“Oh, what Tangled Webs We Weave!” The TRUTH, the REAL DHARMA can be explained with simple addition and subtraction, but somehow, (and I was once very guilty of this) we think that: “If Adding and Subtracting can show the Way, that some Non-linear Calculus MUST be a Better Way!”
“Oh, what Tangled Webs We Weave!”. The True Dharma is as Simple as it gets!
And I am going to be Profoundly BOLD and BRASH and Simply tell it how it is. As a serious student of many/All forms of Dharma or Dhamma, for years I began to pull away from the Theravada, because I too was so Drawn and gained SO much form the words Shunryu Suzuki, aka Suzuki roshi, and The No-Nonsense, Meditative-Based, Annihilating Concepts… I stringly relate and identify with the Taoist, Cha’an, Zen, Dhyana Appraoch to Direct Experience (And also probably much Gratitude I have to these lineages for the progress I’ve made) and also drawn into “Esoteric” Tantra of the Vajrayana Schools of Buddhism, in particular the Mahamudra and Dzogchen and the Terma Texts of Nagarjuna or Nāgājuna, especially “Self Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness” and The Meditative Practice of “Pure Awareness Meditation” which has been by “go to” meditation for over 10 year. So PLEASE NOTE I am NOT Criticizing these School sand Sects of the Buddha Dharma, I have and Still Do Practice Both, Although I gave garviated to Zen Teacher and Approach more and more over the past 16 years, and almost entirely in the past year, since my Arising of Insight, I am just stating my Experience (with these practice and ultimately my Experience of attaining Insight or Vipassana Experience, NOT to be confused with the Goenka “Non Secular” movement of his sort of “Trade Marked Name: Vipassana meditation, which really has NOTHING to do with ACTUAL EXPERIENTIAL Vipassana and Observation, (Which is another example of a specific teacher, trying to package a Fast-Track Path to Insight. It’s preposterous, and has been shown with PET Scans and fMRIs that “all” new meditators follow a basic process, and to think you can bypass the learning Shamatha Meditation (the Calming, Focusing, training of the Mind and learning of Mindfulness, and the solid foundation of ‘single-pointed focus, full absorption, meditation) and go right to the arising of Insight Phase. (I do think that Goenka and Nichiren “Movements” have really “Lost Sight of the Forrest For the Trees!” (More on this in a moment)
Well, I can’t holdback on the BOLD and BRASH NOW, because here where the PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING. I, yours truly, with my training and practice in an Eclectic, or Ecumenical Buddhism ACHIEVED this Mystic, Seemingly Mythical Attainment of Stream Entry, or True Insight, Vipassana, a Modern-Day, Living,. Non-Monastic, WHITE BOY from DETROIT, Michigan, USA, Broke those frist Three Fetters, Entered the Stream, and Attained “True Insight,” reached the Technical “Rank” of Living Bodhisattva (As Defined by the Pali Canon, the Mahayana and Vajrayana itself, With the 10 Fetters to Enlightenment, the breaking of the first three which constitutes Insight into Reality, Stream-Winning, the 8th of the 12 Nidanas or Links to Enlightenment, as outlined by Dhammadina and the Buddha, Himself.
Now I am imbued with this Ability to Identify Other True Insight Attainees.
Just as, I don’t know, pick any example, but something like a surgeon, a computer programmer, can tell within moments of discussing with another if that Person TRULY IS and Fully Comprehends the Real Message that they are sharing, or is they’re simply regurgitating information. I know as one in Addiction or 12-Step Recovery, that its another way when one that Recovered can SIMPLY tell if the person sharing is recovered of Parroting, what may sound Peerfectly Exact to the Uninitiated, the person may have a PhD in the Subject, but the One that Has achieved the actual Insight can see through the Information Repeater, versus the actual Insight Obtainer in an Instant. (Malcolm Gladwell does a great job of addressing this phenomena in “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking”.
My point is I am recommending another book by Ajahn Bram, and that’s what started this off as a book review/recommendation that metamorphousized into a more (I thought) profound insight into why this book is so valuable, because it is simple, and accessible to ANYONE, Buddhist, or Not, Experienced, or Not. Atheist , Agnostic, Born-Again Christian, Spiritualist, Humanist, etc. That The Real Teaching of Freedom that Buddha taught is being Lost. Although I find Nichiren Buddhist to mostly be… pretty much as close to Not Buddhist as any Buddhist can be, although the Idea that sparked the Tradition, is one I relate to, exactly. Tey just lost sight of the Forest from the Trees.
I feel the Same Way as Nichiren Buddhist do about the Lotus Sutra, as I feel about: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, a book by Eckhart Tolle, who is Not a Buddhist, per se, but IS a Bodhisattva, and quite Possibly a Buddha.
Sorry if this now reads a little choppy. I am taking a course on SEO and WAY behind. The Irony of Taking a Course to Help with my BLOG is that I have So Little time to Blog, and RARELY time to BLOG WELL! (But it will be over in a couple of weeks…ergo, I have to paste in the Review I began, so You ALL can get this Gem of a BOOK written By ANOTHER MODERN-DAY BODHISATTVA
And Enter the Slightly (possibly repetitive) Choppy Reading, as I paste in my rought draft of my Book review:
- UNABRIDGED Audio Format, Hard Copy, E-Book, MP3, Pdf Formats Available
- by Ajahn Brahm
- Narrated by Francis Greenslade
As as “Western Buddhist” (although Australian) Ajahn Bram is a student of one of the Greatest Buddhist Teachers of the past 100 years, the late Ajahn Chah. Widely considered a Living Buddha (while he was still alive, that is, in the latter 20th century) was a Thai Forest Monk, a Theravada Bhikkhu of the most profoundly simple and Direct teachings and exemplification his Teachings were not captured in Books and Recordings (certainly not in English!) I see, feel, sense and hear in the Simple and Accessible Wisdom of Ajahn Bram the legacy, as well as his own profound spiritual wisdom and experience of 30+ years as Theravada Bhikkhu, and a “Stream Entrant” (a form of Bodhisattva) a practitioner that has Wholly grasped the Insight and now has “made it his own” and relays this wisdom and True Insight in his own, simple and easily approachable and digestible words.
These stories are direct exemplification of what the tremendous Difference is between one who has Experiential Insight and Wisdom, and one that has heaps of advanced, and technical knowledge, and the most advanced teachings and, say Dzogchen Initiations (Just using Tibetan Vajrayana as an example, not that there aren’t great attainees of Liberations through the Vajrayana, but in part, due to the ideas spread that Mahamudra and Dzogchen are a more direct path to Enlightenment, has produced many examples of the exact phenomena that I am addressing, examples of the exact opposite of the Simplicity of True Dharma. Although I have seen the pitfalls in every tradition (Many Theravada, particularly those of the native country who are lay-people have an definite mind-frame that Insight is Only for those in Robes, and Zen practitioners that seem to take Koans in either extreme of literal analysis, or that anything rational is no value) and though many quotes circulate, and some recording are technically available,
I only discovered True Insight (Stream Entry) for myself just abut a year ago. But anyone that has spent the majority of their life pursuing something of Grand and seemingly complex nature, to discover upon arrival that it’s actually the simplest “thing” in the world. And in a International Buddhist Community where so many get caught up with Technical and Sectarian specifics, and lose sight of the forest for the trees, but once you realize it for yourself, you are immediately imbued with the Clarity and Ability to simple KNOW with a few words exchanged whether or not the person talking about the Wisdom is regurgitating what may be intricate and profound knowledge and understanding of technical and advanced teachings and approaches is just simply missing thew whole point, and actually just complicating the Reality with technical Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, etc Concepts which are ultimately becoming Hindrances to Direct Experiential Insight.
The TRUTH, the REAL DHARMA can be explained with simple addition and subtraction, but somehow, (and I was once very guilty of this) we think that: “If Adding and Subtracting can show the Way, that some Non-linear Calculus MUST be a Better Way!”
“Oh, what Tangled Webs We Weave!”. The True Dharma is as Simple as it gets!
- 2556 Buddhist Era or 2013 Common Era Both are ‘Equally Arbitrary’ (dharmamitra.org)
- Buddhist Right Livelihood: Money, Jobs and The Dharma: How do we Integrate All ASpects of Life (dharmamitra.org)
- The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, (or so we say) Listen to it; and you can Experience It for Yourself (dharmamitra.org)
- Dharma Talk: The Nature of Evil: Devadatta (dhamamitra.org)
- Everyday Enlightenments – Satori: Dharmamitra Jeff Stefani’s Video Blog 21 Nov. 2012 (dhamamitra.org)
- What Makes a Buddhist a Buddhist? And what IS Buddhism, anyhow?!?! (dhamamitra.org)
- Alan Watts – Reincarnation (Buddhism, Hinduism, Concepts, Beliefs, Experience, Self, No-Self, Atman, Anatman, Rebirth, Nirvana, The Ultimate Goal) (dharmamitra.org)
- The Buddha was Neither a God Nor an Incarnation (Avatara) (jampasmandala.wordpress.com)
- dharma developments for 2013? (maitreyabuddhistcentre.wordpress.com)
- Our Mission Statement: (dhamamitra.org)