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1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

If that were so, it would be possible to tell the Enlightened Masters apart from everyone else.    This does not seem to be the case.  To me, it seems more likely that the quest for Enlightenment is itself illusory.  That is -- trying to become something that does not exist in reality.  By any terms, a fantasy.  

 

:meeting:          :umbrella:

 

 

 

 

Now you're assuming - to stay with the comparison - we are talking about a light switch. What if it is a dimmer..?

 

:coffee:

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3 hours ago, John said:

 

Are you asking the right question? We're flooded with information these days. So we sometimes forget, all the information in the world is totally useless if we are not asking the right question. What is enlightenment? That's not an actionable question. It's a scholarly question, one could spend a lifetime asking. I get the feeling you're already well read on the subject. So ask a question that leads you somewhere? Look to those around you, what would Buddha do? We don't tend to remember the scholars, we remember the people who made a difference in the world. Buddha is still relevant go on 2,600 years? He must've done a lot more than sit around with his buddies asking, "What's enlightenment?" He made an impression that's out lived him by a couple of millenniums.

 

The right questions can change the world. The decisions made determine whether or not it's for the better.

 

:bye:

 

Before Buddha was Buddha, he began by asking questions.  He began life as Prince Gautama.  A young man raised in luxury.  His father, the King tried to shield him from reality.  Despite the King's best efforts, his son made a few discoveries.  The young prince discovered old age, sickness, suffering and death.  This led him to ask simple questions.  "Why do people suffer?"  "What can we do to lessen suffering?"  Nothing about these questions was about metaphysics or the supernatural.  It was all pragmatic.

 

He tried all the standard answers.  Studying the Vedic texts, austerity, Yoga and all the rest.  He came up with a Path.

 

Number 1.  Letting go.  All things are ephemeral.  All things pass.  We lose everything.  Family, friends, possessions, everything.  In time, even the body when we die.  We must learn to let go of all that is transitory.

 

Number 2.  The Middle path of Moderation. 

  • Get enough sleep.  Don't sleep your life away.
  • Don't work yourself to death.  Don't be lazy.
  • Don't be a glutton.  Don't starve.

Number 3.  Releasing desire.  Not going through life wanting things.

 

Number 4.  Misc.:  Ethics.  Living a good life.  Honest work.  Meditation.  Balance.  Moderation.

 

There is nothing here that can be called metaphysics or theology.  It's all about how to live a life without suffering.  Perhaps even the concept of Enlightenment, is something that Buddha would disdain as intellectual twaddle.  

 

Of course, the professional monks who came after, made Buddhism way more complicated.  Needless to say -- supporting the monk class became a source of good karma.  The very best.

 

You're right.  The right questions matter.  What would Buddha say about Enlightenment?  I think he would tell us to -- "Count your breath.  Don't worry.  The question will go away."          :whist:

:umbrella:          :mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

 

Now you're assuming - to stay with the comparison - we are talking about a light switch. What if it is a dimmer..?

 

:coffee:

 

 

 

The dimmer switch is an interesting image.  Well done.     :clap:

 

I think it would be more descriptive to consider a sleeping person.  He becomes awake gradually.    :bye:

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Pragmatism and the Path ... It is the way. When I look to those around me, I see the suffering and ask myself what can I do? Sometime it's not much, visiting someone in the hospital or taking someone groceries or maybe just answering the phone. It's not much to me but to them it's can mean a great deal. A light switch, a dimmer? How about a spark? So small and quick you'd miss if you blink. Moving from person to person by a simple question "I see suffering, what can I do?" Lead, follow or get out of the way.

 

:cat2_h4h: <--- I like cats.

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56 minutes ago, John said:

Pragmatism and the Path ... It is the way. When I look to those around me, I see the suffering and ask myself what can I do? Sometime it's not much, visiting someone in the hospital or taking someone groceries or maybe just answering the phone. It's not much to me but to them it's can mean a great deal. A light switch, a dimmer? How about a spark? So small and quick you'd miss if you blink. Moving from person to person by a simple question "I see suffering, what can I do?" Lead, follow or get out of the way.

 

:cat2_h4h: <--- I like cats.

 

 

You would gladly forgive others for being weak.  Are you willing to forgive yourself?  You love others despite their failings.  Possibly because of them.  Do you love yourself?

 

We can also consider the Christian tradition.  Jesus commanded his followers to love others, as they love themselves.  Without self love, that doesn't count for much.

 

It's Buddha's Middle Path.  Don't live only for others.  Don't live only for yourself.

 

:bye:

 

I also like cats.  Love transcends species.

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I'm no saint. It's not my place to forgive people. If they give me the same respect I've given them, they have surpassed my expectations. Fail me and I'll introduce them to the words "no" and "door". Too sick for anything but the Middle Path.

 

I have loved a few cats. If I ever shed a tear for another human, I'll be sure to update the thread. Thankfully, compassion is a calculation and IMO works better without emotional basis or high expectations. 

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25 minutes ago, John said:

I'm no saint. It's not my place to forgive people. If they give me the same respect I've given them, they have surpassed my expectations. Fail me and I'll introduce them to the words "no" and "door". Too sick for anything but the Middle Path.

 

I have loved a few cats. If I ever shed a tear for another human, I'll be sure to update the thread. Thankfully, compassion is a calculation and IMO works better without emotional basis or high expectations. 

 

 

When I was an infant, my grandmother gave me a teddy bear.  I loved that bear.  In my infant's mind, I was convinced that the bear loved me.  When I was older, I got a cat.  The cat actually loved me.  It was a foundation in my development.  I came to understand that the bear couldn't love or hate or anything.  It lacked awareness.

 

When I got older, I understood that loving God was like loving my bear.  There was no reciprocation, nor could there be.

 

:whist:

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Never loved my teddy bear either. It didn't seem devastated by my lack of affection or the eye I ripped out.

 

Severe disease can cause emotional repression, it's a built-in genetic defense to infection disease. I lost the genetic lottery when it comes to emotions. 2019 was the only year I felt much anything out of my 52 years. Lower inflammation enough and surprise! Feelings. Dreams ... though my therapist called them nightmares while smiling ear to ear. Oh, a slight startle response too. Almost human.

 

I'm in the top 1% of the emotional quotient but sure not because I have deep understanding of my own feelings. If enlightenment requires feelings yep I'm disqualified at least for now. Maybe 2022 I'll feel the rage again. Working on it. :thumbu:

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4 hours ago, John said:

Never loved my teddy bear either. It didn't seem devastated by my lack of affection or the eye I ripped out.

 

Severe disease can cause emotional repression, it's a built-in genetic defense to infection disease. I lost the genetic lottery when it comes to emotions. 2019 was the only year I felt much anything out of my 52 years. Lower inflammation enough and surprise! Feelings. Dreams ... though my therapist called them nightmares while smiling ear to ear. Oh, a slight startle response too. Almost human.

 

I'm in the top 1% of the emotional quotient but sure not because I have deep understanding of my own feelings. If enlightenment requires feelings yep I'm disqualified at least for now. Maybe 2022 I'll feel the rage again. Working on it. :thumbu:

 

 

In Buddhism, the procedure is to release anger.  To let it drop away as we would open our hand to let go of a burning ember.  Simply releasing anger and resentment is not as easy as it sounds.  This is one of the uses of meditation.  It releases toxic emotion from the system.

 

In Buddhist terms, if we hold on to our anger, we will suffer more.  So we let it go.

 

Holding on to anger is a form of constipation.  It backs up, clogs and poisons the system.

 

:bye:

 

 

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8 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

In Buddhism, the procedure is to release anger.  To let it drop away as we would open our hand to let go of a burning ember.  Simply releasing anger and resentment is not as easy as it sounds.  This is one of the uses of meditation.  It releases toxic emotion from the system.

 

In Buddhist terms, if we hold on to our anger, we will suffer more.  So we let it go.

 

Holding on to anger is a form of constipation.  It backs up, clogs and poisons the system.

 

:bye:

 

 

 

I ever get this inflammation down I'll be doing a lot of breathwork.

 

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1 hour ago, John said:

 

I ever get this inflammation down I'll be doing a lot of breathwork.

 

 

 

:bye:

 

Meditation in it's various forms reduces inflammation.  Structured movement is also important.  Nutrition and supplements also help.

 

Breathwork will help with the inflammation.  Waiting for the inflammation to go away first is backward.

 

I teach the Tai Chi for Arthritis class at my local senior center.  At least, I will go back to teaching when the center opens up again.  I came by my interest in these matters honestly.  I have arthritis.

 

:bye:

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On 6/20/2021 at 1:21 AM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

:bye:

 

Meditation in it's various forms reduces inflammation.  Structured movement is also important.  Nutrition and supplements also help.

 

Breathwork will help with the inflammation.  Waiting for the inflammation to go away first is backward.

 

I teach the Tai Chi for Arthritis class at my local senior center.  At least, I will go back to teaching when the center opens up again.  I came by my interest in these matters honestly.  I have arthritis.

 

:bye:

 

 

Would second that, only adding: good sleep, honest work/purpose, good friends/family.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, John said:

Should have used the word "more" ... a lot more breathwork. Though I did have some progress, woke up dreaming the phone was ringing this morning. 

 

 

Perhaps you were calling yourself?  Time to wake up?          :birgits_giggle:

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