April 6, 2005 at 6:16 pm #4050
I have removed the threads that included a new round of pornography and mindless harassment posted by plato, Hong Kong Fuk, and Max as some warped attempt to accumulate merit as Buddhists attacking a Taoist Forum.
Its unfortunate that some of the intelligent criticisms of that coordinated attempt at disruption by V Craig and Spyrelx had to also be removed with the entire thread.
The pornographers are no longer welcome to post here. The total count of pornographic and abusive personal attacks has exceeded the warning limit of three.
Future posts will be removed immediately, including any obvious attempts to post under pseudonyms. Eventually the naughty children will tire of this game and go elsewhere. I ask others not to post a reply to their posts, as they will likely be deleted as part of the thread. Please notify me at firstname.lastname@example.org of any disruptive postings.
If they want back those posting rights, they have to apply to me directly and apologize for past behavior (unlikely). You’ll also have to convince me that you are interested in dealing with issues in a mature manner.
In short, you are welcome back as soon as you grow up.
The response of posting pornography to criticism of your particular Zen sect reveals that the path you’ve chosen continues to give you the illusion you have “emptied” your sexual issues. And it confirms my characterization of it as “fundamentalist”, i.e. intolerant of any one else having different beliefs.
Yes, I apparently offended your beliefs by criticizing the published views of your teacher, Nan Huai Chin. When you publish something, you open yourself to public criticism. If you can make criticism publicly, you should be able to take it publicly.
For the record, my views are not extreme, nor held by me alone. They are in line with mainstream Taoist view of Nan IN CHINA.
A few days ago I received a call from Wu Zhongxian, a Chinese teacher of high repute who holds both Buddhist and Taoist lineages.
I asked him if he had heard of Nan Huai Chin.
“Of course”, he replied. “I have read his books, they are published in Chinese”.
What is his reputation there, I asked, without leading him in any way. I wanted an objective view.
“His books sell very well to Buddhists, he is a clever writer”, he replied.
“Some people use his Tao and Longevity book as an introductory text. For that is is not bad. But the Taoists in China all hate him. They know he got some information from a Taoist monk, but it was only superficial. The Taoists in China feel he does not have any profound understanding of Tao. But many uneducated people cannot tell, because he is a clever writer.
So the Taoists in China are all angry with him.”
My final comment here is that the reason I am teaching Taoist spiritual science instead of “guru yoga” is precisely because of the blindness and irrationality that it generates.
This is not to say all gurus/masters are bad, but the blind belief in them is. Blindness is blindness, no matter how fervent the desire to believe you are one of the few “saved” ones.
MichaelApril 6, 2005 at 7:25 pm #4051
It is posts like those that do make me feel resistant to tuning in and speaking. I appreciate the upkeep and the explanation, babaApril 6, 2005 at 10:58 pm #4053
“The response of posting pornography to criticism of your particular Zen sect reveals that the path you’ve chosen continues to give you the illusion you have “emptied” your sexual issues. And it confirms my characterization of it as “fundamentalist”, i.e. intolerant of any one else having different beliefs.”
I couldn’t agree more.
I also think that the actions you’ve taken in this matter have been both measured and mature. And I appreciate them.
spyrelxApril 7, 2005 at 8:25 am #4055
The Answer: A Lie
Here is what a good friend posted, and I couldn’t have said better myself.
I feel that the above comments by Winn seem to fit nicely into his self invented brand of doubtful teachings or lies. I have read Master Nan’s books and there were many occassions where Nan’s asked the students to refer to this sutra for their own experiential realization. The above comments do not and can never be applied to any Buddhist traditions whether they are Zen, Theravada, Tibetan, Pure Land, etc. This blind believe is not the teaching of the Lord Buddha as Buddha personally advice in his Kalama sutra.
1.] Do not accept and believe just because something has been passed along and retold through the years.
2.] Do not believe just because some practice has become traditional.
3.] Do not accept and believe merely because of the reports and news spreading far and wide through one’s village, or even throughout the world. Only fools are susceptible to such “rumors,” for they refuse to exercise their own intelligence.
4.] Do not accept and believe just because something is cited in a Pitaka. The word “Pitaka,” which is used for the Buddhist scriptures, means anything written or inscribed upon any suitable writing material. Memorized teachings, which are passed on orally should not be confused with Pitaka. Pitakas are a certain kind of conditioned thing, which are under humanity’s control. They can be created, improved, and changed by human hands. So we cannot trust every letter and word in them. We need to use our powers of discrimination to see how those words can be applied to the quenching of suffering. The various schools of Buddhism all have their own cannons, among which there are discrepancies.
5.] Do not believe just because something fits with the reasoning of logic (takka). This is merely one branch of study used to try to figure out the truth. Takka, what we call “logics,” can go wrong if its data or its methods are incorrect.
6.] Do not believe just because something is correct on the grounds of naya (deductive and inductive reasoning) alone. These days, naya is called “philosophy.” It is not the highest or absolute wisdom, which they call “paññá” or “prajña” naya, or nyaya, is merely a branch of thought which reasons on the basis of assumption or hypotheses. It can be incorrect if the reasoning or choice of assumptions is inappropriate.
7.] Do not believe or accept just because something appeals to one’s common sense, which is merely snap judgments based on one’s tendencies of thought. We like using this approach so much that it becomes habitual. Boastful philosophers like to use this method a great deal and consider it to be clever.
8.] Do not believe just because something stands up to or agrees with one’s preconceived opinions and theories. Personal views can be wrong, or our methods of experiment and verification might be incorrect, and then will not lead to the truth. Accepting what fits our theories may seem to be a scientific approach, but actually can never be so, since its proofs and experiments are inadequate.
9.] Do not believe just because the speaker appears believable. Outside appearances and the actual knowledge inside a person can never be identical. We often find that speakers who appear credible on the outside say incorrect and foolish things. Nowadays, we must be wary of computers because the programmers who feed those data and manipulate them may feed in the wrong information or use them incorrectly. Do not worship computers so much, for doing so goes against this principle of the Kalama Sutra.
10.] Do not believe just because the Samana or preacher, the speaker, is “our teacher.” The Buddha’s purpose regarding this important point is that no one should be the intellectual slave of someone else, not even of the Buddha himself. The Buddha emphasized this point often, and there were disciples, such as the venerable Shariputra, who confirmed this practice. They did not believe the Buddha’s words immediately upon hearing them, but believed only after adequately considering the advice and putting it to the test of practice.
See for yourselves whether there is any other religious teacher in the world who has given this highest freedom to his disciples and audiences!
Thus in Buddhism there is no dogmatic system, there is no pressure to believe without the right to examine and decide for oneself.
This is the greatest special quality of Buddhism, which keeps its practitioners from being the intellectual slaves of anyone, as explained above. Intellectual and spiritual freedom is best.
The ten examples of the Kalama Sutra are a surefire defense against intellectual dependence or not being one’s own person: that is, neglecting one’s own intelligence and wisdom in dealing with what one hears and listens to, what is called in Dharma language paratoghosa (“sound of others”).
See the actual sutra:
Hope this brings the sincere seekers back on the right track and not be misled and got lost by Michael Winn’s negative intent.April 7, 2005 at 10:56 am #4057
I am going to leave this posting up, even though Max has ben banned from the site for preaching, through his actions, the Way of Suppressed Sex and Anger (Pornography). His posting serves as a useful teaching vehicle.
And I am happy if by leaving it up, Max gets a few more merits in his recruitment campaign for Buddha by calling me a liar. I am not sure what my lie, or intention to decieve was, so I am not really getting any benefit from the name-calling.
I absolutely agree with most of what is said in the sutra cited above, about relying on one’s experience, that is the essence of taoist spiritual science.
Of course I take exception wth the judgemental conclusion near the end that this attribute is unique to Buddhism . Its a very clever mental sophistry – elevating the teaching by pretending to give to people a freedom that they always had:
“See for yourselves whether there is any other religious teacher in the world who has given this highest freedom to his disciples and audiences!”
I say, why even pretend to give what cannot truly be taken away?
Maybe folks back then were still into the master-chela type mental slavery, but most people on the path of Tao are not. So no big revelation here.
But I am a bit confused. Why does Bill Bodri rely so heavily on saying repeatedly, “Well, Nan is the most enlightened teacher around,and if he says it, it must be true. And that is all you need to knw about that issue. That is why youdon’t need to do qigong or yoga, or anything besides Emptiness Meditation.” Is that telling people to rely on their own experience?
My comments, all based on MY EXPERIENCE, but that have so apparently enraged Max were in response to false conclusions that nan and Bodri published in their book How to Measure Spiritual Realization.
Its no use to hide behind some sutra if you really believe differently and publish that. Actions speak louder than words. The obvious fact is that Nan and Bodri’s book doesn’t follow their own teaching of this sutra, but is instead filled with hidden judgements about what people WILL experience, extrapolated out way beyond their personal experience.
If Bodri had just said, look, I tried doing qigong, and had these problems, and found myself trapped in stupor of chi, or didn’t know how to refine it into the pre-natal or primordial level so I felt stuck, or whatever, that is fine. That is sharing. But instead he, using Nan as authority, makes claims of omniscience, that qigong and taoist alchemy are dangerous for everyone, that the progress of good health or their kind of realization of immortality is illusory for everyone because it doesn’t meet up with their dharmic definition of Emptiness Only.
This is really a confession that Nan tried to go that route and failed, and Bodri is just mouthing what his teacher tells hiim – NOT based on EXPERIENCE at all. And I posted the 3500 scientific studies showing the real health benefits of qigong,the doubling of lifespan, about which Max and Plato shut up completely.
Isn’t that EXPERIENCE? Doesn’t the sutra tell you to honor people’s right to their own EXPERIENCE? Are they honoring other’s right to EXPERIENCE? No. They are judging it, and ludicrously telling them that the benefits are not real. Because until you belieev in Empty Mind, even your experience of good health and chronic illness going away with qigong is illusory.
The ironies grow even more heavy. Nan borrows heavily from the Taoists, saying the orbit will happen naturally, and all the pathways of the eight channels will open.And listen to Plato exclaiming how his Yang chi is arising within the cauldron – another statement that the pathways mapped out by Taoist alchemists over the millenia will open naturally. That’s fine as far as it goes- the Taoists are all in favor of natural unfoldment, the alchemists just figured out ways to speed the process up. Neither I, nor they are not “inventing” anything new, just imitating Nature, the Great Alchemist.
“Sitting in Stillness”, the hallmark of zen practice, is considered by Taoist alchemists to be a preliminary method, of clearing the post natal mind before engaging in deeper levels with the lifeforce.
You can read this in the exegesis of the most famous text on this practice by Livia Kohn, in one of her early books called Seven Steps to the Tao. (Now out of print I believe). She analyses the entire main famous text about the practice of “Sitting in Oblivion”, and it says clearly that it is preliminary to higher neidan practice.
The simple reality, as I have explained previously, is that if you do absolutely nothing your life will unfold at the pace of all post natal life. Qigong and Alchemical methods accelerate the process – but need to be done in proper sequence, or you will be held back by the life force until you are ready.
But there is another point that Nan is sliding past: the Buddha didn’t teach the orbit or the eight extraordinary vessels or about yang chi arising in the cauldron or all the other Taoist benefits he is claiming to Empty Miind Only.
Tantric sciences and the notion of chakras within the body didn’t arrive or re-emerge from the collective memory in India until a thousand years after Buddha lived – in the 5th to 7th centuries AD. I know, because I have sat at conferences with the best tantric scholars in the country. We need the scholars to keep the inflated claims of metaphysicians honest. The truth is, no one knows what Buddha said, as everything was written down a hundred years later…..so no use getting lathered up and posting porn because someone has disagreed with the probable MISAPPLICATION of the writings of one of his disciples.
(By the same count, there are arrays of Daoist scholars in the west who know far more about Taoist texts and history than Nan, who clearly has demonstrated his knowledge of Taoism is superficial, and that is reflected by his reputation in China. But guru-yoga types have difficulty allowing for the possible experience that their teacher is fallible.
So Nan is playng a double game – trying to claim the benefits of Taoist practice, but pretending he is a pure original Pali Budhist which didn’t have chakras or inner body channels. And at the same time that he knows more about Tao than the modern Taoists from whom he briefly learned Tao.
I have no doubt that “Sitting in Emptiness” is a fine Taoist inspired meditation that will accelerate natural energetic processes. It is a way of dissolving the influence or fixed patterns of the shen. You empty them out,
so they can’t play their old monkey mind patterns out. It s a very useful TECHNIQUE.
The Inner Smile is a heart centered version of that dissolving process. If you listen to my CD on it, after you move through all biological systems and the five vital organ spirits, the blood, bones, and skin, you dissolve the sense of their physicality and shift into non-physical space. And rest there, smiling to the next level of subtle self – your energy body – that sits in that apparently “empty” space.
And eventually, with iproper training, you will move beyond the vehicle of the Energy body into the spirit body. And the spirit body functions on inner sound frequencies, something I haven’t seen mentioned by Nan. Which makes me VERY suspicioius of his onmiscience about all spiritual practice.
There are many reasons I prefer the inner smile instead of “sitting in emptiness” as the preliminary practice. I believe it was evolved by later Taoist alchemists over simple emptying, because of its many wonderful qualities:
1. It keeps the meditator more heart-centered.
This becomes increasinglyimportant as the adept progresses to ealize their role as mediator between Heaven and Earth.
2. It actively embraces all the dysfunctional shen and one’s pain and suffering before dissolving it back into neutral. That’s a bit more loving than telling the pain that you aren’t real, you are empty, go away. For that reason, I feel its more integrative long term. But if emptying is the only thing that works, no opposition from me.
3. Most Westerners will consciously or unconsicously always be in resistance to the very notion of emptiness. This is the language problem I described elsewhere. I feel that the Inner Smile does it better by focusing on unconditional openness to the original chi, or to the inner nature of body, self and others. Neutral chi field allows for more accurate and truthful intention than continouous empty chi field.
4. Emptiness taken as a metaphysic, instead of a method, can lead to psychological feelings of depression in weterners. I have seen this in my clients.
5. Sitting in Emptiness was evolved by meditators living in ancient times, i.e. much closer to Nature and natural cycles. So when you emptied yourself, Nature would fill the vacuum, and things opened up quickly inside your body.
But modern people live in cities filled with craziness and false fields of chi and negative thought forms. So there is a danger of that negativity rushing in as you empty yourself. That may be one benefit of Zendo focus on group meditation, and setting a strong protective field in which to let go. Tao alchemy offers sophisticated ways to create that protected field energetically. One is by fusing everyithing back to the center.
I became acutely aware of this problem of environment affecting meditation when a western vipassana meditator came to me. He had spent 9 years in a Thai monastery having wonderful meditations simply letting go and watching within. He moved back to Boston, and doing the same practice, began having severe crippling headaches. He came to me for advice. I told him he was merely witnessing what was present within the chi field of a modern city. I suggested he use intention and begin flowing his awareness and breath in the orbit. It immediately balanced him out and solved the problem.
Sure, you could say he didin’t know how to empty himself of the city’s bad chi, that he was a poor victim of Semblance Dharma, because he didn’t know Nan’s superior method that works for everyone. That is quibbling abouit methodology. Whatever works best in short run is often needed, and if the pattern, like the orbit, also will serve in the long run even better. If someone wants continuous emptiness from the life force and can get it, that’s fine too. Its not what I want, or most people want.
5. For those who have trouble , i.e. deeply disturbed shen, I suggest they drop all techniques until the danger of false yang chi subsides or becomes manageable. This is where sitting in stilness practice is best. But sitting in stillness and doing alchemical practices are not mutually exclusive. It is all a questioin of timing, as with everything in alchemy.
6. If Max or Plato or Nan or Bodri disagrees with what I have to say,
I am not going to send you degrading porn pics or attack your site like a group of Zen Nazis or KKK Buddhists. Or disturb posters and imitate others falsely.
If you are really upset, and need to harass some one as your method of emptying out sick chi, Just call me and rant, or send me an email. If its halfway intelligible, I will reply.
love, chi, blessings on your journey,
MichaelApril 7, 2005 at 8:58 pm #4059
Posting pornographic pictures and posts full of personal insults while claiming the importance of virtue makes the writers look stupid, hypocritical and childish.
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