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Messages - Anemephistus

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Open Discussion / Re: Cultural Baggage
« on: February 23, 2021, 04:13:05 AM »
With regards to christian ideas influencing associative thinking as a kind of western meme, I am a bit of a dry on the mystic aspect sort of thinker and am sometimes confronted with a solid confusion as I attempt to explain that my understanding of things does not result in "something" that is "really me"becoming for instance a Donkey....There must be, without question some challenges to overcome. I don't mean to offend because I understand this thinking is sect specific but its hard without context to even explain whats off about the question.

I enjoy the idea of "baggage" just because it conveys that it comes from group thinking and results in misunderstanding. The thinking I encountered with Buddhist thought the first time was earth shattering for me. Long divergent groups with wholly different foundational understandings using language to transmit what took millennia to form and practiced in some way or another as cultural behavior and expressed or veiled under many different heritages....Sometimes its just a wonder we can speak to one another.

Meditation / Re: Jeffrey the Meditator
« on: November 05, 2020, 05:22:56 PM »
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

I love Ze frank... -"The next time someone tries to mug you, you turn around and..." maybe this is not appropriate here, but lets say that I have a certain respect for the sea cucumber that I lacked before he made a video....

Open Discussion / Re: Favorite Buddhist books
« on: November 05, 2020, 05:20:41 PM »
Thank you all so much for the links! I live in a place where many of the things I share, and that are contemplated here are not available to discuss in person with others unless I introduce the topics, so I really like being able to find and read credible courses...To any of you have second string picks for things which were more advanced and helped your later practices, Blogs, retreats, podcasts, videos or other things which brought you a better understanding of the topics you were studying?

Bother / Unable to send a messege...
« on: November 04, 2020, 04:20:29 PM »
I get a 403 on firefox, windows 10 pro, when I try to submit for a reply to your message Chaz....

Ironically this was what I was trying to send:

"No problem. I had a little trouble getting the message system to work. Sorry if it shot off more than one copy but it threw an error several times the other day. "

Open Discussion / Re: Favorite Buddhist books
« on: October 28, 2020, 01:46:03 PM »
All books by Sunryu Sazuki have been pretty helpful to me, "mindfulness in plain english" is pretty good, so is "the book" by alan watts. I guess alan watts wasn't really a buddhist in the strict sense, but he certainly dabbled in it and most commentators refer to him as one.

Would you mind linking to a copy of a couple of your favorites?

Open Discussion / Re: Favorite Buddhist books
« on: October 28, 2020, 01:45:05 PM »
"The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation " would be my favorite fundamental.

Found on Amazon if you like!

Open Discussion / Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 28, 2020, 01:35:31 PM »
You know. It's interesting. Seeing all of you having been in formal settings the influence they have on the thinking surrounding practice and what you contemplate! I have not done any formal training, it's simply not available here so I read and meditate.

I used to have an anecdote I liked to share about the pillows....I don't use them, I use a chair. It's not that I lack respect for the pillow. But my legs do, and my lower half being entirely numb cannot bring me wisdom, it does bring me pins and needles.

If you had to pick a book about exactly what you have been contemplating, or a scripture or teaching, what would it be? Do you have a link? I would love to see them!

Bother / Re: Introductions
« on: October 03, 2020, 12:48:09 AM »
Wonky here. I founded FreeSangha in 2009 after the E-Sangha forum went offline. I hoped to create a place where Buddhists of all traditions could meet and exchange thoughts and ideas with an open mind. Turned out that I'm not a very good forum admin since I've been absent for long times (luckily others, lately mostly Chaz, have been holding the fort), but I do feel that there is a need for a place like FreeSangha.

I live in the Åland Islands between Finland and Sweden and I practice Zen (unfortunately almost as badly as I admin forums) but I still believe that a day will come when I will focus more on my practice.

Wonkey, I have been seeing your name on that list for years and I believe this is the first time I have seen you post.

I am good at saying a lot and visiting regularly, I am bad at not being very technical and keeping things succinct, an art I am working on. I found this place several years ago and the result of your effort has been very valuable I have appreciated it a lot. Whatever comes next, thank you. Thank you as well Chaz, I know you are doing a lot of work.

Open Discussion / Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 03, 2020, 12:32:34 AM »
There are sooo many different facets of wisdom, so many different experiences and considerations which relate to Buddhism and Buddhist teaching. Each of us has been contemplating a specific thing or set of things I would estimate. Perhaps even more than one.

What have you all been working on?


If I follow you correctly...That's a real middle ground doozy. All subjective communication requires a certain amount of conventional othering for reference even when we maintain awareness it's not the truth. Never-mind the underlying implications....I will just leave that there...a few ways to see it I think. 

Danger Zone / Re: Forgiving the Views of others.
« on: October 01, 2020, 09:43:04 PM »
When you say "Right" view do you mean as in Right vs Wrong or something else?

That would be the type of opposition that I am feel does not operate well in the context to which I refer. I think this quote from the article I will link below is an excellent embodiment of what I mean.

"The phrase “right view” is a translation of the Pali samma ditthi. Here, “right view” does not mean that there is only one right way to look at things. Samma is a rich word that translates to something like “completed, perfected, fulfilled”—similar to summa in Latin, as in the word “consummated.” Ditthi encompasses one’s “view” or “vision”—the perspective we take on something, as well as the way we perceive. As “perspective,” ditthi is similar to the English word theory, which comes from a Greek word, theaw, meaning “behold.” The word theater has the same root. Thus, our “theory of life” is our ditthi, the perspective from which we make sense of things, the “view” that guides our daily decisions and judgments."


I have been offering the emptiness of self as a foundation to see that others are sourcing their perspective from lineages of thought which the onus they feel of is not entirely of their invention, in order to facilitate a more compassionate stance towards them and so that one may maintain a clear space to which they are reflecting on how to address the view rather than the person who holds it. A less personal less egoist and more patent process. Seeing a view as an illness (such as in the case of the murderer) and knowing the cure, and working to apply it, is much easier than the revulsion and anger that is too easy to become lost in.

Meditation / Re: Thoughts about a practice group
« on: October 01, 2020, 02:36:42 AM »
I agree with Gibbon. Don't claim to be a teacher and be careful to be explicit about what exactly you know, have understanding of, and feel qualified to do.

Open Discussion / Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 01, 2020, 01:44:39 AM »
There are sooo many different facets of wisdom, so many different experiences and considerations which relate to Buddhism and Buddhist teaching. Each of us has been contemplating a specific thing or set of things I would estimate. Perhaps even more than one.

What have you all been working on?

Danger Zone / Re: Forgiving the Views of others.
« on: September 30, 2020, 01:27:07 AM »
Right view does not operate easily in opposition to other views but rather places other views in context as far as I can tell.

If we trade stories, genetic legacy, history, and perception with another, we are that person. Then, how are their views something we can blame them for when the possession of those views is instead something which is relative to their existence? We can't blame people who have not encountered wisdom for being unwise, and when offered wisdom we cannot blame them if they cannot see it because they have developed a foundation of understanding not constructed of or arisen upon on the principles of the eight-fold path.   

We knee jerk and argue. This, being the drama area, I still have shied away from the topics that first come to mind because being understood and understanding requires a thoughtful composure and contemplative disposition. There are so many paths, so many difficulties, and so much suffering in this existence. The iterations of sentient experience are manifest within the complex manifold of Samsara and too nuanced for words to equitably capture the essence of all there is to say about their arisen condition in this moment, and even less about the arising condition of the same. We must not grasp at the results of those phenomenon but instead offer that which surpasses it and replaces it as taught by the wise. 

Where there is suffering there is an end to suffering. We react to the potential of more suffering from the views of others, often with views of our own. None of this ends the suffering caused by views. Replacing the fear of more suffering with a cessation of the suffering here and now as we face views which lead to difficulties,  in each new moment as those relevant things arise, creates peace, and peace spreads as easily as anger.

When a person says something ugly, listen, ask why and listen with kindness, investigate the foundation, see if it is bringing them joy or anger, love or hate, peace or violence. Offer something you know is true and that brings good fruit and peace, not to everyone, just for that person, to that person, every time you see if you can. Don't be inflamed, douse that fire, and offer water.

Danger Zone / Forgiving the Views of others.
« on: September 25, 2020, 03:03:15 AM »

Opinion: One of the greatest causes of drama is having Views, I know this is ironic, but there is "Right View".  The following is from me, to you. It contains notations about difficult things. I suspect they may cause drama.

I work in a prison. My views are not the views of my department. I think It is important to explain my career for a few reasons. In the common way of saying it, I deal with Murderers, Rapists, Child Molesters, Violent criminals, Drug Addicts, Thieves, and Liars....There are probably some categories I have missed, but I think the notion is clear.

Why did I say "In the common way of saying it?"....Because the truth is vastly more, but also very simple: I deal with people who have committed the acts that have made them labeled by others as this this type of person or that type of person. Like the list I offer above. The truth is not contained in the labels, just a shallow reflection of the truth and judgment and perhaps some ego. It's not that these people are good, or bad, its just that the labels they receive as the result of one thing are not accurate for their entire being as much as an indication of actions that they have taken which others have given them titles for.  Often the views of the people in the position to be labeled, those crimes they have committed, they are derivative of views that lead them to a path which brought them and others great suffering and difficulties. Once views become this wrong, it is hard to imagine that later other bad actions would not lay upon the foundations of such views. So the labels we use have always been a mechanism to keep us safe I think, to tell others of danger, and to mark who we can and cannot trust.

I also deal with officers, I am in charge of many Officers. I am a high level supervisor and second in charge of a shift of people who are very diverse, and who face a series of challenges otherwise unknown in the rest of American society outside the criminal justice field. There are many ways the officers interpret the world around them. One of the common things that brings difficulty are their views. Not because everything they see or view is incorrect, but because when they need to interact they cannot always keep clear thoughts and take the right actions and proper speech that would be most advantageous to whatever situation they face for themselves or others around them.

In 1776 the issue of slavery was a hot political topic. This was the ideological paradigm of it's day, along side liberty for all men and justice for all. The founders of America had much to say about what they referred to many times in their written opinions: "George Washington said,“there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it,” and Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence calls the slave trade an “execrable commerce” and an affront “against human nature itself.”

Today the topics of those seeking ideological Paradigms are different than in 1776. I'm not asserting the correctness or rightness of any particular view point with regards to modern topics. In this modern age the idea that we would be, in 2020,  debating the validity of the African slave trade as an American institution however is something clearly not correct because our ideals settled that specific facet of the topic (being the specifically legal institution of the slave trade at the federal level) on racism in 1865.

What changed? Men did not physically change. We have been physically the same give or take for 10,000 years at least. I purpose it was not that we changed, Humans have not changed one bit accounting for food, water and general genetic evolution of bodies. We have all of the same capacities that we have always had, all of the same faculties. It's our "times" that have changed.

What does that mean? The mountains look much as they did following the last Ice age. The sun has perhaps gotten a few inches smaller, the sky less blue, but time alone did not change our disposition towards the ideals of days long past.  It could not have, we live too short a time, in too limited a form, for a force that does not move mountains to dust in 5,000,000 years to have turned our heart to kindness by itself on any subject in the 10,000 years we have been recording our thoughts and experience in one form or another. 

Our group ideas evolve, but are leashed to their heritage, as much as we are leashed to our genetic legacy. It took time, that is to say, we used the time we had, and we changed through a co-dependent interactive and selective discernment of ideas. Our concepts are evolutions of the concepts that came before them, almost everything we know we were taught or based it on things we were taught. The speed this happens at compared to life is easy to underestimate. 

We have all been in a room with more than 20 people. It happens all of the time. As a thought experiment, or as a consideration for meditation about the influences which give rise to mental phenomenon and contribute to experience: Take those 20 people, give that they all live to 50 years of age. Lets also give that each of them has a child at 30 years old, not making a complicated statistic out of this, take them out of the room you were in with them. Set them in a line across time backwards one to the next. Each of these people got 20 years to instill tier way of seeing the world in their children and end to end those 20 people cover 1000 years of time. Consider it, a concept can travel this way. Genes don't, material doesn't, but shared ideas do.

There are 7 billion people on earth last i checked. Its a lot of groups of 20 people taken in the above context. We are awash in a maelstrom of ideas, coming to us from a long and direct history of ideas which preceded them. To quote Einstein: If I have seen further than most men it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. What we conceptualize is foundationally based on our understanding as we received it from others. It is Samsaric and must be contemplated carefully.

Men in prison do not understand this very often. Officers under stress do not understand this very often, liberals, conservatives, extremists all the same kind of false labels, all the same kind of misunderstanding.

When I encounter a viewpoint which I consider to be wrong. I try, though am no master, to recognize and remain compassionate about what I am hearing. The misguided man who kills his wife in a fit of rage and believes she deserved it, how much history contributed to that, what mechanism is before me which has inherited a form that looks so much like my own, sounds so much like my language, yet give the concepts of a monster when loaned an ear to be heard? 

When angry people yell about others who have different views, they cannot be giving wisdom. When I blame the murderer I keep the world safer in the conventional sense, but when hate comes into my heart instead of compassion for how lost he is, then I become lost with him.

Views often inflame people. think about the word "Inflame" To light fire to. Our predecessors recognized the phenomenon of dangerous views. Consider this: If I offer you a view that I am angry about and you agree with me, then we are angry together. If I offer you an angry view that you disagree with then you are angry at me for holding this view. Either way, I have spread the fire of my anger, and anger in this world grows. Anger is contrary to peace, and it spreads like fire.

We must be fire fighters. When we get angry at views we should ask ourselves how this came to be, how we can understand, how we can stay free of the anger which is being offered on purpose or by accident. Our feeling arise within us, we get to choose what we take when we are offered feelings, we must investigate those feeling, what gives rise to them, we must not blame others.

Other cannot have our feelings for us, no more than they can go to the bathroom for us, these are bodily functions. Remember the 19 people in history behind the person you are speaking to, that the persons formative experience and  perspective seem valid to them, and if it is clearly wrong, getting mad will not help, paying attention  being compassionate and explaining that you see where they are coming from, ask about how what they see compares to what you see. Understand them, this is the path to being at peace, You don't have to agree, just understand. If you have a strong personal integrity and a decent grasp of "Right View" and you speak truth, often you will get your point across.

If you change the mind of 20 people, and they move forward in time....We can together overcome the dangers in the future. If the Murder who killed his wife later has a child, and a new wife, I hope I stayed calm and convinced him of right and wrong. Your stakes may be different, but I ask you to be willing to change your hearts enough to consider this that I have offered.

Bother / Re: Ok, here's what happened.
« on: September 23, 2020, 12:21:29 AM »
Sounds good. I'll get some content wound up...Gimme a day  ;D

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