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Breath: Questions for Contemplation; Perceptions and Practice Ideas

After jotting down intuitive information and collecting odds and ends of teachings on breath for quite some time, I’ve finally compiled the first part into a video (along with an MP3 audio version) and include a (tran)script below:

Breath: Questions for Contemplation; Perceptions and Practice Ideas MP3 audio version [MP3 file download]

Disclaimer: it may be wise to find a balance with this material for whatever it may bring up: intrigue, fear, relief, breakthrough, novelty, overwhelm, overkill, irrelevancy, etc. One can pause the video at anytime for contemplation. 

Or instead of viewing as study and practice instructions just sit back and take this in as a display of possibilities — letting the material resonate with whatever strikes as vital. 

However you’re called to receive this presentation please take what is skillful, wise and useful/helpful and leave the rest. Also, this presentation could easily become outdated and/or refuted. 

For any questions posed in the material it is encouraged to engage each question the following four ways, both internally to yourself, and to me with any counter-questions for both of our benefit:

  • answer directly
  • answer with analysis (and elaboration after deconstructing)
  • answer by counter-question(s)
  • do not answer, or give no response

In addition to this public presentation the private portion may be given if working with me, or may be released later. Much of what’s public is aggregated from other public sources while the private includes material I’m unsure of what portion is public and what portion is not.

Both the public and private presentations primarily address the breath through approaches, observations, conjecture, perceptions, practice ideas, and inquiries ranging from simple, commonplace, practical, and broad overviews to the bizarre, obscure, esoteric, and minutia while sometimes these categories overlap.

Overall, a basic bare awareness of breath is primarily needed. Again, this presentation is not to overwhelm, for overthinking, for comparison, or judgement. Rather, to enhance the likelihood of maintaining and/or prolonging bare awareness of breath for/during breath practices.


Questions for Contemplation

  • What if this was the first time noticing breath? 
  • What is more important than breath in this moment?
  • What effects are the breath having right now (on any and all levels you have access to inside and outside)?
  • How is your relationship with your breath in this moment?
  • What is the relationship between light and breath?
  • Instead of us being mindful of the breath, what about the breath being mindful of us, and of mindfulness itself?
  • What is the difference between the experience I think I’m having and the experience my breath is having?
  • Can your breath be stopped?
  • How might a true, authentic admiration for breath help?
  • What if the breath was allowed, was permitted to consciously assist in and assist with anything and everything?
  • How might focusing on, and even seeking pleasure with(in) the breath, be helpful, wise and skillful?
  • Can you trust that simple bare awareness of breathing is sufficient and enough?
  • When waking up back to breath ask, “was what took me away pleasant or unpleasant?” And whatever is woken back up to, is it mental or physical?
  • Who/what controls the breath and how?
  • Can breath be seen, looked at, or focused upon as a tangible, visible object (in the mind’s eye)?
  • When conscious of the breath, what of the breath still remains unconscious (or subconscious)?
  • How does breath want to be known?

Perceptions

“Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit.”

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html
Advantages of breath as meditation object:
  1. Always available
  2. In the here and now
  3. Dynamic so it’s easier to focus on
  4. Minimal emotional charge helps the body and mind settle

If you want to go to point A to B, fully inhabit A — being fully here with experience. 

Breathing grounds and centers us in a relaxed yet alert continuity of attention in the present moment 


Instead of jumping out into the river of life to fight the rapids, or getting scared by the rapids, or getting swept away by them, let breathing be like being on a big stable boat in the river of life. 

Sometimes if feels good to damn up the natural flow of the river of life to give the thinking mind a kind of freedom to spill out over the land. 

This is dangerous though causing flooding while the river of life wants to keep flowing. 

This continuity of life experience — to be and stay in the present moment — can be experienced in various worldly ways like with a heightened sense of fear — like mountain climbing — or intense demand of attention like preforming surgery, playing tennis, and with books and movies.

Meditation doesn’t naturally engage fear, entertainment, and interest so we develop this capacity to stay with experience without relying on something external as impetus. 

Continuity of attention comes from:
  1. relaxation (a tense attention is exhausting) — tension can be fuel for wandering mind
  2. dedication — engaging our intensional faculty
  3. strength in mindfulness
  4. heightened awareness to know when the mind wanders off — initially takes a lot of effort but eventually this habit can allow the mind to be more at peace
  5. familiarity of what it feels like to be with the breathing so we know what it feels like when we wander off noticing a kind of loss of intimacy with parts of ourself
How Breath Can Cultivate Continuity of Attention:
  • Inviting body and breath to relax, especially in the belly allows greater observation of the breath’s variations 
  • Like petting a cat, not continuously, but stroking intermittently from head to tail until purring
  • Counting breath (initially to learn this technique, and if needed, then let go of counting)
  • Labeling the “in” and “out” breaths. “In” for the in-breath. “Out” for the out-breath.

“Frozen breathing or held breathing is kind of like glue for attachment”

Breath Psychology:

One Italian word for breathing: “respirare” gives us the words “breathing” and “spiritual”

We also have “respiration”, “inspiration”, gas company “Spire”, “conspiracy” which the roots of the word mean to breathe together [https://www.etymonline.com/word/conspiracy#etymonline_v_28701]

And in psychology, “psycho” is of the mind and another meaning for “psycho” is “breathing” [https://www.etymonline.com/word/psycho-]

With in the breath itself, notice changes, emotions, attitudes, and psychology. Notice where mind wanders off.

Maybe the end of in breath is boring due to lack of sensation so one starts thinking about stuff. 

Maybe there’s fear around the end of an out-breath not wanting to let go fully, and wanting control, wanting to get to the in-breath.

Maybe some don’t want to breathe out because of tendency to hold on to things, and not want to give things away. 

Maybe a reluctance to breathe in if the world feels oppressive, not wanting to take on any more burdens, oppression, or work. 

All this diminishes though with the continuity of courageously breathing through it all, and by doing so without interfering with the breath — thus resulting in a support for freedom


Mindfulness of breathing is like putting a stick in a stream that you can’t tell if it’s moving or not.

This then shows the ripples and currents of our lives, and how busy, and maybe how out of control the mind is

Not that it’s wrong, it just gives a reference point to see how strong the tendency is to be pulled into thinking, our concerns, emotions.

The challenge to stay with the breath is like a mirror for what’s going on with the mind that makes it so challenging.

The mirror of breath also allows us to see ourselves in the subtlety of what’s occurring (inside and out); like a gauge of our internal and external world

Mindfulness of breathing works even when it doesn’t work by showing you what’s taking attention away from the breath. 

[Much of the paraphrased perceptions above via https://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/1/ — 2020-08-24 to 2020-08-30]


Miscellaneous Perceptions:

What if each and every moment of each and every in breath and out breath was and is happening like your life depends on it? 

What if it was way more of an emergency situation than any ICU or any end-of-the-world event depicted in movies?

Because this is the way it is — miss one half breath and life ceases. But we’re often oblivious to this mostly continuously. 


  • Breathing in life-giving nourishment. Breathing out a relaxing release of that which is no longer needed. 
  • Breathing in is allowing. Breathing out is an offering
  • In life we must give (breath) to receive (breath) and vice versa
  • Each breath is different
  • Inhabit the breath; occupy the breath

“But whoever develops mindfulness of death, thinking, ‘O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up one morsel of food . . . [that I might live] for the interval that it takes to breathe out after breathing in, or [that I might live for the interval that it takes] to breathe in after breathing out . . . they are said to dwell heedfully.”

— Maranassati Sutta: Mindfulness of Death https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.019.than.html

‘The breath is centeredness itself and you are the breath remembering your true nature.

As you breathe, let the experience not be a person connecting to something called ‘breath’, but the breath being itself in momentary form. 

Eliminate any degree of labels suggesting something is connecting with something else called breath. 

Instead, just let it all be breath remembering and realizing itself.

When it’s all the breath appearing as the phenomenon of people, places, and things, there is no longer anyone who is or isn’t sleeping. 

Instead, there is the presence of eternal light where everything is already awake. This is the heart of true restfulness.’

~ Matt Kahn — 9/20/20 newsletter

Practice Ideas: Active, Passive and Otherwise

Established breath practices, including many types of Pranayama and breathing methods:

[Note: I have not practiced extensively. Initial assessment is they are very helpful with a more gross level awareness of the breath and can be both calming, energizing and exhausting.]

  • Buteyko method
  • Lion’s Breath
  • Breath of Fire
  • Three Part Breathing
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing
  • Bellows Breath
  • Ujjayi Breath
  • 4-7-8 breathing
  • Roll breathing
  • Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”
  • Abdominal and Diaphragmatic Breathing
  • Box Breathing
  • Pursed lip breathing
  • Humming bee breath

Shifu Jiru’s 5 Qigong breathing exercises:

These exercises, synced with breath, act as an aide to (increasing) breath awareness, particularly helpful before more extended, formal breath-centric mediation.

[What’s shown in the video version of this presentation is a very inaccurate representation. It’s been heavily edited, speed up, and is without sound or instructions.]


Fill the mind with the breath

Give (complete, entire, continuous,) full attention to breath

Invite thinking energy to soften. Tune into the pleasure of the body. Relax and let go into the breath.

What is more pleasurable and easy to connect with the in or out breath?

What small adjustments with the natural breath can be made for greater ease?

Coast and surf breath. Notice effect on the body around breath and invite other parts of the body to feel similar.

Point your boat towards breath and let all else wash up against the boat.

Notice the parts of the breath where awareness wanes — during the in-breath, out-breath or pauses — then hold steady.

Let go into the out breath pause.

Rest in the simple knowing of breath.


Five Dimensions of Breath via Akiñcano Marc Weber:
  1. Depth
  2. Resistance
  3. Rhythm
  4. Texture
  5. Energetic Tone
  1. Depth — how far throughout the body can breath be felt?
  2. Resistance — does it feel like I’m doing all the work, or does it feel like I’m being breathed, or somewhere in between?
  3. Rhythm — What’s the felt sense of duration and timing of the in and out breaths and pauses between?
  4. Texture — Does it feel silky, grainy, lumpy, feathery, etc?
  5. Energetic Tone — Is breath relaxing, energizing? Without thinking, what’s the energy like in the body? Radiating, frequencies, vibrational?

Investigate and research if occasional use of herbs acting on breath, like feverfew and mullein, are wise. 

This also goes for semi-precious air element stones like iolite and smokey quartz


Be kindly, continually, consciously, tenaciously, devoted and wholeheartedly dedicated to committing to an intimate, full awareness of breath.

Commit to each breath. And recommit after each breath. Tuning into, recalling and amplifying the intention to stay with each half breath and after straying: back to awareness of breath . . . and back to awareness of breath . . . etc. etc. with a balance of ease and effort [(and what if done so) at any cost?]


The breath bridging (in)to awareness practice [via Loch Kelly]:

Be aware of breath from(/as) breath. Are you resting as the awareness, or are you the awareness that is aware? 

And what is the relationship to what is moving? 

Is awareness aware of itself?

As awareness, are you aware of the rising movement, and thought, and feeling? 

And is [awareness] separate? What is it made of? 


When there’s tendency to control breathing bring awareness to that which is controlling breath and investigate the process of controlling breath and observe subtle movements of ribs and spine.


Addendum

Unless there is significant challenge during breath-based meditation where anything here can help, it is best to just drop everything from this presentation and experience breath according to however you’ve decided to do breath meditation.

A kind of blaring omission is the instructions in the Ānāpānassatisutta, often translated as Mindfulness of Breathing. Translations below by Bhikkhu Bodhi and Bhikkhu Sujato (including the original Pali):

“Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.

“Breathing in long, he understands: ‘I breathe in long’; or breathing out long, he understands: ‘I breathe out long.’ Breathing in short, he understands: ‘I breathe in short’; or breathing out short, he understands: ‘I breathe out short.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body of breath’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body of breath.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation.’

“He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing rapture’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing rapture.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing pleasure’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing pleasure.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the mental formation’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the mental formation. ’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the mental formation’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the mental formation.’

“He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the mind’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the mind.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in gladdening the mind’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out gladdening the mind.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in concentrating the mind’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out concentrating the mind.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in liberating the mind’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out liberating the mind.’

“He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in contemplating impermanence’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out contemplating impermanence. ’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in contemplating fading away’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out contemplating fading away.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in contemplating cessation’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out contemplating cessation.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in contemplating relinquishment’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out contemplating relinquishment. ’

“Bhikkhus, that is how mindfulness of breathing is developed and cultivated, so that it is of great fruit and great benefit.

Translation by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Bhikkhu Sujato’s translation:

It’s when a mendicant has gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut. They sit down cross-legged, with their body straight, and establish mindfulness right there.

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu araññagato vā rukkhamūlagato vā suññāgāragato vā nisīdati pallaṅkaṃ ābhujitvā ujuṃ kāyaṃ paṇidhāya parimukhaṃ satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā.

Just mindful, they breathe in. Mindful, they breathe out.

So satova assasati satova passasati.

When breathing in heavily they know: ‘I’m breathing in heavily.’ When breathing out heavily they know: ‘I’m breathing out heavily.’

Dīghaṃ vā assasanto ‘dīghaṃ assasāmī’ti pajānāti, dīghaṃ vā passasanto ‘dīghaṃ passasāmī’ti pajānāti;

When breathing in lightly they know: ‘I’m breathing in lightly.’ When breathing out lightly they know: ‘I’m breathing out lightly.’

rassaṃ vā assasanto ‘rassaṃ assasāmī’ti pajānāti, rassaṃ vā passasanto ‘rassaṃ passasāmī’ti pajānāti;

They practice breathing in experiencing the whole body. They practice breathing out experiencing the whole body.

‘sabbakāyapaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘sabbakāyapaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

They practice breathing in stilling the body’s motion. They practice breathing out stilling the body’s motion.

‘passambhayaṃ kāyasaṅkhāraṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘passambhayaṃ kāyasaṅkhāraṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati. (1)

They practice breathing in experiencing rapture. They practice breathing out experiencing rapture.

‘Pītipaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘pītipaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

They practice breathing in experiencing bliss. They practice breathing out experiencing bliss.

‘sukhapaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘sukhapaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

They practice breathing in experiencing these emotions. They practice breathing out experiencing these emotions.

‘cittasaṅkhārapaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘cittasaṅkhārapaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

They practice breathing in stilling these emotions. They practice breathing out stilling these emotions.

‘passambhayaṃ cittasaṅkhāraṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘passambhayaṃ cittasaṅkhāraṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati. (2)

They practice breathing in experiencing the mind. They practice breathing out experiencing the mind.

‘Cittapaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘cittapaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

They practice breathing in gladdening the mind. They practice breathing out gladdening the mind.

‘abhippamodayaṃ cittaṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘abhippamodayaṃ cittaṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

They practice breathing in immersing the mind in samādhi. They practice breathing out immersing the mind in samādhi.

‘samādahaṃ cittaṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘samādahaṃ cittaṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

They practice breathing in freeing the mind. They practice breathing out freeing the mind.

‘vimocayaṃ cittaṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘vimocayaṃ cittaṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati. (3)

They practice breathing in observing impermanence. They practice breathing out observing impermanence.

‘Aniccānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘aniccānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;They practice breathing in observing fading away. They practice breathing out observing fading away.

‘virāgānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘virāgānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

They practice breathing in observing cessation. They practice breathing out observing cessation.

‘nirodhānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘nirodhānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

They practice breathing in observing letting go. They practice breathing out observing letting go.

‘paṭinissaggānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘paṭinissaggānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.

Mindfulness of breathing, when developed and cultivated in this way, is very fruitful and beneficial.

Evaṃ bhāvitā kho, bhikkhave, ānāpānassati evaṃ bahulīkatā mahapphalā hoti mahānisaṃsā. (4)

Translation by Bhikkhu Sujato

Irregular Inquires — Questions For Regular Contemplation: Ethics

  • If I ______ will it lead to (more) harm or non-harm? How will ______ harm or not harm and why?
  • If I don’t ______ will it lead to more harm or non-harm? How and why?
  • If the whole universe is within, what is going on internally that leads to the perception of an external ill and/or external wholeness?

. . . it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos.

selection from the Rohitassa Sutta: To Rohitassa

“Whenever you want to do [while you are doing, and having done] a bodily action [verbal action, mental action], you should reflect on it: ‘This bodily action [verbal action, mental action], I want to do [are doing, and have done] — would it [is it, was it] lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be [is it, was it] an unskillful bodily action, [verbal action, mental action] with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it would lead [is leading, has lead] to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily action [verbal action, mental action] with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily action [verbal action, mental action] of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be a skillful bodily action [verbal action, mental action] with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any bodily action [verbal action, mental action] of that sort is fit for you to do.”

Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta: Instructions to Rahula at Mango Stone (with my edits/additions in brackets in order to condense the text)

Types Of Samadhi (From Early Buddhist Texts)

Here and there I’ve come across different types — or names of — various versions of Samadhi while consuming material where such things crop up. Such flavors of Samadhi usually seem to be in Sanskrit or Pali, and because of the tricky spelling (at least for me) sometimes a (duckduckgo.com) search turns them up, sometimes not.

And after coming up empty-handed searching for a Samadhi list, I turned to Buddhism Stack Exchange where a fella ‘did an in depth research going through a digital search of the pali suttas and compiling a comprehensive list of every type of usage of Samādhi: broad umbrella term in every type of usage in EBT [Early Buddhist Texts].’

The following is a sampling of his compilation:

  • sammā-samādhi
  • Ānā-pānas-sati-samādhi
  • a-nimitta ceto-samādhi — sign-less mind’s-undistractable-lucidity
  • ap-paṇihito samādhi, ap-paṇidhāya bhāvanā — un-directed samadhi
  • Ariyassa pañc-aṅgikassa sammā-samādhissa — 5 factors = 4 jhānas + reflection-nimitta + 5 similes
  • ariyo sammā-samādhi sa-upaniso itipi sa-parikkhāro itipī — noble right concentration 7 factored
  • a-vitakko a-vicāro samādhi
  • a-vitakko vicāra-matto samādhi
  • samādhi-bala — one of 5 bala)
  • samādhi-bhāvanā
  • samādhi-sambojjhanga
  • samādhi-khandha
  • samādhi-nimittā
  • paṇihito samādhi, paṇidhāya bhāvanā — directed samadhi
  • samādhi-parikkhārā — requisites, equipment, indispensables
  • sa-vitakko sa-vicāro samādhi
  • suññato samādhi — emptiness samadhi

Would love to see someone take this even further by including Sanskrit, Chinese, etc. sources.


Here’s a (copy and pasted) portion of the aforementioned work:

4👑☸ Cattāri Ariya-saccaṃ 四聖諦

4👑☸ → ☂️ Samādhi (in broadest sense)8🌄 🔝

☂️ Samādhi (in broadest sense)

☂️ Samādhi (in the broadest sense)

With a digital search on the string ‘samādh’ in all of the EBT pali suttas, I’ve exhaustively listed every single term that includes the word ‘samadhi’ as part of its term or defintion (example, ekaggata is a synonym). So an ideal translation for the word samadhi, would work in every single one of these naunced contexts.“Concentration” is probably the most common translation, but it doesn’t really capture the essence, the heart of the matter, of samādhi, and the crucial indispensable role it plays in realizing Dhamma, nirvana.These passages make the case for the translation choice of ‘undistractible-lucidity’.’Concentration’ is general usage, is associated with tension (both physical and mental).’Undistractibility’ covers the function it shares with ‘ekaggata’, and ‘lucidity’ makes explicit what the Buddha’s ‘samādhi’ was intended for: making the mind so clear, sharp, and bright, ready to penetrate through to nirvana.

AN 5.113 sammā-samādhi-suttaṃAN 5.113 right concentration discourse

(Note the title of the sutta. There are many suttas in the EBT called “samādhi”, but this is the only one I’ve found that’s called “sammā samādhi”)

♦ “pañca-hi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato“five-of-these, *********, qualities, possessing (them),
bhikkhu bhabbo sammā-samādhiṃ(a) monk [is] capable (of) righteous-undistractable-lucidity,
upasampajja viharituṃ.[capable of] entering (and) dwelling (in that).
katamehi pañcahi?Which five?
idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuHere, monks, (a) monk
1. khamo hoti rūpānaṃ,1. (can) patiently-endure **** forms,
2. khamo saddānaṃ,2. (can) patiently-endure sounds,
3. khamo gandhānaṃ,3. (can) patiently-endure odors,
4. khamo rasānaṃ,4. (can) patiently-endure tastes,
5. khamo phoṭṭhabbānaṃ.5. (can) patiently-endure tactile-objects,

AN 5.139

(key word, khamo = resilience, or patient endurance from AN 5.113)
2. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti saddānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo saṅgāmagato hatthisaddaṃ vā sutvā assasaddaṃ vā sutvā rathasaddaṃ vā sutvā pattisaddaṃ vā sutvā bheripaṇavasaṅkhatiṇavaninnādasaddaṃ vā sutvā na saṃsīdati na visīdati, santhambhati sakkoti saṅgāmaṃ otarituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti saddānaṃ.2. “And how is a king’s elephant resilient to sounds? There is the case where a king’s elephant, having gone into battle, hears the sound of elephants, the sound of cavalry, the sound of chariots, the sound of foot soldiers, the resounding din of drums, cymbals, conchs, & tom-toms, but he doesn’t falter or faint, he steels himself and engages in the battle. This is how a king’s elephant is resilient to sounds.
3. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti gandhānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo saṅgāmagato ye te rañño nāgā abhijātā saṅgāmāvacarā tesaṃ muttakarīsassa gandhaṃ ghāyitvā na saṃsīdati na visīdati, santhambhati sakkoti saṅgāmaṃ otarituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti gandhānaṃ.3. “And how is a king’s elephant resilient to aromas? There is the case where a king’s elephant, having gone into battle, smells the stench of the urine & feces of those pedigreed royal elephants who are at home in the battlefield, but he doesn’t falter or faint, he steels himself and engages in the battle. This is how a king’s elephant is not resilient to aromas.
5. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti phoṭṭhabbānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo saṅgāmagato ekena vā saravegena viddho, dvīhi vā tīhi vā catūhi vā pañcahi vā saravegehi viddho na saṃsīdati na visīdati, santhambhati sakkoti saṅgāmaṃ otarituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti phoṭṭhabbānaṃ.5. “And how is a king’s elephant resilient to tactile sensations? There is the case where a king’s elephant, having gone into battle, is pierced by a flight of arrows, two flights, three flights, four flights, five flights of arrows, but he doesn’t falter or faint, he steels himself and engages in the battle. This is how a king’s elephant is resilient to tactile sensations.

(monk who patiently endures stimuli like warrior elephant is in “samādhi”)

2. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti saddānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sotena saddaṃ sutvā rajanīye sadde na sārajjati, sakkoti cittaṃ samādahituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti saddānaṃ.2. “And how is a monk resilient to sounds? There is the case where a monk, on hearing a sound with the ear, feels no passion for a sound that incites passion and can undistractify-&-lucidify his mind. This is how a monk is resilient to sounds.
3. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti gandhānaṃ. idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ghānena gandhaṃ ghāyitvā rajanīye gandhe na sārajjati, sakkoti cittaṃ samādahituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti gandhānaṃ.3. “And how is a monk resilient to aromas? There is the case where a monk, on smelling an aroma with the nose, feels no passion for an aroma that incites passion and can undistractify-&-lucidify his mind. This is how a monk is resilient to aromas.
5. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti phoṭṭhabbānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāyena phoṭṭhabbaṃ phusitvā rajanīye phoṭṭhabbe na sārajjati, sakkoti cittaṃ samādahituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti phoṭṭhabbānaṃ.5. “And how is a monk resilient to tactile sensations? There is the case where a monk, on touching a tactile sensation with the body, feels no passion for a tactile sensation that incites passion and can undistractify-&-lucidify his mind. This is how a monk is resilient to tactile sensations.

AN 6.5(word ‘samadhi’ is not used, but the khamo qualities just like AN 5.139 elephant and monk)

Idha, bhikkhave, rañño bhadro assājānīyo khamo hoti rūpānaṃ, khamo saddānaṃ, khamo gandhānaṃ, khamo rasānaṃ, khamo phoṭṭhabbānaṃ, javasampanno ca hoti.It’s when a fine royal thoroughbred can endure sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. And it’s fast.
Evamevaṃ kho, bhikkhave, chahi dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu āhuneyyo hoti … pe … anuttaraṃ puññakkhettaṃ lokassa.In the same way, a mendicant with these six factors is worthy of offerings dedicated to the gods, worthy of hospitality, worthy of a teacher’s offering, worthy of veneration with joined palms, and is a supreme field of merit for the world.
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti rūpānaṃ … pe … khamo dhammānaṃ.What six? Katamehi chahi? It’s when a mendicant can endure sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and thoughts.

MN 20

ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, bhikkhuThis (is) called, **********, (a) monk
vasī vitakka-pariyāya-pathesu.(who is a) master (of) thought-order-pathways.
yaṃ vitakkaṃ ākaṅkhissatiThe thoughts (he) wishes,
taṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkessati,those thoughts (he) thinks.
yaṃ vitakkaṃ n-ākaṅkhissatiThe thoughts (he does) not wish,
na taṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkessati.those thoughts (he does) {not} think.
ac-checchi taṇhaṃ,Fully-cut-off craving,
vivattayi saṃyojanaṃ,Flung-away (the) fetters,
sammā mān-ābhisamayāRight {penetration}-of-conceit,
anta-m-akāsi dukkhassā”ti.end-reached (for) suffering.”

Samādhi is not stillness. Stillness is an ingredient of deep samadhi, an important aspect of it, but samadhi is not equivalent of stillness.If stillness were the defining characteristic of EBT Buddhist Samadhi, then a dead tree stump and a corpse of a dead person buried next to it, that would be your king and queen of samadhi.


16apss🌬️😤‍SN 54, which contains 20 suttas, starting with sutta #7, the latter 14 suttas switch terminologly from16APS to 16APSS (16APS + samādhi). It’s the same 16 steps, nothing different about it, but the Buddha starts labeling the practice a samādhi practice.

SN 54.8 Pa-dīp’-opama-suttaSN 54.8 (the) **-lamp-simile-discourse
“Ānā-pānas-sati-samādhi, bhikkhave,“Inhale-exhale-mindful-concentration, monks,
bhāvito bahulīkato[when] developed (and) pursued,
mahap-phalo hoti mahā-nisaṃso.{is of} great-fruit ****, great-benefit.

(see separate article that examines all EBT passsages on animitta)

SN 40.9 a-nimitta-pañhā-suttaṃSN 40.9 sign-less-question-discourse
♦ 340. “‘a-nimitto ceto-samādhi,“‘Sign-less concentration-of-mind,
a-nimitto ceto-samādhī’ti vuccati.Sign-less concentration-of-mind,’ (it is) said.
katamo nu kho a-nimitto ceto-samādhīti?what the heck (is) Sign-less concentration-of-mind?
tassa mayhaṃ, āvuso, etad-ahosi —Then I, *****, (had) this-[thought]-occur (to me):
‘idha bhikkhu‘Here (a) monk,
sabba-nimittānaṃ a-manasi-kārā(regarding) all-signs, no-attention-(is)-given (to them).
a-nimittaṃ ceto-samādhiṃ upasampajja viharati.Sign-less concentration-of-mind (he) enters (and) dwells.
ayaṃ vuccati a-nimitto ceto-samādhī’ti.This (is) called Sign-less concentration-of-mind.'”

same as (a-vitakka a-vicara) samadhi, second jhana or better.see SN 47.10


AN 5.28 noble five-factored right-concentration5 factors = 4 jhānas + reflection-nimitta + 5 similes

AN 5.28 Pañc-aṅgika-suttaAN 5.28 Five-Factored-discourse
“Ariyassa, bhikkhave, pañc-aṅgikassa sammā-samādhissa(This) Noble, ********, five-factored right-concentration;
Puna ca-paraṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhunoAgain, and-furthermore, *********, ********
paccavekkhaṇā-nimittaṃ sug-gahitaṃ hoti(the) reviewing-sign {has been} well-grasped ****,
su-manasikataṃ sū-(u)padhāritaṃ sup-paṭividdhaṃ paññāya.well-attended, well-sustained, well-penetrated (by) wisdom.

AN 7.45MN 117DN 18SN 45.28: noble right concentration 7 factored

AN 7.45 samādhi-parikkhāra-suttaṃAN 7.45 concentration-Accessories-discourse
♦ 45. “satt-ime, bhikkhave, samādhi-parikkhārā.“[There are] seven-(of)-these, *********, concentration-accessories.
katame satta?What seven?
sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsaṅkappo,Right view, right intention,
sammāvācā, sammākammanto, sammāājīvo,right speech, right action, right livelihood,
sammāvāyāmo, sammāsati.right effort, and right mindfulness.
yā kho, bhikkhave,what ever, *********,
imehi sattah-aṅgehi(with) these seven-factors
cittass-ekaggatā parikkhatā,(that the) mind’s-unification (is) equipped (with),
ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,that (is) called, *********,
ariyo sammā-samādhi sa-upaniso itipi sa-parikkhāro itipī”ti.noble right-concentration with-supports ***** &-with-accessories *****.’”

♦ “katamo ca, bhikkhave, asaṅkhatagāmimaggo?what is the way to the unconditioned?
a-vitakko a-vicāro samādhi.Without-thinking, without-evaluation undistractable lucidity [second jhana or higher]

See AN 8.63 for how the “3 ways of samadhi” samādhi in 3 ways correspond to 4 jhanas 4j🌕 .


♦ “katamo ca, bhikkhave, asaṅkhatagāmimaggo?what is the way to the unconditioned?
a-vitakko vicāra-matto samādhi.Without-thinking, with-some-evaluation undistractable lucidity [between first and second jhana]

See AN 8.63 for how the “3 ways of samadhi” samādhi in 3 ways correspond to 4 jhanas 4j🌕 .


The 5bal👊️ = 5ind🖐️ .5 bala = 5 indriya. See indriya, samadhi-indriya.


View the entire research compilation at https://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/nuance/index.html

An Integrating Presence Meditation at Fat Cat Longevity Wednesday May 5, 2021

Join meditation 7:00-7:45pm Wednesday, May 5th at Fat Cat Longevity [https://facebook.com/freyflow] downstairs next to Peace Love Coffee at Mary’s House of Healing, on Main St in St Charles, MO.

We plan to start with brief instructions along with a discussion before and after.

Our semi-formal meditation possibilities include a combination of:

  • compassion and loving-kindness
  • (open) awareness
  • 5 simple qigong breathing exercises
  • mindfulness [1) body 2) heart-mind: thoughts, emotions, moods, mind states 3) relationship to our experience]

Mary’s House of Healing
524 South Main Street
Downstairs at Fat Cat Longevity next to Peace Love Coffee…
St. Charles, MO 6330

May 5, 2021 — 7:00pm – 7:45pm

Doors open: 6:50pm — Doors close: 7:05pm

Cost: Fat Cat Longevity price packagesmonthly membership or generosity inspired donation

Mindful Practice of Body, Qi and Mind – 1st Annual Review | (4/27/2021 — “Ask Us Anything – LIVE” with Denny K Miu)

For this month’s regular open-audience, open-discussion “Ask Us Anything” — continuing discussions about meditation and related topics — Denny and I review the 63 consecutive weeks of online practice Denny continues to lead. The original (amended) show notes are as follows:

(From Josh):

(Depending on temperament and experience level, some may find this chat tedious, overwrought, boring, too specific; or fascinating, affirming, inspirational, connective; or even redundant, low level, missing the mark. Please take only what is helpful.)


Practice questions:

  • If I’m remembering correctly, on 4/10/21 Denny mentioned Metta as mindfulness of mind. This is a first for me. Maybe mindfulness of heart, or heart-mind? I would like to hear more details of this. And maybe if Denny feels there is a significant difference between more a more Asian definition of “heart” and “mind” and Western definition of “heart” and “mind?”
  • Why only 3 breath exercises in chair?
  • How does one find energy points on the inside and outside of legs? By noticing what areas are more sore or sensitive than others?

Some of my experiences and views while practicing with Denny (to be taken with a grain of salt):

  • It is usually not immediate, but my back adjusts (automatically) sometimes during standing meditation. Tension releases and back aligns.
  • During the microcosmic orbit my attention currently seems to go up really quick but seems more of a challenge to go down.
  • For Yi Jin Jing . . .:

. . . it seems important to me to also remember to remove “daggers” after “stabbing”.

. . . also, the perception of opening the heart came to me during the “tearing the phone book” portion.

. . . and sometimes instead of “swallowing a universe” I occasionally hold a view of gathering and re-collecting all the energy requiring a redistribution then lawfully doing so — recirculation on a macro scale.


Miscellaneous views/observations:

  • It is interesting that a significant gallbladder point is on the shoulders far away from gallbladder. Also interesting that so many energy points converge on the inside of the elbows.
  • My 6 year old niece says I look like a chicken for the part sliding up the hands alongside the body right before jumping forward!
  • I’ve heard one definition of the word Ānāpānasati broken down as the “pāna” portion is Pāli for the Sanskrit “prāṇa” and “prāṇa” is perhaps the Sanskrit equivalent of Qi or “breath or respiration; the breath of life, vital air, principle of life; energy or vigor; the spirit or soul.”
  • If this perception is not totally distorted, maybe today’s version of yoga could be like getting a sort of living experiential connection to the historical Buddha’s general background practice environment during that time period. And maybe the meditation he taught (like Ānāpānasati) could be like a current day, living, direct experience that in a way links us to the Buddha’s awakening process by providing a container, a space, and groundwork for realizing his teachings.

Other mentions:

Ah but with the handful of leaves teaching the buddha likely knew all these [112] ways and all the ways of the the other extreme [eternalism] of brahma and went beyond both and knew that the most pressing important issue here is suffering and what he taught went directly to suffering and the end of suffering


Related Ask Us Anythings:


Join “Ask Us Anything LIVE” next month, May 25, 2021 at noon Central Time via:

YouTube [ <<– custom link dennykmiu.com/youtube redirects to Denny’s YouTube channel]

Facebook [ <<– custom link dennykmiu.com/facebook redirects to Denny’s Facebook page]

The Buddha’s Images For The Five Clinging Aggregates

“What is your definition of self,” is often one of the first questions I ask someone once it is clear they are serious about seeking, and/or clear about their spiritual path, or even someone heavily seeped in philosophy.

From what I innerstand, while the historical Buddha never simply denied that there’s a “self” directly and in brief, he gave teachings on anattā or “not-self”. Such teachings often seemingly get at least somewhat misunderstood today.

It is quite beyond my current scope of realization to give a somewhat original teaching or explanation on anattā (although there’s plenty of accessible, clear, helpful and useful material regarding “not-self”.) Nor will I say much about how anattā relates to the five khandhas, or five (clinging) aggregates other than to say, upon deconstruction of answers to the question “what is your definition of self,” these answers often seemingly can break down further into various deconstructions of the five aggregates. For example, if body is said to be self then: am I the body; do I own the body; am I in the body; is the body in me?

Instead, this post simply displays visual representations of what the Buddha likened each of five khandhas to.


Rupa/Form or Body = chunks of foam

“Monks, suppose that a large glob of foam were floating down this Ganges River, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a glob of foam? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any form that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in form?”

— SN 22.95

Vedana/Feeling = water bubbles

“Now suppose that in the autumn — when it’s raining in fat, heavy drops — a water bubble were to appear & disappear on the water, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a water bubble? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any feeling that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in feeling?”

— SN 22.95

Saññā/Perception = mirage

“Now suppose that in the last month of the hot season a mirage were shimmering, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a mirage? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any perception that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in perception?”

— SN 22.95

Saṅkhāra/Fabrications aka formations aka mental formations aka volitional formations = banana tree trunk

Banana tree core

“Now suppose that a man desiring heartwood, in quest of heartwood, seeking heartwood, were to go into a forest carrying a sharp ax. There he would see a large banana tree: straight, young, of enormous height. He would cut it at the root and, having cut it at the root, would chop off the top. Having chopped off the top, he would peel away the outer skin. Peeling away the outer skin, he wouldn’t even find sapwood, to say nothing of heartwood. Then a man with good eyesight would see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a banana tree? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any fabrications that are past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing them, observing them, & appropriately examining them — they would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in fabrications?”

— SN 22.95

Plantains, like bananas, are referred to as trees, but they both are large herbs. The leafy pseudostem at the center of this plant stands in for a woody trunk that is seen on a tree.

Banana plants, with their towering heights, look much like trees, but they are usually called plants and not trees. This is because their “trunks,” which are called pseudostems, are made of leaves that are tightly woven together. Banana plants grow much like palm trees, in that the new leaves twist up through the center of the pseudostem and sprout from the crown of the plant. One banana plant may grow on one pseudostem, or more commonly, on several of them.

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/plantain-trees-62419.html

Viññāna/Consciousness = magic/conjurer’s trick

“Now suppose that a magician or magician’s apprentice were to display a magic trick at a major intersection, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a magic trick? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any consciousness that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in consciousness?”

— SN 22.95

Transendental Mediation (TM) Mantra Variations?

A few years ago, after reading about Transcendental Meditation (TM), I did a quick search for the mantras. The partial screen shot below is the only site I remember at that time with TM mantras that came up (which at the time of publishing this post is now down with only a page marker to archiving at archive.org).

https://caic.au.org

Naturally, this has changed.

Recently I couldn’t find this screen shot right away so I put off looking for it and did another search. The multiple following sources express varying degrees of sameness and difference of the TM mantras for various reasons (and lack of reasons). What gives? Maybe this is now a promotion to go learn the TM technique, the proper way, from a certified TM teacher?


Above images via https://onhighroads.com/transcendental-meditation-mantras

https://onhighroads.com/transcendental-meditation-mantras/

TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION MANTRAS LIST

Mantras Used by TM Teachers Trained in 1961 

  1. Mantra for male students –Ram 
  2. Mantra for female students – Shiram 

Mantras Used by TM Teachers Trained in 1969 

  1. Mantra for male students aged 0 to 15 – Ing 
  2. Mantra for male students aged 15 to 30 – Aing 
  3. Mantra for male students aged 30 to 45 – Shiring 
  4. Mantra for male students aged 46+ – Shiam 
  5. Mantra for female students aged 0 to 15 – Im 
  6. Mantra for female students aged 15 to 30 – Aim 
  7. Mantra for female students aged 30 to 45 – Shirim 
  8. Mantra for female students aged 46+ – Shiama 

Mantra Used by TM Teachers Trained in 1972 

  1. Mantra for students aged 10 to 11 – Ing 
  2. Mantra for students aged 12 to 13 – Im 
  3. Mantra for students aged 14 to 15 – Inga 
  4. Mantra for students aged 16 to 17 – Ima 
  5. Mantra for students aged 18 to 19 – Aying 
  6. Mantra for students aged 20 to 21 – Ayim 
  7. Mantra for students aged 22 to 23 – Ayinga 
  8. Mantra for students aged 24 to 25 – Ayima 
  9. Mantra for students aged 25+ – Shiring 

Mantras Used by TM Teachers Trained in 1976 

  1. Mantra for students aged 3 to 10 – Eng 
  2. Mantra for students aged 10 to 12 – Em 
  3. Mantra for students aged 12 to 14 – Enga 
  4. Mantra for students aged 14 to 16 – Ema 
  5. Mantra for students aged 16 to 18 – Aeng 
  6. Mantra for students aged 18 to 20 – Aem 
  7. Mantra for students aged 20 to 22 – Aenga 
  8. Mantra for students aged 22 to 24 – Aema 
  9. Mantra for students aged 24 to 30 – Shiring 
  10. Mantra for students aged 30 to 35 – Shirim 
  11. Mantra for students aged 35 to 40 – Hiring 
  12. Mantra for students aged 40 to 45 – Hirim 
  13. Mantra for students aged 45 to 50 – Kiring 
  14. Mantra for students aged 50 to 55 – Kirim 
  15. Mantra for students aged 55 to 60 – Shiam 
  16. Mantra for students aged 60+ – Shiama 

Mantras Used by TM Teachers Trained in 1987 to Present Day 

  1. Mantra for students aged 0 to 11 – Eng 
  2. Mantra for students aged 12 to 13 – Em 
  3. Mantra for students aged 14 to 15 – Enga 
  4. Mantra for students aged 16 to 17 – Ema 
  5. Mantra for students aged 18 to 19 – Aing 
  6. Mantra for students aged 20 to 21 – Aim 
  7. Mantra for students aged 22 to 23 – Ainga 
  8. Mantra for students aged 24 to 25 – Aima 
  9. Mantra for students aged 26 to 29 – Shiring 
  10. Mantra for students aged 30 to 34 – Shirim 
  11. Mantra for students aged 35 to 39 – Hiring 
  12. Mantra for students aged 40 to 44 – Hirim 
  13. Mantra for students aged 45 to 49 – Kiring 
  14. Mantra for students aged 50 to 54 – Kirim 
  15. Mantra for students aged 55 to 59 – Sham 
  16. Mantra for students aged 60+ – Shama 

list via: https://web.archive.org/web/20210117144234/https://www.orgoneenergy.org/blogs/news/transcendental-meditation-mantras


via http://minet.org/mantras.html

Please visit http://minet.org/mantras.html the source of the above table for disclaimer. The site also lists Advanced Techniques and TM-Sidhi Techniques.


Dharma Questions: Miscellany — Part 2

This irregular “Dharma Questions” series deals with “dharma” meaning both the truth of the nature of reality and some Buddhist teachings. Please see this post on the intensions for questioning and not questioning. Amongst other things these questions can be:

  • thought experiments
  • borderline musings not meant to be answered
  • from laziness of not contemplating or researching them yet

  1. How does merely maintaining continuous awareness of the meditation object result in the various wondrous benefits from doing so?
  2. Does Citta (heart-mind) exist beyond/outside/apart from the five aggregates? Why or why not?
  3. If practicing open/”choiceless” awareness, what determines how attention becomes fixed on a particular object over another? Could/Does using the term “choiceless” affect the decision making process and choosing (– perhaps seeding into the mind that choosing could mostly be a random process with little to no agency involved/possible)? Why or why not?
  4. Could aversion be (used for) a (type of) shortcut — albeit an unwholesome one — to non-relishing, or non-delight, mentioned in Mulapariyaya Sutta: The Root Sequence? Do some ascetic practices aid in realizing non-delight, non-relishing?
  5. Why are there so many beings with non-realization of enlightenment/of awakened awareness/of Buddha nature? (And how did it get like this?)
  6. What is the root condition (and causes) for (each of the) unwholesome roots of greed, ill-will and delusion (lobha, dosa, moha)?
  7. Is there possibly of Nibbana without samsara? [Eckhart Tolle says, “it is through the world, and ultimately through you that the unmanifested knows itself.” … Does the unmanifested need to know itself? If not, why would it want to know itself?] [Perhaps more precisely: is there a possibility of nothing but all-encompassing, absolute Nibbana without Samsara? If so, is sustainability possible (and how)?]
  8. What is the middle way within Buddhism itself? If answering with Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayāna, what’s the middle way within that?
  9. When it is sensed that a thought is about to arise, and then seemingly prevented from arising, what happens to any and all (potential) thought energy (that seemingly ended) when preventing the arising of thought(s)? How exactly does this process happen — this process of what is being sensed to potentially become a thought about to happen but is stopped, suppressed, prevented, dissolved, disappeared, dissipated, or otherwise non-arised? And does this produce a karmic result? If so, how does it compare to the karmic production and karmic result of thinking/a thought? [Rephrased: When it is sensed that a thought is about to arise, and then seemingly prevented from arising, what happens to that seemingly ended thought potential or thought energy; how is this stopped; and does this create a karmic effect?] And how would it be known?
  10. Why and how is pain (and pleasure) intrinsic to the human condition? What is the origin and root condition of pain?
  11. Are there root conditions for (each of the 12 links of) dependent origination? If so, what are they? If not, why not?
  12. What are all the different meditative techniques from all the different Burmese Vipassanā schools/methods? Is there a compendium of these?
  13. Why do the Ānāpānasati instructions omit details on how to bring mindfulness to the fore and calm bodily formations?
  14. How does “owner of my kamma/actions” from the five daily reflections jibe with anattā — the teachings on “not-self”?
  15. Does the Deathless (one of the 33 synonyms for Nibbana) = immortality?
  16. Why wasn’t/isn’t Buddhism called (perhaps) Tathāgataism instead of Buddhism?
  17. What are the impacts of acts made in order to control kamma?

An Integrating Presence Meditation at Fat Cat Longevity Wednesday April 7, 2021

Join meditation 7:00-7:45pm Wednesday, April 7th at Fat Cat Longevity [https://facebook.com/freyflow] downstairs next to Peace Love Coffee at Mary’s House of Healing, on Main St in St Charles, MO.

We plan to start with brief instructions along with a discussion before and after.

Our semi-formal meditation possibilities include a combination of:

  • concentration
  • compassion and loving-kindness
  • (open) awareness
  • 5 simple qigong breathing exercises
  • mindfulness [1) body 2) heart-mind: thoughts, emotions, moods, mind states 3) relationship to our experience]

Mary’s House of Healing
524 South Main Street
Downstairs at Fat Cat Longevity next to Peace Love Coffee…
St. Charles, MO 6330

April 17, 2021 — 7:00pm – 7:45pm

Doors open: 6:50pm — Doors close: 7:05pm

Cost: Fat Cat Longevity price packagesmonthly membership or generosity inspired donation

Study Group: A Commentary by Inoue Gien Roshi on Keizan Zenji’s “Record of the Transmission of Illumination”

A Confluence Zen Center study group, for six consecutive Thursday evenings starting April 8th:

. . . will be reading a commentary by Inoue Gien Roshi on Keizan Zenji’s , “Record of the Transmission of Illumination” [German-English translation in PDF from Terebess and PDF from Shastaabbey]. This is the current text that Daigaku is translating. We will be reading the first 2-3 chapters. Keizan Jōkin ( 1268–1325), also known as Taiso Jōsai Daishi, is considered to be the second great founder of the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan. While Dōgen, as founder of Japanese Sōtō, is known as Highest Patriarch , Keizan is often referred to as Great Patriarch. All are welcome to attend.

Email confluencezen AT gmail DOT com if interested in joining. More details in the image below

‘The HAL (Higher Awareness Lifestyle) Philosophy’ Questions

I’ve finished reading and taking notes for The HAL Philosophy (much of it currently free to preview on Google Books) by Randi Green. I’ve typed up the questions I wrote down by hand during reading along with some questions from Randi’s YouTube videos.

While I’ve already published a post on why and why not to question/inquire as guidelines, safeguard and intent that also apply to this post, I know I should likely sit with these for answers instead of just spewing them out. But here they are.

This material is obviously not for everybody. And due to the author previously mentioning being adversely affected from questions I offer the following safeguard:

Disclaimer: In accordance with the rules, laws and principals, and even without the current capacity to do so, I accept full, complete and total energetic responsibility, for any and all consequences — seen and unseen, known and unknown, throughout all timelines/timestreams, densities, dimensions, galaxies, universes, and spaces — for stating the following questions:

  1. How and what do the councils do to enact extinction protocol for those exploiting among the innocent and/or progressive?
  2. Do the progressive worlds fit (into) the (Theravada) Buddhist Cosmology? If so how?
  3. Why and how does internal guidance work?
  4. Which (of the nine or so) consciousness bodies [see 9 bodies of consciousness website] does the Level One Energy System [LOES] and/or Level Two Operating System [LTOS] correspond to; or which consciousness bodies are comparable; or are any similar comparisons helpful?
  5. What is the Quantum root?
  6. How were third cycle genetic filament impurities not detected? If I remember right one video mentions this was allowed by councils? Why wasn’t there a purification immediately once detected?
  7. Can more be said about “higher-dimensional humanoid gene spiral” on page 67?
  8. How will the Solar System Nations [SSN] DNA modification programs from next-door realities of the intra-systemic lineages appear here?
  9. While “being light, compassionate, or all good does not transform distortion and regressed genetics; it pushes both into the hidden layers of our energy system (how and why, btw?) . . .” can this be a lifting block until there’s awareness of these hidden layers? And/or how about bringing a kind/compassionate awareness to the hidden (layers)?
  10. Will warriors even engage with a pacifist? Non-harming loving-kindness towards all beings signals non-threat, thus this is protection usually right? Even if defensive force is allowed and justified under the second law even in/for a holographic/virtual reality — or illusory setting — wouldn’t using harm set into motion potential retaliatory consequences reinforcing victim/victimizer/violence cycles? What about beings totally confident and courageous in one’s consciousness and energetic stance of benevolent non-harming for the highest good of the many in the long run that fear and concern are impossible leaving only total and complete care?
  11. Why don’t those responsible for vampirism, parasites and regression seek solutions other than prolonging their existence until evaporation?
  12. When “going up in energy” where does this energy come from?
  13. How does one discern if interference is because of something one does that goes/went against the rules, laws and principles; or because certain forces are against a certain action (potential); or something else?
  14. Are the progressive worlds eternal(istic)? If not, how are they (to be) made known in our (external) reality?
  15. Is “higher earth” the same as what Energetic Synthesis calls “Ascension Earth” (in Andromeda)?
  16. Once activated, how would our second sun “not be as we understand it”?
  17. In reference to a YouTube video: how were the Fae transferred here from another planetary system and by whom? How were some Fae created out of astral energy and remaining collective genetics, and by who, and why? What exactly was lost thus leaving remaining collective genetics, and by whom, how, and why?
  18. Isn’t going back to original settings (of the template) kind of a relooping? Could this desire either give the regressed the validation to do their reloopings and/or does polarity apply in the original settings and relooping? If so, how?
  19. What are the technical details on how the iCubes operate? Are there memory cubes, or iCubes for memory?
  20. In reference to another YouTube video, what was the big smack to Japan in 1945 that taught the brotherhoods a lesson, and how and why?
  21. Who all has claims over the inserted racial grids of the regressed races, the intra-systemics, and the lunar human races? (p.133-4)
  22. What/who is the 12 sisters network?
  23. Why not create opportunities at every turn to make it more likely for the regressed to choose progression? Don’t the regressed provide incentives to choose progression amongst themselves and others? If not, why not?
  24. How many 6-12 pillar humans alive today are preventing the fail-safe mechanism?
  25. Who/What turned the pillar humans allowing regressed access to the admin facilities?
  26. Why can’t higher order councils intervene into deals made by old lineages?
  27. Spurred from a video: Why couldn’t/didn’t councils in 5/6D overseeing humanity — but couldn’t see them due to electromagnetism — also have operators in our reality like the elders who lied/sold out humanity? And how did the councils handle and respond to what happened to the missionaries they sent out? What then did they tell the elders if not allowed to intervene?
  28. Who are (the descendants of) the Elders? How can/could the (descendants of the) Elders holographically call in the councils and arrange for an assembly to annul and nullify the original arrangements?
  29. How are the bugs, the bees, the birds, and the beasts keeping the humanoid jurisdiction in nature?
  30. Yes we need to update the antiquated interpretation paradigms of science. Although isn’t removing ALL ideas from “dead white men” a sweeping blanket statement that throughs the baby out with the bath water? Yes, most of it needs removal from mainstream science, but surely something of it is salvageable? How is demonizing one demographic helpful? Doesn’t this just allow for the condition to perpetuate the same victim/victimizer atrocities white men perpetrated on much of the world?
  31. Does “the highest good of the many” exclude (some) valid, legitimate minority rights?
  32. If we don’t know who and what we are, could we be more susceptible to mind control, order following, and peer pressure? [Perhaps the best definition for this life I’ve heard so far: who we are are our choices. What we are is spirit in form.]
  33. What was “The Event” in January 2018?
  34. How exactly did regressed races trick the visiting human group?
  35. How and why will future humans have a different organic form?
  36. How does the frequency fence control atomic and molecular level? Who created it, controls it, and why and how?
  37. What is the “solar system map of our bio-regenesis”? (p. 137)
  38. How did/do regressed use progressive laws and dynamics to avoid higher order council intervention?
  39. How do ancestors factor in in relation to foregone cycles?
  40. What are the scanning drones and their background/history? Are they 4D?
  41. How do reality rings look and work?
  42. What is the origin of the Jhanas and can they be used for the clearing and freeing work?
  43. How do (these UFO looking type) crafts use the code streams to quantum bridge into this reality (as stated in a YouTube video)?
  44. How do parasites interface, link and work from and with attached prohibiting technology?
  45. Are the progressive worlds similar to the God Worlds mentioned in the Energetic Synthesis and Keylonic Science related material?
  46. Why did no one deserve to be apart of what Atlantis had become?
  47. How do the code sequences relate to experiencing energy patterns as resembling manifolds?
  48. How and why did humanoids arise in opposition to progressive worlds?
  49. Why does humanoid consciousness rest upon dynamics of diversity and advantage?
  50. Since the Holographic Teaching Systems are currently unavailable, is it, or would it be permissible (and effective) to establish the most ideal/optimal version of each and every intension (perhaps allowing, adhering, and aligning with the rules, laws and principles to carry out the most ideal/optimal version)?
  51. As mentioned in a YouTube video, how did the Syrian Bs divide the trajectories of evolution and progression of the humanoids and original human lineages?
  52. What distinguishes Human from Humanoid?
  53. Are there textual or teaching parallels to the Laws, Rules and Principals? If so what are they? If not, why not?
  54. In the 12 Choices of Living, for 11, the non-interference with/in the reality of others in order to do our progression, what about helping others? At what point is helping interference; non-interference; primarily for our progressive benefit; or for their benefit? Seems like maybe plenty of interactions and actions could both be interpreted as subtle interference — either helping, or harming, or imposing neutrality.
  55. Are the 12 Choices of Living the same as the Principals?
  56. Is there a point where our very existence (or non-existence) — pretty much wherever we are (or are absent from) — is considered interference somehow to some other(s)?
  57. What (all) will determine “if the returning holographic grids, racial grids and pillar project templates (the 6-12 pillar project templates) will remain as part of of a rebooted and reset system, based upon its original code systems and replaced into the Sagittarius arm, or if it all will be pulled out and recreated in the progressive worlds as part of the Perseus arm in the 6th cycle”?
  58. Does Density 1 and 3 intersect with Density 2 as shown in the graphic on page 255? If so, how?
  59. Why won’t general science detect stronger solar radiation as coming from the sun? Don’t they have (ai) alerts and personnel specializing in monitoring this?
  60. What’s the process like for the energies and life sustaining codes of the sun moving into DE2?
  61. How are earth’s magnetic field and sun interconnected?
  62. Are Mercury, Venus and the moon the lower grids seen as inner planets in our solar system from the other pillars and their gone realities (regressed crystalline 3-9; fallen 4-10; 5-11 regressed pillars)?
  63. How do the holographic grids controlling our environment work?
  64. How does a lot surfacing on the inner planes of perception affect the racial grids and what the human genome can hold of energy?
  65. In general, (since it’s been mentioned before) what happened to Lemuria? If there was a cataclysm what were the causes and conditions?
  66. What is the (potential) relationship with other beings for humans experiencing and/or expressing samadhi? How does this work?
  67. What is an example of what the template itself actually looks like?
  68. What are the universal planes of existence in comparison to other planes of existence?
  69. What are the resonance fields?
  70. Where and what are the storage units in the 6-12 pillars?
  71. [5/9/21 UPDATE (mostly from https://youtu.be/M9bsPYJpTQ4 and/or other HAL Academy YouTube videos from around the same time)]: What would happen if both sides, or all sides, refrained from engaging in a future energetic/consciousness war (hypothetically)?
  72. Could it be possible to do both (upcoming) 4D Mars and (waring) Earth by teleporting/transporting between the two and hiding out (solo) on Earth (when on Earth) to avoid war? Who all is responsible for the (potentially deceptive) ideas of the Mars recruitment programs like what Laura Eisenhower relates? How will what’s claimed to be going on on Mars now (in the Secret Space Programs) transition and unfold towards more “love and light” progression?
  73. If any kind of speech was even more severely cracked down on wouldn’t that give allowance(s) for whomever did so to receive the same sort of means/methods of restriction, and/or what would the polarity be for such furthering of limiting speech actions/programs? How can we help those engaging in destructive and harmful behaviors and speech without further hindering behaviors and speech?
  74. If I’m remembering correctly there were plans mentioned to do a book on timelines, but in the/a recent video it was mentioned no books are planned. What am I missing, or what happened?

Chán, Zen and Yi Jin Jing | (3/30/2021 — “Ask Us Anything – LIVE” with Denny K Miu)

For this month’s regular open-audience, open-discussion “Ask Us Anything” — continuing discussions about meditation and related topics — Denny and I reprise Zen, dig into Chán and primarily present Yi Jin Jing in light of its importance for linking body and mind. Show notes are as follows:

(From Denny with the bulk of his notes from the slides):

  • For me, the most important question is why Bodhidharma bothered with Yi Jin Jing?  It’s the same question I asked, why Master Jiru bothered with the Five Contemplation of Breath exercise.
  • The answer must have something to do with the historical fact that both the historical Buddha and Bodhidharma were yogi’s.

Text from the slides:

1. Chán, Zen and Yi Jin Jing

2. ● Siddhattha Gotama (563 ~ 483 BCE) ● King Ashoka (268 ~ 232 BCE) ● Theravada (3rd Century BCE) ● Pre-Mahayana (1st to 4th Century CE) ● Mahayana (4th to 5th Century CE)

3. Some Important Milestones ● White Horse Temple (白馬寺 – Luoyang, Henan) ○ Emperor Ming of Han Dynasty 漢明帝 (58 ~ 75 CE) ○ Sutra of Forty-two Chapters (Kāśyapa Mātaṇga & Dharmaratna) ● Faxian 法顯 (337 ~ 422 CE) ○ In search of Vinaya-pitaka 律藏 ○ Returned through Celon (Sri Lanka) & brought back Dīrgha Āgama 《長阿含經》 and Saṃyukta Āgama 《雜阿含經》 ● Xuanzang 玄奘 (602 – 664 CE) ○ Founder of 法相宗 or 唯識宗 (Yogācāra, Practice of Yoga) ● Bodhidharma 菩提達磨 – 1st patriarch of Chán ○ Emperor Wu of Liang 梁武帝 (464–549 CE) ● Huineng 六祖惠能 (638 ~ 713 CE) – 6th patriarch of Chán

4. 身是菩提樹,心如明鏡台。 時時勤拂拭,莫使染塵埃。 The body is like the bodhi tree, The mind reflects like a mirror. Must constantly wipe and polish, Not allowing dust to settle. 菩提本無樹,明鏡亦非台。 本來無一物,何處惹塵埃。 Bodhi is not a tree, The mirror is not a platform. We have not a thing, How we collect dust?

5. History of Japanese Buddhism ● Buddhism was brought to Japan through Korea in 500 CE ● Kukai 空海 (774-835 CE) founded Shingon 真言宗 (Mantra School) ● Saicho 最澄 (767-822 CE) founded Tendai 天台宗 (or 法華宗 Lotus Sutra) ● Eisai Zenji (栄西禅師, 1141 ~ 1215) brought Linji (Rinzai) 臨濟宗 to Japan ● Dōgen Zenji (道元禅師, 1200 ~ 1253) brought Caodong (Sōtō) 曹洞宗 ● 臨濟将軍、曹洞土民 (“Rinzai for the Shōgun, Sōtō for the peasants”) ● Shikantaza (只管打坐) – Only Sitting ● Silent Illumination (默照)

Mahākāśyapa on right via https://www.onmarkproductions.com/China-Tiantai/tiantai-slideshow-long-version.html

6. Gautama Buddha 释迦牟尼佛 Mahākāśyapa 摩訶迦葉 Ven Daoxin 道信禪師 4th Patriarch of Chán Ven Huineng 六祖惠能 6th Patriarch of Chán Master Jiru Bodhidhamma 菩提達摩 1st Patriarch of Chán Ven Ming Chi 敏智法師 48th Abbot of Tin Ling Temple (天寧寺 ) Ven Fǎróng 法融禪師 Founder of Tin Ling Temple (天寧寺) 594 ~ 657 CE 1909 ~ 1996 CE 580 ~ 651 CE 638 ~ 713 CE Dōgen Zenji 道元禅師 Founder of Sōtō Zen Suzuki Roshi 鈴木老師 Founder of SF Zen Center 1200 ~ 1253 CE 1904 ~ 1971 CE ??? ~ 535 CE 600 BCE

7. After arriving China, why did Bodhidharma secluded himself in a cave for nine years and emerged with no teaching except Yi Jin Jing?

8. 磨磚成鏡 Polish Brick to make Mirror 懷讓禪師 Huáiràng (677 ~ 744 CE) 馬祖禪師 Mazu (709 ~ 788 CE)

9. Kama-Loka (The Sense- Desire Realm) Rupa-Loka (The Form Realm) Arupa-Loka (Formless Realm) Saṃsāra

10. “Lazy Zen” (走火 – Lost Fire) “Monkey Zen” (入魔 – Enter Māra)

11. ● Renounced at the age of 29 and spend six years as a wandering yogi ● 1st teacher: Ārāda Kālāma (reached Ākiṃcanyāyatana, 7th stage of Samādhi, state of nothingness, 無所有處定) ● 2nd teacher: Rudraka Rāmaputra (reached Naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñāyatana, 8th stage, state of neither perception nor non-perception, 非想非非想處定) ● Buddha rediscovered saññā-vedayita-nirodha (滅受想定), one of 112 Chakras ● Achieved 9th stage of Samādhi using Sensation (受) but not Perception (想) ● All of Buddha’s initial followers were yogi (Yuj = Union of Body and Mind) ● Buddha did not reject yoga practice, it was the prerequisite for his teaching Siddhattha Gotama was a Yogi

12. ● Bodhidharma was the 28th patriarch of Indian Chán Meditation school ● Mahākāśyapa was the 1st patriarch, receiving dharma transmission from Buddha thru the Flower Sermon (拈花微笑, “holding flower, knowing smile”) ● The Chán/Zen practice is all about 不立文字 以心傳心 (Do not establish words, use mind to transmit mind) ● In other words, Chán/Zen is not about intellect, it is all about direct experience ● True experience is experience without hiderances ● Practice Yi Jin Jing to maintain a healthy and robust body ● Can’t polish brick for mirror (avoid mental constipation or mental diarrhea) Bodhidharma was also a Yogi

13. Gautama Buddha 释迦牟尼佛 Mahākāśyapa 摩訶迦葉 Ven Daoxin 道信禪師 4th Patriarch of Chán Ven Huineng 六祖惠能 6th Patriarch of Chán Master Jiru 繼如大和尚 Bodhidhamma 菩提達摩 1st Patriarch of Chán Ven Ming Chi 敏智法師 48th Abbot of Tin Ling Temple (天寧寺 ) Ven Fǎróng 法融禪師 Founder of Tin Ling Temple (天寧寺) 594 ~ 657 CE 1909 ~ 1996 CE 580 ~ 651 CE 638 ~ 713 CE Dōgen Zenji 道元禅師 Founder of Sōtō Zen Suzuki Roshi 鈴木老師 Founder of SF Zen Center 1200 ~ 1253 CE 1904 ~ 1971 CE ??? ~ 535 CE 600 BCE


Playlist of Shifu Jiru demonstrating Yi Jin Jing: https://dennykmiu.com/YJJ


(From Josh)

‘The body is the bodhi tree.

The heart-mind is like a mirror.

Moment by moment wipe and polish it,

Not allowing dust to collect.’

When someone read the verse to the illiterate Huineng, the future Sixth Patriarch knew Shenxiu had missed it. Huineng dictated this verse for another to write for him:

‘Bodhi originally has no tree,

The mirror has no stand.

Buddha-nature is always clean and pure;

Where might dust collect?’

https://www.learnreligions.com/huineng-sixth-patriarch-of-zen-450206 . . . Another translation/retelling I like better comes from at least one Arrow River Dharma Talk but unfortunately can’t remember which
  • If kept secret and only practiced by Abbotts in private it could be interesting to know how this started, how Yi Jin Jing was passed down, how and why it was kept secret, and how and why this version of Yi Jin Jing finally opened up to the wider public.
  • My experiences with YJJ: Picking up Grandmaster Sam Chin for attending the meditation (and unbeknownst Yi Jin Jing) portion of an advanced martial arts retreat; Achilles tendon loosening and strengthening quickly after a few times; removing dagger (during the stabbing with dagger step)
  • How exactly did Bodhidharma get or come up with the teaching for Yi Jin Jing? (Plenty of interesting things must happen when meditating in a cave for 9 years)

Bodhidharma stories and teachings:

  • Tea:

‘As with all things concerning Bodhidharma, the genesis of tea was neither simple nor easy but rather a singularly peculiar but characteristically gory event that was in keeping with the high physical price of his ruthless meditation – a cost that the master seemed always to pay with an arm and a leg.  On this occasion, the birth of tea took a more delicate part of his anatomy.  As he sat in deep concentration, Bodhidharma abruptly realized that in an agonizing instant of fatigue, he had closed his eyes and dozed off to sleep.  In anger at his weakness, he savagely tore at his eyes in self disgust, ripping out his eyelids and flinging them to the ground.  As the leaf like lids of flesh lay bloody in the dirt, they sprouted miraculously into tea plants.  Instinctively, Bodhidharma reached over and plucked a few leaves from the bushes to chew and suddenly felt as “one who awakens.”  His mind clear and focused, he resumed his meditation.’ 

https://www.tsiosophy.com/2012/09/tea-and-bodhidharma

and:

‘Daruma made the pledge of 7 years of meditation. dHe vowed not to sleep in these 7 years. Despite this vow, he fell asleep one night. When he woke up the next morning, he was so angered by his failure, that he cut off his eyelids and threw them to the ground. As soon as the eyelids touched the soil,  immediately there grew roots which soon developed into a large bush. When Daruma saw this wonder, he prepared himself a drink out of the leaves. People came  from all around to see him and many followed the monk and prepared a drink from the leaves. The knowledge of the drink’s refreshing and invigorating effect was spread everywhere. The delicious taste and scent were reason enough to see this drink as “divine”. Until today the Japanese language uses the same character for eyelid and tea 茶’

https://www.earthstoriez.com/japan-tea
  • Cutting off arm:
facebook.com/thegatelessgate

Gateless Gate, Case 41

Bodhidharma sat facing the wall.

The Second Patriarch stood in the snow.

He cut off his arm and presented it to Bodhidharma, crying, “My mind has no peace as yet! I beg you, master, please pacify my mind!”

“Bring your mind here and I will pacify it for you,” replied Bodhidharma.

“I have searched for my mind, and I cannot take hold of it,” said the Second Patriarch.

“Now your mind is pacified,” said Bodhidharma.

https://www.treetopzencenter.org/bodhidharmas-mind-pacifying
  • Polishing stone:

‘What intrigues me the most about Yi Jin Jing and the main reason that I am writing this three-part series is the fictional story about Bodhidharma first visiting the Shaolin temple and joining the monks for their meditation retreat.  

Inside the chamber, he noticed the monks were all sitting quietly and after a few hours, he asked them what they were doing.  They said they were there to practice towards enlightenment.  Then Bodhidharma quietly picked up a rock and started to rub it back and forth across the top of the table.  

The monks were intrigued and asked him what he was doing.  He said he was polishing a mirror out of the rock.  The monks laughed and said how anyone could make a mirror out of rubbing a rock.  

Bodhidharma replied how anyone could gain enlightenment but just sitting.  Then he left and secluded himself in the cave for nine years.’

From Denny’s article on the “Origin of Yi Jin Jing”
  • Death, empty grave and one sandal:

‘As far as Bodhidharma’s death, there are accounts that he died in 528 or 534 A.D. near the Lo river or in an area in North China. These accounts, however, all suggest that three years after Bodhidharma’s death, a traveler, or an official, in Central Asia, spotted someone resembling him, carrying a staff and one sandal, headed toward India. After the incident was reported, the supposed burial place of Bodhidharma was checked; the tomb was empty except for a single sandal.

The Japanese, however, have a different ending for Bodhidharma. According to this version, Bodhidharma journeyed to Japan on, once more, a reed or rush leaf across the sea in 613 A.D. Along a road, the story goes, the prince Shotoku Taishi encountered Bodhidharma who was reincarnated as a beggar. After giving him food, drink and clothing, the prince returned the next day only to find that he had died. Today, in Oji, Japan, there are stones marking the spots where the prince and Bodhidharma are said to have met.’

https://www.mrslinskitchen.com/nljul02.html
  • Loss of arms and legs:

Another important aspect of Bodhidharma’s meditation explains the form he is presented in today. Because Bodhidharma remained motionless for such an extensive period, he eventually lost his arms and legs as they withered away. Nevertheless, Bodhidharma was still able to remain upright. Especially for Zen followers who believe that one’s personal energy resides right below the navel, Bodhidharma’s achievement has been attributed to his discovery of inner strength.

https://www.mrslinskitchen.com/nljul02.html
  • Famous anecdote of exchange with Emperor Wu: 

[Bodhidharma] stayed at the Hualin Temple where he preached for three years and during this period also offered teachings at the Guangxie Temple, which is located a few miles from the Hualin Temple.

The Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall narrates a conversation that took place between Bodhidharma and Emperor Wu of Liang dynasty who was a fervent patron of Buddhism. Excerpts of the conversation are placed below:

Emperor Wu: “How much karmic merit have I earned for ordaining Buddhist monks, building monasteries, having sutras copied, and commissioning Buddha images?

Bodhidharma: “None. Good deeds done with worldly intent bring good karma, but no merit.”

Emperor Wu: “So what is the highest meaning of noble truth?”

Bodhidharma: “There is no noble truth, there is only emptiness.” 

Emperor Wu: “Then, who is standing before me?”

Bodhidharma: “I know not, Your Majesty.”

By asking whether his actions were good, Emperor Wu was searching for compliments and affirmation from Bodhidharma. With Bodhidharma’s response enraging Emperor Wu, the former was asked to leave his palace and never to return. Bodhidharma simply smiled and left.

https://www.cgiguangzhou.gov.in/eoi.php?id=India_and

Audio only version — Chán, Zen and Yi Jin Jing | (3/30/2021 — “Ask Us Anything – LIVE” with Denny K Miu)


Currently, for a chance to experience, practice, and receive Yi Jin Jing instructions from Denny, join in free on Saturdays at 10am Central Time:


Join “Ask Us Anything LIVE” next month, April 27, 2021 at noon Central Time via:

YouTube [custom link redirecting to YouTube Live: https://DennyKMiu.com/youtube]

Facebook [custom link redirecting to Facebook Live: dennykmiu.com/facebook]

Wisdom Snippets: 33 synonyms for Nibbana

Thirty-three synonyms for Nibbana from Unfabricated-Connected
Asaṅkhata Saṁyutta  (SN 43)
:

1. The Unconditioned
2. The destruction of lust, hate, delusion
3. The Uninclined
4. The taintless
5. The truth
6. The other shore
7. The subtle
8. The very difficult to see
9. The unaging
10. The stable
11. The undisintegrating
12. The unmanifest
13. The unproliferated
14. The peaceful
15. The deathless
16. The sublime
17. The auspicious
18. The secure
19. The destruction of craving
20. The wonderful
21. The amazing
22. The unailing
23. The unailing state
24. The unafflicted
25. Dispassion
26. Purity
27. Freedom
28. Non attachment
29. The island
30. The shelter
31. The asylum
32. The refuge
33. The destination and the path leading to the destination

Wisdom Snippets: Core Contemplations

What’s here now when there’s no problem to solve?

Wouldn’t it make sense — and be universally beneficial — to reflect and contemplate (more) on what’s really, truly important in (your) life? If yes, here’s perhaps a few:

  • What is important?
  • What stops me right now from complete happiness?
  • What does this depend on?
  • What expectations, value judgments, longings is it founded upon?
  • Can I change this?
  • Do I want to change this?
  • Can I let go?
  • Do I want to let go?


What are my core values and essential intentions?

  • How shall I live?
  • How don’t I want to live?
  • What, in the face of my understanding and challenges, helps?
  • What inner attitude, what outer mode of living creates self respect and generates in others and myself what I have recognized as wholesome?
  • Whereby do I experience happiness/fullness ?

Well Rounded Meditation and Generosity | In Conversation with Beth Upton

This is a March 19th 2021 Zoom interview/conversation/teaching (experience)/chat with Ms. Beth Upton.

For the video version I imagine some of this could appear awkward especially for the audience. While I seem to handle awkwardness with indifference, Beth graces with gentle and pleasant speech.

From BethUpton.com:

I have been teaching meditation since 2014, and the more I teach the more I love it. If there is one thing that I have learned in my years teaching it is that we are all different, with our own strengths and weaknesses. In order to teach well, I need to get to know each student individually, guiding each to tap into their own innate wisdom, offering instruction that fits each student’s unique circumstances.

The ten years I spent as a Buddhist nun afforded me the great privilege of being able to practice meditation in much depth and detail. I was blessed with masterful teachers and all of the support I could have hoped for. I spent five years in Myanmar training diligently in the Theravada tradition under the guidance of Pa Auk Sayadaw. I then spent a further five years training in several other methods, and spent many months doing long solo retreats in various caves and forests.

The opportunity to practice meditation so comprehensively has been the greatest gift of my life. My passion is now to repay that debt of gratitude by providing the same opportunity to others.

Since deciding to disrobe in 2018, I have been on a sharp and wonderful learning curve, reintegrating the challenges of western lay life into my Dhamma practice. Through this process not only has my appreciation of the Dhamma grown deeper, but also my understanding of the students I am teaching.

As well as teaching meditation I am also enthusiastic about building community. Over the past years I have been leading Sanditthika Meditation Community in the caves of Almeria, Southern Spain. I am also finding ways that we can support each other wherever we may be in the world. I am also finding ways that we can support each other wherever we may be in the world. If this work interests you, I welcome you, either online, or in person, or both, to join our community.

End of Beth’s website bio. [Video correction: the end of a portion of Beth’s bio]

Amongst Beth’s copious wisdom teachings a big thanks goes for furthering my training in mindfulness of speech and presentation.

Be aware that audio challenges may be from me adjusting the zoom volume without monitoring the audio level for the screen recording.

Some of the topics we get into include:

As we run out of time, I dangle a question about arhatship, so I include it here with a few pro and cons not included in the video:

What are the pros and cons for revealing and then discussing arhatship — for both lay and monastic — while mentioning and considering the relevant monastic rule(s) surrounding this? Also how are the Four Stages of Enlightenment verified?

  • Cons:
    • lay community may be more likely to ignore other monastics/teachers
    • followers could end up boosting personality (in their own minds) thus detracting from their practice
    • more desire for Dana to arhats for greater merit
    • risk of locking in particular arhat’s experiences as litmus test, benchmark, and/or “this is the way arhatship is, not what so-and-so says about it”
    • stirring up politics — what country/monastery/tradition has most arhats.
    • could attract jealous detractors and those denouncing validity of attainment
    • potentially inciting unwise external comparisons perhaps leading to overemphasizing striving for attainment, or the opposite of giving up because it seems unrealistic and so far away
  • Pros:
    • proof that it’s actually possible (in this very life) and not hearsay
    • inspiration for practice
    • demystifies
    • perhaps more helpful advice available for those closer to the arhat stage in their path
    • could better settle wonderings about what it would be like to interact with an arhat and how an arhat would experience such and such
    • more authoritative perspectives
Audio only version — Well Rounded Meditation and Generosity | In Conversation with Beth Upton

38th Parallel Structures

After someone in my local crystal and mineral community mentioned what’s called the 38th parallel structures, in late March 2019, I visited Crooked Creek Conservation area, the only one of the sites I know of immediately accessible to the public without requiring permission.

Found it odd that a seemingly steady line of dump trucks were coming in and out of a nearby area. There’s a picture of work but not the dump trucks though.

The following information came while visiting — restated here as questions. This could be considered wild imaginings, tinged with paranoia, and a vain grasping for meaning and answers, but the idea is for some of it to spark legitimate examinations and explorations:

  • On some level could this land have multi-/higher-dimensional spiral topography?
  • Could this site have been where an ancient, or primordial booby-trapped — or disrupting — time-cloaking magical event occurred?
  • What would a powerful ancient alchemical (or (earth) magic) event (gone wrong) look like?
  • Could the land consciousness and unseen beings of the area be crying out in pain for help?
  • What kind of metamorphoses took/take place here?
  • Are there now sealed doorway(s) in areas of the stone?
  • Could there be certain types of implants here to transmute diverse energies? Or could the entire site be transmuting diverse energies?
  • Were/are there any influencing groups preforming ritual at the site? If so, who all and why?
  • How did such jerky, skittish, slightly chaotic darting energy come to be here?
  • Why were numerous small to medium size trees chainsawed (for no apparent reason)?
  • Were Earth’s portals/star gates/wormholes/gates/rifts always where they are now?

An Integrating Presence Meditation at Fat Cat Longevity March 10, 2021

Join meditation 7:00-7:45pm Wednesday, March 10th at http://FatCatLongevity.com downstairs next to Peace Love Coffee at Mary’s House of Healing, St Charles, MO. We plan to start with brief instructions along with a discussion before and after.

https://facebook.com/freyflow/

Mary’s House of Healing
524 South Main Street
Downstairs at Fat Cat Longevity next to Peace Love Coffee…
St. Charles, MO 63301

March 10, 2021 — 7:00pm – 7:45pm

Doors open: 6:50pm — Doors close: 7:05pm

Cost: Fat Cat Longevity price packagesmonthly membership or generosity inspired donation