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Topics - Chaz

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Open Discussion / Fear, Attatchment, and Suffering
« on: November 21, 2020, 01:04:18 AM »
M&B posted something that bears discussion on it's own.

so am I supposed to believe an attachment believe an infant and a mother always without a doubt leads to suffering?

I'm reading "believe" as "between".

The answer to that is unequivocally, yes.

My guru gave a teaching where he said the fear was the cause of suffering.  Where are afraid the good things will go away and bad things will stay.  so we become attached to that.  Thus there is suffering.

A mother, naturally fears for her child.  She is afraid that her child will get sick.  The child will die.  Leave her.  Not love her.  This cause the mother to cling to the chaild in the forlorn hope that the changes she fears will not come to pass.  That is suffering.  The mother isn't bad for feeling the way she does.  The suffering she experiences isn't bad either.  Just the same it is attachment and it is suffering.

I have an example.  about 50 years ago something happened with/to me that caused my mother such anguish and fear for my well-being that she had a breakdown and ended up in the hospital.  Wht she was feeling wasn't bad, and quite understandable, but it she was suffering on my account.  It was so bad that the family never really recovered from it and  that's on me.  A lot of suffering from a lot of love. 

That's an extreme case, but event the natural care and love a mother will have for her child, will be suffering.  It's inescapable.

Meditation / Lojong Teachings streamed Live
« on: November 16, 2020, 03:49:56 AM »
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche's Mangala Shri Bhuti  group will be having live streamed event on Logong practice Dec 5 & 6.  It will be free.

As I understand it, there will be three talks led by Dungse Jampal Norbu. I'm not familiar with Norbu, but with the connection to Dzigar Kongtrul I'm sure this will be great

Meditation / Life Turns
« on: October 25, 2020, 03:39:04 PM »
I find that life has it's turns.  They are often unexpected, and not always welcome, but by the end, alwasys interesting in how things worked out.

It seems that Gibbon started something.  He asked about my Ngondro practice in a thread a couple weeks ago, and it truned into a brain worm of sorts.  I've been thinking about Ngondro a lot.

I stopped my practice about 4 years ago.  The main reason was that I had lost interest in my goal - fulfillment of the prelininaries to tantric/Vajrayana practices.  Reasons aside, I decided that I wasn't going to be that kind of practitioner, and if so, the practice on Ngondro wasn't particularly important, so I stopped.

I've always felt bad about that.  The empowerments given for practices of this sort come with the obligation to perform the practice faithfully, untill released by the Guru.  While there are no deadlines involved (it takes as long as it takes.  One mentor I had took 15 years), you don't move on intil your finished.  Traditionally, that means 100,000 repetitions of 4 practices - Refuge, Vajrasattva, Mandala and Guru Yoga.  Many western lineage holders are asking students for 20,000 each. Mine does, but that's still a pretty big number..........anyway ......... I felt bad about stopping practice.  I had agreed to contunine and I wasn't.  That's not very good Karma. But still, they don't come and take away your Super Secret Vajra Decoder Ring over it.  Life, such as it is, goes on.

Well, Life it seems has gone (back?) to a place where resuming the practice seems likely.  I'm gathering materials.  Talking with an old friend about it.  Studying the liturgry.  It's good.

Along with Gib's gentle push, this forum has served as well.  My feelings about FreeSanga have changed since Wonky and I put the forum back together.  We turned a page.  The forum has the same name and the same look , but it's still new and that means new possibilities. Something can be built here. It's exciting.  It has me thinking about things in a way I haven't seen in a long time.  We're getting off to a slow start, but that's ok.

I'm glad you're all here.

Open Discussion / The Dalai Lama Global Vision Summit
« on: October 17, 2020, 06:56:50 PM »
I just found an announcement for this this even at

Check this out.  10/21 - 10/27  There will be me over 40 talks including 21 teachers as well as HHtDL.

It's free  and should be an interesting series.

TBH, I don't know if I'll attend or not.  I'm prepping for a big car and craft show.

Be forewarned. This is said too be free, which I take for "no charge".  I suspect there will be occaisional pitches for contribution for dana.  The last time I responded to something from HH, i started getting seasonal fund-raising material.  Back then it was a brochure describing what they were trying to raise money for.  These included a package 5 strung prayer flags, which were actually rather nice.  I have a couple sets strung on the monitors in my office. They stopped contacting me after a few years. I don't know about you, but  from involvement in my chosen political caucus, as well as NPOs, I don't mind being approached for fund-raising.  The trick is knowing how to say "No".  The point is, in the near term, it won't be "free".  They will like something in return, but they won't, or at least shouldn't, make it a hard sell.

Meditation / Jeffrey the Meditator
« on: October 08, 2020, 01:52:22 AM »
Back in the day, when Pterodactyls ruled the skies, I had a meditation teacher named Jeffrey Stevens.  He was well-known in Buddhist circles around Denver as one of the best MIs anywhere.

Fast forward to today.

My old friend struck out on his own a few years back and founded a meditation community holding group meditation without all the fluff of lineage.

For the record, Jeffrey comes from a Tibetan/Shambhala background.

A couple weeks ago he started a YouTube channel for .... welll .... meditation.  He's got a couple videos posted and will be releasing more.   Jeffrey's style has changed since our hunter/gatherer days together.  Today, he reminds of Ze Frank ....... if Ze Frank were to teach meditation ...... which he doesn't ..... but would still be pretty good if he did.

I recommend checking it out:

Like and Subscribe


Bother / Amenephistus Plese Read
« on: September 16, 2020, 03:38:30 AM »
There was a problem and your account was removed.

My bad.

Please open another account.

Meditation / Thoughts about a practice group
« on: September 16, 2020, 12:13:34 AM »
Since moving to South Carolina 3 years ago, I've been without a sangha for group practice.  Back in Denver they were commonplace - Zen, Shambhala, various Tibetan groups and so on offered programs that were compatible (hate to use that term) with my main practice.  Here, not so much.  There are a few groups nearby but for one reason or another, don't offer a practice container I'd be comfortable in.

I've been considering taking steps toward starting a practice group myself.

Teaching meditation presents a challenge.  I've been practicing Shamatha/Vipassna for 15 years.  I guess after all that time I could get a beginner started.  The problem I face is that in my practice lineage you have to have completed Ngondro and have the guru's permission/blessing after specific training.  Those prelims aren't gonna happen.  So if I abide by tradition, a local practice group ain't gonna happen unless somebody else does it and I doubt that will happen any time soon.

So, do I break with tradition and move ahead or wait.   Is it better to ask forgiveness than permission?

It may seem to be a simple thing, but believe me it is not.

Meditation / Restricted Practices
« on: September 02, 2020, 05:26:17 AM »
In the Buddhist world the are what's called Restricted Practice.  Such practice is undertaken with the permission of a teacher empowered guide the practitioner.  Discussion of such practice is usually limited to the the practice community. 

You may ask questions about these practices, but answers may not be forthcoming.  Please respect this.  It may also be that there is no one who can answer the question

If you seek information on resyricted practice we can help you find the answers.

Bother / Introductions
« on: September 02, 2020, 01:04:06 AM »
No bother, but if you're new, introduce yourself!!

Secular Buddhism / Thoughts about Secular Buddhism Discussion
« on: September 01, 2020, 10:06:41 PM »
I can say that Secular Buddhist practice is a "tradition" at least in the strict sense.   Another generation of practice is needed if you ask me.

That said .....

Secular Buddhism discussions tend to get a little heated.  This seems to happen most often where the discussion involves comparison/contrast language.  So, how about we discuss secular practice on it's own merits and leave other traditions out of it?

Danger Zone / A few notes about the Danger Zone
« on: September 01, 2020, 04:03:45 PM »
Ok, I get it.  I like a vigorous discussion of controversial issues as much as the next guy or gal.

And yes, this is FREE Sangha.

Free, in this context, doesn't mean complete, and unbridled freedom to post whatever you want and that also applies to the "DZ".  Some controversial topics are, well, just too controversial for the kind of dicussion we want see.

A few rules of thumb to consider.

Political topics, especially US politics, might be best served elsewhere.

Diet discussions, especially vegetarianism, always seem to go south within a few posts.  Such subjects will be monitored closely and locked/deleted as deemed necessary.

Scandals should be treated gently.  Let's discuss them like the reasonable adults we hopefully are.

Issues such as the Dorje Shugden controversy, the 2 Karmapas and so on should be discussed in a measured manner.  Not everyone is a Kagyu or enthralled by the Dalai Lama.

Bother / Ok, here's what happened.
« on: September 01, 2020, 03:42:41 PM »
For those former members, returning to the warm embrace of Free Sangha, here's what happened.

Anyone who's been on FS for a while will recall that our old server was spotty in it's performance.  Sometimes it would work great and other times, well, not so much.  These were due to issues that, sadly, were beyond our control.

A couple weeks ago the server tanked on us, making the website impossible to access.  Wonky and I discussed the issues and decide the best course to take was to create a new web sites and import the old database, including your accounts, and legacy data containing threads and so on.  Well, that import wasn't going so good, so rather than fight with it, and in light of the amount of traffic we've had, we decided to reopen the site with a fresh, clean database.

So, here we are.

While the site is functional, there are a few wrinkles to iron out, mainly in the area of spam.

A new TOS is being prepared and will be posted soon.

Mad Props to Wonky Badger for stepping up to help with the transition.

Welcome back!

Stuff / Code of Conduct
« on: September 01, 2020, 12:34:12 AM »
Code of Conduct, Rules of the Road, etc.

1.)  These rules are interpreted by the mod/admin team.  If there is any uncertainty contact them.

2.) If there are any issues with interpreting the rules, please refer to Rule 1

3.) Keep It Civil

4.) Keep it Clean

5.) Do not badmouth other traditions, teachers, other forums, moderators, admins or anyone else.

7.)  No meta discussion

8.) No questions of a medical nature. No medical advice/referrals

10.)  Do not post private communication from another person without their permission

11.)  We do not care about Dorje Shugden

12.)  Try to not proselytize

13.) Do we really need to post a rule about trolling?

14.) Don't post any For Sale items.  The same applies for free offers.

15.) This really isn't a place for politics, either

16.) Do not make posts that endorse or promote racism, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny

16.) It is not ok to call someone a Nazi.

17.)  All topics are welcome, but controversial topics including Doje Shugden, abuse scandals, the 2 Karmapas, diet, and so on will be monitored closely and closed/deleted if necessary.

18.)  We advise that not all terminology is universally acceptable.  For example, the term H-Word.  Find another word.

Stuff / Welcome Back!
« on: September 01, 2020, 12:33:06 AM »
If you're a new member who was a member of the old FreeSangha, welcome!  We're glad you're back.

Things are pretty much the same, but the old s=data including your account didn't make the move.

It's our hope that the new site will be better than the old one.

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