Nityaprem, who recently began writing comments at Sannyas News, presents some key lessons he’s learned from Buddha’s teachings.
First, a little personal history:
After a successful (and very un-spiritual) career in software development, I had a breakdown which led to me losing my job and needing a long time off to recover. Luckily I had enough money saved up to see me through quite a few years, and so suddenly I had a great deal of time on my hands.
This led to me reconnecting with Osho. I started listening to his discourses again regularly, but something about the ‘Dhammapada’ series caught me. The thought came to me, “why don’t I go and investigate Buddhism myself, to add to what Osho said?” It resonated. This started me off on a long study: I bought books, did courses, watched videos, joined forums, asked questions. It took a while before I could find my way among all the different schools, and could identify what was meaningful to me, and what was not.
What I focussed on in the end was finding the words of the enlightened. The Buddha, through his sutras, but that was troublesome because through five hundred years of oral transmission and two thousand years of transcription and several translations and who knew how much meddling by various people, there are only traces left of what the Buddha really said. But there must be other Buddhist enlightened ones, even though in the Buddhist tradition it is not done to discuss one’s advancement. So I looked, and where to look better than among modern masters? Among the more promising whose words are still easily accessible are Thich Nhat Hanh and Ajahn Chah.
A quote by Osho stuck by me:
In the end, I can’t say that I found. A quote by Osho stuck by me: “Learn from the Buddha, but don’t be a Buddhist.” I decided that it was time to digest what I had learned, to take a step back and see what all from five years of study had stuck around. A few highlights I thought I would pass on here.
First, there was right speech. These are the principles of speaking what is factual, true, beneficial, and preferably also kind-hearted and not hurtful. It is quite a core area of Buddhism, and if you look, you can see its influence in how buddhist forums are very welcoming and kind places.
Second, focus your life on what is wholesome and beneficial to the path. It’s easy to spend an awful lot of time on entertainment and things which pollute the mind and take you away from peace and clarity. Just drop all that stuff and look at what helps you.
Third, it helps to be mindful. This was one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s favourite areas to talk about. If you can be aware of what is happening within your mind, a lot of things become clearer. If you can be honest about this it really helps. Its something you can learn.
Fourth, there is testing the teachings. The Buddha was fond of saying that we should test teachings “like a goldsmith tests gold that he is going to buy at the market”. The Kalama Sutra is a wonderful tract where the Buddha teaches how to identify what is worthwhile.
Fifth, there is identifying clinging, and letting go. The Four Noble Truths tell us that clinging causes stress, and often one can find a way to let go. This is like untensing a clenched fist, sometimes it doesn’t immediately want to let go, you have to convince it to relax. Often it is true that when we feel stressed it is because we are holding on to something.
“Let go a little, and you will have some peace,
Let go a lot, and you will have much peace,
Let go completely, and you will have complete peace.”
— Ajahn Chah
I’m reading Osho’s ‘Dhammapada’ series at the moment. Like all his discourses, a treat.
I find Buddhists very easy to communicate with, and I wonder if this is because I have done a lot of vipassana meditation, a Buddhist technique, and the spoken language I use because of that is similar to the language used by the western vipassana practitioners I have met.
Good article. Thanks.
Arps, you “find Buddhists very easy to communicate with”, having “done a lot of vipassana meditation”, and you speak in a “similar” way to vipassana teachers. Sounds lovely, a perfect harmony even.
Yet, you also declare, “On a more personal note, behaviour or qualities I would have once viewed as wrong, or bad, I regularly perceive these days as a useful attribute at times.”
Better not reveal too much of that to those buddhists, eh?!
Buddha came up with some good stuff, but western Buddhists tend to be like Arpana. They think they speak the same language, for sure: it`s a mix of psychobabble, youtube psychology, a few Pali or Sanskrit catchphrases and self-serving sermons and boasts about how much `Vipassana` they have done, as if that was anything more than just an intellectual version of sitting on their ass smelling their own farts whilst hypnotising themselves into believing that makes them spiritual in some way. You can always rely on them to regale you with how much they`ve suffered and how hard the path is and how much they`ve given to charity in between cerebral fart-smelling sessions.
On the plus side, it does give them a spiritual front of honey to ladle onto the pile of doo-doo they are carrying around stuffed down their pants, which is mostly a seething mass of inferiority, resentment, bitterness, rancour, pique, miffed indignation, outrage and low-grade OCD with which they can impress similarly challenged fellow ex Sunday-school Christians who want a bit of orientalist excitement to brighten up their otherwise moribund lives.
adjective unable to control your feelings or behaviour because you are extremely frightened, angry, excited, etc.
Calm down, you’re getting hysterical.
Frank said: “which is mostly a seething mass of inferiority, resentment, bitterness, rancour, pique, miffed indignation, outrage and low-grade OCD”
It sounds like you don’t have a very high opinion of western Buddhists. The ones I have met have generally been pretty open, and have made a real effort to let go of their attachments. They try to live clean lives.
I know it doesn’t fit very well with your cartoonish representation….
For me, the greatest and most unique achievement of Buddhism is the laughing Buddha.
A fat bloke laughing his ass off in the town square as a religious teaching?
Back of the net!
I always loved Osho’s version of the Hotei story:
“In Japan, a great mystic, Hotei, is called the laughing Buddha. He is one of the most loved mystics in Japan, and he never uttered a single word. As he became enlightened, he started laughing, and whenever somebody would ask, “Why are you laughing?” he would laugh more. And he would move from village to village, laughing.
A crowd will gather and he will laugh. And slowly – his laughter was very infectious – somebody in the crowd will start laughing, then somebody else, and then the whole crowd is laughing – laughing because…Why are they laughing? Everybody knows, “It is ridiculous; this man is strange, but why are we laughing?”
But everybody was laughing; and everybody was a little worried, “What will people think? There is no reason to laugh.” But people would wait for Hotei, because they had never laughed in their whole life with such totality, with such intensity that after the laughter they found their every sense had become more clear. Their eyes could see better, their whole being had become light, as if a great burden had disappeared.
People would ask Hotei, “Come back again”, and he would move, laughing, to another village. His whole life, for near about forty-five years after his enlightenment, he did only one thing and that was laughing. That was his message, his gospel, his scripture.”
Osho, ‘The Razors Edge’
Clearly, the best busker of all time.
Yes, the good old days…
Today, a guy like Hotei would be brought into a psychiatric clinic and treated for manic disorder.
That`s one possibility.
Or he could have got onto ‘Oprah’.*
He could have been a campaigner against fattism.
He would have had his own Youtube channel
He might even have ended up doing a stretch in P Wing (old guy handing out toys to kids? – dodgy).
*Oprah – re a highly successful US tv show hosted by Oprah Winfrey, who often showcases psycho-spiritual issues (eg interviewing Eckhart Tolle).
I have heard that as a buddhist one has to follow certain rules.
If one takes refuge one has to follow the 5 silas.
As far as I remember, ‘following rules’ is not very much sannyas-style.
Yes, that’s right, but they are things that you wouldn’t do anyway if you were reasonably sane and sober…
the five precepts are:
- not killing
- not stealing
- not lying
- no sexual misconduct
- no intoxicating substances
The last one is maybe a little difficult for a westerner, especially a football fan, most of whom drink like fish.
Generally, my view has been that these things come naturally, as long as you’re in touch with your inner peace. If not then maybe it’s better to look at your trauma, anger, desire, jealousy first.
The first four pretty much cover the Christian commandments.
Exactly. Sunday school answers.
Yes, there are further sets, eg I believe there is an 8 precept set which some people keep on Buddhist holy days.
Buddhist monks live by a code called the Vinaya, which consists of between 218 and 380 rules. It varies by tradition, and nuns have to follow more rules.
Interestingly, in the Thai tradition you can become a monk for six months or one or two years, and a lot of people there do.
A westerner who starts practising the five precepts, along with meditation, is just actively living by most of the ten commandments, which he or she, depending on age, would have been unconsciously conditioned to live by, under threat of God’s disapproval which would lead to burning in Hell for eternity.
I wonder if that leads, certainly for older individuals, even if they call themselves Buddhists, to become aware eventually they are in fact unconsciously practising Christians, whose behaviour is still affected by that fear of Hell.
Especially true of a lot of older baby-boomers, methinks.
Can’t believe most first-generation sannyasins, some more than others, didn’t eventually, consciously or otherwise, have to deal with a cognitive dissonance created by being unconsciously Christian, and in Sannyas, which is more Buddhist, if you will.
A lot of Christians saw us as devil worshippers, hence a dichotomy between the good Christian in us and the bad Christian sannyasin.
Buddhists are also afraid of Hell.
That`s why they spend so much time trying to save up merit, or good karma.
Which raises the question:
Are you not killing that person/pig/insect or being nice to someone because you just feel that`s how life needs to be in your heart, or are you just making a smart investment for your future in the Bank of Buddha?
Kohlberg’s ‘Stages of Moral Development’
Was a time I would not steal because I didn’t want to get into trouble with the teachers and grown-ups (I also never needed to. I never wanted for anything as a kid. Not that I appreciated that at the time), backed up in my case by the idea I would go to Hell if I did. But over time that’s turned into not stealing because I don’t need to and also seems to me like a decent value to live by. Also backed up by heightened awareness and knowledge of and an understanding of consequences.
What would I do if I was trying to survive? I hope to God I never have to find out.
I would never have stolen from a friend because to do so was immoral and went against my conscience, but I have no memory of ever feeling any impulse to do so.
Now I wouldn’t steal from a friend or neighbours, or anyone, because I don’t need to and because that would be a bloody stinking rotten way to behave towards a friend or neighbours, so sensibility is involved now.
I figure that if you are not still capable of stealing, then how could it be considered a virtue not to steal?
It might never go away.
Supposing you are in a freezing warzone and there`s only one loaf of bread left and…..who knows?
I don’t smoke or drink, or done drugs for years, because I don’t want to, and I’ve had conversations with one particular friend who does actually perceive that as virtuous, although I think I’ve made some progress in getting through to him it’s not virtuous if I don’t want to. So I agree with you that to not steal when you don’t want to is not virtuous.
I have never found that guy Romesh funny.
He might be slightly funnier than the 10 commandments, but that`s about the limit.
“I have never found that guy Romesh funny.
He might be slightly funnier than the 10 commandments, but that`s about the limit.”
This remark exemplifies why you have so many fans. F*****g hilarious.
The 10 Commandments are actually a legal document issued by the supreme ruler of the world about how his property should be handled.
It is not completely correct to call the 10 Commandments `Christian` (although they have been bandied around by them for the last 2000 years).
JC in fact updated the 10 Commandments to just 2:
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
10 commandments – 17 actually.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.メ
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. メ
Honour thy father and thy mother. メ
Thou shalt not murder
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet (neighbour’s house)
Thou shalt not covet (neighbour’s wife)
Thou shalt not covet (neighbour’s slaves, animals, or anything else)
Be a good Samaritan.
Tis better to give than receive. メ
Let he amongst you who is innocent cast the 1st stone. Judge not lest you be judged.
Turn the other cheek メ
Do unto others as you would be done by.
Love thy neighbour as thyself.
It is better to give than to receive. メ
Sorry to sound like a snowflake cultural Marxist, victim-obsessed, social justice warrior, but any org that is issuing rules from `God` about how to deal with slaves and views more than half of humanity as property of the others has zero cred.
You’re so rad and out there.
Tom Holland’s point was that was still at the time, and for a long time, in principle, a step up from what had gone before.
I don’t know if you’ve ever come across any real ‘woke’ types but some of them are barbarians. Like any religion, ‘woke’ has the virtuous and the barbarian within its numbers
It`s hardly rad or `woke` to call the 10 commandments for what it is: Archaic nonsense from an obscure desert-dwelling tribe who were convinced that their god had told them to chop the end of their dicks off.
Why you think they are important, let alone interesting today, is totally beyond me.
Christian values still affect our lives. You have a very black-and-white view of life. That’s basically Christian.
I read something recently to the effect Putin’s actions are not unconnected to expanding the Russian Orthodox Church.
Putin believes he is defending Orthodox Christianity from the godless West.
By Rowan Williams, ‘New Statesman’, March 16, 2022
Putin has established pretty clearly that he is willing to say absolutely anything if he thinks it will keep him in/give him more power.
According to you, I am a Christian and so is Putin.
Look, I don`t want to boast, especially about spiritual matters, but I like to think I have got the edge on him in the “Thou shalt not kill” and “Love thy neighbour” stakes.
”According to you, I am a Christian and so is Putin.”
Look, I don`t want to boast, especially about spiritual matters, but I like to think I have got the edge on him in the “Thou shalt not kill” and “Love thy neighbour” stakes.”
That’s because you are a good Christian as far as those commandments are concerned.
My grandparents were Christians, but I didn’t get too much conditioning from them as my parents had broken with the Church. At age 7 I became a sannyasin, together with my father and mother.
I don’t think I even know all ten of the commandments, though I could perhaps stretch my memory to four or five of them.
Don`t bother to learn the rest.
You`re not missing anything!
Maybe we are attracted to Osho so intensely as he is so free of religious rituals and investments and rules…and because we know ‘all of these’ or ‘some of these’ from beforehand.
Possibly we have been Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Christians or whatever in the lives before? And we have come to the point where we have had enough of concepts and dos and don ts and phony elders?
Tracing according to the current biography – age, school, etc. – is limiting, imo. Maybe in this life we haven’t collected this and that conditioning. But it may be there already.
Lots of texts from Osho in this regard:
Birth – Memories – Reincarnations – Experience etc.
“Nature’s arrangement is such that you can carry only as much memory as you can bear. That is why it is necessary to go through a special discipline before reviving the memories of past lives. It makes you so capable that nothing ever confuses you. In fact, the primary condition for going into the memories of previous lives is that one should be able to see the world as nothing but a dream, a play. Until this happens, it is not right to take a person into his past life.”
Osho’s advice on the meditative path I still take as excellent.
This was interesting at the time.
Mark Wolynn: ‘It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle’ (Penguin)
Nice quote. Seeing the world as a dream is something you also come across with Nisargadatta, Papaji etc but I don’t think I’ve heard it explained so clearly. It obviously insulates you from a lot of the old trauma.
These kind of blanket rules don`t really make sense if you think closely.
Not killing is vague. Not killing what? For example, Dalai Lama is not a vegetarian.
Did you know that because of that rule and the fact that they eat meat, the Tibetans traditionally employed Muslims as butchers so as to avoid the bad karma? These rules make people act shifty!
Not lying: Show me someone who says he never lies and you`ve got a liar, right there!
Sometimes it`s a good idea to lie.
What is the definition of `sexual misconduct`?
That is a massive spectrum. Historically and experientially.
This kind of simple stuff appeals to a Sunday school type of person.
Of course the rules are only shorthand here. It depends on the tradition, but ‘no killing’ is worked out further. For example, in Heinrich Harrer’s tale ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ there was a case where a truck was about to leave the temple gates, and there was a delay because a monk had to check for insects that could be killed when the gates were opened.
Some traditions have a special rule for vegetarian food on holy days, but there is a sutra where the Buddha explains that it is alright to eat meat that is donated to your begging bowl, as long as the animal wasn’t killed specifically for you.
Similarly, there is detail on the other precepts, if you want to go into them. My opinion is that if you are sane, at peace, and not tortured by past trauma and pain and bad habits, you can just do what comes naturally.
I do think that Osho was right when he said modern man has a lot of baggage. Catharsis is one way to approach that problem, but you steadily accumulate more. You keep having to return to the cleansing process.
Thich Nhat Hanh rewrote the Five Precepts as the Five Mindfulness Trainings, which are a lot more inclusive and complete for the modern man. You can read them here:
Do you not consider being expected to wear a mala, red clothes and use another name as rules, even if long gone?
No it’s a difference. The 5 precepts are moral rules. Mala and…were just part of the game.
I take your point. Set boundaries, in the absence of a moral code, set of moral rules.
Did you become a buddhist nun or did you learn from a distance?
No, I didn’t become a monk, although I did meet a few. There was a Tibetan Buddhist temple located not very far from where I lived, and that’s where I went to study. There was quite a bit of distance learning involved as well, I would set up these “home retreats” for myself where I would do five days of meditation and youtube videos of a recent retreat by Thich Nhat Hanh.
I did consider becoming a monk but in the end decided that giving up the freedom to think my own thoughts was a bad thing to do. I read Stephen Batchelor’s ‘Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist’ in which he details his time as a Tibetan and Korean Zen monk, and he tells of a time when his Geshe instructs him to read a book “as if the author was fully enlightened, like the Buddha.” That was the point where Stephen decided to leave Tibetan Buddhism. Eventually, Korean Zen couldn’t hold him either, and he now lives in France with his ex-nun wife, writing books on Secular Buddhism.
I never did go to visit Thich Nhat Hanh’s community of Plum Village (also in France), which I do somewhat regret. I don’t think it would be the same now that he has passed away.
A couple of months ago, I was in an area of my garden we call the chill-out zone. My attention was drawn to a Hotei statue, sitting atop a circular, brass Moroccan table. I said to my wife, “I was thinking of painting him red.” My wife glanced over at the statue, which I have owned for about 45 years and looks ancient, and said, “I tell you one thing, if we ever move from here, we will not be taking junk like that with us.” I immediately protested. “How can you say that? He looks so beautiful.” She looked at me, shook her head and said, “How can you get so attached to things? The more you have, the more you have to take care of and cart around.”
A few weeks passed. I was home alone. It was a sunny afternoon and I had finished my work for the day. For a few days a couple of existential questions had been nagging me. I was feeling a little insecure. Thinking about the future can do that to you. “Why not?” I got out my shaman bag, found a little stash tin and ingested a good dose of an entheogen that I am familiar with. Entheogens are psychoactive substances that induce alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition or behavior for the purposes of engendering spiritual development or otherwise in sacred contexts.
Pretty soon, I was in the zone, in the chill-out zone. I studied a large jade tree in a big ceramic pot. It looked like it was made from psychedelic plasticine. “Wow!” My eyes turned their focus on three huge cedar trees, shifting in a gentle breeze. They looked like they were made of fluorescent lime-green cotton wool. “Wow!” And then I remembered those questions that had been bothering me. I began to think them. I could feel my brow creasing in concentration. It did not help. I was getting into mental nowhere.
Ha ha ha! “What the fuck?” I could hear merry laughter. It was coming from the Hotei statue on the table across from where I was sitting on a padded sofa. I looked intently at the stone statue. His upraised hand waved at me. Ha ha ha. He laughed some more. “Wow! Wow! Wow!” Ha ha ha. More laughter. It was infectious. I started laughing until tears streamed from my eyes. Ha ha ha. My questions were answered. I was taking life far too seriously. Ha ha ha. I simply needed to laugh more. Lighten up, Lokesh. Ha ha ha. Had an observer seen me they would have thought I was nuts. Ha ha ha. I really didn’t give a fuck. I was laughing too much to care. It was a beautiful and uplifting experience. As I sit in my studio writing this, I can hear Hotei’s laughter in the distance. Ha ha ha.
I’ll probably give that statue to someone some day. Right now I absolutely love him and what he represents. True story, from a psychonaut’s journal. Ha ha ha!
I like it! Hotei’s spirit is still strong with us today. What was it that Osho said, “Gotama the Buddha is Buddhism’s roots, Hotei is its flowering.”
I seem to remember that when he came up with the Mystic Rose meditation: a week crying, a week laughing and a week sitting, in Pune 2, Osho saying that it was the “the first major breakthrough since Vipassana 25 centuries ago.”
It hasn`t caught on that much although laughter workshops have become quite a new age staple these days.
I like a good laugh, but tbh, I never was that comfortable with laughter meditations. I remember doing a few including one in the Mandir on the Ranch during a festival. It always felt a tad odd.
Whatever the case, a life without laughter and tears would be flat and lacking depth and for me, never passing up on an opportunity to have a good laugh or a good cry is a good way to go.
I am not so sure about meditational ideas to go beyond them (or avoid them) in an end-gaining way.
They are what being human is about.
Human. Humour. It`s obvious really!
@Frank re 16 March 2022 at 10:09 am.
Great post. Couldn’t agree more.
Those who can do both are alive.
Those who can laugh but can’t cry are constipated.
Those who can’t laugh but cry are depressed.
Those who can do neither are stiffs.
While I’ve never done the Mystic Rose, I would like to, sometime when the pandemic is all over.
All the Buddhist meditations I have encountered have this kind of cleansing effect, it gradually stills your thoughts. It’s like the metaphor of a glass of muddy water that is allowed to settle, things become clear and you are more able to see with more insight. But you can take it too far, and instead of clarity arrive at a kind of deadening, and thats not good.
At the moment I am getting a lot from Wim Hof breathing sessions, maybe you guys have heard of him, the “ice man”. Good for the immune system and all kinds of things.
I agree with you that Vipassana can be rather deadening and I wonder, speaking from personal experience, if that is because to do it takes enormous self-control.
5 minutes of gibberish before the Vipassana session is very helpful.
I might try that, thanks Arpana!
@ Nityaprem specifically, and anyone else who’s interested
When out and about on the move practise bringing your awareness to the shoulders, find where the tensions are and relax the muscles.
In the long term this gets rid of shoulder knots, and in immediate terms is a form of vipassana.
I bought a dozen brass Hoteis from a British Japanese chain shop in my twenties and gradually gave them away. Still have one. Hotei made an impression then.
I had met my first mala-and-red-clothes-wearing individual after his return from Poona, an acquaintance from a few years earlier, which didn’t particularly touch me at the time, although I was meditating in those days, unwittingly, in the form of yoga, not realising yoga is a form of meditation.
It was a pleasure to read Nityaprem’s account of his journey into Buddhism and how it has affected his life.
My comments are not in any way a criticism of those who have or are learning from the practices. The path is always varied and each of us has their own to take.
I never really got Buddhism. Of course I read some of the Dhammapada and it’s all very beautiful, but so eastern that it was always going to be a struggle to incorporate into my ordinary western life. Even from an eastern viewpoint the disciplines involved are difficult, which is why it largely became restricted to monastic life and was followed only in the most simplistic ways by the population at large.
For the westerners, the self-discipline and control involved in the practices appear geared to those who wish to control their impulses, whether it’s anger, sex, love, or just simply not being able to let go. The emphasis on stillness, the void and nirvana are so easily misinterpreted whilst meditations like vipassana may bring about temporary feelings of peace and stillness but aren’t incorporated into daily life. Indeed, how often have I found that those who practise these meditations are lost in an everlasting search for peace and stillness.
The very fact that Buddhists emphasise how rare enlightenment is, and how it takes many lifetimes is an indication of how unsuccessful these practices can be. Somehow this is largely never questioned by the adherents, indeed the difficulty of the practices implies that only those ‘special’ people will ever really get it
Buddhism, like much of the ‘East’, is popularised and romanticised by the non-dualists, who also have contributed so much confusion to western minds.
Furthermore, If we review the practice of Buddhism in Tibet, Thailand, Burma and elsewhere, there are large contradictions and idiosyncratic behaviours. Violent monks, a fear and dislike of women and populations largely practising a folkish Buddhist philosophy that kept their populations in check.
Is there anything you can name, Simond, which is in your eyes perfect? Which is everything in your eyes it should be, might be.
To me ‘Twist and Shout” by the Isley Bros. is flawless, but I would be very surprised if someone doesn’t think the song, this version is crap.
On one occasion during the Mala and red clothes days I was called a Christian bastard and a Fascist by a lefty, and a lefty pagan bastard, on the same day, by a Christian Tory. A liberating moment for me.
I hope you’re getting my general drift.
No, I’d say no system of belief is perfect. By its very nature to believe has its opposite, disbelief. As you will know duality is imperfect.
The only state of perfection, which can never be known or understood, is a nameless state. This is as the various sages have often indicated, outside of experience and unknowable with the Mind. All we can ever do is see it in reflection. It’s what you might say keeps you breathing and is quite beyond your control.
‘Twist and Shout’ by the Isley Brothers.
Perfect or not perfect?
Flawless or perfect, I have no real opinion. It doesn’t touch me, but then I’ve found music and films, or books, for that matter, to be of less and less interest to me these days.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY ROBERT FROST
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I have no idea if this poem is a message for me. If so, I’m afraid I have no idea of its meaning.
I take this poem to be about a guy who is depressed and thinking about topping himself. He is also somewhat paranoid and guilty about it, as he worries about being caught in the woods by the owner, and he is convinced that his horse thinks he`s acting weird.
If he stops in the woods in mid-winter and it gets dark and he lets go, he will die of hypothermia. He thinks about it. Ending it all. Merging with the dark deep woods. But he realises that he has obligations, something to fulfil socially and that pulls him on and reminds him he will have to do a lot before he `sleeps` that is, time for him to die.
I don`t know what the connection to the chat is, though.
The trouble with poetry is it can be so indirect in its message. Using metaphors etc. can be very confusing.
This poem seems a good example of this, without Frank’s interpretation, I’d have no idea what the message is.
Yet that’s part of the beauty of poetry, Simond, its ability to use, among other things, images to express ambiguities, shifting states of being, mind, feeling, in ways that elicit a thoughtful, even meditative response, where one can tune in to the inner realities of another more profoundly than via purely rational means.
To me, this one communicates the person’s solitude, the sense of being very much alone to choose his fate (not ‘comfortable’ or complacent but, contrary to Frank’s interpretation, not necessarily desperately lonely or depressed), which, despite the pull of the temptation to stop and opt for an ‘easy’ life, he does in the light of “promises” he’s made, obligations (as Frank says) including, I suggest, those he’s made to himself, to fulfil a self-chosen ‘mission’, a certain life purpose, perhaps artistic, perhaps itself unclear even to him.
You could turn a party into a mass suicide event, Frank.
Actually, I didn`t know anything about Robert Frost as he is not a poet I have been drawn to.
So I just googled him and it tuns out he was indeed a lifelong depressive. Biographers report that he did in fact attempt suicide in some woodland on one occasion. This, as well as on one occasion threatening to kill `himself or his daughter with a gun.
Both his parents were depressive and his son committed suicide.
So, Arps, it seems that your implication that I am somehow taking a negative slant on the poem not only reveals that you are in the grip of a narky type of archetype, but also that your poetry comprehension skills are poorer than you think.
Hoisted by my own petard.
I posted that because the Rev said he didn’t pay much attention to such anymore, so I got him to read a poem.
I don’t find that image even vaguely bleak. Optimistic. He’s saying this moment is amazing, but can only be a moment and life unknown calls
The Road Not Taken
BY ROBERT FROST
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
“Hoist with his own petard”
Connected to: HamletPetardProverb
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Hoist with his own petard” is a phrase from a speech in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet that has become proverbial. The phrase’s meaning is that a bomb-maker is lifted (“hoist”) off the ground with his own bomb (a “petard” is a small explosive device), and indicates an ironic reversal, or poetic justice.
The phrase occurs in a central speech in the play in which Hamlet has discovered a plot on his life by Claudius and resolves to respond to it by letting the plotter be “Hoist with his own petard”. Although the now-proverbial phrase is the best known part of the speech, it and the later sea voyage and pirate attack are central to critical arguments regarding the play.
The phrase, and its containing speech, exist in only one of three early printed versions of the play—the second quarto edition—and scholars are divided on whether this is indicative of authorial intent, or a mere artifact of playhouse practicalities.
See also: Hamlet
Hamlet stabs Polonius through the curtain he is hiding behind as Queen Gertrude looks on, as part of The Closet Scene in Hamlet Act 3, Scene 4.
Hamlet stabs Polonius through the curtain he is hiding behind as Queen Gertrude looks on, as part of The Closet Scene in Hamlet Act 3, Scene 4.
The phrase occurs in Hamlet Act 3, Scene 4, as a part of one of Hamlet’s speeches in the Closet Scene.[a] Hamlet has been acting mad to throw off suspicion that he is aware that his uncle, Claudius, has murdered his father and married his mother, Queen Gertrude, in order to usurp the throne. In the Closet Scene, Polonius, at Claudius’ behest, has hidden himself behind an arras in Gertrude’s chambers to listen in as Gertrude scolds Hamlet for his mad antics, hoping to determine whether he is truly mad or merely pretending. On revealing his presence, Hamlet kills him thinking him to be Claudius. Hamlet then accuses Gertrude of complicity in his father’s murder, but when she protests her innocence, the two of them begin to conspire to reveal Claudius’s guilt.
Having previously been ordered to travel to England on a pretext, accompanied by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern carrying letters to the King of England, Hamlet tells his mother:
There’s letters sealed; and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fanged,
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work,
For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petard; and ’t shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon. O, ’tis most sweet
When in one line two crafts directly meet.
— Prince Hamlet, in Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4.
The letters contain a request from King Claudius to the King of England to have Prince Hamlet killed, but Hamlet manages to modify them during the journey so that they instead request the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Hamlet is thus able to return to Denmark in secret to seek his revenge.
It is probably ironic that ‘The Road Not Taken’ is synonymous with “I`m ok, you`re ok“ type positive pop psychology when it might very well be another poem about him not killing himself.
”It is probably ironic that ‘The Road Not Taken’ is synonymous with £I`m ok, you`re ok£ type positive pop psychology…”
Neve heard of that connection.
Good post, Simond, your criticisms seem on the ball to me, and Buddhist practices don’t suit me either, although, as Arpana implies, no doubt they’re fine for some westerners.
Simond says, “The very fact that Buddhists emphasise how rare enlightenment is, and how it takes many lifetimes is an indication of how unsuccessful these practices can be. Somehow this is largely never questioned by the adherents, indeed the difficulty of the practices implies that only those ‘special’ people will ever really get it.”
Well, I would say, enlightenment is pretty rare. I have met a few people who may or may not have been enlightened. Seeing as how one has to be enlightened oneself to recognize another enlightened person, I guess I really don’t know. It is not as if being a Buddha means you get a certificate to prove that it is true. Truth is we do not know. The Beedie Wallah, when asked about recognizing enlightened people, said that such people in general lead quiet and peaceful lives.
Simond concludes that the non-dualists also have contributed so much confusion to western minds. Really? I think the Western mind is confused from the get-go and that the east/west divide is no longer relevant. The world is united under the banner of rampant consumerism and materialism.
The only thing about non/dualism that would further confuse an already confused mind is the fact that the mind cannot understand the essence of such a teaching. It is a mistake to ask the mind to understand something it was not created to understand and if you make that mistake you will only end up more confused than you already are. It is not the teaching of non-dualism that is to blame but rather misusing the mind.
@Lokesh said: “I think the Western mind is confused from the get-go and that the east/west divide is no longer relevant. The world is united under the banner of rampant consumerism and materialism.”
Spot on. The one area where I see some glimmerings of hope is in research into mental health, psychosis and psychedelics. By investigating them science and the western mind may find a way to really understand their place in the greater scheme. Science is only a part of mind.
I know Osho said science is a destructive process, and it is, but it is also a route to understanding. If you look deeply into the roots of things, especially where they naturally fall apart, you can gain a lot of insight into their working. That’s something that Buddhism understands well, and Buddhism and science may become allies, such as in the Dalai Lama’s ‘Mind and Life’ conferences.
Nondualism takes a different approach to Osho or Buddhism. I’ve read the books of Ramana, Nisargadatta and Papaji, and I find them valuable and very direct. I hold them to be another path up the mountain.
As usual you make some great points, always from your own personal authentic understanding.
On the first point about enlightenment being rare:
I think it’s generally a fair point to make, after all who in our lives have we met or know who has enlightened himself or herself of the human condition? At the same time as you suggested, there are people you may have met who live simple lives, without too much stress, who don’t suffer from too much thinking, who are generally at peace with themselves, their partners and their work. I’d suggest these are the people the Beedie Wallah might call ‘enlightened’.
The difference between these people and the generally accepted ‘Enlightened’ is that they aren’t conscious of their state of mind. They are just living it, without recourse to religion or any teaching or any self-reflection.
The conscious state of enlightenment seems far rarer. And it’s made no easier by the fact that the simple living I described above is largely undervalued by spiritual types.
Perhaps this is why women who tend not to be such grandiose thinkers as men, are undervalued by spiritual types and why women often doubt their natural simplicity because it doesn’t come with the clever, intellectual mind of the spiritual seeker. Women too don’t tend to want to do vipassana or self-flagellate themselves as men do.
I think you may have misunderstood my point about non-dualism. Yes the western and eastern minds are now lost under a banner of consumerism and materialism. I’m referring to those spiritual types from east and west who have now discovered non-duality and hope this banner will solve their personal individual issues.
Their obsession with enlightenment and a perfect state of mind is often a means to avoid the tricky issues of work, sex, man and woman, jealousy, materialism et al. The monks and nuns in their monasteries were clear evidence of their desire to run away from Life, from living, from relationships, from all the dirty consequences of thinking, in order to realise some perfect state of mind.
This running away has been rampant amongst spiritual types and led Osho even, in his ignorance, to imagine the Ranch and the Buddhafield. He hoped it would solve these problems and was part of the same experiment as everyone else there.
This ignorance I refer to in Osho and in the rest of us begs the question as to what enlightenment is. On these pages time and again the dilemma has been raised as to how someone enlightened can make a mistake or to be seen to be ignorant.
I’ve never seen this as a big problem. I recognise he wasn’t enlightened about this or other facts of life. He may have been realised or enlightened of many aspects of the Mind, but he, like everyone else, was learning. He too was part of a wider experiment even he couldn’t know of.
The beauty of enlightenment as I understand it is that it takes away the need for reflecting too much on so-called mistakes and recognises fully and with abandon all aspects of living.
”The beauty of enlightenment, as I understand it, is that it takes away the need for reflecting too much on so-called mistakes and recognises fully and with abandon all aspects of living.”
Some years back, might even have been here, someone asked me what I had got from my connection to Osho (my phrase) and I hit the typewriter, like that, quickly typed back, ”I no longer make a problem out of problems” and then about an hour later I suddenly recalled my reply, and said to myself, ”Bloody hell. That’s true.” Like I heard the remark from another source. Uplifting and very exciting.
Good responses from the regulars.
The last time I met someone who might have been enlightened was up in Rishikesh. I had a serious bladder infection. I went to a local clinic on the banks of the Ganges. I waited in the waiting area with a bunch of sadhus and poor villagers. It was a free clinic. I made it into the doctor’s surgery. The doctor was positively glowing and worked for free. In late middle age, he prescribed me antibiotics that eventually cured my ailment.
For days I kept returning to the doctor’s presence in my mind. I think he may well have been enlightened. I also think that enlightened people sometimes take up public service in some form or another, because they know how interconnected we all are.
I remember Poonjaji telling a story about seeking out an enlightened one in Kerala. One day this guy comes out of the jungle and Poonjaji noticed he had sores with maggots on his arms and legs. Poonjaji, quite naturally, wanted to help the man. The guy looks at him and says, “Let the maggots eat. They are hungry.” Later, he found out from villagers that this was the enlightened one and that it was the first time he had been sighted in a couple of years.
Fact can be stranger than fiction.
What I find interesting about Poonjaji is the way he handled people who came. From what I hear, he didn’t want anyone to stay, a few days or a week and people would go again. But still he was responsible for a lot of the neo-advaita teaching in the West, through people who had experiences with him and whom he encouraged to teach.
I am not sure what Poonjaji really wanted in terms of people staying around him. Yes, he did say what he had to share could be shared in a few days and then it was time to make way for other people. On the other hand, Poonjaji had a number of disciples who stayed around him for years. It was not uncommon for people to visit for a few days and decide to stay longer.
I stayed for two months in Lucknow. It was not just Poonjaji that made me stay but also the fact that there were a lot of great people in Lucknow at the time. It was the same with Osho, but with Osho it was on a much larger scale. The sangha. Osho actively encouraged people to stay around him. Poonjaji was not in the least interested in having an ashram or building a commune.
I recall Papaji saying that whenever you see a big crowd building around a master it signals that it is time to get out. Poonjaji wanted nothing to do with commercialism in respect to the spiritual. He was offered money etc but refused to accept it, content to live on his meagre army pension.
Lokesh chirped, “I recall Papaji saying that whenever you see a big crowd building around a master it signals that it is time to get out.”
My god, he wouldn’t have been too happy about Gautama the Buddha’s crowd then, which was said to number tens of thousands of monks.
Lokesh continued, “Poonjaji was not in the least interested in having an ashram or building a commune.”
Mooji, who also spent a lot of time with Poonjaji, has also ended up with quite a commune around him, including disciples with malas.
Shanti says, Lokesh chirped , “I recall Papaji saying that whenever you see a big crowd building around a master it signals that it is time to get out.”
I am sharing a recollection of what I heard someone say. That does not imply that I agree with what was said. I never heard Papaji grumble about masters with communes. Basically Papaji shared his ideas. It was up to the individual if they agreed or not. Yeah Mooji is doing his thing over in Portugal…I hear mixed reports. Truth be told I am not so interested.
On that note, I might add that Poonjaji did not know much about Osho, mostly what he was told second hand, and therefore coloured by what he’d heard. It is, for me at least, an interesting point. Osho was not so well known as many like to believe. That Poonjaji, well travelled by all accounts, did not know much about Osho is significant. He knew a lot about Ramana because he was a disciple.
Lucknow was to a large extent a sannyasin scene. I believe some of Poonjaji’s older disciples were not so pleased about that.
For me, it was refreshing to meet another master. One on one, sitting directly in front of Poonjaji was very similar to what I experienced in my meetings with Osho. It was refreshing because I realized that what I sought had nothing to do with guru’s personalities but rather the benign force, presence, energy, power, love that I was drawn to. It was liberating not in the sense that I became enlightened, but rather it dispelled the need to diefy another human being.
Thanks for sharing your experiences around Poonjaji. I was busy with a very different kind of life and never got to see him, though I’ve read the satsang books.
It seems to me that by not having an ashram and the whole circus that comes with it you’d have a very much simplified teaching environment. There’s something direct and clean about it which I like.
That the teaching attracts a certain kind of person, and still forms a certain sangha, is totally fine. Maybe it lives a life of its own.
Yeah, NP, when I first arrived in Lucknow and went to my first satsang with the baba, I was amazed at the openness of the scene. Papaji would say something and then someone would stand up and say, “Hold on. Didn’t the Buddha say…?” And it would move on from there. Made me feel like I was back with the Buddha in the old days, or something like that.
Was a beautiful time and the last time I really felt jacked into the sangha. These days I am more like a hermit in his cave, which is cool with me. I enjoy the peace and quiet and when I do hook up with a cool friend I really appreciate it.
For those people who like Papaji, or just a bit of Advaita in general, I came across this the other day…very meditative reading from his books!
Rereading your comments on ‘enlightenment and the downsides of the buddhist path(s)’ I now take your stance as harmonizing and soothing.
It can help people more or less confined to a Western-style society take things a bit more slowly and reflectively. Before throwing half or more of their lives into obscurity.
But then again, one will only know by trying and finding out.
Someone who is feeling stuck or unsatisfied with the offering should have no hesitation changing direction!
To me, Simond’s statement is not untrue, but it is rather generalising. The things stated can certainly turn one away from the practice.
Then again, it depends on one’s way of introduction and on what kind of teachers one meets and the conditions one finds for practice. In my opinion and experience quite a lot depends on how beginners are supported in the face of obstacles and hindrances in order to have a positive experience in the practice. That may depend on one’s ‘good or bad luck’. And perseverance on any method chosen, be it meditation, mantra, yoga, zikhr, prayer etc.
Lokesh’s statement that “the Western mind is confused from the get-go” I find fully fitting: swapping consumerism and materialism for spiritual materialism won’t help much either.
The question that comes to my mind is:
“What does transcendence transcend?”
This the mind has to ask itself. And find out about the beyond. Or even the beyond the beyond. Beyond the Beyond the Beyond….
“It is arduous. It is difficult. It is challenging. One has to put one’s full effort and energy into it….” etc. etc.
Does anyone suggest that “the path of love is easier”?
There imo it might also depend on what kind of teachers, friends on the path etc. you meet.
Simond, I’m pleased you enjoyed my short summary of my journey into Buddhism. It was not really my intention to spur people on to undertake the same journey, whether it would gel with you is a very personal question.
Most buddhist traditions have particular Eastern expectations or approaches, but if you look at more Western buddhist approaches you will find them to be more secular on the whole. It’s a school of thought that is still forming. Think of things like mindfulness, yoga, and the like. These are ‘lite’ versions of Eastern philosophy which have been Westernised, but in them people can still find much that is of use.
In the end the buddhist journey changed me, but not so that I could find its beliefs universally satisfying. That’s why I decided to highlight a few benefits at the bottom of my ‘article’, rather than just saying “Buddhism is great!” You can find good things in the buddhist traditions, but you do have to look for them. Not everything is wonderful.
Thanks for sharing your journey so clearly and honestly. I felt your authenticity and genuine desire to seek solutions. The journey also took you to Osho and that’s a great starting point as well. To be honest about the positives and the negatives of Buddhism shows your journey has been successful
I look forward to reading more of your observations.
The idea of meditation is already included in Neo-Sannyas.
It’s called ‘Zorba the Buddha’.
The question must be: What can Buddhism learn from Sannyas? Not vice versa.
That`s a good point.
People probably need to move on from listening to a bunch of sex-starved slapheads who are channeling Sid the Sexist in the name of spirituality.
But even Zorba, despite his bravery, was not able to stop the all-too-acceptable femicide of the young widow in the book.
Ok. Sit on your ass and watch your mind, the world. Don`t behave too badly.
Good advice, but the boys club mentality that goes with it whereby even folks on SN seem to think that women need to be raped, etc. needs a major update.
@frank said: “Good advice, but the boys club mentality that goes with it whereby even folks on SN seem to think that women need to be raped etc needs a major update.”
I totally agree.
That gets used here a lot. You know who you are!
Along with Strawman.
Sannyas. Zorba the Buddha. Meditation and engaging with the world. Why exclude the Buddhist part of the world?
That’s one way of looking at it. The thing is, the Buddhists aren’t really interested in learning from Osho. Their tradition is fairly set in its ways.
Osho’s Sannyas, on the other hand, is new and very open to the older traditions, because Osho used to discuss them a lot. Everything from Sufism, Tao, the Bauls, Zen, Kabir comes past. So if anything, Osho sannyasins might be open to a deeper look into Buddhism.
It’s not about Buddhism or Sannyas.
Being a Buddhist or being a Sannyasin is just another thought to watch.
Zorba didn’t watch. He got involved.
Involved with the change or the changeless?
Far too intellectual and metaphysical for me. Ask the Rev. or Lokesh.
Beats me. Satchit operates from a place that I either can’t relate to, or don’t want to.
Basically, he posts cliches that he either thinks outsmarts the other posters or is too stupid to fully understand himself.
Of all the regulars he is the one who gives the least away about himself. I suspect that is because there really is not that much to him. Most of the regulars I can get a feel for from what they write, or at least a sense of who they actually might be in real life. In Satchit’s case I draw a blank because he rarely writes anything that could be termed authentic or original. A bit of a classroom dummy who thinks he is smart, which is the worst kind of dummy to deal with. Sorry to say that about someone, but for me at least it rings true.
I would have agreed with you at one time but I am pretty certain now his language use is much more to do with English being a 2nd language, and I can imagine he is quite intellectual anyway, although certainly not without some heart, but if he translates his intellectual German into English he is going to come across as he does.
(I don’t mean this as a putdown, Satchit. I’m pretty certain I’d enjoy talking to you face-to-face; and being a typical Englishman, who can only speak a smattering of French, I am loth to criticise anyone from the continent, most of whom can speak at least 2 languages, the 2nd usually being English, if not more than two. I have two Swiss acquaintances whom I met in my 20s, they were younger than me but they spoke nine languages between them, against my smattering of second language, French).
Oh, Lokesh, I’m surprised that you did bite into Arpana’s bait.
Seems you are not this Superman you want to be?
Sorry that I frustrate you so much and that I don’t make you happy.
But it will not bother you, because only an enlightened one can recognize an enlightened one, is it?
Arpana, Satchit has a firm understanding of English to the point of understanding nuances.
So it is not his comprehension of English that is lacking but rather his weakness lies in other places, which I can’t be bothered going into because all that it will provoke in Satchit is a continuation of hackneyed one-liners. Wasted enough time on this matter already. No need to say more other than that I do not detect anything malicious in what Satchit says. He’s probably a nice enough guy in real life. Hold on! Maybe this is what passes for real life today.
I don’t agree with you.
Don’t let this go to your head, Satchit. ¬‿¬
You need not rescue me, Arps, it’s not because of the language.
I like Loco, I like all the guys here.
We are all different and it is ok how it is.
Different flowers in His Garden
You do need rescuing, Satchit, on account of how you’re such a helpless, fluffy, little kitten. ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ
Arpana, why would not agreeing with me go to Satchit’s head?
That’s too intellectual and metaphysical for me. As Satchit.
“Satchit operates from a place that I either can’t relate to,or don’t want to.”
Here you should have stopped and accepted it.
The rest is blah blah.
Being against the ego is an ego game????????
You need precisely so much ego that you don’t end up under a bus.
No it’s not really intellectual, though I have studied long.
But what is the result as a sannyasin? Nothingness.
Call it playful then you are closer! Anyway, it’s communication through a keyhole here.
”Anyway, it’s communication through a keyhole here.”
I agree with that, but the game has to be played as it appears, not as might be, could be, possibly is.
First. I’m pretty certain it’s not possible to step back even momentarily, get even momentary distance from ego without meditation; then recognising something to do with ego, or identity, identifying anything like that in the early days of meditation, speaking personally, can be such a shock, finding out we are that which we hate, and that becomes the beginning of a negative ego game.
Then it occurs to me we are all such a mess to varying degrees that the early part of the journey is probably very much tied up with developing at least one ego from which we can function, enabling moments of clarity and perceptiveness about the other bloody egos, the buffoon of an ego, as Marie Louise Von Franz refers to it. And in hindsight, in retrospect, the early days of Sannyas, especially in the West, speaking from personal experience, seems to me were about developing an ego tied up with being connected to Osho, which was strong enough to enable me to just keep going through the “storm-tossed sea’’ and in the process moving away from situations that supported other egos, so in the long run the other egos got destroyed, and the ego connected to Osho and Sannyas etc. became refined and developed.
Not easy. An arduous journey at times, but not without joy and high moments. (I’m never sure if remarks like that are appropriate on a public forum for fear of putting off beginners. Who wants to know before you start out on a long hard journey that at some point you’re going to be wondering, what the hell you got yourself into? It’s uphill, so uphill at times. Became easier eventually. Began to take what went on more and more in my stride.
Not everyone sees ego as akin to leprosy.
I came to sannyas with so negative an attitude to ego, which I saw as connected to being positive about myself, and being negative about myself was non-egotistical.
I don’t lose any sleep about having an ego anymore. Nothing special about having an ego, and I‘m pretty certain if we have an ego, everything we do is from ego, with the caveat, I am starting to wonder, if by accepting we have an ego, we can have moments of being outside of it, function more from the heart. Something like that; although having realised the sun doesn’t actually rise and set because I exist is helpful.
Do you think the internet is a debating medium or a communications medium?
Lao Tzu apparently said, “The truth that can be told is not the truth” and it seems to me the internet embodies that; however, not everyone is playing the same game. Some are actually trying to communicate, reach out, whereas others are here to disrupt, fulfil a desperate need to convince themselves they are always right, some are to win, some come to find approval, some to find disapproval and support ideas of themselves as rebels.
That’s either the perfection that is reality or just how it is what we have to deal with.
Creativity and destructiveness.
Life as it is. Life as we think it is. Life as we think it should be.
@Arpana wrote: “however, not everyone is playing the same game.”
That’s pretty much what I was getting at. It always surprises me that so few people are aware of the games they are playing with their ego.
Nityaprem, I don’t want to speak about the internet in general.
But this group here is a whatever-comes-to-your-mind medium.
Different kinds of individual stories are – I guess – rather the norm?
In my case, I came from Hatha Yoga (Rishikesh, Sivananda) to Theravada Buddhism to Bhagwan/Sannyas to Tibetan Buddhism to various therapies (rebirthing, reincarnation, psychoanalysis as per CG Jung) to Satsangs to Sufism/Islam to SannyasNews to systemic therapy…
Renewing a farm house in the countryside and managing a career in the international payments departments in various financial institutions. And then dropping out due to severe illness. Plus becoming the father of a daughter at the age of 52…
While all along practising sitting and walking meditation and zikhr whenever possible.
Learning, imo, is all along according to one’s preferences: my preferences are the practice of watching the sky, zikhr and sitting/walking meditation.
And taking care of my small family and elder parents. As now I have got the time.
I started with hatha yoga, having absolutely no idea that was a form of meditation; and don’t want to go into details in this post, but I came to realise, as I developed more understanding about meditation because of experience, how meditation certainly affects me, that the exploring of yoga had a much greater impact on me than I had any understanding of at the time, and certainly played a big part in preparing the ground for me to discover a connection to Osho, I am sure.
Further to this, and I wouldn’t want to make too much of the coincidence, but as it happens I started to explore hatha yoga around about the same time as Poona One began.
@Klaus quipped, “In my case, I came from Hatha Yoga (Rishikesh, Sivananda) to Theravada Buddhism to Bhagwan/Sannyas to Tibetan Buddhism to various therapies (rebirthing, reincarnation, psychoanalysis as per CG Jung) to Satsangs to Sufism/Islam to SannyasNews to systemic therapy.”
So did you approach these serially, or did you have some of them side-by-side? Towards the end of my buddhism period I was reading things like ‘I Am That’ by Nisargadatta and ‘Falling into Grace’ by Adyashanti, while I was still engaged on a number of Buddhist forums. I would hang out quite a bit on the ‘Non-buddhist quotes’ topics.
I found it difficult to determine if this was a good thing, I had stopped immersing myself in Buddhist thought and on the one hand there was this feeling of trying to keep it pure, of not mixing traditions too much, of trying to get the most out of each tradition by going deeply into it. On the other hand, I found Osho’s jokes a great way to clear the mind when other writers got too serious.
It strikes me that after a while these traditions start to mingle, you pick up this from here and that from there. I notice you do zikhr and also walking meditation. I do vipassana and Wim Hof breathing. I know the Tibetan monks I used to study with would be aghast at this, they used to only take approved texts to study from.
Have you found this mingling of traditions to be a good thing?
Sorry for being a bit slow and late…
When arriving in India in 1980, I was fully ignorant of yoga, meditation, gurus, whatsoever.
Due to the input of various people I started with the first buddhist meditation retreat in Bodhgaya in Dec.’80 and kept up this practice quasi non-stop until leaving Mahasi Thatana Yeiktha in August 1981 after going straight to ‘nothingness’: no pictures, no thoughts, no body, no concept, no Klaus, no whatsoever.
Basically, I left because of non-understanding myself: the teachers tried to keep me going, but I did/could not listen.
As a consequence, in the following years in the world I slowly declined from the heights into normal life’s confusion: what am I going to do? Study? Work?
That’s when I took Sannyas and mixed study, work, relationship, groups, meditation and whatnot.
During this period, however, I felt the hubris getting out of hand, which led to my staying aloof.
When moving together with my Sannyas girlfriend, I slowly come back to some kind of a routine: meditation on my sofa in the evenings for hours. That felt like a reconnection to the Myanmar times. Plus various interesting inner experiences.
For like 15 years it was like work – meditate – work – meditate in the known tradition; some personal weekend retreats by myself (in a Thai monastery in Germany). In parallel, I did extensive Jungian therapy.
Tibetan meditation was like an opening up for me: chanting, celebrating, throwing rice, a new years party to Abba songs within a retreat. That felt freeing to me while being meditative at the same time.
At that time, I felt that “thinking was taken over by seeing directly”.
Satsang meetings I always took as an opportunity to sit silently, just witnessing.
I came into contact with the new master via friends around 2006; the work for ca. 7 years was in the form of energy transfer sessions (‘Shaktipat’, Bhagwan style) and privately practising of zikhr (like 4-8 hours after work).
Only after about one year I enquired from this master which religion he is coming from – and he told me that he was a Muslim in the Sufi tradition.
Ever since, I never feel that there is any distinction between meditation-zikhr-walking-being.
Did I mix practices? Traditions? It’s like a puzzle to me – each item being complementary to the whole.
However, I felt like I have moved from the secluded monastic tradition – as Simond stated in his comment – to being in the world: imo there is no more intensive ‘being in the world’ as with my new relatives and life in Bangladesh – be total whatever you do.
Last year, 2021, I was praying together with my relatives in Bangladesh in their improvised prayer room;
when bowing down I suddenly was filled with an overflowing feeling of love. I wondered: where does this come from? From my heart, a picture arose of a wonderfully decorated meditation hall and Sayagi U Ba Khin (a Burmese meditation teacher of Vipassana, teacher of S.N. Goenka) sitting in meditation in front.
Very, very touching for a previously monastic guy like me.
In the evenings, when lying down, some zikhr usually comes to me – and I gently slip into sleep or nowhere or whatever. In Islam/Sufism they call it fana fillah, baqua billah.
It all happened – and still happens – on its own accord. I never felt like being the chooser or decider over what happened.
Simond may be right, indeed, in that if one starts practising in the West, it may remain more on the surface, as the intensity – also of support, environment – of the East is missing.
Keep on keeping on.
This report excludes all the incidents about having a brain haemorrhage and losing/leaving job and going into rehab and painting therapy and self-discovery in the meantime….
…and it does not describe the struggles in the outside world during these times: neighbours, money, job demands, failed investments, relationships lost and found….
You write so well.
What a wonderfully rich journey. (ू ͒•‧̫•ू⑅ ͒)
Thanks for your kind sharing.
If things like these can happen to a small, downtrodden and wildly nihilistic square guy from a small village of after-the-war Germany….
Something was happening you didn’t understand during your childhood. Turning you into an adventurer and explorer. Ψ(≧ω≦)Ψ
Yes, after the illness and job loss I found out that I have let myself be bossed around since time early, which undercut self-confidence and cut off control over my own life (whatever this now means..).
And created this strong urge to find out.
When starting to meditate, I had this strong intent:
“I am not going to pick up a new belief system or ideology. I am going for experience. Until I know for myself.”
In this sense I have been a good sannyasin, too….
“I am not going to pick up a new belief system or ideology. I am going forexperience. Until I know for myself.”
Bravo. Couldn’t agree more.
Someone who swims badly is worth a thousand idiots who can’t swim, and think they are superior because they read a book about swimming, or picked up some bits and bobs of information from another swimmer they felt superior to. Fuck ‘em!!!
To me, part of the life with Osho has been about maintaining a balance between pushover and bully, victim and villain, not helped by the idea I acquired growing up, ie turning the other cheek is a good approach to life.
There is a place between the two, and no end of opportunities to practise.
Particularly obnoxious are bullies who see themselves as victims, when a victim fights back. Mind you, those who see themselves as your victims because you passed them by and didn’t notice them from a hundred yards away, are a ******* **** of*****.
Arpana says, “Not helped by the idea I acquired growing up, ie turning the other cheek is a good approach to life.”
That depends on what you take “turning the other cheek” to mean. If you fully understand what is meant by this phrase it can be one of the most beneficial approaches you can adopt in life.
“To me, part of the life with Osho has been about maintaining a balance between pushover and bully, victim and villain.”
Worth thinking about in a little depth. It requires being a patient and skilled communicator to be compassionately present with those we love, even just most of the time.
Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a number of books about looking deeply into anger, fear and love, and aspects of relationship. I thought his approach was beautiful, as he laid the emphasis on kindness and insight.
That contribution might have weight coming from someone who practises what they preach.
You obviously didn’t read the rest of the post, where I talked about learning to function between bully and doormat, a balancing act; which involves a great deal of forbearance and good timing. learning the difference between clumsy and malicious, clumsy and self-centred, for example.
‘You obviously didn’t read…’
“Obviously”? Arpana, I really do not believe that is the case.
‘Turning the other cheek’ has a profound meaning that has nothing to do with letting someone slap you on the face a couple of times.
The Bible is jam-packed with esoteric teachings…the problem arises if you have not learned how to interpret them. Osho understood this 100%. He understood this so well that I am surprised he did not give more discourse based on Biblical teachings. Maybe it was a case of ‘casting pearls before swine’ or the ground not being ready for that kind of seeds. I certainly do not know the reason why. Different times require different teachings.
Arpana, your need to lash out and being constantly in attack mode is making you blind as to what is actually being said. That is a very closed position to be in because it makes you unavailable to learning anything new. This does not exactly fit into the sannyas credo of being open and receptive to what life brings to you.
You are turning into a parody of yourself.
By the way, turning the other cheek started when I was seven years old, so you are right, I didn’t understand the deep esoteric meaning of doing so, unlike you and Osho apparently.
You may put yourself on the same level as Osho. That’s up to you, and maybe others buy into your self-deluding crap. I don’t. You are more like Shantam!!
Here’s something to meditate on, Arps…
From Eckhart Tolle, ‘A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose’
“A powerful spiritual practice is consciously to allow the diminishment of ego when it happens without attempting to restore it. I recommend that you experiment with this from time to time.
For example, when someone criticizes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself – do nothing. Allow the self-image to remain diminished and become alert to what that feels like deep inside you. For a few seconds, it may feel uncomfortable, as if you had shrunk in size. Then you may sense an inner spaciousness that feels intensely alive. You haven’t been diminished at all. In fact, you have expanded.
You may then come to an amazing realization: When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute non-reaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize that nothing real has been diminished, that through becoming “less,” you become more.
When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental self-image. Through becoming less (in the ego’s perception), you in fact undergo an expansion and make room for Being to come forward. True power, who you are beyond form, can then shine through the apparently weakened form.
This is what Jesus means when he says, “Deny yourself” or “Turn the other cheek.”
Looking on the bright side, re your latest self-aggrandising post, at least we won’t have to put up with Frank sneering and jeering every time the word ‘Christian’ is mentioned. Now he knows you’re a Christian he’s probably getting baptized as we speak,
Is “sneering and jeering” such a surprise, Arps? Osho didn’t have a high opinion of Christianity or being a Christian, in fact near the end of ‘The Mustard Seed’ he declared something like, “I don’t want you to be Christians. That is a lie.”
And this: https://quotepark.com/quotes/2013122-rajneesh-the-first-thing-to-be-understood-about-a-man-like/
The Gospel of SannyasNews Chapter 6 Verse 17
And Jesus didst speak thus unto to his disciples in riddles which contained esoteric secrets:
Blessed are those who tarry on Sannyasnews, for they shall kick off wildly at the slightest provocation.
And I say unto you, if a man strike thee on the cheek, knee thou him back in the balls in great haste.
And if he strike thee on the other cheek, then he starteth to taketh the piss and thou shalt stick the nut on him.
For ever and ever.
And thus The Lord’s voice rangeth out over the hallowed sea of Sannyas News. And the humble sannyasin fishermen boweth their heads in humility, all, that is, except Judas Arpana, who was turning both cheeks to the Pharisees in the precincts of the iniquitous temple of Sodom for a few pieces of silver.
I have a Gospel for you too, Frankie:
“My name is Sancho, I am the servant of El Loco, I swear to make jokes about others on SN, but never about Him.”
So help me Good!
‘Self-aggrandisement’: the act of increasing one’s own power, importance, etc., esp in an aggressive or ruthless manner.
Sounds like PC Arpana wielding his truncheon on the streets of SN.
I’m pretty sure I’m getting your drift, SD.
Lokesh and Frank deride me and call me names because they are on a higher plane and I am a fucked, catholic, sheeple sannyasin, with mental health problems, who doesn’t get it, and I challenge them because I am a fucked, catholic, sheeple sannyasin, with mental health problems, who doesn’t get it.
Can’t hide the truth from you, can we, SD?
Well, Arps, I guess where anyone’s at is where they’re at, and we just have to get on with it, live accordingly, take the consequences and, hopefully, learn…
As it is, you often come across as hyper-reactive, easily provoked, as if always looking out for a perceived insult, a threat to your beliefs, to your concept of your self, which predictably tend to elicit negative responses in one form or another, producing more conflict. And you indicate that’s what you need, having ‘turned the other cheek’ from an early age.
My “drift” in this case is to pass on the suggestion that there is another way to cope with others’ criticism, with disagreement, with conflict, ie with perceived threat, that might be worth experimenting with now and then, that of letting go, non-resistance.
Btw, from your 11.34am post, what do you mean by “All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others”?
“All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others.” (from George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’)
“My effort is to create rebels, and the beginning of the rebel is to trust in oneself. If I can help you to trust in yourself, I have helped you. Nothing else is needed, everything else follows of its own accord.”
(Osho, ‘The Book of Wisdom’, Chapter 3, ‘Sitnalta and the Seventeen Chakras’
13 February 1979, in Buddha Hall
I am an Osho sannyasin. I am not and never will be a Lokeshist.
SD’s take on ‘turning the other cheek’ is a fairly accurate one, which hits pretty close to the mark.
‘Turning the other cheek’ lies at the heart of Gurdjieff’s teaching and although profound is not so difficult to understand. It is a beautiful concept.
Unfortunately, I believe SD is wasting his time by trying to suggest that there is an alternative way of being to Arpana, who is very set in his ways. You can’t convince someone they are stuck if they totally refuse to admit the slightest possibility of that being the case.
If you listen to Arpana’s podcast you will hear how he thinks it is a big deal to be able to tell people to fuck off and feel all right about doing so. So much so that he says this twice. This is elementary encounter group behaviour and the sort of thing I indulged in after doing my first Aum Marathon with Veeresh circa 1978. Coming from a man who must be near around 70 it comes across as immature. If you think it is cool being able to tell people to fuck off, head for the east end of Glasgow. You’ll feel right at home.
But consciously reactive.
I like the Ekki quote…
Letting things sink in…let it sink, let it sink…see the reaction…see the change…happening live.
That’s the challenge one has to cope with as things in the world are happening non-stop.
Like Frankie exaggerates, knee thou him back in the balls in great haste….”
But I can feel with Arpana’s stance…in a way where the reaction is coming from. Probably we all can.
Arpana, hold your head high, all our knowledge and experience complement each other for the big picture.
“Laugh at life like a sideshow
fly wherever the winds blow
Do what you need to make you feel better
all that we need is wine and good company”
(Edgar Alan Poe, ‘Tales of Mystery’)
May you live long and prosper. ヾ( ￣◇￣)ノ
I don’t understand why you’re making such a fuss.
Lokesh and Frank routinely take a pop at everybody but each other.
I don’t understand why that is a sign of how enlightened they are, but taking a pop at them is a sign of the opposite.
Keep it simple. I’m not a great intellect or metaphysical type.
Thanks back in all respects.
I do not take the comments of Frank and Lokesh as ‘sneering, jeering, deriding’ etc.
I take it as an output of creative (Self or non-self) expression directed at this world at large – for repercussion or none – based on some previous content picked up while wandering.
Waves to ride on – take us away – toss us over and make us gargle (gurgle?).
Comedy. While the intergalactic highway is still being built. And no office there to send our complaints to.
SD, I do hope you are not suggesting we start calling PC Arpana Rabbi Arpana.
Rabbi Arpana simply does not suit the vindictive PC because he loves pork chops. When the shoe fits etc.
To be fair, Arpana has gone one step beyond turning the other cheek.
He seems to lower his pants and those quivering white gluteals virtually scream, “Whack me!”
It is very hard for someone as enlightened as myself to resist!
I thought you might all enjoy this poem by the American spiritual teacher Adyashanti. He started out as a Zen student for thirteen years before he was invited to teach, but is now non-denominational.
“If you prefer smoke over fire
then get up now and leave.
For I do not intend to perfume
your mind’s clothing
with more sooty knowledge.
No, I have something else in mind.
Today I hold a flame in my left hand
and a sword in my right.
There will be no damage control today.
For God is in a mood
to plunder your riches and
fling you nakedly
into such breathtaking poverty
that all that will be left of you
will be a tendency to shine.
So don’t just sit around this flame
choking on your mind.
For this is no campfire song
to mindlessly mantra yourself to sleep with.
Jump now into the space
and exit this dream
before I burn the damn place down.”
Reminds me of the Wrathful God Yamantaka in the Tibetan tradition.
Part of Osho Sannyas is about very honestly exploring that which is in us, doing what we do as consciously as possible. Speaking as consciously as possible. Accepting ourselves as we are, warts and all. Living with the consequences.
Certainly that’s true, and in a way SN seems to revolve around a series of small encounter groups. Which is beautiful, seen from the wrathful deity’s perspective. But I accepted a long while ago that it is nearly impossible to convince anybody of anything at all, and so I don’t hold out much hope for lasting change on anyone’s behalf.
Even when the mind says “I have seen the light!” rarely is there deep change in the areas that matter.
Nityaprem, what you fail to see is that PC Arpana constantly imagines himself surrounded by wrathful deities. He tries to handcuff them and hit them with his truncheon, failing to realise they represent the harmful karma he created in his life.
Once you agree to play a game of chess, everything unfolds from that agreement, that commitment; and I’m not saying I’m committed to involvement with Sannyas News but currently I’ve got a lot of energy for the game that unfolds here, and I’m playing the game as it is, I’m playing in a way that seems appropriate to me at any given time. I live and function according to my sense of myself relative to others and my basic ethical position.
I’ve been in situations that didn’t involve sannyasins before I even knew about Osho and eventually those situations always broke down because everybody was in denial about their contribution to the friction, and usually, someone or other was scapegoated at which point collapse was inevitable
The beauty of Sannyas News is we do keep consistently breaking through to places of relative peace, that harmonious interactions go on parallel to friction, and if even a thousandth of the friction that occurs at Sannyas news happened in a similar-sized group in a way that was nothing to do with Sannyas, the situation would have ended years ago.
Whatever else Sannyas News is, it’s not moribund, it’s not dead, it’s not stagnant. There’s a lot of wisdom in these pages, alongside Frank’s adolescent name-calling and sucking up to the class bully.
We all do not know each other personally, here, yet we keep firing on and on and on…
…on something common.
Few exclusions to the Yesss do apply….
Yes, we have a lot in common.
We are all Christians really, and we follow the 10 Commandments.
Not you, Frank, you’re a Lokeshist.
What I do remember from the scraps of maths I learned in another era is that that could be the ‘smallest common (ha!) divider’.
Commandments are needed because people don’t follow their inner Voice.
They prefer following their conditioned mind.
Commandments are needed because people are sinners.
I follow the 10 commandments because they are the word of God. I I did not, I might be a real bastard.
Btw, I have gained a lot from being on SN. Especially recently with the realisation that I`m really a Christian.
As a result I have started beating and raping my wife and feel differently about my slaves. I have never felt more holy.
@ Frank the Lokeshist.
You misrepresented someone’s argument to make it easier to attack.
By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone’s argument, it’s much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.
Example: After Will said that we should put more money into health and education, Warren responded by saying that he was surprised that Will hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenceless by cutting military spending.
Arps, surely you realise that satire works by bypassing rational arguments through the exaggeration of faults, errors, via various degrees of absurdity, to illustrate foolishness, stupidity (and worse), thus inviting ridicule on their perpetrators?
Pardon me, Arps, I had no idea that you felt so strongly that rape is ultimate longing of all women.
Thanks for sharing that with me.
The problem with ‘satire’ is one does not know.
Is the statement honest?
Is it true or is it a lie?
It’s a top dog-game, the satire-game.
And the dog needs always food to play the game.
Yes. Further to that, the satire game is entirely fuelled by semiconscious, unconscious one-upmanship, confirmation bias and ‘straw-manning’.
Yes, Arps, satire, like any other medium, can be abused, but surely it’s a question of exercising discrimination in individual cases rather than issuing a blanket denial of its validity.
In fact, satire plays an important role in cutting self-important people down to size, keeping authority and miscellaneous foolishness in check, at least to some extent, in democratic societies. And my God, how it’s needed in this madhouse/shithouse of a world.
Only the similarly self-important (and/or humour-deficient) are chronically suspicious of its power and fear its effect on their reputation or on people, policies or institutions they identify with, ‘believe in’.
“In fact, satire plays an important role in cutting self-important people down to size, keeping authority and miscellaneous foolishness in check, at least to some extent, in democratic societies.”
Yes, I agree, bit of a one-way street at Sannyas News though.
The seagulls follow the trawler because they think sardines are going to be thrown into the sea.
That’s SO true, Eric.
You’re not “the trawler” though, Frank. You only think you are. It’s all in your mind.
Don’t flip out. Just a quip. Really not that serious.
I guess you sense it as one-way street because the motivation is different.
You want to find out on SN something for yourself.
Somebody else only wants fun.
I think that’s a far too simplistic comparison, Satchit.
Firstly, enigmatic/vague impressionistic statements like the `seagulls` bring out the innate philosopher/symbolic thinker/the mind looking to impose meaning on the chaos. For example, you have philosophised and are convinced that I see myself as the trawler, whatever that means in your mind. Yet, I could just as easily be the seagull or the sardines or nothing to do with any of it, as, after all, the seagulls quote is something of a classic English pop-culture sentence generally taken to be an example of something that could make sense or sound deep but could just as easily be a meaningless smokescreen.
Secondly, it is really quite difficult to satirise the new age/spiritual scene because it is so ludicrous to start with, thus many these days bemoan that it is beyond satire.
For example, you could have a guy who speaks solely in spiritual cliches which he thinks are very deep and make him sound enlightened, and who gets upset when people laugh at his shallow pretension. Or you could have an over-sensitive guy who only ever expresses what happens to him through the medium of endless psychobabble, psychological theories he has found online, and quasi-therapy speak.
But the problem is that because we all know people who behave exactly like that in reality, so where`s the satire? It`s just describing and laughing at it.
That is a fair observation, Satchit. At the back of my mind I hover at the edge of knowing that.
Why is it simplistic?
It’s exactly happening here in real life.
Somebody who wants to find out something about himself has to use psychological words.
The other who sits in his satirical tower calls it psychobabble, laughs at it and has fun.
It’s simplistic to say that that’s all these two sets of people are interested in.
One writes to express his views and to criticise others and their views, not just “to find out something about himself”, while the other contributes a lot more than what you claim.
Perhaps ‘pigeon-holing’, putting people into convenient ‘boxes’ satisfies something in you, Satchit, decomplicating things, as it seems to do for almost everyone (including doing similarly for themselves!).
Certainly it’s not a “box” thing. It’s enough
if they are tendencies.
90 % of this,
10 % of that.
If one person calls what is important for the other “psychobabble”, then it’s difficult to meet.
What are we supposed to realise on and through SN?
All the kindly and (sometimes straightforward) banter does show that basically there is an underlying sympathy between people with similar life experience and choices.
Well, that’s my sense, at least.
We are also individuals each one on their own trajectory.
Chief Joseph comes to mind:
“The Great Spirit created all persons equal.
Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to work, free to choose my own teachers…and I will obey the law, or submit to the penalty.”
Is it not a representation of the Sangha? It seems to me that it’s one of only a few places where sannyasins talk to each other on the internet. There are lots of sannyasins who want to push their own projects, but it seems not so many who wish to engage in dialogue.
I don’t think we need to realise anything. But a sense of community in following Osho is worthwhile, to remind ourselves of the buddhafield.
I sign that: Osho is the base of sharing, understanding and (un)learning that keeps me (us) coming back here – the sense of community with the up-and-down-and-to-the-side swings of a buddhafield.
In spite of and probably also because of all the disparities in words, expressions and inclinations.
‘I’m searching for the spirit of the Great Heart’
(under African skies – Johnny Clegg and Savuka, the African band).
And then we have to run off again to see the doctor or some office or do errands…
Who knows what’s around the corner for our online community of fate?
Swami Bhorat as a clairvoyant should have a long look into his crystal ball. He surely will come up with an eternal vision of….
Klaus says, “Who knows what’s around the corner for our online community of fate?”
Ehm….err…I do. Here is a clue: ‘Glimpses’.
Just the other night I was reading the famous haiku of Basho, the Zen mystic and master. It does not look like great poetry to the Western mind or to the mind which has been educated in a Western way. And now the whole world is being educated in the Western way; East and West have disappeared as far as education is concerned. Listen to it very silently, because it is not what you call great poetry but it is great insight — which is far more important. It has tremendous poetry, but to feel that poetry you have to be very subtle. Intellectually, it cannot be understood; it can be understood only intuitively.
This is the haiku:
WHEN I LOOK CAREFULLY,
I SEE THE NAZUNIA BLOOMING
BY THE HEDGE!
Now, there seems to be nothing of great poetry in it. But let us go into it with more sympathy, because Basho is being translated into English; in his own language it has a totally different texture and flavour.
The nazunia is a very common flower — grows by itself by the side of the road, a grass flower. It is so common that nobody ever looks at it. It is not a precious rose, it is not a rare lotus. It is easy to see the beauty of a rare lotus floating on a lake, a blue lotus — how can you avoid seeing it? For a moment you are bound to be caught by its beauty. Or a beautiful rose dancing in the wind, in the sun… for a split second it possesses you. It is stunning. But a nazunia is a very ordinary, common flower; it needs no gardening, no gardener, it grows by itself anywhere. To see a nazunia carefully a meditator is needed, a very delicate consciousness is needed; otherwise you will bypass it. It has no apparent beauty, its beauty is deep. Its beauty is that of the very ordinary, but the very ordinary contains the extraordinary in it, because all is full of God — even the nazunia flower. Unless you penetrate it with a sympathetic heart you will miss it.
When for the first time you read Basho you start thinking, “What is there so tremendously important to say about a nazunia blooming by the hedge?”
In Basho’s poem the last syllable — KANA in Japanese — is translated by an exclamation point because we don’t have any other way to translate it. But kana means, “I am amazed!” Now, from where is the beauty coming? Is it coming from the nazunia? Because thousands of people may have passed by the side of the hedge and nobody may have even looked at this small flower. And Basho is possessed by its beauty, is transported into another world. What has happened? It is not really the nazunia, otherwise it would have caught everybody’s eye. It is Basho’s insight, his open heart, his sympathetic vision, his meditativeness. Meditation is alchemy: it can transform the base metal into gold, it can transform a nazunia flower into a lotus.
WHEN I LOOK CAREFULLY…And the word ‘carefully’ means attentively, with awareness, mindfully, meditatively, with love, with caring. One can just look without caring at all, then one will miss the whole point. That word ‘carefully’ has to be remembered in all its meanings, but the root meaning is meditatively. And what does it mean when you see something meditatively? It means without mind, looking without the mind, no clouds of thought in the sky of your consciousness, no memories passing by, no desires…nothing at all, utter emptiness.
When in such a state of no-mind you look, even a nazunia flower is transported into another world. It becomes a lotus of the paradise, it is no longer part of the earth; the extraordinary has been found in the ordinary. And this is the way of Buddha: to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, to find all in the now, to find the whole in this — Buddha calls it TATHATA.
Basho’s haiku is a haiku of tathata: THIS nazunia, looked at lovingly, caringly through the heart, unclouded consciousness, in a state of no-mind…and one is amazed, one is in awe. A great wonder arises, How is it possible? This nazunia — and if a nazunia is possible then everything is possible. If a nazunia can be so beautiful, Basho can be a Buddha. If a nazunia can contain such poetry, then each stone can become a sermon.
WHEN I LOOK CAREFULLY, I SEE THE NAZUNIA BLOOMING BY THE HEDGE! KANA….I am amazed. I am dumb. I cannot say anything about its beauty — I can only hint at it.
A haiku simply hints. The poetry describes, the haiku only indicates — and in a very indirect way.
A similar situation is found in Tennyson’s famous poetry; comparing both will be of great help to you. Basho represents the intuitive, Tennyson the intellectual. Basho represents the East, Tennyson the West. Basho represents meditation, Tennyson mind. They look similar, and sometimes the poetry of Tennyson may look more poetic than Basho’s because it is direct, it is obvious.
FLOWER IN THE CRANNIED WALL
I PLUCK YOU OUT OF THE CRANNIES
HOLD YOU HERE, ROOT AND ALL, IN MY HAND,
LITTLE FLOWER — IF I COULD BUT UNDERSTAND
WHAT YOU ARE, ROOT AND ALL, AND ALL IN ALL,
I SHOULD KNOW WHAT GOD AND MAN IS.
A beautiful piece, but nothing compared to Basho. Let us see where Tennyson becomes totally different. First: FLOWER IN THE CRANNIED WALL I PLUCK YOU OUT OF THE CRANNIES…
Basho simply looks at the flower, he does not pluck it out. Basho is a passive awareness: Tennyson is active, violent. In fact, if you have really been impressed by the flower, you cannot pluck it. If the flower has reached your heart, how can you pluck it? Plucking it means destroying it, killing it — it is murder! Nobody has thought about Tennyson’s poetry as murder — but it IS murder. How can you destroy something so beautiful? But that’s how our mind functions; it is destructive. It wants to possess, and possession is possible only through destruction.
Remember, whenever you possess something or somebody, you destroy something or somebody. You possess the woman? You destroy her, her beauty, her soul. You possess the man? He is no longer a human being; you have reduced him to an object, into a commodity.
Basho looks carefully, just looks, not even gazes concentratedly; just a look, soft, feminine, as if afraid to hurt the nazunia.
Tennyson plucks it out of the crannies and says: I HOLD YOU HERE, ROOT AND ALL, IN MY HAND, LITTLE FLOWER…He remains separate. The observer and the observed are nowhere melting, merging, meeting. It is not a love affair. Tennyson attacks the flower, plucks it out root and all, holds it in his hand. Mind always feels good whenever it can possess, control, hold. A meditative state of consciousness is not interested in possessing, in holding, because all those are the ways of the violent mind.
And he says: LITTLE FLOWER…The flower remains little, he remains on a high pedestal. He is a man, a great intellectual, a great poet. He remains in his ego: LITTLE FLOWER…
For Basho, there is no question of comparison. He says nothing about himself, as if he is not. There is no observer. The beauty is such that it brings a transcendence. The nazunia flower is there, blooming by the hedge — KANA — and Basho is simply amazed, is struck to the very roots of his being. The beauty is overpowering. Rather than possessing the flower, he is possessed by the flower, he is in a total surrender to the beauty of the flower, to the beauty of the moment, to the benediction of the here now.
LITTLE FLOWER, says Tennyson, IF I COULD BUT UNDERSTAND…That obsession to understand! Appreciation is not enough, love is not enough; understanding has to be there, knowledge has to be produced. Unless knowledge is arrived at, Tennyson cannot be at ease. The flower has become a question mark. For Tennyson it is a question mark, for Basho it is an exclamation point. And there is the great difference: the question mark and the exclamation point.
Love is enough for Basho — love IS understanding. What more understanding can there be? But Tennyson seems to know nothing of love. His mind is there, hankering to know…BUT IF I COULD UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE, ROOT AND ALL, AND ALL IN ALL…And mind is compulsively perfectionist. Nothing can be left unknown, nothing can be allowed to remain unknown and mysterious. ROOT AND ALL, AND ALL IN ALL…has to be understood. Unless mind knows everything it remains afraid — because knowledge gives power. If there is something mysterious, you are bound to remain afraid because the mysterious cannot be controlled. And who knows what is hidden in the mysterious? Maybe the enemy, maybe a danger, some insecurity? And who knows what it is going to do to you? Before it can do anything it has to be understood, it has to be known. Nothing can be left as mysterious. That is one of the problems the world is facing today.
The scientific insistence is that we will not leave anything unknown, and we cannot accept that anything can ever be unknowable. Science divides existence into the known and the unknown. The known is that which was unknown one day, now it is known; and the unknown is that which is unknown today but tomorrow or the day after tomorrow it will be known. The difference is not much between the known and the unknown; just a little more endeavour, a little more research, and all unknown will be reduced to known.
Science can feel at ease only when everything is reduced to the known. But then all poetry disappears, all love disappears, all mystery disappears, all wonder disappears. The soul disappears, the God disappears, the song disappears, the celebration disappears. All is known…then nothing is valuable. All is known…then nothing is of any worth. All is known…then there is no meaning in life, no significance in life. See the paradox: first the mind says “Know everything!” — and when you have known it the mind says, “There is no meaning in life.”
You have destroyed the meaning and now you are hankering for meaning. Science is very destructive of meaning. And because it insists everything CAN be known, it cannot allow the third category, the unknowable — which will remain unknowable eternally. And in the unknowable is the significance of life.
All the great values of beauty, of love, of God, of prayer, all that is really significant, all that makes life worth living, is part of the third category: the unknowable. The unknowable is another name for God, another name for the mysterious and the miraculous. Without it there can be no wonder in your heart — and without wonder, a heart is not a heart at all, and without awe you lose something tremendously precious. Then your eyes are full of dust, they lose clarity. Then the bird goes on singing, but you are unaffected, unstirred, your heart is not moved — because you know the explanation.
The trees are green, but the greenness does not transform you into a dancer, into a singer. It does not trigger a poetry in your being, because you know the explanation: it is chlorophyll that is making the trees green…so nothing of poetry is left. When the explanation is there the poetry disappears. And all explanations are utilitarian, they are not ultimate.
If you don’t trust the unknowable, then how can you say that the rose is beautiful? Where is the beauty? It is not a chemical component of the rose. The rose can be analyzed and you will not find any beauty in it. If you don’t believe in the unknowable, you can do an autopsy on a man, a post-mortem — you will not find any soul. And you can go on searching for God and you will not find him anywhere, because he is everywhere. The mind is going to miss him, because the mind would like him to be an object and God is not an object.
God is a vibe. If you are attuned to the soundless sound of existence, if you are attuned to one hand clapping, if you are attuned to what the Indian mystics have called ANAHAT — the ultimate music of existence — if you are attuned to the mysterious, you will know that only God is, and nothing else. Then God becomes synonymous with existence.
But these things cannot be understood, these things cannot be reduced to knowledge — and that’s where Tennyson misses, misses the whole point. He says: LITTLE FLOWER — IF I COULD BUT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE, ROOT AND ALL, AND ALL IN ALL, I SHOULD KNOW WHAT GOD AND MAN IS. But it is all ‘but’ and ‘if’.
Basho KNOWS what God is and what man is in that exclamation mark, KANA: “I am amazed, I am surprised…NAZUNIA BLOOMING BY THE HEDGE!” Maybe it is a full-moon night, or maybe it is early morning — I can actually see Basho standing by the side of the road, not moving, as if his breath has stopped. A nazunia…and so beautiful. All past is gone, all future has disappeared. There are no more questions in his mind but just sheer amazement.
Basho has become a child: again those innocent eyes of a child looking at a nazunia, carefully, lovingly. And in that love, in that care, is a totally different kind of understanding — not intellectual, not analytical.
Tennyson intellectualizes the whole phenomenon, and destroys its beauty. Tennyson represents the West, Basho represents the East. Tennyson represents the male mind, Basho represents the feminine mind. Tennyson represents the mind, Basho represents the no-mind.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3
Chapter 3: Be a Buddha!
‘In Praise Of Ego’ by Michael Shepherd
In carefree, laughing, joyful mood –
let’s praise the ego, to its face!
Our most faithful mate throughout our life;
with us longer than our parents or our children are;
at our heels at all times, proud of head and tail,
saying to the world that “I belong to him!”;
faithful as a dog; and cunning as a cat;
between them, running our un-mastered lives;
(and like the cosy purring cat you stroke upon your lap,
ego’s the secret dark night-hunter, out to kill all life..).
ego, more awake than we ourselves,
never missing a living moment;
every heart-beat an opportunity;
sharper entrepreneur than any city slicker:
“what’s in it for me?”; there is no trick,
no turn, no market swing, that ego can’t exploit and profit from;
so let’s praise ego to its face; see the Creator’s own full force,
brilliant and magnificent, manifested, used, in ego’s skills…
but know, and know we know, its lifetime’s bitter secret:
for all its skills, its energies are stolen fuel…:
moment by moment sapping secretly,
the consciousness, the wisdom, happiness,
that seem just out of our elusive reach..
So – as we watch a child, so innocent,
playing its merry games of fantasy,
running round itself in playground and in park,
we laughing in parental love, sing out those magic words:
“I’m watching you…!”
Now, that is really lovely. And enjoyable slow reading. Ahhhh!
Next to ‘Osho’, ‘sannyas’ and ‘enlightenment’, ‘ego’ is the most used word with meaning on SN. There is something about that word that makes me avoid using it. It could be an ego trip. Then again, it might not be.
Congratulations on restraining yourself for so long, and being so restrained when you finally gave in and commented. I’ve been waiting!!
Yes. Your remark is from ego, just as mine is.
Thought for the day:
Think of us all as children. If you allow us to talk as we do, maybe we will get something out of our system.
I do not agree that ‘ego’ is the most used word on Sannyas News. Absolute rubbish. You’ve got a huge hang-up about ego, which you are in denial about. That’s the problem. Part of your delusion you are above the human condition.
I have no fear to use the word ‘ego’, Lokesh.
Ego is created if I say something to you that does not fit your self-image, as you did yesterday to me.
It’s not so difficult to do it. Do you want to feel your ego? I can show you…
It is a word, where we can hang ourselves up. More or less.
Extract from Swami Bhorat`s latest book:
‘Egos are as Stupid as the People who have them’
“Certainly, the ego, like the mind, as understood by the sages, rishis and yogis of mighty Bhorat since the time of the Upanishads, is like a woman!
It needs to be kept in its place by the master and only used when absolutely necessary!
It must not speak out of turn and, rightly speaking, should not have an existence of its own at all!
Remember also that, as all enlightened ones up until the present day have known that just as the ultimate longing in a woman is to be raped, the ultimate longing of the ego is to be crushed out of existence and beaten to ego-death by an egoless master! Preferably in a slow, torturous and complicated way that takes years and preferably the rest of the disciple`s life or even longer!
Adyashanti is perfectly correct to threaten to burn your house down if you do not listen to him! To pass off his threats as “poetry” is certainly a device worthy of a spiritual master who realises that spiritual terrorism as well as rape and egocide are absolutely necessary on the spiritual path!
Thankfully there are fearless warriors of truth incarnated at the present time, such as Satchit, who have “no fear to use the word ‘ego’”. Such levels of lion-hearted spiritual bravery and heroism can only be wondered at! The fact that such an advanced being exists who can also “show you your ego” by writing the same kind of spiritual clichés online unwaveringly for years certainly shows how deeply the wisdom of Swami Bhorat has spread through the world and will soon usher in a 1000 year Yuga of super-consciousness!
Fundamental attribution error.
Swami Bhorat has plainly got an even bigger head than you have, Frank.
Rolling on the floor laughing my arse off.
Certainly, it is typical of the western baboon mind to be worried about sizes of heads!
Swami Bhorat, being of utterly non-judgmental nature and totally beyond it all, does not bother about size of the head! Only thing that is important in Master/disciple relationship is that disciple should give everything he/she has to master, including head!
He then leaves it to youtube philosophers, intellectuals and Instagram cod psychologists to decide whether as a result, disciple`s mouth is half-full or half-empty!
The Sunk Cost fallacy
You irrationally cling to things that have already cost you something.
When we’ve invested our time, money or emotion into something, it hurts us to let it go. This aversion to pain can distort our better judgment and cause us to make unwise investments. A sunk cost means that we can’t recover it, so it’s rational to disregard the cost when evaluating. For instance, if you’ve spent money on a meal but you only feel like eating half of it, it’s irrational to continue to stuff your face just because ‘you’ve already paid for it’; especially considering the fact that you’re wasting actual time doing so.
To regain objectivity, ask yourself: had I not already invested something, would I still do so now? What would I counsel a friend to do if they were in the same situation?
Credit to you. Sometimes you can turn a phrase in such a way it is impossible not to laugh.
I can easily believe when you were a school kid you drove teachers up the wall, and they laughed despite themselves. Bet you got away with murder.
Aye, it only requires a tiny spark to start a mighty blaze that will spread through the world and will soon usher in a 1000 year Yuga of super-consciousness! It won’t be a moment too late.
Straightforward round-up of the matter.
All thumbs up for the Swami and much success for the book! I pre-order!
The class clown talks of spiritual cliches and has no idea what he is talking about.
Better let the donkey talk of the moon!
Perfectly correct, Satchit,
Not only have you shown yourself to be a fearless, audacious and unflinching hero of consciousness by sharing with us that you are utterly unafraid to use the word ‘ego’!
But now, your latest uttering:
“The class clown talks of spiritual cliches and has no idea what he is talking about. Better let the donkey talk of the moon!” shows great humility and indicates a highly advanced level of self-awareness!
‘…for the rest of the disciple’s life…’
‘OR EVEN LONGER’
Give me the cure…
for my non-stop laughter attacks!!!
I don’t often agree with you, Lokesh, but this is spot on.
”…usher in a 1000 year Yuga of super-consciousness! It won’t be a moment too late.”
Really are some dark types around trying to drag everybody down to their level.
….and where next they beat you with their longstanding experience. Haha.
Actually, to come back to the topic of the thread, there is, imo, a quite interesting forum on ‘The Fruit of the Contemplative Life’ run by Jeffrey S. Brooks, who practised meditation in the tradition taught at the IMS, Barre, Massachusetts. He did many self-retreats in the mountains in Arizona, US of A. Then set out on his own and created the forum here:
One can ask a question regarding one’s meditation practice.
He teaches a lot on the regular practise of “jhana”, meaning meditation in the various states of absorption as a pre-requisite for insights into the nature of things.
I find it very detailed and useful for the distinction in one’s perception / observation of physical and mental phenomena and therefore gladly recommend it for people interested in the buddhist path:
Jeffrey is quite frank in his stance. He has a very interesting life history – as a kind of rebel with regard to the set meditation scene in the West.
He also criticises the Eastern Sangha for hiding behind “rites, rules & rituals” and dress codes. Instead of really moving forward. There may be something for sannyasins to learn. Inshallah. Small joke by the side.
Besides, he offers quite an archive of documents for research.
Besides, it offers quite an archive of documents for research.
‘Insha’Allah’ by Danusha Laméris (2014)
I don’t know when it slipped into my speech
that soft word meaning, “if God wills it.”
Insha’Allah I will see you next summer.
The baby will come in spring, insha’Allah.
Insha’Allah this year we will have enough rain.
So many plans I’ve laid have unravelled
easily as braids beneath my mother’s quick fingers.
Every language must have a word for this. A word our grandmothers uttered under their breath
as they pinned the whites, soaked in lemon,
hung them to dry in the sun, or peeled potatoes,
dropping the discarded skins into a bowl.
Our sons will return next month, insha’Allah.
Insha’Allah this war will end, soon. Insha’Allah
the rice will be enough to last through winter.
How lightly we learn to hold hope,
as if it were an animal that could turn around
and bite your hand. And still we carry it
the way a mother would, carefully,
from one day to the next.
“I wonder, if this could be love!?”
Beautiful interview. Including the interviewer, good guy!
Thanks for this, Klaus, it was a most enjoyable 10 minutes.
Very welcome. I have watched this vid so many times…found out that the full interview can be downloaded here:
under ‘audiobooks – series’
The Last Testament Vol 1 – item 18
The interview really gives and take between the interviewer and the interviewee. Lots of laughter. Plus silence plus outrageous claims.
I had a look at the forum, it seemed like a nice place to hang out for a while if you have diverse interests. But from having been around fora for a while, you need a decent-sized crowd of regular contributors to make it interesting.
I understand that it’s not a very lively forum.
There one can see how few people are interested in looking at the details: like in the
4 – Fourth jhana – freedom from joy and suffering (asukha and adukkha):
Asukha ca Adukkha no pleasure & no pain
There are other factors needed to develop for enlightenment besides pure bliss.
The accounts of the persons in the older comments resemble each other, as many people experience the same day-to-day obstacles.
Yes, those things are familiar from Buddhism, and also from practical experience. But Osho’s direction is different, more laughter, more jokes. I find it is best just to let the process unfold, to let come what comes without forcing things.
Perfect for me. That’s why I came to Osho, too.
You could say that meditation eight hours a day, facing a wall in strict Zazen, is forcing things. There are other aspects of Buddhism as well which I feel are like that.
It depends on how you apply it. Something like Ajahn Chah’s sayings on letting go is always useful.
I have wondered if in part Osho devised Dynamic and Mandala meditation for those of us who believed ‘spiritual’ meant making our lives a misery because we came from a view of life that said if you want anything worth having you’ve got to work for it, give it every ounce of effort and commitment you’ve got and that taking it easy is a cop-out.
Given we came from a Christian upbringing to a greater or lesser degree, certainly baby-boomer sannyasins, that doesn’t seem an unreasonable surmise, so we couldn’t believe an easy laid-back meditation practice, effortless meditation practice could have any positive or worthwhile impact on our lives.
I’d say it was far more due to his seeing that many first needed an internal cathartic clean-out before anything like real meditation could happen. Which was 100% the case for me and others I knew. Which was a piece of genius on his part.
Whether that remains equally true for current generations I’m not too sure.
That, plus, given the youth of the vast majority of his early ‘followers’, he saw they’d benefit from using their physical energy, eg the on-the-spot running in the Mandala med. also serving to both awaken and ground the vital energy, and neutralise any ‘flight or fight’ tendency.
Maybe so, although I always thought the idea of the Dynamic as a cathartic experience made a lot of sense too. Still it seems healthier to trigger a physical catharsis, than to do it all in the mind like they do in Buddhism.
But that Protestant work ethic conditioning is pernicious, it keeps you stuck in a trading mindset which is ultimately dry and not blissful.
To me, it was not so much the work ethic – in the end my work ethic was like “work smart – not hard”.
But rather the competitiveness, the drive for ever more efficiency, the pressure to be “a winner” that I carried over into the meditation practice, too.
Only after dropping out of the business life that in the last 2 years I could be without “a drive to…”. Just being, enjoying.
Interestingly, in the intensive meditation phase 1980-1981 the sharpest points (as I might call it today) happened in the walking meditation: absorption, concentration, free flow of energy was more unhindered compared to the sitting…but that was probably really my very personal situation.
Timetable was getting up 4:30 and alternating 1 hour sitting and walking – besides the lunch and tea breaks. Bedtime 10pm. At peaks I did / could not sleep at all…Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
“Enjoy” is certainly not the right word when it comes to illness, old age and the fading away prospect…
“Accept” is more fitting.
And these conditions make me more mellow, too. The limitations life puts on one becoming clear and definitive, nothing to be overcome.
Slowly, slowly some wisdom also coming into ‘the equation’.
Klaus, your ref to old age, sickness etc. reminded me here of a friend I had a few decades back, who was a busker. He dressed fully like a sadhu, ash face etc. and played an electrified ektara and sang very loud through an amp with pedals, lots of reverb and distortion. His piece de resistance song was called ‘Old Age, Sickness and Death’. It sounded like a cross between Hawkwind, a terminal Baul and a demented funeral pyre attendant – a terrifying anthem to… old age, sickness and death. It was pretty powerful stuff.
I think the audience ‘accepted’ rather than ‘enjoyed’. It certainly made a change from ‘Heart of Gold’ and made ‘Knocking on Heaven`s Door’ sound like bubblegum pop.
”For example, you could have a guy who speaks solely in spiritual cliches which he thinks are very deep, and make him sound enlightened and who gets upset when people laugh at his shallow pretension.”
Or a guy like you who goes completely to the other extreme and thinks you are very deep, and that your sneering and jeering demonstrates how evolved and enlightened you are.
I had a really interesting exchange with you some years back where we discussed the difference between judging and exercising a bit of discernment, which I was fairly clear about already, but which I became even more clear about because of that discussion with you.
@ Satchit. 23 March 2022 at 12:26 pm
The next time you want to make a remark like this post as Lokesh. Will be treated as enlightened and completely above criticism.
That’s the way, Arps, stick to your embedded position like a veritable limpet! Do you ever suspect that you actually might need an ‘enemy’ to enhance your ‘egoic self’?
Bugger!!! I just can’t hide from your scientific, scalpel-like intellect, and then again, maybe you’re in denial.
(Just before I discovered your reaction to my snide post I said to myself, “I’ve misjudged him. He has actually posted the post, and I assumed he would not).
I suspect that PC Arpana senses somewhere in the recesses of his wounded psyche that he actually might need an ‘enemy’ to enhance his ‘egoic self’. Of course, he bulldozes this aside and covers it up with a thick layer of reinforced concrete. Not difficult to understand because he is only secure in an imagined defender of the faith self, wherein he constantly feels surrounded by enemies, who do not know what they are talking about. And thus he digs in on the frontline of a battlefield where he is the sole combatant.
Any regular here on SN must surely have noted that the PC only comes alive on SN when he is on the attack. It is an absurd sight to see the battling PC swinging his truncheon at enemies that only exist in his mind. I find it tragic rather than amusing. I think he must at times feel lonely on that deserted battlefield, endlessly trying to draw others into a combat zone that looks particularly bleak.
That is the thing about Osho’s people. The gateless gate was always open and any fool could enter the world of Sannyas. I appreciate that about Osho. He saw that everyone had potential. Whether the individual developed that potential or not was left to the individual. Some succeeded in developing their potential, others remained stuck.
You really don’t understand how revealing of you a post as long as that is, do you?
If you want to insult me and give nothing away about yourself, brevity is key, Otherwise, we might notice you’re projecting. Again.!!
Oooooops!!! Of course you’re not projecting. You are above the human condition!!!!
PC Arpana says to me, “You are above the human condition!!!!!” with the addition of too many exclamation marks in the hope of emphasising his point, which some might take as an indication that the PC feels his words don’t carry enough clout.
The human condition? The human condition encompasses the totality of the experience of being human and living a human life. I really do not see how anyone, including myself, could possibly be above that.
As for brevity, I’ll leave that to Satchit. It’s the only thing he’s mastered and so I’d like to give him credit for that or otherwise he might end up feeling nobody appreciates him.
“As for brevity, I’ll leave that to Satchit.”
I can understand, Lokesh, that you don’t like my one-liners.
There is not much food for your ego in these small one-liners. They make you starving.
But don’t worry, there are others like Arpana, Frank and more that give you attention and help your ego to survive in this miserable situation.
Most decisions, most of the time, are about choosing the least bad of available options. ☯ ✌
If you’ve got a minute, would be so interesting to know what the “friends” who did dynamic and kundalini for you back in the 70s have got to say about their experiences.
I’m considering deleting some of these posts (from various sources), unaligned with the topic.
In answer to your recent query, “If you’ve got a minute, would be so interesting to know what the “friends” who did dynamic and kundalini for you back in the 70s have got to say about their experiences.”
Yes, PC Arpana, I contacted all of those friends immediately on Skype and they all said the same thing, “It changed my life.”
Ma Prem Polly, who had a disappointing one-night stand with you in Poona One, was asking for you and hopes you have gotten over your TM trauma.
“It changed my life”. That`s another cliché.
“It saved my life” is an even bigger one.
It`s as if the spiritual path would be strewn with corpses, like a WW3 battlefield had it not been for the mushrooming of dubious modalities like Mongolian Plunging, Forest Bathing, DNA re-alignment, Vortex healing, Shameless Shamanism and a recent one that I came to know about, my personal favourite: ‘Brainspotting’.
Brainspotting is surely hitting the heights of unparodyableness and beyond satire quality of new age mumbo jumbo. And considering the mental state of the average newager, I guess extremely difficult to do!
But Frank, in your own experience, would you not say that renouncing drink (and drugs?) ‘changed your life’, perhaps even ‘saved your life’?
I’d also use these phrases without reservation to refer to several key instances in my life, eg finding humanistic psychology (‘changed’) and dynamic meditation (‘saved’).
Yes, for me, giving up drink and drugs was definitely `life-changing` and most likely, literally `life-saving`. I had already had some nasty health scares/accidents.
I`m not knocking people`s experiences of pulling back from the brink of loss of mind or body.
But if I had a dollar for every time I`ve heard someone say, or read (often in publicity material) that such and such a therapy saved their life, I would have accumulated a life-changing wad of cash!
I guess the word “saved” accesses Xian notions of salvation, too.
What were you doing that was life-threatening when you started to do dynamic, if it`s not too personal a question?
It was more a matter of what I wasn’t doing, or being, Frank. Here’s the story…
I’d been severely depressed for 4 and a half years, having had psychiatric support for most of that time, though without any real change, before somehow coming across the ‘human potential’ movement (then in its infancy in London), done this and that, eg bioenergetics, groups, again without significant progress, before Veeresh’s former wife, who later became the renowned sannyas therapist Ma Yoga Sudha, suggested that dynamic would “get you through your blocks” – which, giving it my all, it did, far more effectively than anything else I’d tried.
What a joy it was to release tons of repressions and suppressions, going into areas I’d never had a clue about – and getting ‘high’ as a result, that wonderful pure, post-cathartic ‘high’, that often lent itself so readily to bouts of unrestrained laughter. For a while, about 15 months, I felt as if I was experiencing a ‘miracle’, finally I was alive, life was opening up, or so it seemed at the time.
But of course, it wasn’t the ‘final solution’ (to coin a phrase), much to my eventual, thoroughly naive dismay, although I’m sure I’d have had a far better time in Pune One if we’d been allowed to do it aloud, the ashram’s neighbours’ complaints at the noise levels preventing that happening, putting paid to my dreams of ‘going totally mad’ and ‘getting high’ in ‘Bhagwan’s presence, which had been one of my main motivations in going there.
Post-9-plus months (and hepatitis) in Pune, the dynamic never again had the same transformative power for me, and – fasten your seat-belts, please, this might well come as a shock – after 2 years of a low energy, depressive condition, I eventually resorted to (oh, no, the humiliation of it all!) taking up TM again (having had to stop it during the pre-dynamic years as it simply didn’t work at all) which, to my huge relief, proved to be just what was needed to restore my health and well-being, making life worth living again. So, I’ll never denigrate that method, I owe it much, at a time when the usual sannyas-type techniques weren’t of much help at all.
I get it, it’s `saved my life` as in quality of life, rather than saving it by freeing tied wrists from a railway track before the train arrives, saved from drowning by a lifeguard in a stormy sea kind or talked off a 10 storey ledge when about to commit suicide, kind of thing.
So far, so good.
Yes, that’s about it, Frank, although God knows how things might have panned out for me if dynamic hadn’t come along. Nearest equivalent would have been bioenergetics I suppose.
Satchit, I neither like nor dislike your comments. It is more a case that they say little other than to show that you aren’t the brightest star in the heavens above SN.
‘Help my ego to survive?’ Really, man, that just does not cut the mustard, not even the dishwater. Can’t you come up with anything sharper than that?
Lokesh, I have no desire to be the brightest star.
We all know that you are sometimes confused (old age?). So you are also not the brightest star.
I am retired, SN is good for my entertainment, not more, not less.
Sometimes one can learn a bit of English here:
“If you are too old to cut the mustard, you can still lick the jar.”
Satchit, is that you trying harder? You obviously lack inspiration. Remove clothing and try sitting on this.
I feel so guilty. Satchit has disappeared and it’s my fault. I told him to sit on a mustard bottle as a joke and he took me seriously. I think he might be at A&E having the mustard bottle removed, but I’m worried about what damage a mustard enema might have caused.
I also feel angry at myself for what I have done, but will deal with that later because I know it has to do with a past life experience. I’ve tried talking gibberish, but nobody can understand what I am saying. On top of all that nobody around here will take me seriously. I’d no idea that SN could get so intense. Oh oh. gotta run, I hear a policeman’s whistle.
Isn’t likely anyone will ever take you as seriously as you take yourself.
Not even Frank takes you that seriously.
I get a picture of Buster Keaton running with the postman’s bag trying to catch up with the time, running constantly away.
You could make a utube vid with your comment as a TanTan mantra at the back – mock-panic comedy in a loop!
Daft is good. Absurd is even better.
“Everything that is significant is absurd”, said Osho, sounding rather like some kind of existentialist philosopher puffing on his pipe in a Parisian café.
The first Osho book I came across was a cheap paperback translation from Hindi, in a bus-station in South India in 1977. I bought it together with a copy of ‘The Myth of Sysyphus’ by Albert Camus. Indian bus stations were like universities, with a philosophical library/bookstand on one side and the university of life raging in all its filthy, smelly, food to excrement, life-and-death glory on the other side.
I don`t know what they are like now in Tamil Nadu and Kerala but I remember then, when the bus appeared at the edge of the bus-station the would-be passengers would run at top speed across the dusty forecourt towards it en masse in a chaotic attempt to board first even before the bus had stopped and the passengers on board had started to get off. A vigorous physical struggle ensued with everyone pushing and shoving and shouting, mostly working in unison with their families, friends and some soloists, and attempting to either leap on the bus or force their way off, at the same time lugging and shoving a load of luggage, including at times, animals.
I was quite amazed that there was some kind of tacit agreement about what level of argy-bargy was acceptable. Once that had been learned, it was like a kind of bizarre game of rugby scrummaging, tones with the most desire would get the prize-a seat. It was utterly ludicrous, but actually, as a young man, a lot of fun when I got into it.
“The Absurd” is the existential condition we find ourselves in according to Camus where, like the ancient Greek God Sysyphus, who received the punishment for trying to cheat death, we humans are condemned to roll a ball of dung up to the top of a hill with great effort only to watch it fall back down and so on for eternity.
Camus proposed either to accept the sentence, even celebrate it, or if you don`t, you might as well kill yourself. I was struck by how what he and Osho were saying overlapped.
Looking at the whole story of Sannyas, at least when Osho was around, I can easily see it as a huge real-time piece of theatre of the absurd. A lesson in getting nowhere and now here. The longest way round is the shortest way home.
Dissing the ego whilst being stuck with one, plumping for egolessness like turkeys voting for Xmas, struggling to become peaceful, using techniques and plans to become spontaneous, trying to use the mind to transcend the mind, trying to be natural, being on a path when there`s no place to go but here: all good class A absurdities as we fight tooth and nail to get on the bus to nowhere.
Great post, Frank.
One of your best; and I liked ego you commenting on ego talking about ego.
…I did not mean it negatively…quality!
Frank, 25 Mar, 11.40
Ah, I like your writing and the story, too. Immerses me fully….
Hint hint: book…
Aphorisms and short stories or some such::)))
Yes, Lokesh, even daftness has its fans.
“Fantasy is not reality.” Old Zen koan.
If too much rain outside, better doing dynamic inside.
Helps for harmony!
It`s probably time for a new article.
It`s an opportunity for someone. Any volunteers?
Satchit, how about writing one?
Suggested title: ‘What it`s like to be a 21st century online German Zen master”.
Subtitle: ‘Before enlightenment, sit on sofa, watch football on telly, drink beer. After enlightenment, sit on sofa, watch football on telly, drink beer’.
No, Frank, I’m not a Zen master.
If I would be a Zen master I would not waste my time with fools like you here on SN.
I guess I have still somewhere an email-address.
@Satchit, you say:
“I am not a Zen master.”
Don`t be so modest.
You can`t fool me. You are clearly lingering a little while longer on the shores of SN out of compassion for the fools.
Satchit, if you are not a Zen master, how do you know a Zen master would not waste his time with fools like you here on SN?
This is fantasy, not reality. Many Zen Masters, like PC Arpana, who did both Dynamic and Kundalini meditations at once back in 1979, waste their time with fools like you on SN.
I suggest a hot mustard enema to clear out the fantasy in order to make way for reality.
As usual you want to be clever, Lokesh.
But cleverness will not help.
As usual, it is all an illusion.
Spiritual Clichés About the Practice
1. “You are perfect as you are”
2. “Be positive!”
3. “It is a cliche that everything is a cliche.”
4. “Be here now”
5. “Your mind is a trap”
Spiritual Clichés About Life
6. “If you believe it, the universe will make it happen!”
7. “There are no coincidences…”
8. “It’s your karma!”
9. “What you see in others, you have it in yourself.”
Spiritual Clichés About Living
10. “Just let it go”
11. “Go with the flow”
12 “Hot mustard enemas are good for spiritual growth.”
13 “An optimist is a man who, without a euro in his pocket, orders oysters in the hope of being able to pay them with the pearl he found.”
14 “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
16 “Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
17 “It changed my life.”
Seems more like a possible new article than a ‘mere post’. Imagine the incredibly interesting discussions and fervent, polarised, cliche-ridden debates that would inevitably follow…
Yes, well, perhaps not….
It is a cliche that everything is a cliche.
If someone is stuck in laziness and low energy and you tell him, do a bit of sport, this will help you.
This is not a cliche, this is simply advice.
Thanks for this astounding revelation, Satchit!
You certainly can be extremely ‘German’ at times.
Ooops, that’s yet another one!
Well, Arps, old chap, I suggest you stay home tonight and research ‘irony’ in the dictionary!
You need to get out more if you think Satchit’s remark was ”astounding”.
Was a perfectly sensible statement.
Shakes head and rolls eyes. (⊙. ☉)7
The joke’s on you, SD.
You’ve scaled hitherto unexplored heights of literary sophistication, Arps. And to my eternal shame I’m left to crawl away, utterly and totally humiliated by your devilish cunning. Very seriously.
“Yes, PC Arpana, I contacted all of those friends and they all said the same thing, “It changed my life.”
This makes no sense to me.
Bus story. Two sannyasin guys, one of whom I knew, were travelling from Poona to Goa in an overnight bus. In the middle of the night, one of the sannyasins noticed the driver was nodding off at the wheel. In a state of alarm, one of the sannyasins went to the back of the bus to inform his friend and bring him forward in case something untoward happened. They made it to the front of the bus just when the bus went off a bridge and plunged into a river.
All hell broke loose as most of the passengers had been asleep. The two sannyasin guys were the only people on the bus who did not drown and lived to tell the tale. The incident was reported in a national newspaper as a minor mishap.
Indian roads: Russian roulette.
Surviving is winning!
Heil Lokesh, who wrote on 26 March, 2022 at 10:49am:
“Here we have a fine example of what is known as ‘sitting in the pavilion throwing rocks at the players’, or more briefly: ‘Those who can do, and those who can’t sneer at them.’
Arpana, could you possibly supply the right date and time for this quote, please.
I wasn’t looking for total humiliation, a tiny tugging of the leg, not more than that. (I’m rather pleased with myself. Possibly even meta-ironic).
And you weren’t “looking for total huniliation, a tiny tugging of the leg, not more than that”? Think of what you might achieve if you were to really go for the jugular. Sheer genius, Arps. You’ve clearly missed your true vocation.
I`m working on it, building up a collection of daft stories.
You’ve come to the right place.
@Lokesh said: “The gateless gate was always open and any fool could enter the world of Sannyas. I appreciate that about Osho. He saw that everyone had potential. Whether the individual developed that potential or not was left to the individual.”
Kind of true, but the only people who entered were those who wanted to be there. If you weren’t already looking, you would never have gone inside, and that sense of looking and having found Osho united all the sannyasins.
I don’t recall Osho ever being particularly keen on the idea of growing to reach one’s potential. As soon as you admitted there was such a thing, you were stuck with a ceiling, while Osho just said, “go within”.
NP says, “I don’t recall Osho ever being particularly keen on the idea of growing to reach one’s potential.”
Such a statement indicates a number of possibilities. NP does not realize that many of the first therapy groups and individual sessions in the ashram had their roots in the human potential movement. NP has a bad memory. NP does not know that Osho was strongly influenced by the ideas of George Gurdjieff, wherein man is viewed as a self-developing organism with the potential to become something other than he is in his sleeping state. NP does not know that Osho spoke much about our human potential and supported the notion that fulfilment of your potential is bliss. The list goes on.
NP compounds his lack of understanding of this subject by delivering his very limiting conclusion: “As soon as you admitted there was such a thing, you were stuck with a ceiling, while Osho just said “go within”.” This is rather a simplistic perception. Osho often used metaphors relating to seeds…the mustard seed etc. A seed is a symbol of potential or even infinite potential and Osho actually taught you have just to find the right opportunity for its expression, for its manifestation, for its realisation.
NP, rather than relying on your recollections, perhaps it might be a good idea to do your homework. Okay, I’ve had enough of playing patronising primary school teacher for today.
We will put it down to his tendency to issue contradictory statements, shall we? When I wrote that I was recalling lectures where Osho was saying, ‘do not search for enlightenment’, which there are plenty of.
But you have a fair point, there are plenty of other places where Osho does tell people to do a specific meditation or group.
@Nityaprem. 24 March 2022 at 7:13 am
There is no comparison between your perception of what Osho says and the perceptions of Lokesh about what Osho says. The difference is as great as that between chalk and cheese.
Lokesh doesn’t meditate and hasn’t done for years. Anything he’s got to say about Osho and what Osho has to say is intellectual, is an ideology, is nothing to do with meditation. He wasn’t trying to communicate with you. He was putting you in your place, reminding you that you know less than him, that you are less than him.
You most certainly are not less than him.
I sat down and tried TM for five minutes this morning, but I stopped because I feared having a trauma like PC Arpana had during a TM session and has never recovered from, as you can see from his negative comments wherein he experiences the need to tell people who other people really are, while not actually knowing who he is himself.
Ah, well, as Mister O once said, “The strangest and most fantastic fact about negative emotions is that people actually worship them.”
I think that a really meditative person is playful; life is fun for him or her. If a person comes across as overly serious, it is a sure sign their meditation, or whatever they call it, is not working for their benefit.
I wouldn’t recommend TM to anyone.
Unlike you, I know that because I explored it in depth. ✌
Give gibberish a try. That really would do you a bit of good.
PC Arpana recommends I do gibberesh. I reckon he is doing enough gibberesh for both of us.
Nityaprem, in Pune One it was also perfectly normal, par for the course, for ‘Bhagwan’ to give specific advice, responding to requests in darshans and even in letters to provide directions on all sorts of matters troubling individuals, eg choice of work, relationship issues, accommodation, whether to stay or leave, whether doing yoga or TM would be ok, etc. etc.
Oh dear! Lokesh has got his knickers in a twist!
PC Arpana says, Osho says, “Gibberish is one of the most scientific ways to clean your mind.’
In other words, ‘Brain washing’. The PC works for Osho Washing Powder, brainwashes better than ever before. No wonder he is foaming at the mouth.
Transcript of Arpana doing gibberish at the Bungabungalore Ashram this morning:
eupmanshipconfirmationbiasandstrawmanningtencommandmentsweareallchristiansfucklokeshsuperiorinferiorlokeshismitrustoshoegoicselfprojectionmeditationmeditationlokeshdoesntmeditateIdofrankisa bastardfrankisacynicfuckoffbastardprojectionknickersinatwistiamnotadoormatturntheothercheekaneyeforaneyeatothforatoothsatchitisverywiseiagreewithhimknickersinatwistfuckoff yahoo!
Fuck Frank. I will not laugh at what he’s written.
Fuck Frank. I will not laugh at what he’s written.
Fuck Frank. I will not laugh at what he’s written.
Fuck Frank. I will not laugh at what he’s written.
Fuck Frank. I will not laugh at what he’s written.
Fuck Frank. I will not laugh at what he’s written.
Fuck Frank. I will not laugh at what he’s written.
Fuck Frank. I will not laugh at what he’s written.
I bet you earned lots of brownie points with that.
Who’s a good boy then?
And also, I remember something like:
“This is not about self-improvement, as it will be endless and won’t get you anywhere.”
That`s a good point, Loke.
Arpana is clearly never happier and more alive than when on a crusade to do battle with the forces of evil and bring the bad guys to justice.
So, with bodhisattvic levels of compassion, the sinners in the SN buddhafield are actually giving him the opportunity to follow his bliss and experience his deepest longing.
May the long time sun etc….
Yeah, Frank, perhaps out of divine compassion, PC Arpana just wants to fill the vacuum left by His Hoylpants Shantam.
It is a pity that I have not succeeded in trying to convert you to Lokeshism. Hopefully, before I die, I might actually find a disciple to transmit my teaching to, which can be encapsulated in this ancient Pictish metaphor: ‘We’re ah just dazzies in Big Dod’s Kypie.’ Translated this means that every living being is a marble wrapped in God’s handkerchief, whatever the fuck that means.
One wonders where those marbles have previously been. Obviously up God’s nose, otherwise how would they have ended up in God’s handkerchief? And the nature of Samsara is revealed.
”Arpana is clearly never happier and more alive than when on a crusade to do battle with the forces of evil and bring the bad guys to justice.”
Some truth in that. Beats propping up a bar or sitting in the pavilion throwing rocks at the players.
Do you ever suspect that you actually might need someone to submit to enhance your ‘egoic self’?
Would you say submissive is superior to the opposite?
Well, Arps, I don’t go around looking for such encounters but if they ever happen, eg here at SN (or anywhere else) and someone genuinely realises they might be wrong, thus making me, at least to an extent, right, I usually feel respect and, rising to a greater or lesser degree, warmth for that person and their humility (not to mention ‘good sense’ (!) of course). I’m not sure I “need someone to submit” to enhance” my “egoic self” though. I’ll look out for that one!
Would I “say submissive is superior to the opposite”? I really don’t know, haven’t thought about it much. Probably, like most such issues, depends on the circumstances, including the person or people concerned. But, as always, you’ve got to use your common sense, be ‘streetwise’, rather than being a fool who habitually lets ‘principles’ decide for him/her.
For instance, one might declare, as you have, Arps, and as Osho has: “To hell with ‘turning the other cheek’, I believe in fighting back, teaching the offender a lesson, so they’ll think twice before abusing me again!”*But, perhaps especially in these times, even if you did do that, there might well be no guarantee that it would finish the situation, in fact your aggression might provoke a similar desire for revenge in the other (possibly assisted by his/her mates) thus further escalating the situation.
Maybe such a philosophy might have suited Osho’s India, especially while he was young, but, eg, in contemporary western (and other) cities, with their share of pathologically unhappy, violent people, it would seem far more risky.
Likewise, even on a non-physical level, in today’s online opinionated madhouses, the karmic repercussions might make it more trouble than it’s worth to have a go at your ‘enemies’, it’s more likely to fan the flames of discontent and hatred, on all sides, creating ever-increasing misery, raising the collective emotional temperature and thus making its own significant contribution to eventual disaster.
*Osho on responding to abuse: (Re ‘turning the other cheek’):
“And you ask me: What do I say about the Christian philosophy, the Christian attitude of turning the other cheek? Jesus has learned that idea from India. There was no other way for him to learn it, because Jewish scriptures have no ideas about non-violence. Even the Jewish God is not nonviolent. He clearly declares, “I am an angry God. And those who are not with me are against me. I am not nice,” he says, “I am not your uncle.”
Certainly he is your father, not your uncle. With an uncle you can have some nice relationship, friendship. Mostly uncles are nice. But father… so he makes it clear, “Don’t try to make me your uncle. I am not your uncle.” Actually declaring this: “I am not your uncle, remember it, and I am not nice; I am a very angry and jealous God….” When Adolf Hitler said, “Those who are not with me are against me,” perhaps he was not aware that he was being very Jewish! That is the attitude of the Jewish God.
Somewhere Jesus got the idea of non-violence. It had never existed anywhere except India. And particularly at the time when Jesus moved from Egypt to India, it was very much in the air because Mahavira had just passed away five hundred years before, Buddha had just passed away five hundred years before. Sanjay Viletthiputta who was a very significant Master, Ajit Keshkambal who was also a very charismatic figure, Makhkhali Gosal – all these people had turned the whole climate of India into non-violence. Everybody was talking about non-violence.
Brahmins became ashamed of their scriptures; they started changing the commentaries on their scriptures. They started changing their rituals. You will be surprised. Now if you go in a Hindu temple, you are supposed to offer a coconut. This coconut was originally not a coconut but the head of a man. But a coconut resembles the head of a man: it has two eyes, beard, skull. They started interpreting their scriptures to say that it was not actually a man’s head, it was only a coconut you had to offer. You will see in India the statues of Hanumana covered with a red color. Once it was blood, but they had to change it, otherwise they would look very foolish.
The whole country was impressed by these great teachers; they were all of tremendous importance, and they were logically mostly on solid ground. They stopped all kinds of sacrifice. But what will you do without blood? Some red-color substitute will do. A few very orthodox places continued in their old ways. For example in Calcutta, in the temple of Kali, still animals are killed every year and the blood is poured over Kali. In very orthodox places it remained; otherwise it disappeared and substitutes came in.
When Jesus reached India, he must have reached at the time when the whole country was agog with the philosophy of non-violence. He got the idea from India, and that is one of the reasons why the Jews could not accept him. He had got many ideas from India, from Egypt, and then when he came back he was thirty. From thirteen to thirty – seventeen years are completely missing from all Christian accounts. Those seventeen years he spent in Egypt, in India, in Kashmir, in Ladakh, and perhaps in Tibet too. And the vibe of Buddha and Mahavira was still very alive, so it was not his own vision either.
But he became tremendously impressed by the idea of non-violence. And the idea was rational: to harm somebody must be against God, because it is God’s creation – you should not be destructive. But the question was, if others harm you, then…? That’s where turning the other cheek comes in; that was his invention. It is mentioned nowhere in Indian scriptures that you turn the other cheek. The question was not raised, it seems. Non-violence was preached so rationally that nobody asked, “If somebody harms you, then what?”
Mahavira and Buddha would be perfectly ready: “Let him harm you, he will be punished by his karmas. Do not bother about it; you go on your way.”
Yes, once Buddha was asked, “If somebody hits me,” a bhikku, a monk asked him, “What am I supposed to do?”
Buddha said, “You are walking and a branch of a tree falls on you, hits you. What are you going to do?”
The man said, “What can I do? It was just an accident, a mere coincidence that I was under the tree and the branch fell down.”
Buddha said, “So do the same. Somebody was crazy, mad, angry; he hit you. It is just like a branch falling on you. Don’t be disturbed by this, don’t be distracted by this. Just go on your way as if nothing has happened.”
But when Jesus came back to Jerusalem and started saying this, people must have been asking him again and again… because it was so new to the Jewish tradition. It was bringing in a very foreign idea which did not fit with the Jewish structure at all.
Jesus said that if somebody hits you on one cheek, turn the other cheek. You are asking me what I have to say about it. This will be the attitude of a man who believes in the idea of non-violence, the philosopher of non-violence. But when you are hit by somebody and you give him the other cheek, you are encouraging violence in the world. It is not non-violence. And you are assuming something which is absolutely your imagination. If somebody hits me, according to Jesus I have to give him my other cheek. But his tastes may be different. He may have enjoyed the first hit, he may enjoy the second even more; he may be a sadist. Then you are encouraging a sadist to torture people; you are encouraging violence. Even to allow your own body to be tortured by somebody is to encourage violence.
No, this stupid ideology has been the downfall of the whole of India.
After Buddha and Mahavira, India never again became the same golden bird it was.
After Buddha and Mahavira begins the downfall. Buddha and Mahavira are absolutely responsible for twenty-five centuries of slavery in India, because they taught people to be non-violent. They completely forgot that the other people surrounding the country are not non-violent. You are encouraging those people, inviting them: “Come and be violent to us.” That’s actually what has happened in Indian history for twenty-five centuries. Anybody who wanted riches, women, slaves, invaded India. There was no trouble, India was non-violent. Most probably they would pass through kingdoms and there would be no fight at all, no resistance even.
If you look at your non-violence and it has provoked violence, then what kind of non-violence is this? It has brought more violence in the world than there was before. Before Buddha and Mahavira, India was never invaded. There had never been any violence because people knew that to invade India was to just invite your death. But after Buddha and Mahavira’s teachings people became just like butter – you just cut into them with your knife, and there would be no noise at all. And millions of people were killed, burned without any resistance, because resistance would be violence.
But you go on missing seeing the point that you are provoking the violence in the other person. Who is responsible for it? Now turning the other cheek means you are telling the other person, “Please hit me a little more, it is not enough; I am not satisfied. Hit me a little more so that I can become a little more saintly.” And you have only two cheeks. What are you going to do when he has hit you on your second cheek? What Jesus is saying looks a beautiful statement but it is not at all practical, pragmatic, scientific.
Reverence for life approaches the whole problem from a different angle.
I will say respect life, yours included.
In fact, you are first to be respectful towards yourself, then only can you be respectful towards anybody else.
Be loving towards yourself, then you will be able to love others too.
Reverence for life will not allow any provocation to violence. It will not start violence, but if anybody starts it, it will stop it immediately.
Jesus says, “If somebody hits you on one of your cheeks, turn the other cheek.” I say, “Okay, turn his other cheek – and hit him harder. Give him a lesson! Make it clear to him that it is not so easy to hit somebody on the cheek- that it comes back, and comes back harder. And if you are capable, hit both his cheeks at the same time. Why give him the chance to turn the other cheek and become a saint? Hit him and tell him simultaneously,’! do not believe in violence, hence I have to stop it at the first chance. And remember that you cannot just be violent without being prevented.’”
You have to prevent violence if you respect life. And in another way too, it is respectful to hit the man, not to give him your other cheek, because that is very disrespectful. This may seem a little difficult for you: you hit me, and I don’t hit you but show my other cheek to you, and say, “Please be kind enough to hit me.” I am trying to be superhuman and reduce you below humanity.
I am humiliating you far more than I can humiliate you by hitting you. By hitting you I simply declare you are human, I am human, and I speak the same language that you speak. We are both on the same ground. This is more respectful because you are not raising yourself higher; you are keeping yourself on the same ground as the other man. You are telling him, “You are my brother; if you hit me you are going to get a bigger hit. Be watchful and be careful, because somewhere you may get into real trouble.”
I am not in favor of your being superior to the other man. That’s what Jesus is saying: “Be meek, be humble, turn the other cheek, because then you will inherit the kingdom of God.”
I am not promising you any kingdom of God.
You are not going to inherit anything. You have already inherited it – that is your life.
Be loving and respectful to it.
Be loving and respectful to others. But don’t try to be superior and higher and above others. Don’t put the other man down.
In that sentence of Jesus you don’t find it, but it is there – that you are humiliating the other. You are creating guilt in the other. He will think it over at home, “What did I do? What kind of man was he? I hit him, and he gave me the other cheek. How cruel and how animal I am that I again hit him on the other cheek.” He will not be able to sleep the whole night. He will come back tomorrow. The first thing he will want is to be forgiven. But to forgive him is again to put him down. No, I will say if he hits you, just be a sportsman. Don’t try to be a superman, just a sportsman. Hit him really hard and tell him, “Whenever you need a good hit, you can always depend on me.”
Never do any harm to anybody, but never allow anybody to do any harm to you either; only then can we create a human world.
We have tried the other way in India, and the experiment has completely failed. Twenty-five centuries of slavery, slaughter, rape, and still nobody raises a finger and says that Buddha and Mahavira are responsible for it. They created this impotence in the whole country, this weakness in the whole country. No, I am not in favor of creating impotence, slavery, and provoking people to do violence to you.
Never do violence of your own accord, but never allow anybody else to do it to you either.
Only then is there a possibility of creating a human world.”
@ satyadeva. 23 March, 2022 at 11:45 pm
Great post. You are an honourable man. Namaste. ☯✌
Thumbs up from me for these wisely put words!
Escalation comes so easy in today’s world, as well.
Looking at Ukraine and seeing so many people asking for “more weapons, higher military expenses, taking a clear stance etc.”
Whereas it was also the NATO members who pushed the borders more and more – imo to extremes. Thus having their part in the escalation, too.
Seeing one’s own part in the game. Is worthwhile. As consequences seem to be more and more immediate.
Neither Loke, nor Frank, nor SD are imo the correct targets.
This one is somewhere inside of you, the conditioning created by circumstances and events, not necessarily by a single person.
As you wrote to me, “There was something in your childhood you did not understand that made you an adventurer and explorer.”
Full hit; and I feel, see, become aware of the extent of this part of the iceberg more and more…
From this I can see the need to hit back, set the boundary, call foul play.
But: to the original top dog(s).
@ Klaus. 24 March, 2022 at 10:05 am
In my view, wars happen because most people, most of the time, avoid nipping in the bud, avoid dealing with difficulties going on in their immediate lives that might lead to disapproval and often disapproval at the hands of observers, although one can make far too much of small things.
But if one bites one’s tongue regularly that anger will eventually become expressed on someone who doesn’t deserve it, which is called displacement. Hence wars happen because of the accumulated collective unexpressed small expressions of anger and resentment.
True enough. I certainly know this.
That was one of my arguments why there must have been previous lives:
“How come I feel so angry? That certainly cannot be only because of some stress in childhood. Must be several childhoods or similar.”
Nowadays, I can place anger where it is generated. I can feel it rising in my belly…then more – then I take a stance by stating something – then Boom.
Errmm – most of the time – sometimes – usually.
Implying how long it may take me to express opposition. ‘Boom’ nowadays means that I am making some gesture like lifting my arms in non-understanding.
In my 20s i.e. in the 80s, I had dreams of warlike fighting, fires and explosions, destroyed landscapes, waking up sweating & in panic. Fight for survival.
It showed my negative and suppressed side. The mass of it.
Long gone. Now I’m in my 60s…
My negative side nowadays shows in like having no perspective beyond day-to-day existing: ‘This won’t work, this is not sure, etc…” Perspective: use it or lose it.
10 years ago – during the zikhr period – I had this kind of denial experience: I woke up in the middle of the night, because the lights seemed to have been switched on. I got up, wandered through my apartment: no lights on! The heck?
Next I realised the light was all inside of me – waking me up, disturbing my sleep!
Could not believe it: well, what is that? Couldnt happen to me, could it?
Habits to the opposite.
A huge problem with anger, imo, is the condemnation and fear of it, and I am increasingly convinced condemnation is like pouring petrol on a fire.
Another huge difficulty with handling anger is when we begin to attempt to deal with it, understand it, we are usually sitting on a volcano, and speaking personally that is, that was seriously heavy.
Anger comes because we don’t get our own way, but also because of injustice, some anger is righteous in my view, not all anger is poisonous and selfish, and sometimes without anger, speaking personally again, it’s not possible to draw lines in the sand.
Dealing with anger is also a work in progress, dealing with any feelings that are hard to handle is a work in progress, but practice makes not perfect, maybe more accepting and deft. All works in progress. Be aware of those who want you to believe they are not works in progress.
I like the way you play the sannyas news game, Klaus.
ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ ☯ ✌
Good one: like u were processing the emotions around you as well.
Sounds fitting for me, too: at home, we were not allowed to express or reflect on anything about family. Our patriarch would be all over us. My mother compliant like a shy mouse, me silent, my sister playing nice. Only my brother at age 16 put on ‘the gloves’: ‘I am goung to knock him over!’
So, where were emotions processed? In the undefended ‘me’. See the violent dreams.
The Sannyas game well played – is freeing.
Forever grateful for the opportunity.
I worked at a restaurant in the evenings when I was a student, and over the course of the 1st academic year I went through a phase where I was constantly flying off the handle, losing my temper, having confrontations with a few individuals in particular, and I didn’t feel so much guilty or defensive, but certainly started to find this wearing.
One of my fellow-students was a psychiatrist who had dropped out, and I let drop on her one morning, or rather she asked me why I was so wound up, and she said after I explained to her what was going on, this was happening because I was the only individual in the situation who was actually dealing with the anger, owning the anger, everybody else was in denial about what they were going through, so I was processing all the anger that was flying around. So there’s another reason why you may have felt a lot of anger at times in your life that didn’t seem appropriate.
Maybe try some some anger management therapy.
There are some good techniques out there.
Frank, 24.3., 9.55h
“A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history.
On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions.
When, however, the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic and social institutions, a holy force — the power of wisdom and love in action—is born. This force I define as Sacred Activism.”
@ Andrew Harvey
That’s all well and good but can only happen if people meditate, and given so few people do, and even less in a committed and long-term way, which, given you’re a ‘guru’, you ought to know, makes the remark a bit meaningless as far as I am concerned
Osho’s approach to meditation is very much about being out and about in the world and meditating regularly, so engaging in some form of activism, while not necessary, doesn’t seem to me against Sannyas. One can be a meditator and support causes, actively or just financially, that are nothing to do with spirituality or meditation per se.
@ Andrew Harvey:
Here’s a man with a cause. Talk about commitment. He’s made a difference.
”But that Protestant work ethic conditioning is pernicious, it keeps you stuck in a trading mindset which is ultimately dry and not blissful.”
Thank God for your indifference to me.
Could you shout a bit louder?
I can’t hear you all the way down here.
Exclamation marks. Straws. Clutching.!!!!!!!!
OshoNews is back!!! (Many exclamation marks!).
Swami Satya Vedant passed. Maybe that was a reason for the break, too.
”Then I checked to see what Frank and PC Arpana were posting and I thought, I’m not the only one posting daft comments on here. So I let it fly. ”
We are truly flattered that someone as far above us as you looks to us for direction.
“We”? PC Arpana, who appointed you as a spokesman for other commentators on the streets of SN? Nobody. Stick to plodding the beat and playing with your truncheon and, of course, blowing your own whistle. Peep! Peep!
Anubodh, you nailed it.
A blast from the past…Top Cat and his cronies always in conflict with Constable Charlie Dibble. I remember watching that on TV in Boston, where me and my dad ended up after we made a diagonal crossing of the United States in the aftermath of the Ranch folding.
Definitely got into people`s heads.
“The Dibble” still used as slang for police in the UK.
Based on this.
Not relevant to this post of yours, Arpana, but SD has added the Osho piece on ‘turning the other cheek’ to his post of Wednesday, March 23, 11.45pm, together with a link to the whole of the text of the discourse where it appears.
I know that discourse. Recognise most of it.
I am suffused with gratitude at the contemptuous way you never lower yourself to my level.
”Ma Prem Polly, who had a disappointing one-night stand with you in Poona One, was asking for you and hopes you have gotten over your TM trauma.”
Fair dos. That made me laugh. Out loud as well. ✌
For reading the words of the Buddha I would recommend this site:
It has a section for easily reading one or two sutras a day, which means you do not get overwhelmed by the whole large pali canon in one go.
Regarding this topic I have found the final talk by U Pandita Sayadaw (translator is Bhante Aggacitta, abbot of Sasanarakkha Meditation Centre in Taiping, Malaysia):
‘Sayadaw U Pandita – Day-52 Making the Life Profitable 2014-15 Retreat’
The talk outlines the different stages one may pass through in Vipassana meditation.
So, one can check for oneself where one is at at this current moment.
I would rephrase this topic into a question:
“What can a Sannyasin learn in order to become a Buddha?”
Now, I’ve really came across an extensive blog by an American white supremacist, anti-woke, Buddhist ex-monk who has spent many years meditating alone in caves in Myanmar from 1990 to 2020 (approx.).
He is describing his efforts in various meditation techniques (lots of comparisons…) and his observations, changing motivations. Dropping monkhood at some point and returning to “the West” with all the implications.
I do not support his racist slurs and anti-woke and imo derisory attitudes.
One of my observations: sannyasins can be grateful to their Master for helping and teaching them about the pitfalls of ‘asceticism’.
What an ordeal! Up-to-date read, imo, as it contains blogs commenting on the current times and developments.