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April 27, 2020


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Abstract notions, nothing tangible.
He can't possibly make any claim to know what Buddha said or taught any more than Socrates or Christ or Zarathustra, they're all dead.

Abstract concepts of nice to believe anecdotes about what 'reality' is. But it's no more 'real' than any other belief because his lenses of perception are still conditioned by what he believes his perception is experiencing is 'real' when it's not.

He follows Buddhist tenets like any other religious person following any other religion. It's still a belief in what he's practicing is reality when it's not.

Someonedunit, Buddhism and Hagen have no problem with concepts. What's important is seeing the concept for what it is -- a concept, which is different from the natural non-human reality that exists without concepts. You used many abstract concepts in your comment where you criticized Hagen for engaging in concepts.

Can you see what you did now that I've pointed it out to you? Which is my point. You embraced your concepts so closely you didn't know what you were doing. And that's what we all do, most of the time. Buddhism would like to have us do that less of the time.

A concept is an intellectual construct its not reality.

If a Buddhist believes that Buddha taught how to be in a state of mind that embraces reality it's just another mental construction based on his condition and perception.

The new buzzword being 'mindfulness' which is fooling oneself that I'm being mindful of 'my' reality.

There's no shortcut to reality, we can't conceptualize about it. We can try become one with our true nature meaning shedding all our concepts. Either we are aware or in tune with it or we're not.

Mental constructs don't make our perception any more real than someone who believes anything else.

Someonedunit, you just did it AGAIN! Wow, thanks for being such a good example of someone who uses concepts to criticize people who use concepts, yet is unable to realize that they are using concepts to make the case against the person they're criticizing for using concepts.

See, you're addicted as much to concepts as everybody else. Welcome to the Concepts Club! Except, you don't seem to understand that you're a member, despite my best efforts to enlighten you. Boo-hoo. I'm a terrible guru.

In this medium that's all one can use as a means of communication is concepts which is what your author uses to give his opinion about Buddhists abstract concept of 'being here now' which is same thing that Richard Alpert tried to induct all his hippie disciples to practice way back when.

These are concepts about being in the now or mindfulness or whatever the intellectual construct is trying to convince the mind that we're practicing oneness or mindfulness or some other abstract idea of what being in the moment entails.

Reality won't be found in any concept of what it's supposedly meant to be. Abstract analysis of what anyone perceives is real remains a condition of mind and one's mental conceptualized conclusions. But not necessarily real.

It's not so much a criticism but more an observation. So in effect the Buddhist is as much in delusion as anyone else.

What is this modern practice of Buddhist 'being in the moment' using the intellect to still the intellect?

The mind trying to get some focus and attention to 'be in the moment' how?

What is his frame of reflection and focus?

Nature, the birds, the butterflies, the mountain the stream?

'The moment' is as much a fleeting illusion as any other concept of attention that anyone wishes to focus on. Except the Buddhist does not have a tangible element of focused devotion to attract his attention to.

Love it!!
The ''simpleness of being aware.
It makes one less worried less sad and more grounded in just as it is!!
I wanted buy the book but not too much money and I have so many books..
I just gonna practise this natural way of ''Being'',because it is healthy and comforting..
Very very comforting..
Even when there is axiety one can ''see undergo''

It's a treasure to be in here and now without thinking in good or bad..
It brings one very deep into..uhh just something...

Enjoy life..with everything in it....


“You are already in reality, whether you see it or not. Reality is what's here, now. Thus you're here now, too. You know all this already, from direct experience. You're not separated from Reality. It's not "out there" somewhere, but right here”.
“To completely end your unease of mind, all you need to do is see that there is really nothing "out there" to get because, already, within this moment, everything is whole and complete”.

The first statement quoted above from Brian's reading of Hagen's book is probably describing what people have always 'searched' for. The second statement regarding 'nothing out there to get' emphasises again that simply put – 'this is it'.

Which, although true (in my opinion), I doubt if practically anyone would really take this on board and live it. Mostly because we are pretty much conditioned to look for rewards and gratification and particularly, once a 'serious meditation' into experiencing reality (or life as it is) begins, inevitably certain realities may arise that throw light onto the question of 'who am I'.

And the truth is, we don't really want to know, we are afraid and insecure that we might 'see' the simple nature of reality, of who we are, so we prefer to wrap our 'selves' up in games, in playing at searching, at being a Zen Buddhist or whatever and in adopting some safe construct of reality.

Reality then can be very ordinary, just everyday happenings whereas our games can all be very stimulating and even exiting – yet just conceptual diversions.

Yes Turan,its always there..
But the simple thing is that we regularly forget to ''live''it..
So living it means the awarenes of ''it''.. .I. ..
Mindfull living is idd natural..
But strangely we forget..because there is so much in life that catches constantly our attention..
We can be aware of ..everything..That's just beautiful..
Even when there is difficulty just ''being' in' awareness etc..
It's wonderfull..

Zen Buddhism or any other ism is another 'approach' to seeking to know the 'self'

Now I hear that many of these modern 'philosophers' and 'be in the moment proponents' have rebuked the notion of 'self', that there is no 'self' to know. It starts getting into all kinds of extrapolated concepts of recognizing (or non recognition) of 'who am I', age old question, 'I am that', which according Vedantists is the Atman or True Self, or Socrates saying there is nothing else to know except to 'Know Thyself'.

So as much as anyone is willing to nail his conscious experience to knowing his or her self, its a misnomer of an ideal, unless one has focused their attention to know themselves, because otherwise its mental gymnastics, playing games with one's intellect (memories, impressions, senses of perception) as to 'who' is perceiving what.

Again I must ask, to which point of focus does the modern-(self taught) Buddhist who aspires to practice the art of being in the moment attach his attention to?

Without a focal point of attraction or attachment to knowing self, how does he / she still their mind to be in the moment?

The mind and the intellect is bound up with notions of identity and attachment. Whether to our own body or to outer attachments, spouse, family, children, siblings, society, pets, environment, philosophic ideals, political ideals, religious ideals, atheistic ideals, clan, culture, nationality, ideology etc.
These all become aspects or facets of 'me' or 'mine'. Attachment to my own identity and what 'I' hold dear to 'me'.

At some point all that has to be let go of to arrive at a state where one can 'know oneself' or be 'in the moment'.

As long as any attachment to any external aspect of our existential experience is still driving our idea of who we are or what we hold most dear, we have not met our still, (knowing) self. As the Buddha purportedly did, (after much extensive renunciation, searching, asceticism and austerity - according to the traditional Buddhist doctrine of renunciation) by his 'enlightenment' from suffering experienced under the Bodhi tree.

The being who knows the self and can truly say I am experiencing nothing except being here now 'in the moment' is an experience of a state of exhilaration beyond any attachment to anything he or she has attached their sensual or conceptual likes (or dislikes) to.

Therefore, to attribute one's attention to a state of experience or perception that the author is trying to promote as a state of 'spiritual independence', is to recognize there is nothing 'out there' and that the food is laid out on the table, and all you have to do is partake of the food and eat. A very commonly imparted metaphor. However the food nor the hunger is of our making, if the hunger arises, and the food is made available, then you can congratulate yourself for taking the initiative to enjoy the meal.

My simple question in reference to the Buddhist approach to 'spiritual independence' is simply this.
How does the aspiring modern Buddhist attach his attention to an abstract concept of 'being in the moment' without a means of focus?

If he 'thinks' he is 'being in the moment' by experiencing life as it is perceived by his intellect, memories, thoughts, contemplation's, concepts, conditions, he is not experiencing life from a state of freedom of thought or 'independence', but he is simply using his faculties of conditioned stored memories, thoughts, attachments, likes and dislikes to pretend to himself that he is experiencing life 'as it is'..

someonedunit, you continue to describe reality not as it is, but as you wrongly believe it to be. Your false beliefs are based on an abstraction that doesn't really exist. Namely, that the world can be perceived without memory, concepts, emotions, thoughts, and such.

What you're describing, basically, is a mostly brain-dead person whose only remaining faculty is the senses, seeing, hearing, touch, etc.

Do you really believe that it is desirable for me to look at my wife, Laurel, and not remember who she is, what she likes and dislikes, our 30 years of marriage, that I love her, and so much more? Yet this is what you said above:
If he 'thinks' he is 'being in the moment' by experiencing life as it is perceived by his intellect, memories, thoughts, contemplation's, concepts, conditions, he is not experiencing life from a state of freedom of thought or 'independence', but he is simply using his faculties of conditioned stored memories, thoughts, attachments, likes and dislikes to pretend to himself that he is experiencing life 'as it is'..
Life as it is includes whatever is part of life. This is the simple genius of Buddhism, which you don't understand very well. Life is fine as it is. We are fine as we are. Our problems arise from trying to be someone we are not -- such as a being that perceives without memories, thoughts, attachments, and such.

How did you write your comment without a thought of what you wanted to say? How did you write your comment without a memory of how English words are spelled? Could you ever do this? No. Just ponder how ridiculous and unwelcome your "enlightened" state would be.

someonedunit - I guess that whatever counter arguments anyone puts forward they wouldn't cut it. And to a certain extent that's true. What Hagen is expressing – in all his books and teachings – is that the only remaining thing that can help get people through the morass of concepts, opinions and conditioned 'self stories' is practice.

Having been submersed for a lifetime in the (vitally necessary) information that is the mind, it may eventually dawns on us that our problems and angst also emanate from the mind. But instead of demonising the mind along with its self-structure, ego and mass of information, the Buddhist way is to understand its contents and how they arise.

The answer to this issue is practice, not just a half-hour or so in meditation but a continual awareness of day-to-day activity – which is usually reactive conditioned activity and includes thinking. But, as I mentioned previously, this involves being with the everyday ordinary, and folk tend to gravitate toward the more stimulating areas of 'spirituality' – including overlaying everyday reality with more and more concepts

Here we communicate with language, and in written form, which is a stepped down medium of expression from the actual experience, and for which we use faculties of our human mind and intellect (modern neurologist physicists are insistent its only from the physical sinews and cortex's of the brain, which is probably wrong) of memory, senses, concepts, thoughts based on our relative experiences to convey these concepts across our limited means of communication, because we are not able to communicate in clear mindful state of pure transference of essential reality.

so at this place of conceptual expression we cannot operate at the level of being in the moment or experiencing oneness, these are purely intellectual concepts and are not real. they're ideas and concepts of what we think we believe reality is. And this is why there are conflicting concepts or 'opinion'.

Buddha noticed everything and every living being are in relative states of suffering, there is no at 'oneness' in this life as it presumably is, only relative states of lesser or greater suffering. Some with more fortunate states of existence and others with less fortunate based on repercussions of action and reaction. Nevertheless none are in a state of pure freedom from suffering, the nature of life as we know it is of greater or lesser states of suffering.

Within this paradigm we make our so called 'reality'. But its a fictitious state of reality because within this scope of non free suffering, we create our conceptual understanding of who we think we are, and what we believe reality to be.

Once our attachments are rent asunder, either by our willing relinquishment of these attachments or by way of forced separation through death or displacement, or loss of attachment through 'growing out of them', or preferably due to a more permanent and elevated attachment to aspects of our essential nature, which is love, do we realize we were always alone, and that we have been bound through senses and through attachment to others and to our concepts of who we thought we were when we were in 'love' with our attachments.

So its a fallacy to believe that we are not in a state of suffering and that we are at one with our reality when we are not. The Buddha taught that it is favorable to be elevated from the attachment to suffering and to achieve this 'moksha' or enlightenment one has to become free from physical, sensual, emotional attachment by becoming attached to a more sustainable love or reality..

Today people have taken certain Buddhist principles (which became entrenched into a form of religion, - just as religious as any other on the planet - since the teacher or his followers wrote down these tenets to follow in order to become free from attachment and suffering) and converted it into a modern form of psychological philosophy by which one should try and 'live in the moment'.

But these are philosophical conceptual and intellectual premises and concepts, they are not the actual liberation and freedom from suffering that the Buddha was actually talking about or teaching.

“All of the body is in the mind, but not all of the mind is in the body.”

This statement accurately reflects current research on non-local consciousness. Such research involves studying near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences and remote viewing. It sounds pretty far out, but there is a growing body of literature suggesting that the mind is not limited to the perspectives made possible by the human body.

When we talk about the mind we often do so in the way that is synonymous with the brain. That is not my view in the least. I believe that the functions of the mind may be played out or manifest in the brain.

For example, fear or anxiety may manifest as a particular kind of brain wave (beta waves) visible on a EEG machine. But, it is a big leap to suggest that beta waves are the cause of anxiety. The beta waves are the result of the anxiety—not the cause. Sweaty palms, increased heart rate and indigestion may also be considered the cause of the anxiety. Instead, these are all products of anxiety.

How can the result of something be the cause of that same thing?


My question relates to the practice that is promoted by modern Buddhism, because it seems to me from the outside perspective that its become fashionable for western philosophical thinkers like Sam Harris etc. (perhaps Hagen has similar approach) to adopt Buddhism as a means to try know themselves or approach the study of understanding their place in the world according to their philosophical 'reality'

There is a vast tradition of how Buddhist monks and Hindu yogis over centuries have undertaken the task of controlling or conquering the mind.

There is also deep understanding by these ancient traditions of the faculties of how the mind actually works, which is possibly far more intuitively accurate understanding relative to how modern psychology and modern neuro science views the functions of mind (by their recent championing of the brain as the dynamo which produces electro-magnetic interaction supposedly creating these conscious functions or faculties, and which is the physical machine (hardware) which facilitates the functioning within its physical parameter by which the subtle mind and its attributes (software) operate).

These aspect or faculties being 1.functions of navigating thoughts stimulated by physical senses, 2.storing of memory and impressions, 3.witnessing mental activity or contemplation, 4. the driver of the primary faculties and producer of 'I'ness or self 'ego'.

So my inquiry relates to what type practice do modern Buddhists practice?
Because in its essential format as a derivative of Buddhist teaching from 3 - 4 centuries of tradition, Buddhism is essentially a religion with religious doctrine and religious tenets and practices.

Whereas in modern times it seems to have become embraced by modern psychological models especially in western intelligentsia societies for modern type psychological exploration, and these new age buzzwords like 'mindfulness' and 'being in the moment' are to my mind abstract conceptual ideas and not necessarily fundamental disciplined and focused practices.

If you find that Budfha love within yourself, you have found your destination. If you find anger, greed, lust, pride, jeolousy, hatred within yourself, then you have found your next project within. But in all cases if you find these negative things within yourself then you have taken a big step forward, because assuming every event is caused by others externally and ignoring your own reaction is actually not truth. That's living in darkness, and justifying it on religious, spiritual or scientific grounds is just making excuses. Not being either aware of yourself, your reaction, or in denial? Knowing what you did, knowing your reaction and making excuses for it? That isn't the whole picture. It's ignorance in both cases. You don't know these things, if you are even unaware you're in denial you can rest assured that's ignorance. If you find you are ignorant, then you have a moment of reality. But it's not enough, because it's not the full truth. The full truth is what's there when all those negative things are resolved, what is behind those emotional and psychological veils. Each one has its biochemistry also. You don't react in just your mind. You react in your brain and body. So these things take work to put aside, gradually, to wear away. And what is the natural way to do this? Basically focusing on the opposite : balance, peace, love. You may find that in nature, in a grain of sand, or in the eyes of your Master. For different people that point of helpful focus may be different. Generally, if you are attached to something stronger, it makes it easier to give up the other habits, grooves, mental addictions, emotional and hurtful reactions. Forgiveness is just a tool for your own development but it also makes it easier for others to do their own work as well. When you forgive, you remove yourself from someone else's reasons for hate.

And your power to do this is proportional to the attachment you have to your version of the good. You may not be very attached to the sound of the stream outside. You may not care about it when you are upset with someone, or emphatuated with your new car, or your new cat. But if, for example, your child is ill, or you must go into the office and work, then these things may automatically help you let go of reaction and understand where you really are, who you really are. Or partnership with a coach can do the same thing. Or your Master. Where the point of truth comes is where something so powerful enters your life and you are sweptvaway into that distraction. This reveals how strong your method for being in the hear and now really is. For some the presence of the Master within is the most powerful thought that helps pull the lover away from the negative thoughts. But there different ways. All roads lead to Rome if you stick with them. And if you don't, no road can take you anywhere. And if you've just left Rome, and for some reason tell yourself you are still looking for Rome, then that road leading away from Rome will also work, but you will have to go around the entire world once more. To find yourself back at Time. Only this time you won't be showing it your back. It you could just turn around and understand you walked right through Rome and didn't know it. And surprise surprise you are already at the gate. All you had to do was stop and turn around. But that's not how addictions work.

So proceed on the easiest path you see. Because after going down enough of those, discovering blind alleys, cul de sacs and dead ends that, like a mirage, looked like paradise from a distance but evaporated into nothing in practice, you may come to realize that the easiest path isn't working, and a slightly more difficult path may have greater utility and effect for you. One that actually asks something not you. One that requires you to change.

Debate can be fruitful as an intellectual (conceptual) approach may give the impetus for serious (self) study.
Regarding the quest to grasp the concept of reality I remind myself of the tale of the fish who had heard tales of a wondrous thing called the sea. The gallant fish spent many years swimming and living in his watery environment. He sought out the wisest creatures, studied all the information available but still could not understand 'sea'. He accrued an amazing wealth of information about the 'sea' and could discuss and debate it with the most learned of scholars. But to this day, he is still confused as to how, what and where this 'sea' is – in fact, he doubts it exists.

@ The Buddha never considered himself to be something other than a human being
@ -- only someone who was fully awake. He never claimed to be a god, or to be
@ inspired by God, or to have access to any occult or supernatural power. He
@ attributed his realization and understanding solely to human endeavor and
@ human ability.

RSSB mystics and many others don't either. Nor do they claim to be
god... only that the potential of god-consciousness is within all. A
modern mystic likens the idea of god to "totality of consciousness".

Nor do mystics intimate they have occult or supernatural powers.
They describe only what they've repeatedly experienced within
through mindfulness. It's a potential achievable and verifiable by
everyone -not through blind belief- but experientially.

@ A crazy thing about the world's religions, mystical paths, and other forms of
@ supposed spirituality is that they all have conflicting beliefs, yet those who
@ follow these creeds all believe that their particular faith is correct.
@ Eastern meditation practices, such as the one I used to follow, teach that
@ there is a "journey of the soul." But that's bullshit. Nobody goes anywhere.
@ Pleasingly, Buddhism embraces going nowhere.

No, I think it's clearly overly zealous to tar them all crazy. Mystics only
talk of 'journey" as a metaphor. The journey is restoring awareness and
not joyriding through "the inner regions". They claim we never stopped
being "god" or "totality of consciousness". We just lost that awareness for
the sake of roller-coaster ride into duality. A joke gone terribly wrong.

@ Generally we think of a journey as involving movement and direction, either
@ going out somewhere into the world or else leading inward, into the self. But
@ in Buddhism our journey must go nowhere -- neither in nor out. Rather, ours is a
@ journey into nearness, into immediacy. Our journey must be to awaken here
@ and now, to awaken to here and now. To be fully alive, we must be fully
@ present.

I believe mystics would argue that "journey into nearness and immediacy"
is only found within. To achieve "nowhere" and be fully alive, there is a well
traveled path. Forget god, soul, self, or "totality of consciousness". But,
notionally, the awareness that comes along the way is from inside and
not outside.

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