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Everything posted by Consilience

  1. From everything I've learned and experienced, the only thing we take with us at the moment of death, ie the direct encounter with truth, is the quality of our minds. What happens after death will be a function of the mind. If you feel human life is what is needed to step into such an encounter without regret, with full integrity, human life. If you feel renunciation will prepare you for such an encounter, renunciation. Be careful operating under the assumption that this one human life is what matters most and that there isn’t something else afterwards. Our actions have consequences, even in this life there are deep consequences to our actions. Regardless of your decsion, I would recommend holding the law of karma in reverence. Last point, also be careful out of making a false dichotomy out of this. You can renunciate for a period, deeply training and purifying your mind, with the intention of coming back into the world to serve after the period of training.
  2. Im not saying it does. Im saying that for advanced practitioners, the presence from which a teacher teaches becomes more valuable than the words. My claim is the alcoholic Buddhist becomes less snd less effective at teaching the deeper the student goes. Edit: specifically teaching inner peace. Maybe the alcoholic buddhist would be better at teaching the absurd and even viscous nature of reality. Maybe they’d be better at teaching nihilism or solipsism. Who knows.
  3. As one progresses on the path, the content of what is said matters less and less compared to the transmission of what was said. In my experience anyways.
  4. In the same way I wouldn’t listen to a lecture from Hitler on the path to world peace, I wouldn’t listen to a Rinpoche who beat animals, slept with students, and was a raging alcoholic about the path to inner peace. Could the raging alcoholic Buddhist have some insights on peace? Sure. But doesn’t mean they’re really a trustworthy teacher, leader, or guide on the path. And that doesn’t mean there aren’t higher quality teachers out there. The mind grounded in inner peace transmits in an entirely different way than a Zen devil giving the same talk on inner peace.
  5. Im not, because the teacher and teaching are inseparable in some ways. Again, not the rational, verbal teachings. The teachings that come from embodiment and presence are intrinsic to the teacher.
  6. Of course not. A better analogy would have been Adolf Hitler giving a talk on peace. He may have good points, independent of him as a speaker. Keep in mind there are ways of communicating and teaching utterly beyond the intellectual domain, that are energetic, non-verbal, and trans-rational, which originate from a place of being. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche did not teach from a place of compassionate embodiment, perhaps from a place of crazy wisdom, but not compassion. This type of behavior would also be destructive to many students and in that sense, utterly unwise to teach. Therefore, my view is his behavior was hypocritical and that he was not a trustworthy teacher.
  7. This is the same dude who beat animals, banged his students, and gave drunk dharma talks, of course always justified with “no one’s there.”
  8. Enough where you can have the honest “oh shit” moment that breaks the enchantment with thinking the safe or normal life path will be satisfying, fulfilling, and is what we even want. Im not necessarily recommending fear or saying we should cultivate fear. Instead Im suggesting we deeply feel into the natural fear response that comes from facing reality, which is what’s needed to move through it, equanimize it, and ultimately transcend it.
  9. What is this based on? Personal contemplation or just beliefs, opinions, feeling?
  10. If we study history I think it becomes clear. Some amount of fear is healthy imo. It helps motivate us to snap out of destructive behaviors. But to reduce this clarity of the suffering of reality and practicing with this clarity at the forefront to fear would be a mistake. In the highest sense, it embues one’s life with a deep reverence and beauty, a heartfelt appreciation for where we are. This human life is precious. This human life in which enlightenment is sought, is even more precious. Not recognizing this is a catastrophic error. Again, direct experience of past lives and logical analysis of the nature of existence, that it does not satisfy and that generally, our minds are unconsciously driven through craving. Most beings are deeply suffering on the planet, in this very era. If rebirth is a reality, and you were lucky enough to come back as a human and not some random animal, well the chances of you being spiritually nourished enough to begin the path is low. Appreciating this fact helps one cultivate happiness, but how this is so is difficult to understand. As far as why there is suffering, all I can say is the path to Buddhahood is impossible without the 1st noble truth and part of what made Christ, Christ was being nailed to the cross. “No mud, no lotus” as Tich Naht Hahn said. Im not sure why there is so much suffering, but I do have faith that it’s not for nothing.
  11. Usually it comes from dispassion, or disillusionment with the world. The monk understands, deeply, that the world does not provide happiness, lasting satisfaction, fulfillment, and certainly not truth. Assuming one even has a life worth “receiving the most from” it still wouldn’t bring the happiness of the self. Moreover, most humans alive today and throughout history have lived very harsh and sometimes brutal lives filled with suffering. And then you combine this with the possibility of rebirth and suddenly the monk sees how fleeting this opportunity for serious practice is. Once this life ends, it’s up in the air how long it will be until the opportunity to walk the spiritual path is. But doing practices that actually, permanently rewire the mind is available now and has karmic momentum for the future.
  12. Generally water fasting will be sub-optimal for recomping your body. Simply lifting, focusing on progressive overload, increasing protein intake will give you great results. Id start there before attempting to combine strength training, body recomposition, and water fasting. The issue with water fasting is it will use both muscle and fat as fuel. You’re going for fat loss, not weight loss. However, the lifting will help stave off some of the muscle loss, as the body will bias towards fat. But with that level of calorie restriction, muscle loss is inevitable.
  13. Working out the core does not spot reduce fat. This is a huge misconception in the fitness industry. Cardio is not nearly as helpful for body recomposition as weight lifting. The biggest adjustments you need to make are 1) Progressive overload to your weight training - if you aren’t consistently getting stronger, you want be growing muscle which is what increases the metabolism and increases the passive fat burning weight lifting is known for. This process is called EPOCH. But if you’re just lifting the same amount of weight, same number of sets, same reps without making progress, progress will stall. 2) Training close enough to failure without hitting failure - if you train to failure, this eventually creates issues for your nervous system and overall recovery. Sometimes training extra hard and going to failure can be fun, but for sustainability purposes, it must be used sparingly. Instead, you should focus on training anywhere from 1-3 reps away from failure each set. This has been shown to be a sufficient training intensity for hypertrophy, which again, look at point 1. 3) Protein intake! Your macronutrient composition is extremely important. Carbohydrate quality matters very little when it comes to fat loss and muscle gain. Look into if it fits your macros/flexible dieting. It’s a whole movement in the natural bodybuilding scene. However, carb quality will have a big impact on energy levels, mental health and other health outcomes so don’t just ignore it, but in terms of body recomp, you need to focus on macros. You should aim for 20 - 30% of calories coming from protein and filling the rest with carbs and fat based on what makes your body feel the best for workouts and what helps satiate for hunger management. 4) Don’t cut out carbs - calorie deficits are what help people lose weight. Calorie deficit + what I listed 1-3 = fat loss. Fat loss = what you want, not weight loss. Moreover, carbs are very important for keeping your weight training progressing. You’ll make much less progress eating a protein/fat only diet and therefore, wont be as successful with recomping your body the way you want. 5) Weight lifting > cardio - to reiterate, cardio is not going to be nearly as effective with what you’re going for as weight lifting. I have a bs in nutrition, bs in kinesiology, trained and ate like a bodybuilder for about 6 years, and used to be a personal trainer. Ive seen it all… by far the biggest misconception people came to me with was thinking cardio and core workouts would help with their belly fat. The biggest areas of ignorance were the importance of weight lifting with progressive overload and the importance of protein intake.
  14. Our political, and economic structures are some of the least developed though, even if we have a high number of developed individuals. For example, our healthcare system unapologetically and quite openly profiters from the chronically ill. Our minimum wages are well under living wage standards relative to cost of living and in general, wages have dramatically fallen behind inflation. There’s a widespread housing crisis because of how expensive both home ownership and renting are. Public transit only exists in the biggest cities, urban populations require cars, which are again, very expensive. Far right political leaders are gain momentum and our supreme court which has an enormous amount of governmental power with members who are in office for life or until retirement, are conservatives, stage blue/orange. There’s a student debt crisis because of the exponential rise in higher education costs. I could go on. Many problems in the US that put our power structures at SD orange at best, but with a pull towards blue.
  15. A couple of points. 1) I agree, not easy at all. 2) I disagree, in a sense it is fast but that requires understanding how. It’s fast in the sense that at some point the meditative training outcomes hit an inflection point, and results start compounding and becoming non-linear. Shinzen talks about this and it has been my experience. Most of my meditation sessions now feel like anywhere from light, medium, or heavy microdose of LSD/mushrooms, except significantly more clear. Honestly glad they don’t feel like full blown trips but with the way things are going, not sure what another 10 years of rigorous practice will bring. However to reiterate, this level of intensity, Ive realized, is unusual and has not been easy to maintain. 3) Yes absolutely cherishing the road is part of it. Part of it is also realizing the deep inseparability, the deep unity of the path and the destination. As VeganAwake described, there actually is no difference in the highest sense. This must be faced, acknowledged and honored. When doing so, the beauty of walking the path and the end merge into one. This is the nature of truth, it was always exactly itself, absolutely. 4) yes if you love your job and in general, your life, renunciation may not be a good idea. It most likely would not work unless it’s coming from a deep place of authenticity. However, in the Buddhist tradition there are numerous examples of householders becoming more enlightened than monastics. The yearning for truth matters most, which I have no doubt you see.
  16. Fair enough. Actually it’s not driven by hope. If one were to open up completely to the magnitude of collective suffering and logically examine how much more likely a life filled with significant amounts of suffering is compared to a life where one can be in a position to walk the spiritual path, hope in an afterlife is no longer tenable. It’s more like horror and deep appreciation for the preciousness of one’s current life. Anyways, my reasoning for there being rebirth comes from having direct experiences of past lives that held the same emotional tonality/familiarity of normal memory and therefore, ontologically, they would hold just as much authority as the reality of memory. In addition to these very palpable direct experiences, to think consciousness could not spontaneously appear again like it has for this life is a very odd argument (unless you’re a materialist). It already happened once, this is a data point. Why wouldn’t it happen again? What was the driving mechanism behind the spontaneous emergence of conscious experience appearing at all and why would this mechanism suddenly stop after the physical body dies? The logic holds no real power in my view. I already know conscious experience can appear, but I have no direct experience of consciousness permanently ending.
  17. @VeganAwake what you’re describing is more like the nature of enlightenment, not what Im referring to in my post.
  18. Anywhere from the next moment, to what occurs when the physical body completely decays and dies.
  19. Or have arranged your life to be solely focused on contemplative practice. You pretty much need to monasticize you’re entire life and it will still take years. A lifetime even. However, the nice part about pushing manual practice to such an extreme is that it truly is good in beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end. Even if one were to fail at making it to the complete absolute, totally enlightened as though on 5MeO, their life would be exponentially more meaningful than what is “normal” AND, the training will have an impact on the karmic conditions driving one’s next life. Ie practicing hard in this life really helps in the future, and in future lives.
  20. If you’re looking for a peak experiences that come and go, this. Otherwise, thousands of hours of meditation, working with teachers, meditation retreats. If you want even faster results, both simultaneously can be helpful.
  21. I do. And that’s part of what makes this conversation so fucking wild. Regardless of the depth of my Awakening or lack thereof, it was that forced me to acknowledge myself as God. Please know you’ve made an impact and I would hate for you to lose hope for humanity because I’m being stubborn. This openness to the possibility of being God was perhaps the single most important gift I’ve ever received so even if I haven’t “got it” compared to what you teach now, the teachings have left a truly ineffable, permanent mark on my life and my life purpose. So thank you.
  22. Touche. Btw, this entire paradigm Im speaking from is based on your teachings. - Regular meditation - quarterly retreats - radical openmindnedness - learning from multiple masters and teachers - self deception - recontextualization - not confusing content with structure - vision - direct experience is king - trusting my own authority - enlightenment being the most important discovery of my life All of the above I learned from you. And much more. If Im ever being a pain in the ass, you have only yourself to blame..
  23. Your opinion of whether Im awake is as valuable as a transient God realized state. Im not writing responses to convince you or VeganAwake of anything. Nor am I claiming complete awakening. Im writing in hopes that those who read can see there’s another path beyond endlessly chasing states, and beyond falling into beliefs about enlightenment.
  24. There is something beyond waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep and therefore independent of states. That is truth. Truth is not a state.
  25. This is a great, well articulated response. It’s difficult to compare that which transcends states to the inquiry about which states are higher or lower, or which states are more wholesome or unwholesome, which definitely has its place in the spiritual awakening process.