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Imaginary Friend

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited February 2020 in Buddhism Today

In some traditions that shall remain nameless [lobster coughs – Christianity], imaginary friends are fiends sent to tempt us with iPads and other Apple goodies. However fortunately in the dharma traditions, using skillful means, we create and fully utilize the temporary fabrication. After all a god form, perfect devotional lama or the spirit of Koko the gorilla, would drive us bananas. In my case that is nearer than the bend in the unpeeling …

Example? Sure!

In my Buddha Closet and shrine I keep images to call with Mantra and then sit and converse with as if they are a part of me. Which of course they are. For example the dragon rider of China, Quan Yin, started off as Avalokitasvara, Chenrezig, Tara etc and ended up in Japan as my camera (Kannon or Canon). That is why my dorge takes pictures …

namaḥ saptānāṃ samyaksaṃbuddha koṭīnāṃ tadyathā
oṃ cale cule cundī svāhā

Who do you ask for advice/help?



  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited February 2020

    I generally don’t ask for advice at all, at least not in any verbal form. I usually just kind of listen inside to what my heart and my feelings tell me. You might say this is a shortcut which doesn’t require the intermediary of a visualised being to get at the wisdom of the deeper self.

  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    Well, I do talk to the Buddha, as well as my inner Buddha ! I’ve had some good times lately and some tough times. I went for a job interview and had my brass Buddha with me, he answered some of the interview questions rather excellently. I got the job. Since then, my Wife had a huge cancer scare (she’s fine, all turned out OK) and the brass dude was a great comfort to me, we had some good chats. Attachment I suppose. Madness ? Maybe. Whatever gets you through the day / night.

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran UK Veteran

    I just noticed from your photo, Penguin India has an "Ananda" collection. Apparently it's an imprint for their spiritual collection. I like the thought of Ananda continuing to pass on the teachings in this form.

  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    Thanks for that @adamcrossley 👍 that’s about 50% of my collection, I have some TNH books elsewhere, the Pali Canon anthology and several Osho books, not to mention all those I have in digital format only 🙄 sometimes I wonder if reading too much leads to confusion.

  • 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

    @adamcrossley said:
    I just noticed from your photo, Penguin India has an "Ananda" collection. Apparently it's an imprint for their spiritual collection. I like the thought of Ananda continuing to pass on the teachings in this form.

    The history of how Penguin books came to be, is an interesting story in and of itself...

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 2020

    Who do you ask for advice/help?

    That's an interesting question...Hmmm let me think ???

    Who are we talking to when we are not thinking out loud AKA talking to other selves ?

    Whoever it is that listens to our inner speech often provide us with solutions to some of our most pressing issues...

    After sitting...

    I listen to my Imaginary friend the conscience 😇

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Imaginary Friend? The first thing that came to mind was Donald Trump.

    But it's an interesting question.. I might make a distinction between that which is imaginary and transient, and that which has more or less become hard wired in the brain and is represented by a specific, persistent wad of neurons that serve a particular function.

    For me, god is one of the latter and cannot, apparently, be removed without resorting to surgery. I consult her occasionally, when my stress levels are starting to become unmanageable and I feel like I might be in danger of jumping off the rails. She's good at answering urgent questions, and invariably does so within a couple of hours after the question is asked.

    More generally useful are the sisters Not-Self and Tao, but I wouldn't characterize them as localized wads of neurons. They seem more diffuse, more omnipresent, and need not be named or personified in order to secure their benign influence.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    "who do you ask for help?"
    find those who inspire our better nature.christ nature ,buddha nature,are good candidate to look up to.they embody the living dharma.dao nature in lao is good too.

    so through reflection and recollection--the art of mindfullness--i hear thier words to carry me each day.

    then there is... so real to me.buddhist call her the dharmakya.daoist call her the dao.christian call her wisdom justified by her children.what is common is sacred humility and noble peace or silence.

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