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Maximum Tao

From another thread:

What I find more interesting is the idea of attachment to the goal of enlightenment. On the one hand it’s unavoidable, on the other hand attachment is bad. And what to do with the idea of maximum effort? It’s a similar pickle.

Yum pickle! <3 :3

As we know different ingredients are needed at different times, in different quantities. Too much Tao and we develop ‘spiritual apathy’. Too much practice and we develop ‘spiritual constipation’.
For perfect pickling we need the sweet spot of The Middle Way.
So the ideal Tao Mind, is like the diamond mind of the hard headed. It is ice crystal ready to melt, flow, steam and even plasma ...
The ideal Dharma Practice Mind is soft as lava and burns its way through ...

The point for me, is knowing our real ego nature and applying correctives. Idealy we have kind companions, insightful fiends friends, good monks, lamas, roshi or teachings to inspire and direct.

That's my plan.

Yours?

Vimalajāti

Comments

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited October 3

    I've never been ambitious, never really strove for anything, except maybe an easy, stress free life, so I can relate to the idea of spiritual apathy.

    I think many people tend to think of me as a spiritually devoted person. And I suppose compared to the average modern individual I am. But I don't have an ambitious or inspired purpose for my practice. I do what is needed to maintain a happy mental life. If I truly had inspiration I probably would have dropped out of regular life and devoted myself to the Dharma many years ago.

    Not saying that I am correct, just relating my experience. I think about a life devoted to practice and I have a hard time seeing/feeling the point (apathy). I'm not interested in some sort of grand spiritual achievement, I just want a normal, happy life.

    Maybe there is some sort of change in perspective that would move me there. Aside from the resources to move to a cabin in the woods I haven't discovered it yet.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 5

    @person
    If we take ‘movement’ and ‘stillness’ as our yin-yang extremes, what happens? Perhaps a couple of examples from my practice:

    Extreme but natural stillness, non fidget meditation was part of my stilling. It allows the mind to move. With right concentration/focus, the mind can be stilled, whilst for example doing walking meditation. At the moment my formal physical movement is Hatha Yoga. Move into an asana and allow the unsettled mind/sensations to slow or still their agitation/movement.

    Applying this to ease (stillness) and stress (movement), I find ambition for others movement is a balancing of the Bodhisattva ideal.

    How about cooking our way to balance?
    https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/cooking-way-enlightenment-beop-song/

    I am learning to make porridge for autumn/fall and winter ...
    https://foodbabe.com/the-perfect-parfait-porridge/

    person
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Tao Mind, is like the diamond mind of the hard headed. It is ice crystal ready to melt, flow, steam and even plasma

    Venerable Zhìyǐ calls bodhicitta "道心", which can be translated as the "dao heart".

    lobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @lobster said:
    @person
    If we take ‘movement’ and ‘stillness’ as our yin-yang extremes, what happens? Perhaps a couple of examples from my practice:

    Extreme but natural stillness, non fidget meditation was part of my stilling. It allows the mind to move. With right concentration/focus, the mind can be stilled, whilst for example doing walking meditation. At the moment my formal physical movement is Hatha Yoga. Move into an asana and allow the unsettled mind/sensations to slow or still their agitation/movement.

    Applying this to ease (stillness) and stress (movement), I find ambition for others movement is a balancing of the Bodhisattva ideal.

    How about cooking our way to balance?
    https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/cooking-way-enlightenment-beop-song/

    I am learning to make porridge for autumn/fall and winter ...
    https://foodbabe.com/the-perfect-parfait-porridge/

    Stillness is no doubt good advice. Focus and concentration have long been difficult for me. I was a noted daydreamer and doodler in school by some of the teachers. And sitting down and studying just wasn't a skill of mine.

    In meditation teachers point out that getting to the "top" of meditation mountain can be done either via concentration (samatha) or insight (vipassana). I had much more ability to be aware of whats going on inside than I did focus so that is were my practice focused.

    So maybe its fine and either way will get you there or maybe I've neglected an important aspect because it was just much easier to get good results the other way and now lack appropriate balance.

    Even if I should have more stillness though I'm not exactly sure it is a practical goal for me. I'm a pretty empathic person (overactive mirror neurons?) so living in the world I pick up much of the activity and emotions of the people and environments around me. Usually it takes a few days at home to really unwind all that and by that time I'm back in it again. There are probably some things I could change that would create more stillness in my life, but I'm not sure the benefits would outweigh what I would have to give up.

    At any rate its something worth considering and maybe at least I can see if there is any low hanging stillness fruit available in my life right now.

    lobster
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @lobster said:

    >

    From another thread:

    What I find more interesting is the idea of attachment to the goal of enlightenment. On the one hand it’s unavoidable, on the other hand attachment is bad. And what to do with the idea of maximum effort? It’s a similar pickle.

    Yum pickle! <3 :3

    As we know different ingredients are needed at different times, in different quantities. Too much Tao and we develop ‘spiritual apathy’. Too much practice and we develop ‘spiritual constipation’.
    For perfect pickling we need the sweet spot of The Middle Way.
    So the ideal Tao Mind, is like the diamond mind of the hard headed. It is ice crystal ready to melt, flow, steam and even plasma ...
    The ideal Dharma Practice Mind is soft as lava and burns its way through ...

    The point for me, is knowing our real ego nature and applying correctives. Idealy we have kind companions, insightful fiends friends, good monks, lamas, roshi or teachings to inspire and direct.

    That's my plan.

    Yours?

    m.w. and the utilization of energy ,sounds like a good plan.i think the trick is how we direct and be the dao-energy in mind and body is be aware when and how it is use through our dao balance.

    im no expert of dao.but im learning--so new to me--and developing dao instinct in dao heart or mind-heart relation in body.go-ku is my mythic hero.such inspiration.some instinct i got is finding pennies.

    my deity is in dao.her advice good greenbeans to me.she says excerse.medicine if needed.be kind.just be.and be you.she my greatest teacher.i hope to see her in the next life.but she says live now.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    just being is training ground for personal growth.the trait hypothesis of lao and siddhartha is they dwell in ther body.maybe the zen persuit with dao sprinckle is being natural.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Stillness is no doubt good advice. Focus and concentration have long been difficult for me.

    The first Buddhist focus and concentration exercise I employed was from the five element practice

    https://buddhaname.org/5-elements-practices/
    Others just focus on the breath, a sound/mantra, Buddha form (attribute made manifest) etc.

    At any rate its something worth considering and maybe at least I can see if there is any low hanging stillness fruit available in my life right now.

    Yum, fruit.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    touching on being dao-zen natural . one aspect is being tame and beautiful. being kind and peaceful can be quality of being tame.being wise and compassionate can be qualities of being beautiful. being tame and beautiful is being a realise human being of dao or the way .one time my deity,expressed a pictograph of a realise human being seated on a flower cushion.my reaction was that's dao and buddhism.we have encountered the icon of man and woman seated on the lotus flowers.great inspiration for us .how wonderful !

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Indeed @paulyso

    In many ways we have to create a secular bubble, much like the sangha bubble of inspiration. In other words, the difficulties of this world, the social media and chattering news are only a partial reality ...

    There is another jeweled reality. Positive balance to the bad news which is as old as Buddha. In computing it used to be known as GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) now it is know as Google.

    https://www.optimistdaily.com

    personKundo
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Indeed @paulyso

    In many ways we have to create a secular bubble, much like the sangha bubble of inspiration. In other words, the difficulties of this world, the social media and chattering news are only a partial reality ...

    There is another jeweled reality. Positive balance to the bad news which is as old as Buddha. In computing it used to be known as GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) now it is know as Google.

    https://www.optimistdaily.com

    exactly lobster. we live. ignore the negative vibe ,and welcome positive vibe to build our immunity biological system.i guess we are born to be well in contrast to dukkha. and we keepin on keepin in our personal wellness.and that makes us beautiful.

    lobster
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    天下皆知美之為美,斯惡已。
    From the heavens descending all know beauty's as the beautiful, dividing the ugly thereafter.

    皆知善之為善,斯不善已。
    All know skill's as the skillful, dividing the unskillful thereafter.

    故有無相生,難易相成,長短相較,
    Because of this, existence and nonexistence mutually arise, because of this, difficulty and ease, mutually, into each other, they transform, because of this, long and short mutually differentiate,

    高下相傾,音聲相和,前後相隨。
    because of this, high and low mutually overflow, overflow into each other, because of this, music and noise mutually harmonize, and because of this, soon and later mutually follow,

    是以聖人處無為之事,行不言之教;
    Therefore the sagely man dwells without activity toward things, he acts without speaking, this he teaches;

    萬物作焉而不辭,生而不有。
    With ten thousand things created here, as a result he does not speculate, they self-generate without causality.

    為而不恃,功成而弗居。
    He acts but without claim to his actions, the work he accomplishes, but there is no dwelling.

    夫唯弗居,是以不去。
    He only has non-dwelling, on account of this he has no departure.

    DDJ 2

    lobster
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    Not necessarily Buddhism, eh?

    Or maybe just Chinese Buddhism through a scanner darkly.

    lobster
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited October 11

    @lobster said:
    Too much Tao and we develop ‘spiritual apathy’. Too much practice and we develop ‘spiritual constipation’.

    This also reminds me of Venerable Jízàng's words in his Two Truths Exegesis:

    It is time to speak of two truths made of the difference of two views. These two truths equally are missed. How? To those who grasp at existence, sentient beings, speak the absolute truth. To those who grasp at emptiness, sentient beings, speak the relative truth. In this way through is and is not equally sentient beings are grasping. Consequently all misconceive. It is time to speak of two comprehensions which are not two. These two truths equally attained. How? Because these two comprehensions are not two. Two is the principle's teaching. Not two is the teaching's principle. Two is the middle's designation. Not two is the designation's middle. Two is the essence's function. Not two is the function's essence.

    (Ven Jízàng Dvasatyapramāṇanirdeśa 二諦義 T1854.81c28)

    KeromeDavid
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    There is a lovely bird simile from Venerable Zhìyǐ as well, but I cannot find it at the moment. Suffice to say, wisdom and practice are two wings of a bird, and a bird cannot fly with one wing.

    Understanding [i.e. learning] purifies meditative practice; practice advances understanding. Illuminating, enriching, guiding, and penetrating, they mutually adorn and embellish one another. They are like the two hands of a single body, which together keep [the body] clean. It is not just a matter of advancing along one's own personal path towards enlightenment by unlocking impediments and overcoming obstacles. One must also be well-versed in the scriptures and commentaries so that one can turn outward and teach and reveal [to others] what they have not heard before. When one combines one's own training with the training of others, benefit is complete. If one such as this is not the teacher of all humankind and the jewel of the nation, who is?

    (Ven Zhìyǐ Mahāśamathavipaśyanā 摩訶止観 T1911.46a, translation Donner & Stevenson)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Vimalajāti said:
    There is a lovely bird simile from Venerable Zhìyǐ as well, but I cannot find it at the moment. Suffice to say, wisdom and practice are two wings of a bird, and a bird cannot fly with one wing.

    I heard it was Wisdom and Compassion.... But I could be wrong. Surprisingly, it wouldn't be the first time....

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 12

    @Vimalajāti said:
    Venerable Zhìyǐ calls bodhicitta "道心", which can be translated as the "dao heart".

    Seems like a good plan.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhiyi

    Even though some vikings were possibly early western Buddhists ... along with the Greeks ...
    https://www.lionsroar.com/the-buddha-statue-found-in-an-ancient-viking-hoard/
    https://www.historydisclosure.com/greco-buddhism-unknown-influence-greeks/

    ... a more detailed effort begins to incorporate/modify and ultimately become potentially mainstream Western study and practice ...

    Three cheers for The Hipster Sun of Buddha!
    Hip, hip.
    Hoo Rah! 🌞
    Hip, hip.
    Hoo Rah! 🌞
    Hip, hip.
    Hoo Rah!
    🌞

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Vimalajāti said:
    Suffice to say, wisdom and practice are two wings of a bird, and a bird cannot fly with one wing.

    I heard it was Wisdom and Compassion.... But I could be wrong. Surprisingly, it wouldn't be the first time....

    Regardless of which it is, it seems that it would be difficult at best to have wisdom but refrain from practice or compassion.

    lobster
  • Some days I acually forget I practise every day.
    Those are my best.

    federicalobsterShoshinKundo
  • Some days I actually forget I practise every day.
    Those are my best.

    Tee Hee.
    Dharma incorporated. Capital! We are in business ...
    B)

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