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  • hardie karges 7:24 am on September 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buddhism, Dependent Origination, , ,   

    ME 6103: So You Wanna’ Be a Buddhist? Eat this… 

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    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    So you’ve just finished “Buddhism for Dummies” and think that you might want to take the big plunge, into Buddhism, that is, and now you’re wondering what to do next? Well, I’ve got good news and bad news: there is no Big Plunge, not really, so you can just start calling yourself a Buddhist when ever and wherever you want, limited only by time and circumstance…

    And if you need more than that, then you can go to a Buddhist meditation retreat for a more intense introduction, BUT: unless it’s coordinated with a Buddhist temple, then it’s probably not really Buddhist. Most American meditation events are yoga-affiliated, and while that’s fine, and highly recommended—it ain’t Buddhism. Yoga is a Hindu discipline. Meditation is both, Hindu and Buddhist, too, plus the almost-forgotten-by-now Jains, and others… (More …)

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  • hardie karges 7:11 am on September 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buddhism, , , Noble Truths, , self, skandhas,   

    Buddhism’s Noble Truths: La Vie Est Magnifique, Sois Toi-Meme–NOT… 

    img_2116“Life is magnificent; be yourself.” These words are taken straight from a T-shirt, so hardly authoritative, but I don’t think any phrase could better demonstrate the differences between East and West, the West being something of a personality cult of ones own self, while the East—Buddhism, at least—denies the existence of a self entirely…

    That doctrine of ‘no self’, anatta, translates to us most easily as ‘no ego’, something we are very familiar with, but in fact also refers to the idea of a transmigrating soul, or any permanent self, one that in Asian religious traditions is usually envisioned as forever returning, though a similarly permanent soul is envisioned in Western traditions on a one-way trip up there or down there… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 2:57 pm on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As always you tread a distinctive personal path through the subject, bringing it sharply to life. A great contribution to the great and, as you say, urgent debate!

      • hardie karges 5:29 pm on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Remember the old Chambers Brothers’ song ‘Time Has Come Today’ (don’t know if that one made it to the UK or not)? Tick tock tick tock…

        • davekingsbury 12:25 am on September 12, 2017 Permalink

          Know it well … Now the time has come / There are things to realize … it behoves us all to go on thinking rather than just turning off and going with the flow – which is not to decry the meditative path!

        • hardie karges 6:35 pm on September 12, 2017 Permalink

          🙂 No, thinking is not a ‘defilement’ in my Buddhism…

        • davekingsbury 1:08 am on September 13, 2017 Permalink

          It is very evident through all your writings. 🙂

  • hardie karges 7:30 am on September 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baba Ram Dass, Buddhism, , , , Nowness, present, Reimann, tenses   

    Barefoot Buddhism, Chasing the NOW… 

    IMG_0738‘NOW’ is a buzzword equal to or greater than any other these days in New Age thought, ersatz Buddhist philosophy or joint-less meditations on the human condition, foregoing the deep ruminations on inner conditions and outer connections in favor of a lighter and more superficial treatment of the matters at hand: love, peace and happiness. And I like it, BUT…

    What is it exactly? ‘Nowness’ is usually described as ‘this present moment’, but that only begs the question of whether there is such a thing or not, and if so, then WTF are we really talking about, i.e. what is it? Now we know that it is a convenient shorthand in grammatical tenses, but that means little or nothing, since in many languages the present serves mostly as a generalized non-tense, more than any one specific moment… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 1:35 pm on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Sent me straight back to TS Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’ … here’s part of the opening, which suggests more than it solves. Yours, for me, covers more ground.

      Time present and time past
      Are both perhaps present in time future
      And time future contained in time past …
      … What might have been and what has been
      Point to one end, which is always present.
      Footfalls echo in the memory
      Down the passage which we did not take
      Towards the door we never opened
      Into the rose-garden.

    • hardie karges 4:38 pm on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, cool, thx, never read that…

  • hardie karges 8:01 am on August 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Buddhism, , , dukkha, , , paradigm   

    Buddhism 101: Going with the flow… 

    img_1935There are two kinds of people in this world. How many times have you heard that? That the world can be divided between optimist or pessimists. LA people or San Fran people. Cubs fan or a White Sox fan, chick-flicks or action movies, Beatles or the Stones (yawn), or maybe even white meat or dark (we’re talking about chicken, unless you’re new to Thailand and the locals are looking for you a GF)…

    But I’m thinking of something more substantial, that goes to the heart of personality, or lack thereof, that determines an individual’s entire approach to the world around him (or her) and underlies all human interaction, it seems to me. And that is whether an individual interacts with the environment, giving and taking, advancing and retreating, responding to changes proportionately, or whether the individual’s approach is to dominate the environment, and Nature, by acts of will and brute force, where necessary…

    I certainly have a distinct preference for the former alternative, and its kinship to Buddhism, while the latter alternative would seem to be more the typical American beat-em-up approach, ‘forcing Nature to reveal her secrets’ and harvesting the bounty therein with little thought to the future… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:25 am on August 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bashar, Buddhism, , , Lobsang Rampa, New Thought, , Now-ness, , , Theosophy   

    The Messy-onic Tradition, part 2: Eckhart and the Also-rans… 

    (Continued from here). I would consider Eckhart Tolle more of a genuine prophet than Deepak Chopra, and with a genuine message, however limited, a fairly well fleshed-out theory of ‘the Now’, but here, too, there is vagueness and also many tossed mixed metaphors conveniently confusing empirical facts with familiar fictions, not the same thing, and dangerously close to anthropomorphic representations of entities that are nothing if not God-substitutes…

    For example, what exactly does Tolle mean when he asks: “What Is It That The Universe Really Wants To Be Created Thru Me?” Is he implying that the ‘Universe’ is like a person with wants and desires? And there are other bothersome examples of vagueness: ‘NOW’, ‘Presence’, and ‘Consciousness’ are all offered in the same breath as equivalencies but still largely undefined, unfortunately…

    And then there are his ‘energy centers’. Google that if you want to get the address of your nearest marijuana dispensary in SoCal. ‘Nowness’ is his big deal, but that can lead to irresponsible hedonism, too, if not correctly applied… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:30 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The Eckhart Tolle advice was good. I loved the way he paused before answering. So different from the usual blather from pundits.

    • hardie karges 5:20 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, Eckhart is not bad at all…

    • NMF 2:28 pm on September 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What I am discovering in all of this, is that all these teachers are teaching the same thing, spreading the same message, albeit in different ways. Namely: we are expressions of one divine spiritual energy, just in human form having a human experience and that is part of the great Universal Expansion. At the core of their teachings, they all point to the same thing: we are all messiahs, some in training, but all eventually awakening to the truth of who we are Light, Love and Life.

  • hardie karges 7:12 am on August 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buddhism, Charlottesville, Chomsky, , , , Virginia   

    Buddhism, Religion and Politics: Many sides to blame, because… 

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    Kwan Yin Fest near Chiang Dao, Thailand

    …because we’re only human. Because we’re only animals. Because we’re only a rare form of biological life on a semi-cool semi-conducting planet of almost one hundred naturally occurring elements some 93Mmi/149Mkm from our star, the sun, พระอาทิตย์, sol, sole, soleil, sonne, zon, sunce, slunce, soare, słońce, ήλιος, сонце, солнце, aurinko, güneş, mặt trời, 태양, 太陽, شَمْسDid I forgetmata hari‘? Yes, the ‘eye of the day’; who could forget?

    People are scared. People are frustrated. People are devastated–blacks, Latinos, intellectuals, LGBT’s, old folks, and now Jews, too, everybody but arch-conservatives. People are losing sleep at night, wondering what the future holds for themselves, and wondering what it holds for their children. For most people are not so selfish, really, not truly, because their families come first. The problem is that the circle doesn’t always extend so far beyond that—unless there is a common threat—or unless you’ve got religion… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:00 am on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buddhism, , , ,   

    Christianity is Killing Us; Buddhism (and socialism) can help… 

    IMG_2234By ‘Christianity’, of course, I mean the entire Christianity-Capitalism-Democracy (CCD) complex, aka ‘Military-Industrial-Consumer’, that will one day put this entire civilization on its knees, and begging for sweet mercy, if it hasn’t already, because of the fact that most people want their cars, and NOW, rather than some vague undefined future with or without cars, that may or may not drive themselves…

    Why people identify with their cars—and their guns—is slightly beyond my comprehension, but so it is, and must be dealt with, the genie long out of the bottle, and begging for food, if not mercy. That means oil, of course, the essence of Earth’s lower layers, and severely limited, if you believe the Western interpretation, or self-sustaining, but nasty, if you believe the Russian geologists, and ever-percolating upward from a nearly inexhaustible source (consider extra-terrestrial petroleum before laughing too hard)… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 4:38 pm on August 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You seem to have all the bases covered here. I’ve saved it to re-read …

    • quantumpreceptor 2:10 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hardy, I love your blog it’s always good to read. Today I just have one comment. I am a Buddhist and my cup is full of possibilities, and in no way limited. But I do agree we need to learn how to live better, I believe doing no harm extends to our home our planet not just to other beings, this is the way forward. It is too hard to sell such a good idea as you have put forward with only a half full cup.

      QP

      • hardie karges 5:46 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Full of possibilities, absolutely yes, empty of extraneous attachments hopefully…

  • hardie karges 3:25 am on July 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, ,   

    Buddhism: Religion, Philosophy, and Psychology—God(s) Optional… 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    Ever wonder what religion would be like without the Father Figure? That’s Buddhism. Can you imagine religion without all the rules and restrictions? That’s Buddhism. Can you envision a religion without pulpits nor pews? That’s Buddhism. And what about no Heaven or Hell? Again, that’s Buddhism. And can you imagine what religion would be like without a God on a throne? Yes, Buddhism is all of this and more…

    We’ve just got it in our heads that there is something preeminent and necessary about gods and goddesses, for the purposes of religion, and that may very well be true, call it the ‘primitive’ phase of religion, talking heads and sacred beds, divine revelations and karmic retributions. And in the beginning, capital ‘B’, the East and West were probably very similar, and probably closest to the Hinduism of today: the more gods and goddesses the better, and subvert the divine order at the risk of your own mortal and eternal suffering… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 3:11 am on July 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, , prison   

    Buddhism, Life and Death: Welcome to Prison… 

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    Shan ‘Tai Yai’ temple…

    Welcome to prison. Welcome to the farm. Welcome to this life, 3-D, biological, in which you will live an average of seventy-plus years, maybe more maybe less, with time off for good behavior, if lucky, subject to local conditions, and just a few rules. So these bodies will be our home, and this life will be our penitentiary, life at the speed of sound, dreaming of light, and avoiding gravity…

    That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it, though, just that knowing our limits and avoiding extremes is usually the better bargain than seeking them out, by my understanding of Buddhist insight. And yet we do seek them out, don’t we, especially we Americans, with our extreme sports and our extreme prejudices, and our passions and our pride, that usually goeth before a fall? (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:04 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, cockroach, , , , subway   

    Buddhism, and the Cosmic Cockroach of Divine Retribution… 

    img_0545Hollywood is not the glamour capital of the world, as many people imagine. In fact, it’s pretty slummy, though a vast improvement over a decade or two ago. Remember Kramer’s apartment building during his trip out west (actually just right across town) in the old Seinfeld TV show? Yep, like that (that dive goes for $100 a night, now, BTW, a sure sign of impending gentrification)…

    So to see a cockroach or two in the Metro station at Hollywood and Vine is no surprise, especially considering the amount of fast food that gets tossed by the wayside by the area’s homeless, who are apparently equally bin-less, in mind if not in fact. But the elderly lady on the mezzanine level seems particularly entranced by the one she’s found trying to make a run for it, far out of his comfort zone down by the tracks, big and juicy, and slow on the getaway. Actually the lady’s probably younger than I, but you know… (More …)

     
    • tiramit 6:13 pm on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      “(the) mind’s ear, hearing what it’s feeling, substituting imagination for the lack of investigation.” This is a teaching in itself. I’ve never been to Hollywood and the thought that it is not at all what it seems holds my attention for a moment, thanks.

    • davekingsbury 3:34 pm on July 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      That’s the way to do it! I share your horror at the vendetta. Great post, by the way, as good as David Sedaris. Better, actually, because it has a message …

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