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February 05, 2019

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Vyartha, you should say thank you to Manjushri's cousin, and abandon that nest you've settled in, as if it was a cancer.

(Actually it takes a great deal of honesty to appraise yourself in an objective way and to determine whether one is ready for the lofty "sudden" approach that is appropriate for those rare few, or one's current stage is more appropriate for a gradual approach. - I think the issue today, especially with Westerners, is they all think they belong to the path for those of highest talent. They don't care to learn simple śamatha or to study a little first, they immediately want "sudden enlightenment" with Dzogchen and Zen. Those eminent paths are valid but one needs discernment of appropriatenes. There's no panacea, Shakya in Lotus Sutra explains he gives different medicines to different people. - And there's also no reason to attack people who opt for a gradualist approach. That is actually equal to denigrating Shakyamuni's intent.)

"Jung": All good comedy consists of making fun of yourself first. Openly admitting the weakness of your current karmic form bears a certain power and freedom.

The awareness of weakness is not weak. The awareness of uselessness is not useless.

Those who want to protect their image in a prideful way by claiming powerful sounding names and appellations could actually be committing something karmically problematic.

Dharma quiz: How did the name "Rahula" serve Buddha's son? What does it mean, is it something very positive? Did he karmically condemn his son?

I don't doubt your meditative accomplishments far exceed mine, but the jhana states were not a Buddha's invention. He learned about them from his teachers - and concluded, "this is not Zen" (to paraphrase you). Shakyamuni's innovation was to take the yogic tradition, but to apply analytical insight to it.

There's a danger of removing Buddha's insight by saying the 'yogic' part is all there is to it.

This "Tathagata Zen" position was represented by Moheyan in the great Samye debate, while Kamalaśīla represented the other position.

You're representing this Moheyan-style school of sudden enlightenment.

The Tibetans chose Kamalaśīla as the "winner" of the debate, but I don't take this too seriously. History is always rewritten by the winners.

The point is another one, I think, that the Tibetans chose the way that was more appropriate for the most people (the gradual approach).

Kamalaśīla's Bhāvanākrama became the blueprint for all subsequent systems in that land.

Vyartha (you do know that is a Dravidian word, meaning useless,serving no purpose, superfluous, but in certain context also meaning "absurd". This chosen name will not serve you well karmically.);

In the 4th Jhana, the adepts mind disembodies from the old karma constituting his body including its limited consciousness, and faces Mind directly as such (Tathata). The latter enables the marvelous functions of which some supernatural things is the instantaneous creation of the Manomayakabody.

To deem Dhyana as mere concentration is erroneous, especially when we talk about Tathagata Zen.

Insight is not discursive thinking. It is the immediate "knowing" from the cultivated presence of Prajna, the pre-requisite of Bodhi (awakening). One who emphasized this was Huineng among a few good Masters professing this path.

Me thinks you need to try first, and conclude later, rather then conclude now and try later.

Sometimes even references to Buddhist authors, of certain academic or religious credit, is not equal to the actual true meaning of what the deepest forms of Dhyana spiritually entails in the kindled mind of the practitioner and especially what it reveals in the luminous state of pure bodhi.

"In the Mahasaccaka Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 36), which narrates the story of the Buddha's awakening, dhyana is followed by insight [...] Vetter notes that such insight is not possible in a state of dhyana, when interpreted as concentration, since discursive thinking is eliminated in such a state."

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