenment 'faster' if you like.
    Storm Nordwind: I'm not saying it works for everyone, just that that is the aim
    Storm Nordwind: And the main way it does it is by what is called "Bringing the result into the Path"
    Storm Nordwind: Which basically means that you see yourself as already as having achieved the goal
    Storm Nordwind: using the different tantric techniques
    Adams Rubble: like PaB :)
    Storm Nordwind: Well yes, like PaB to some extent
    Storm Nordwind: Or certainly like the later exercises
    Storm Nordwind: of YSBS...(http://rubblebornthoughts.wordpress.com/chronicles-storm/)
    Storm Nordwind: and especially ESBS
    Storm Nordwind: So what happens is not a dismissal in my view
    Storm Nordwind: You certainly work with such a being
    Storm Nordwind: And by being I mean a Buddha
    Storm Nordwind: But you become the being
    Storm Nordwind: and see emptiness
    Storm Nordwind: and you can view everything as a Pure Land and its inhabitants as enlightened
    Storm Nordwind: This is what is called generation stage tantra
    Storm Nordwind: There is a second stage called completion stage
    Storm Nordwind: and this is where you meditate inwardly using special techniques
    Storm Nordwind: on the inner 'winds' and 'channels'
    Storm Nordwind: but these are no longer yours as in the little you
    Storm Nordwind: but those of the Buddha you have become
    Storm Nordwind: I am talking specifically of mahamudra tantra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahamudra)
    Storm Nordwind: and this is the essence of Vajrayana Buddhism, when combined with Lam Rim meditations and Lojong training of the mind.
    Storm Nordwind takes a breath :)
    Adams Rubble: while you are taking a breath....
    Adams Rubble: where would the technique Crusty described fit in?

    Gaya arrives...

    Adams Rubble: Hi Gaya :)
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Gaya
    Aurora Kitaj: Hi Gaya
    Storm Nordwind: It does not fit in to anything I practise Adams
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Gaya Ethaniel: [Sorry I'm late]
    Storm Nordwind: Except to say that everyone has their delusions, so I wouldn't point to the west as being the height of people being deluded!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Now... I wonder what you have been discussing...

    Gaya sent preceding chat

    Adams Rubble: it's OK. If it does not resolve it will be in my chat log
    Adams Rubble: I just can;t respond
    Storm Nordwind: The idea that Crusty may be referring to is that quite often you use a tool which is based on delusion
    Storm Nordwind: But you are using it to achieve the fire of enlightenment
    Gaya Ethaniel: That'd be great thank you Aurora ^^
    Storm Nordwind: And the tool itself burns up in the process
    Storm Nordwind: which leaves you free of delusion
    Storm Nordwind: It's a paradoxical techniques
    Storm Nordwind: But it happens of its own accord (with the right techniques and the right teacher) without things needing to be dismissed
    Gaya Ethaniel: In his own time, the Buddha was criticised and dismissed [guess also Jesus?] so...
    Adams Rubble: I am going to log out and come back
    Gaya Ethaniel reads...
    Storm Nordwind: Ok Adams
    Storm Nordwind: There's dismissed and dismissed. :)
    Gaya Ethaniel throws a pillow at her assumptions
    Gaya Ethaniel: [ok dismissing a Bodhisattva got it] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva)
    Storm Nordwind: I think there's the dismissed as "Go away now" (I think Crusty meant that) and the dismissed as "What you say is irrelevant". Jesus got both I think!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Can you say more about the practice Crusty is talking about? I'm very ignorant about Tantric traditions
    Storm Nordwind: It was a Bodhisattva that brought me to Buddhism in the first place. Hence my gardens near here!
    Storm Nordwind: But no I cannot say what Crusty is talking about. You will have to ask him. The point of tantric practice for me is largely as I have already described.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Avalokiteshvara, right Storm? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalokite%C5%9Bvara)
    Storm Nordwind: Yes Gaya! :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: One of my favourite ^^
    Storm Nordwind feels the pendant round his neck in RL
    Adams Rubble: That's better. sorry it broke things up
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel: wb Adams ^^
    Storm Nordwind: Glad to have you back Adams
    Gaya Ethaniel makes a notecard for Adams
    Adams Rubble: I am interested in the concept that we can call for help seemingly outside ourselves
    Adams Rubble: It is quite a mystery to me
    Storm Nordwind: Do not we do that if we are drowning, or we are being robbed?
    Adams Rubble: thank you Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pleasure ^^
    Adams Rubble: Yes, we might do it in times of crisis
    Storm Nordwind: It can become a habit at other times too, depending on to what or whom we call
    Gaya Ethaniel: Perhaps the distinction of inside/outside hinders the understanding...
    Storm Nordwind: probably Gaya
    Adams Rubble: Frankly I am a bit confused about it and it just was interesting to hear someone talk about something so similar in a different tradition
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Storm Nordwind: If I call upon a Buddha, I do so my 'taking refuge'
    Storm Nordwind: I don't dismiss them afterwards though
    Storm Nordwind: When I was a pagan, I would do the same to gods
    Gaya Ethaniel: Dismissing => not clinging?
    Storm Nordwind: Dismissing = clinging in another form :)
    Adams Rubble: No I can;t imagine dismissing the Christian God
    Adams Rubble: Christian
    Adams Rubble: But I don;t think I am deluded
    Storm Nordwind: To push something away still shows your attachment to it!
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm curious of the use of the word 'dismiss' here...
    Storm Nordwind: Yes, I'm not sure we ascertained what the original usage was
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just wondering if it's mis-translation or something
    Adams Rubble: Crusty explained that one received the blessing and it showed that he was not deluded
    Storm Nordwind: The Buddhas are certainly delighted when people accept their blessings, that is for sure
    Adams Rubble: maybe I should find the exact words so I am not misquoting Crusty
    Storm Nordwind: But I would not say that I measure my delusions on the basis of the blessings I have or have not received
    Storm Nordwind: The words delusion has a very definite meaning in Buddhism anyway, so that could be a stumbling block
    Gaya Ethaniel: Who are these 'Buddhas'... Storm? If we all have 'Buddha-nature' within us... who are they?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Or what are they...?
    Amandeep Timeless is Online
    Storm Nordwind: The term Buddha-nature is specific to only some forms of Buddhism, so you need to clarify what you mean! :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well... guess I'm quoting Dhammapada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhammapada)
    Storm Nordwind: The translation you have may use that term, true
    Adams Rubble: Here goes...

    "Crusty Goldshark: Well it is the basis of Tantric Buddhism . . .
    You: is it?
    Crusty Goldshark: Isn't it?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I don't know that tradition.
    Crusty Goldshark: Well the basic meditations involve the visualization of a deity Boddhisatvah - allowing him or her to enter and then dismissing them
    You: why dismiss?
    Crusty Goldshark: Well because they were never there in the first place . . ."

    Gaya Ethaniel reads...

    Storm Nordwind: It's not far from the truth! ;)
    Storm Nordwind: But I think it may be confusing to many western minds to see it like that
    Gaya Ethaniel: Could you say more on 'never there in the first place' Storm?
    Storm Nordwind: No Gaya
    Adams Rubble: like me?
    Adams Rubble: confusing that is
    Storm Nordwind: Yes possibly Adams!
    Gaya Ethaniel: I am curious rather than confused... sounds different from my understanding of Buddhism, God and Being...
    Gaya Ethaniel: [ack! more questions again]
    Storm Nordwind: The 'never there in the first place' is something that can come later, when - as the Buddha has mixed entirely with you - you see the empty nature of all existence
    Adams Rubble: So I saw this my prism
    Adams Rubble: through my prism
    Adams Rubble: prism
    Adams Rubble: through my own experience
    Storm Nordwind: I can try and put it very simply
    Adams Rubble: yes please
    Storm Nordwind: A Buddha - and notice I say A not THE - is simply one who is awakened...
    Storm Nordwind: The idea is Buddhism is to reach that state yourself...
    Storm Nordwind: and your motivation for doing so slots you either into Theravada or Mahayana Buddhism...(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahamudra)
    Storm Nordwind: However...
    Storm Nordwind: whichever way...
    Storm Nordwind: there is a short cut, often used by some Mahayana Buddhists... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahayana)
    Storm Nordwind: which attempts to use a short cut...
    Storm Nordwind: They say, let us find a being that has already made it, is already there, is already a Buddha...
    Storm Nordwind: and let us use this or that technique...
    Storm Nordwind: to full absorb and mix ourselves into that being...
    Storm Nordwind: so that there is no separation...
    Storm Nordwind: and see what we experience...
    Storm Nordwind: (rather like PaB seeing what we experience! ;) ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^
    Storm Nordwind: and then... when we achieve that same conscious through that mixing....
    Storm Nordwind: we reach a point where we don't need the crutch of calling on another Buddha to do this...
    Storm Nordwind: for we have achieved that state ourselves
    Storm Nordwind: We don't dismiss them as such, for in that state we don't have the separation anyway
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles. So I understood it ok
    Storm Nordwind: So that implies I was reasonably clear then Gaya? ;)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^ yes
    Adams Rubble glad Gaya is here
    Gaya Ethaniel: I mean...
    Storm Nordwind: I am very anti what I call Buddhillectualisms
    Gaya Ethaniel: Dismissing means not clinging as in not clutching/relying on it once seen right?
    Storm Nordwind: I find they confuse very many people
    Storm Nordwind: In this case, it would mean it becomes an irrelevance
    Adams Rubble not very knowledgeable about Buddhism. Seems less so the more I learn
    Gaya Ethaniel: At that point yes Storm
    Storm Nordwind: When people push something away, it has the same level of attachment as when you cling to something
    Storm Nordwind: Non attachment can see thing arises and fading away
    Gaya Ethaniel: Guess using the word 'dismiss' to people who are not familiar with Buddhism [I don't know much either Adams] can be confusing or give off wrong impression perhaps
    Gaya Ethaniel nods at pushing & attachment
    Aurora Kitaj: I have to admit to knowing next to nothing, but eager to learn
    Storm Nordwind: I know. These words become jargon and then get used in the presence of people who assume (naturally so) they know what the jargon means
    Adams Rubble was most interested in the calling a deity for help
    Storm Nordwind: I can talk about that anyway Adams
    Storm Nordwind: I have a long history before Buddhism of that
    Adams Rubble: and geting help as a response
    Storm Nordwind: yes
    Storm Nordwind: I can be brutally honest about it if you want
    Gaya Ethaniel: uh oh brutal honesty
    Adams Rubble gets ready
    Storm Nordwind: OK
    Storm Nordwind: I'll take that as a green light
    Adams Rubble: yes
    Storm Nordwind: All deities without exception (outside the Buddhist deities where deity is a misleading term) have a common characteristic when you call on them for help
    Storm Nordwind: And that is this...
    Storm Nordwind: It has to be an exchange
    Storm Nordwind: There has to be something in it for them
    Storm Nordwind: And the trick is to find out what that is ahead of time
    Storm Nordwind: Through negotiation if you like
    Storm Nordwind: It's an adult way of doing things in a way
    Storm Nordwind: They get something out of it, as do you
    Storm Nordwind: *They
    Storm Nordwind: And I have to repeat, I know of no exceptions to this.
    Storm Nordwind: So in your case Adams, and you (I presume) are dealing with a single deity here...
    Storm Nordwind: you have to ascertain what that deity wants in return for the help that is asked for
    Storm Nordwind: In my experience, different deities want different things
    Storm Nordwind: They may be more or less forthcoming about what they want too
    Storm Nordwind: And they may decline the exchange in the first place - one can't assume
    Gaya Ethaniel: mm... I have a slightly different understanding on calling on Buddhist deities...
    Storm Nordwind: Yes Gaya. That's because they are not deities in this sense of the word
    Gaya Ethaniel: [perhaps crude in a way]
    Storm Nordwind: They are Buddhas
    Adams Rubble: How about avalokitisvara? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalokite%C5%9Bvara)
    Adams Rubble: and calling for help
    Adams Rubble: in distress
    Storm Nordwind: He (or she as Kuan Yin aspect) is a Buddha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guan_Yin)
    Storm Nordwind: And will help
    Storm Nordwind: for a very good reason
    Adams Rubble: compassion
    Storm Nordwind: and I can tell you that reason
    Storm Nordwind: He/She is a Bodhisattva
    Storm Nordwind: and has made a vow
    Gaya Ethaniel: When we are asleep... we can't see the Buddhas in us so call on a deity to 'help' until we see... as we see more of the nature of things [guess this is what Tantric practice means by becoming one with a chosen deity?]
    Storm Nordwind: That vow entails guiding all sentient beings out of suffering
    Gaya Ethaniel: We no longer need to cling onto the deity... and so on...
    Adams Rubble: yes, I understand that part
    Storm Nordwind: I'm not sure i understand you Gaya
    Adams Rubble meant what Storm said
    Gaya Ethaniel: That's how I understand it Storm
    Storm Nordwind: You mean physically asleep? Or metaphorically?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Not yet 'awaken', hasn't developed the awareness and so on
    Storm Nordwind: Got you! My apologies!
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^
    Storm Nordwind: Yes, these being certainly help
    Storm Nordwind: And they are happy to be called upon
    Storm Nordwind: Although they are even happier when we put their teaching into practice!
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm sure!
    Storm Nordwind: So in helping us, they are fulfilling their vow
    Storm Nordwind: And by asking we are helping them do it
    Gaya Ethaniel: That's why we smile when we see 'goodness' in us and others I guess
    Storm Nordwind: So that's what's in it for them
    Storm Nordwind: One thing Adams I will tell you...
    Storm Nordwind: you may have heard it before...
    Adams Rubble listens
    Storm Nordwind: and you won't agree with it, but it is part of Buddhist cosmology! ...
    Storm Nordwind: is that all gods of all religions are still part of the wheel of suffering.
    Storm Nordwind: Buddhists would believe in many lifetimes
    Storm Nordwind: and would believe in many realms
    Storm Nordwind: And the god realms are part of this (with subdivisions)
    Storm Nordwind: meaning a very strange thing...
    Storm Nordwind: that gods also have finite lives
    Storm Nordwind: if very long from our point of view...
    Storm Nordwind: and that they can still experience suffering overall
    Storm Nordwind: Which is why a Buddhist points to the precious human body...
    Storm Nordwind: as a tool for escaping from the suffering.
    Aurora Kitaj: yes?
    Aurora Kitaj: listens
    Adams Rubble: We have different ways of approaching the most basic issues
    Storm Nordwind: Ah yes
    Storm Nordwind: And in a way, that is the strength of Play as Being - we don't need to agree or believe in a doctrine
    Storm Nordwind: We can just try and play and do and experience
    Gaya Ethaniel: Can I ask a question on your God Adams?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm guessing I can?
    Adams Rubble: Are you asking me?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well, do you feel your God is totally 'external' to yourself?
    Adams Rubble is just relearning about and becoming reacquainted with God after a very, very long time
    Adams Rubble taking tentative steps
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm also ^^
    Storm Nordwind has taken tentative steps and found he doesn't get on with that god, and so He and I have agreed to differ!
    Adams Rubble respects that Storm
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm just suggesting that what we 'know' through our senses and knowledge's are illusions... the distinction between the God being outside oneself perhaps is also an illusion?
    Adams Rubble finds Buddhism a bit elusive
    Adams Rubble: elusive
    Gaya Ethaniel: The distinction is not helpful I mean...
    Aurora Kitaj: pretty much the same story with me, except I didn't bother making tentative steps Storm Nordwind: Gaya - even if we know something is an illusion (like a the image in a mirror) it can still be a useful tool, as long as we don't forget what realisty really is
    Adams Rubble: I have had some experiences which make me wonder and open to knowing more
    Adams Rubble: it is wonderful
    Gaya Ethaniel: Of course it is Storm, I'm suggesting the step after that...
    Adams Rubble: yes Storm
    Adams Rubble: Does it really matter if it is an illusion if it helps us be better beings
    Gaya Ethaniel: We often hear about 'we are already there', 'no where to go', 'nothing to achieve' at PaB from Pema
    Storm Nordwind agrees with Adams
    Storm Nordwind: I know Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think I understand that a bit better now...
    Storm Nordwind: For some that works. For others it is an obstacle I suspect
    Gaya Ethaniel: [conducting oneself properly in daily life is another matter for me though]
    Storm Nordwind: Well (according to Buddhism) you must have done it successfully before, otherwise you wouldn't have a human real life avatar now! ;)
    Adams Rubble: it is more a matter of being comfortable with oneself and compassionate/loving toward others I think
    Gaya Ethaniel: [Related but continuous effort's required*]
    Aurora Kitaj: I'll second that as an aim
    Adams Rubble: Unfortunately I must go
    Storm Nordwind: Yes it's a great aim

    Aurora Kitaj: Thanks for coming Adams
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^ definitely
    Storm Nordwind: Sorry for confusing rather than enlightening Adams!
    Adams Rubble: Thank you you all for the great discussion and Storm for the explanations
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you ^^
    Adams Rubble: No Storm, I am so confused, no one can confuse me more. hehe
    Aurora Kitaj: Thanks you for coming along Gaya
    Storm Nordwind laughs
    Gaya Ethaniel giggles
    Adams Rubble: bye everyone :)
    Storm Nordwind: Great to see you as always
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Storm Nordwind: bfn!
    Aurora Kitaj: bye Adams,
    Storm Nordwind: Quite often Aurora, the session comes to and end by people disappearing to the Kira Cafe at 10pm UK time
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^ or some ppl go to bed
    Aurora Kitaj: ok, thanks so much for being here Storm,
    Storm Nordwind: haha
    Aurora Kitaj: Yes, Gaya,
    Storm Nordwind: Well, it wasn't typical and i talked too much
    Gaya Ethaniel: Love it when you do Storm ^^
    Storm Nordwind blushes
    Aurora Kitaj: I'm very grateful for you talking, it has explained a lot of things to me.
    Aurora Kitaj: I hope that me sticking in a wiki in the chat is a positive and not a negative,
    Aurora Kitaj: all the phrases were new to me
    Gaya Ethaniel was stared at by people on a train for giggling madly while reading some of things Crusty said at PaB...
    Storm Nordwind: That was ok
    Aurora Kitaj: they are live visual reminders
    Storm Nordwind: You may want to shift them in your edit to be right next to the relevant line
    Gaya Ethaniel: oh that's a good idea indeed ^^
    Aurora Kitaj: yes will do or better still hyperlink
    Storm Nordwind: Bear in mind that we each sometimes receive the lines in different orders anyway, due to lag, so such tiny editing like that is permissible
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm afraid I'm called away... thanks again and good rest ^^
    Storm Nordwind: OK Gaya. Great to see you!
    Aurora Kitaj: thanks for your contributions Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel waves cheerily

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