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  • hardie karges 10:31 am on July 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alpha male, , , , , haplogroup, meditation, , , Type-A behavior   

    Buddhism, Meditation, Alpha Males and the Myth of Leadership… 

    img_1893When people ask me about meditation practice and/or Buddhism, I make it clear that meditation is one thing, and Buddhism is another, though I certainly appreciate both, even if knee problems likely mean that I’ll never achieve the classic lotus pose, and maybe not even the half of it…

    …so sitting meditation becomes chair meditation, which is just as good or better, just not as cool to look at, though maybe better for sati, ‘mindfulness’, if the cross-legged pose is uncomfortable, thus freeing the mind for focus, on nothing, emptiness, the vast undefined, even if in a sitting position less defined than the classic figure-8 flower… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:45 pm on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think the link with the wider world is as significant as the opportunity for personal development. This makes that point firmly, Hardie.

  • hardie karges 10:23 am on July 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Matrix, meditation, , , samadhi, , YouTube   

    #Samadhi for non-#Buddhists and Children of the #Matrix: Turn it down!!! 

    It seems that the movie “The Matrix” has done for the current generation what “Plato’s Cave” did for one almost 2500 years ago, inspiring countless thinkers and wannabe prophets to poke beyond the edges of the common-sense world, just to see if there was anything there, knowing that there would be no sure answers, but an enduring love of the questions, and inspiring narratives that would make any Homer, Shakespeare, Hugo or Cervantes take notice… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:52 am on June 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , meditation, philkosophy, ,   

    #Buddhism #Christianity #Islam: All #Religions Work—if you let them… 

    IMG_1559All religions want the same thing—goodness in general, peace brotherhood compassion and mercy in particular. But their prime proponent visionaries—Buddha, Christ and Prophet—each saw different ways of getting there—non-self and non-craving first, love and forgiveness next, and then finally submission and surrender. And all of them can work, if maybe more appropriate for different groups of people at different times in history…

    In 5-600 BC, Buddhism was the perfect message, in a violent greedy war-torn world more or less centered around India, and ready for meditation (and anyone who imagines that the world was calm and peaceful before the advent of religion is tripping). In year 0-100 CE Christianity was spot on target for a world increasingly shifted westward to new fertile ground, the Fertile Crescent, and based on and around Roman power in the Mediterranean, ready for bread and circuses, passion and power… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:02 am on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Heisenberg, Jesus Christ, meditation, , , Uncertainty Principle   

    #Buddhism and the #Uncertainty #Principle of #Nowness 

    img_0953There is no hotter topic in Buddhism these days, or New Age-y esoteric philosophy, than nowness—the Eternal Now, the Infinite Present Moment, etc.—not even mindfulness nor lovingkindness. This is at least partly due to Eckhart Tolle’s popularization of the topic, no doubt, but neither is there any doubt about where he got it, either—Buddhism and/or Hinduism…

    So I’ve got two questions in relation to this subject: 1) What exactly are we talking about, anyway, and 2) why is it so popular? Well, part of the problem with this issue is that it’s never really been defined, exactly what’s being referred to, as if that should be obvious, and any discussion would destroy some of its mystery, and hence some of its power, SO: I’m going to do the same, for the time being, and head to question number two… (More …)

     
    • quantumpreceptor 12:27 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hello HK,

      Great blog I very much appreciate your take on the uncertainty principle it rings very true for me.

      However I might add that thoughts are definitely allowed in meditation. There are teachings that tell us not only that they cannot or should not be avoided and that they actually can be used as tools on the way. A good example would be this. You are meditating and you have a thought that keeps coming back and distracting you from your object of meditation. What to do? Focus on this thought and watch where it comes from, where it stays for a while, and where it goes when it ceases to exist. In this way the thought becomes the object of meditation and you will realize that you cannot hold on to the thought any better than anything else. This is explained in detail by the 9 th Karmapa in the book “ocean of deep meaning”

      Have an amazing day,

      QP

  • hardie karges 7:19 am on May 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: B. Alan Wallace, Beatles, Boolean logic, , Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, meditation, metaphysics, stress, Transcendental Meditation   

    Beyond Buddhism: The Metaphysics of Meditation… 

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    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Meditation has increasingly gained adherence in the Western world, since its initial mass-marketing roll-out as Transcendental Meditation (TM) under the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1960’s, with such illustrious disciples as the Beatles, a Beach Boy or two, and Donovan, among others, any feeling that it was all hype at the time, eventually assuaged by glowing and growing reports of its therapeutic value, BUT…

    What exactly is that therapeutic value? Stress reduction is the most obvious benefit, and the reason that many schools and business places have instituted a ‘quiet time’ of a quarter-to-a-half-hour or so, once or twice a day, or even as little as five minutes a pop. Now I’m not sure exactly how much good can be attained from so little time, but I guess anything is better than nothing… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:32 am on May 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , meditation, rebirth, reincarnation, , , ,   

    Buddhist Karma: more than just cause and effect… 

    img_2116Karma is one of the major tenets of Buddhism, and one of the most misunderstood. The issue of past lives I’ll save for later; first let’s deal with this life. The basic idea is that if you do good things, then good things will happen to you. And if you have to take at least one religious tenet on pure faith to qualify as religious, then I’ll take that one, which I firmly believe, that by doing good, the world is thereby incrementally vaccinated against evil. Thus karma is frequently called the law of ’cause and effect’, BUT…

    That’s not exactly correct. It’s better than that. It’s more than that. It’s purer than that. If I give you a five-spot and you hand me a hot dog, that’s not karma. That’s business, and bad health. Thank me for my custom, bloke. And if I pick up the neighborhood kids to take to school on Wednesday, because that’s my day to man the carpool, then ditto. That’s an agreement, therefore a transaction, maybe not business, since no money changed hands hand, but not karma, either… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:23 pm on April 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , meditation, , yoga   

    Buddhism and Amerika: Hopelessly at odds with each other? 

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    It seems that way at times, and the situation, indeed, may be hopeless. After all, you don’t see many American football linebackers meditating in a full lotus position, or even quarterbacks, or even half-lotus, or even punt return specialists, or even merely cross-legged on the floor, unless maybe it’s ’25 or 6 to 4′ and the mood is just right. Everything’s better after midnight, including meditation…

    And Buddhism is all about contrition and silence, while Amerikanism is all about brashness and loudness—just ask any European. We Americans aren’t a$$holes, not necessarily; we’re just full of it: full of the intoxication of life, full of the excitement of children, full of the blush and brash of youth, full of the hunt and the chase. And that’s too bad, because that’s not what is needed right now… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:13 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mahasi, meditation, , retreat, , Wat Suan Mokh, Yangon   

    Buddhist Boot Camp Comparison, part II: Suan Mokh vs. Mahasi… 

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    Foreign meditators at Mahasi

    Author’s note: For those of you who read my blogs regularly, then you might remember that I did this once before, with Wat Suan Mokh near Surat Thani, Thailand, and Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, here. But those are two different types of Buddhism, so as different as apples and oranges, really. Mahasi Monastery in Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma), is the same Theravada branch of Buddhism as Suan Mokh, so closer in orientation. And for my traveler’s perspective of Mahasi, here

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    Meditation at Mahasi

    Of course, not everything fits conveniently into a quick little list, so I’ll explain, expand and expound. WSM has fixed sessions on the first ten days of every month, so just show up the day before and sign up, no pre-registration. MM is even less formal. Just show up any morning and sign up. I suppose either could be full, so no space available, but not sure of that. Sessions at MM are ongoing, minimum ten days, but many stay MUCH longer, up to six months, with ordination as monk a possibility. Normal Myanmar visa is 28 days BTW, though longer ‘meditation visas’ are available.

    WSM’s program is more elaborately presented and diverse, with certain hours in the daily schedule devoted to exercises, listening to CD, dharma talks, etc., in addition to meditation. MM is mostly DIY, alternating sitting and walking meditation on the hour all day every day. For a novice, this is nearly impossible, of course, so if you want to play hooky, just stay in your room. I was hassled once for reading in the common area, when I was supposed to be in the group meditation hall meditating. Walking meditation is more free-form, so take a break then…

    img_1928

    Lunch at Mahasi

    WSM is part of the Thai Forest Tradition, which gives it an environmental orientation that is quiet, refreshing and sustainable, while Mahasi is within the boundaries of a large city, so necessarily busier and noisier, with frequent visitors from the city and taxis coming and going, in addition to construction activity for current expansion, so MUCH NOISIER…

    Interaction with others is a mixed bag. On the one hand WSM has monks sitting in on sessions, meditation and otherwise, but mostly meditating, and thus giving valuable inspiration on how it’s done. This blew my mind at the time. Conversely, while MM has hundreds of monks and nuns in residence, they have little or no interaction with foreign yogis. There are weekly dharma talks and twice-weekly interviews with the sayadaw-gyi, but that is hardly equivalent to the hands-on SM experience.

    The dharma being espoused is a bit different, too, though both are of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. This I know only because I made the effort to read materials available in MM common areas, which SM has none of, but compensate with CD listening sessions. But MM seems very stuck in the old fundamentalist Buddhism of past lives and karma, which was a big disappointment to me. SM, on the other hand, is more modern, and founder Buddhadhasa is a leader in steering modern Buddhism away from those old fundamentalist modes…

    img_0871

    Wat Suan Mokh

    But where WSM falls severely short is in the facilities themselves, with rooms resembling prison cells in not even the best of prisons, while MM has much more modern facilities. The splash-pools that pass for common baths at SM look like something from science fiction, so interesting, but not up to the modern standards of private showers. This ain’t Boy Scout camp. SM may be fine for ten days, but any longer than that might not be so good…

    So here’s the skinny. Here’s the fat. I’ll compare the two briefly on a number of topics, basic stats mostly. One caveat: I personally attended the Thai-language session at Suan Mokh, but I’ve tried to corroborate information from the foreigners’ English-language session, hopefully correct. Okay? Here goes:

    1. Food: SM is vegetarian with brown rice; MM has a vegetarian option by request
    2. Gadgets: SM holds phones and laptops (and passports); MM holds only passports
    3. Ambience: SM is in the countryside; MM is in the city
    4. Duration: SM is a fixed 11 days, 10 nights; MM is minimum 10 days, 9 nights
    5. In/Out privileges: SM not sure;, assume no; MM only by special request
    6. Hands-on Instruction: SM yes; MM no, not really
    7. Cost: SM 2000 THB ($60+/-); MM donations accepted
    8. Daily Schedule: SM 4a-9p; MM 4a-9p
    9. Rooms: SM basic room, communal bath; MM nicer room, bath down the hall
    10. Meals: SM breakfast and lunch, liquids in afternoon; MM two meals
    11. Sex: SM has M/F sep. facilities, mixed classes; MM: M/F separate all

    So there is no clear winner. In general, I’d say that WSM is better for novice and/or short-term stays, MM better for long-term DIY and/or experienced meditators. I particularly like WSM’s prayer chanting sessions, which for me is as much or more the heart of Buddhism as meditation. And the hot springs are nice, too (after I finished cleaning them). But the rooms suck. I’ve got a better idea: try both. Both Thailand and Burma have many other meditation centers as well. I hope this helps. Enjoy.

     
  • hardie karges 3:46 pm on December 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , meditation   

    Buddhism: 10% Inspiration, 90% Meditation… 

    img_0991Why meditation? Why not? Can nothingness heal? I say ‘nothingness’, though Buddhists generally prefer the term ’emptiness’, and I won’t quibble over syntax nor semantics, as long as no one says the word ‘nihilism’, not to be confused with ‘Nealism’ for all you rock-and-shouters, and holy rollers. But after long riffing on Sartre’s ‘nothingness’, I now prefer the term ’emptiness’, also, as it implies a form, a vessel, though equally accessible with or without content, an important distinction…

    Is Meditation a paradigm for life? At first the proposition seems rather preposterous, but that is exactly what many Buddhists, plus Eckhart Tolle and others seem to be suggesting, if they are to be believed, many of them blithely advising that we cease our critical thinking altogether and ‘live in the moment’. Of course without any analytical thinking there would be no Science, no Technology, few arts and even less letters, so I roundly reject the suggestion as misguided fantasy, and merciless fancy… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 8:26 am on November 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , meditation, , nomad   

    Buddhism 201: Half-Way down the Middle Path to Everywhere… 

    img_0980My friends probably think I’ve gone off the deep end, what with my current obsession with the Buddhist religion, almost to the exclusion of all else. They’re probably right. I hope so. And yet I’ve barely scratched the surface, because the pool is very deep. But yes, I’m getting deeper and deeper into the Thai ‘forest tradition’ of Buddhism, which may or may not be the perfect religion, but it’s better than anything else that I’ve found, in fifty some-odd years of quest…

    … the almost perfect combination of religion, nature, lifestyle, environmentalism and sustainability. I always thought that Buddhism was mostly philosophy, which I liked, but seems it’s equally religious trappings, which I’d become increasingly aware of in Thailand, and psychology, too, based heavily on meditation, more than I ever realized, probably because that’s a specialty of serious adepts and initiates, especially monks and priests… (More …)

     
    • tiramit 4:56 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I really like the enthusiasm… I like it all. Have you decided on a date to ordain?

      • hardie karges 10:14 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! Hopefully ordain next month in Thailand, if I can clear my deck of debits and credits, long enough to try on the robes…

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