Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ground of Reality

When we are grounded and in touch with the Ground of Reality we are not afflicted by ego, we are present here and now, we have faith in an absolute truth which is beyond our mental concepts, and we feel comforted by a connection to all beings and all energy events in Universe. This magnificent connectivity is awe-inspiring yet it feels firm beneath our feet.
When we are in touch with the Ground of Reality we are fearless when confronting illness, hardship, suffering and the attack of evil forces. We understand that the laws of Universe (Dharma) and the law of karma (cause and effect) is our ever present refuge.
The phrase "Ground of Reality" is my own, but I equate it to the Mahayana Buddhist concept of Dharmadhātu.
From Wikipedia:
In Mahayana Buddhism, Dharmadhātu means "realm of phenomena", "realm of Truth" and of the noumenon, where Tathata (Reality "as-it-is"), emptiness, dependent co-arising and the unconditioned, uncreated, perfect and eternal Buddha are one.
Here is a passage from A DIRECT PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, being a commentary on the Mahayana teaching of THE SEVEN POINTS OF MIND TRAINING:
  1. You don't need to flee adverse circumstances, since they perform the function of a spiritual friend. Through relying on adverse conditions, you can gather accumulations, remove obscurations, remember the holy Dharma, strengthen realization, and so on.
  2. There is no need to be frightened of the magical displays of gods and demons, or the injury devils may inflict, since, because they assist you to increase your devotion and constructive activity, they are emanations of your guru or Buddha.
  3. Since previous evil karma will affect you as you practice the holy Dharma, various physical diseases and illness will occur again and again. Not just when you're really ill, but even when you have only a slight affliction such as a headache, meditate joyfully as has been said again and again in the Sutras, that all your unskillful acts and obscurations accumulated over beginning-less time are being removed and are being swept away as if by a broom.
  4. When you're suffering, there is no need to be depressed, since, when you look at the essence of sorrow, it arises as emptiness. however much suffering there is then enriches the treasury of Dharmadhātu. If all these occur, it is good; it is sufficient to carry them as aids for application. This last is an instruction not to abandon the four Dharmas for ever-present emotions, but to apply them.
This passage is very powerful and it ties in nicely with our previous discussion of Buddhist Medicine.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Buddhist Medicine

I was asked, "What health system arises from Buddhism. Other than Qi Kung and maybe Tai Qi.  Do you know?"

Good question, but there is no single answer. Just as the practice and philosophy of Buddhism itself evolved over time and was influenced by the culture of the people who adopted the practices, there is no single Buddhist medical practice.

For example, check out the excellent Wikipedia article on Traditional Tibetan medicine:  

Regardless of the culture, Buddhist medical practice is based on the belief that all illness ultimately results from the three poisons of the mind: ignorance, attachment and aversion. These three poisons are the primary causes that keep sentient beings trapped in samsara.

The root poison is ignorance. From ignorance, attachment and aversion arise. Not knowing the real nature of phenomena, we are driven to generate desire for what we like and hatred for what we do not like and for what blocks our desires.

The Buddhist idea of ignorance is equivalent to the identification of a self as being separate from everything else. It consists of the belief that there is an "I" that is not part of anything else.

Therefore, the cure for all disease, the antidote to three poisons of the mind, and the ultimate cause for happiness is to dispel the belief in an independently existing self. This is referred to as anattā or anātman, the notion of "not-self." The Buddha taught that all things perceived by the senses (including the mental sense) are not really "I" or "mine," and for this reason one should not cling to them.
Furthermore, there are some very good Buddhist teachings regarding antidotes for what ails us. Personally, my favorite is the THE SEVEN POINTS OF MIND TRAINING or Lojong. The practice involves refining and purifying one's motivations and attitudes. There are 7 Points to Lojong, which consist of the 59 Slogans. The root text of the mind training practice are designed as a set of antidotes to undesired mental habits that cause suffering.

They Lojong methods expand one's viewpoint towards absolute bodhicitta (enlightened mind), such as "Find the consciousness you had before you were born." and "Treat everything you perceive as a dream.", and methods for relating to the world in a more constructive way with relative bodhicitta, such as "Be grateful to everyone." and "When everything goes wrong, treat disaster as a way to wake up."

You may find a listing of the  7 Points of Mind Training root text at:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Trinity: Dividing the Universe into Three

How do trinities work? This is a very deep question with answers on many levels. The levels exist in many domains of human experience and knowledge. It would take a lot of words to answer this properly.

The mind naturally divides the universe into three parts:
  1. The subject or thought that our mind is considering in the moment, which is actually a set or collection of things.
  2. Everything that we think is included inside this thought, or within this consideration set.
  3. Everything that is excluded from our current thought, or outside the consideration set.
Because of this mental process our mind creates trinities. Every time we think about something we divide the universe into three parts. When we later recall our thinking process, we tend to generalize and think about the big picture which is the trinity of the situation. We think about the 'system' that our mind created when we thought about that particular consideration set. We look at the way we divided the universe with our thought. This is mostly not a conscious phenomena, but it is operational nonetheless.

One of the most powerful examples of how this innate dividing of the universe into three parts is Earth, Heaven and Hell. Primitive Human experience thought of their world as a flat plane that extended infinitely in all directions. Naturally this divides the universe into three parts: The Earth on which lives Humans and all creatures, Hell below and Heaven above.

Primitive Humans knew about the Earth on which they stood. They thought about their Earth intently and with great curiosity because their survival depended upon this knowledge. However, when they had time to think about the 'big' picture, they considered how the the universe must be divided into three distinct regions: Earth, Heaven and Hell. They imagined that beings must exist above and beneath the Earthly plane. They placed themselves in the 'big' picture and thought of a cycle of existence that must include the possibility of traveling to these other planes of existence, etc.

There are so many trinities that Humans throughout history have created that it is impossible to catalog them all. Searching the Internet for 'three' yields some interesting results. There is a very interesting website written by Michael Eck who has devoted his life to cataloging threes, see and The Book of Threes.

From Wikipedia (and other sources) some interesting facts about three.

In Mathematics:
  • Three of the five regular polyhedra have triangular faces — the tetrahedron, the octahedron, and the icosahedron. Also, three of the five regular polyhedra have vertices where three faces meet — the tetrahedron, the hexahedron (cube), and the dodecahedron. Furthermore, only three different types of polygons comprise the faces of the five regular polyhedra — the triangle, the quadrilateral, and the pentagon.
In Nature:
  • A human ear has three semicircular canals.
  • Humans perceive white light as the mixture of the three additive primary hues: red, green, and blue.
  • Genetic information is encoded in DNA and RNA using a triplet codon system.
  • Atoms consist of three constituents: protons, neutrons, and electrons.
  • We perceive our universe to have three spatial dimensions.
In Religion:
  • The Christian Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
  • The Hindu Trimurti: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer.
  • In Hinduism the three Gunas underlie action, in the Vedic system of knowledge.
  • The Hindu Tridevi.
  • The Three Jewels of Buddhism.
  • The Three Pure Ones of Taoism.
  • In Kaballah the trinity is God, Torah and Israel.
  • The three Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • The Jewish Bible, the Tanakh has 3 sections: Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketuvim.
  • There are three main divisions of Jews: Kohen, Levi, and Israel (Israelite).
  • According to the prophet Muhammad, there are three holy cities of Islam (to which pilgrimage should be made): Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.
  • The Wiccan Rule of Three.
  • The Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone; the three fates.
  • Gurdjieff's Three Centers and the Law of Three.
  • The three Doshas (weaknesses) and their antidotes are the basis of Ayurvedic medicine in India.
  • Hegel's dialectic of Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis creates three-ness from two-ness.
  • Saccidānanda, Satchidananda, or Sat-cit-ānanda is a compound of three Sanskrit words, Sat, Cit, and Ānanda, meaning truth, consciousness, and bliss respectively. The expression comes from Hinduism and is used in yoga and other schools of Indian philosophy to describe the nature of Brahman as experienced by a fully liberated yogi or saint.
It is no surprise that most of the major religions have a highly significant trinity in their teachings. What I find curious is that perhaps the most significant trinity of Human existence: Father - Mother - Child is not represented. The Christian Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost comes close. Do you think that the Holy Ghost is a substitute for Mother? Some reports state that the Blessed Virgin Mary is venerated more than Jesus Christ as a Christian Deity.

An interesting web page The Christian Goddess talks about this issue. See  (My highlight below).
Many theologians and scholars believe the Holy Spirit written as, Pneuma in Greek every time it appears in the New Testament, is a feminine being.  Note that Pneuma is a neuter word in Greek, but in Hebrew the word Ruah (Spirit) and in Aramaic the word Shekinah (Presence) are feminine words and imply a feminine divine presence.  The Holy Spirit is possibly a Christian Goddess, not a mysterious invisible member of an all-male Trinity "club."

Plato also conceived of a triad consisting of Beauty, Symmetry and Truth. Bucky Fuller talks about this in Synergetics.
Fig. 542.02 Tetrahedral Analysis of Plato's Triad: The triadic concept of Beauty,Symmetry, and Truth inadvenently omitted the function of the observer. The tetrahedron is the unique symmetrical set of minimum interrelationships.
Copyright © 1997 Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Talisman: Head - Heart - Ground

I would like to share with you a talisman that I created (see photo below). It is made of three large glass beads, stainless steel wire, and leather. The talisman empowers the actions of the wearer by connecting our Head, Heart and the Ground of reality. 
  • The top Head bead symbolizes intelligence, reasoning, logic, skill and knowledge.
  • The middle Heart bead symbolizes wisdom, openess, compassion and loving kindness. 
  • The bottom Ground Of Reality bead symbolizes truth, faith, hope, realization of the union of life and death, the understanding of the interdependence of all things, and insight that all time (past and future) and all space exist in the here-and-now.

The connection between Head, Heart and Ground is what the power of the necklace is all about. Living our life with our Head and Heart working against each other is disastrous. 
  • Many times our Head wins and the Heart loses out. We experience success, but we feel empty inside.
  • Sometimes the Heart wins out over the Head. This leads to impulsive acts that do not make sense in the big picture.
  • When we lose connection with the Ground Of Reality then we wander without direction and purpose. 
However, when all 3 are connected and working together then we act with generosity, discipline, patience, energy, clarity, and wisdom. Our life has purpose, meaning and direction and we positively affect everyone around us.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Activity Of Meditation

I would like to explore the idea of stillness during meditation. I believe that many people who do not meditate mistakenly think that meditation is all about being very still. However, stillness is not what I achieve when I meditate. In my experience, meditation is filled with activity and creativity. Allow me to explain what happens when I meditate.
One of the first books that I read on the practice of meditation by a highly realized Tibetan Buddhist teacher is Meditation In Action, by Chogyam Trungpa. The title itself says a lot about what the book reveals. I mention it here because of our ongoing discussion of meditation, creativity, activity and stillness.

From the description of Meditation In Action:
"He explores the six activities associated with meditation in action—generosity, discipline, patience, energy, clarity, and wisdom—revealing that through simple, direct experience, one can attain real wisdom: the ability to see clearly into situations and deal with them skillfully, without the self-consciousness connected with ego."

From the book, opposite the title page:
"The design on the cover is based on one of the seals of the Trungpa Tulkus (reincarted Trungpa Lamas). It is the Sanskrit word "Evam", meaning "Thus" and is used at the beginning of all sutras "Thus I have heard". At another level "E" represents the passive, and "Vam" the active force in the Universe. At a still deeper level "E" represents Emptiness, and "Vam", the Clear Light."

The multidimensional symbol of "Evam" is another reason I thought it appropriate to include the book cover here. There is no doubt that the creation of the seal of the Trungpa Tulkus was developed from a deeply meditative state. This is an example of the act of creation of a graphic symbol artistically developed to convey a profound multidimensional meaning. Furthermore, this symbol represents both the unity of passive and active forces in the universe, and the unity of emptiness and clear light.

For me, there is no stillness, even while seated in deep meditation. The universe is constantly in motion. The meditative technique includes body awareness. All my senses are working while I witness my breath going in and out, my heart beating, the incense filling my nostrils, the sight of the flickering candle, environmental sounds, the stress of the muscles in my arms, legs, spine and neck, etc. In addition, I practice walking meditation, which in that case involves walking around in circles. Sometimes meditation involves mental analysis. The practice of a Puja requires chanting, hand gestures, visualization techniques and sometimes playing a musical instrument or manipulating a ritual object. So there is activity of all sorts during meditation.

Really the only difference for me between mundane activities and meditation, is that meditation removes ego and increases realization of the ultimate nature of reality.

What happens for me during Vipassana (insight) meditation is that as I sit and concentrate on my breath, I become more in the moment. Extraneous, random and distracting thoughts disappear. I become aware of the Universe as it really is. Sometimes inspirational thoughts emerge.

From Wikipedia:
Vipassanā (Pāli) or vipaśyanā (विपश्यना, Sanskrit) in the Buddhist tradition means insight into the nature of reality. A regular practitioner of Vipassana is known as a Vipassi (vipaśyin). Vipassana is one of the world's most ancient techniques of sitting meditation, the inception of which is attributed to Gautama Buddha. It is a practice of self-transformation through self-observation and introspection to the extent that sitting with a steadfast mind becomes an active experience of change and impermanence. In English, vipassanā meditation is often referred to simply as "insight meditation".

This point is very important to me regarding insight meditation, awareness "becomes an active experience of change and impermanence." This is the awareness of the ultimate nature of reality; the union of Emptiness and Clear Light.

As is in keeping with the realization of the union of Emptiness and Clear Light, the experience of insight meditation is itself a creative act. The mind is not "turned off," it is simply in touch with the essence of reality.

Therefore, this is a prime opportunity to practice creative multidimensional thinking and to open myself to visualizations of geometric symbols representative of higher states of consciousness. The nature of how the Universe works is revealed during meditation, why not participate actively in the dance at that very moment? The better question is, "How can you sit still and not participate?"

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Wish-Fulfilling Karmic Tetrahedron Jewel

According to Wikipedia:

Cintamani is a wish-fulfilling jewel within both Hindu and Buddhist traditions, equivalent to the philosopher's stone in Western alchemy. In Buddhism it is held by the bodhisattvas, Avalokiteshvara and Ksitigarbha. It is also seen carried upon the back of the Lung ta (wind horse) which is depicted on Tibetan prayer flags. By reciting the Dharani of Cintamani, Buddhist tradition maintains that one attains the Wisdom of Buddha, able to understand the truth of the Buddha, and turn afflictions into Bodhi.

I have personally experienced the miracle of the wish-fulfilling gem on several occasions. I attribute these miracles as a result of my devotion to Avalokitesvara and many hours of meditation and the recitation of the mani.

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons ManiStone.jpg
The curious thing is that this wish fulfillment is never premeditated. These are spontaneous wishes that emerge from a source that is not from my linear and reasoned thinking mind. It is the junction of premonition and desire. It feels like a desire that arises spontaneously and in the same moment, the premonition that it will soon be fulfilled also occurs. The results come very soon after this desire/premonition. Sometimes within minutes, never more than a day later. 

QUESTION: If you KNOW that some result will occur before it physically manifests, and at the same time that you KNOW this, you experience a desirous thought for this manifestation - did the desire cause the result, or did the knowledge (precognition) of the result cause the desire? 

A close Buddhist friend of mine used to say that I "manifested" stuff. This is not a good description because it says that this is something that I cause. It doesn't feel like I cause it. Again, from Wikipedia the definition of causality:

Causality is the relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first.

However, if the cause and the effect happen simultaneously, then causality is in some way negated. In my personal experience, the effect does not happen simultaneously, but the realization that the effect WILL happen occurs simultaneously. This then is a matter of precognition and precognition is of course counter to the existing laws of science ...

Perhaps precognition is explained by R. Buckminster Fuller's concept of the Action-Reaction-Resultant Tetrahedron. From Bucky Fuller's Synergetics:

511.10   The open-ended tripartite spiral can be considered as one energy event consisting of an action, reaction, and resultant.Two such tripartite-vectored "spirals," one negative and one positive, combine to form the tetrahedronSee the diagram.

Using the concept of the Action-Reaction-Resultant Tetrahedron, then the positive spiral is the NORMAL time-space desire-driven KARMIC linear event. The negative spiral is the ANTI-NORMAL time-space precognitive INSTANT-KARMIC receptive event. 

Diagram 511.10
Copyright © 1997 Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

This wish-fulfilling karmic tetrahedron jewel manifests across time-space. It is self-fulfilling because it is comprised of the perfect union of male and female energies. The positive male open-ended tripartite spiral perfectly mates with the negative female open-ended tripartite spiral. Desire and creation manifest as a single closed system.

This model of the It defies causality and the linear model of time. It is a real life demonstration that time does NOT exist in the linear manner that we experience in mundane reality.

The Anti-Nutrients: Grains and Legumes

Just finished reading Dr. Komadina's book Born To Be Healthy and Thin and thought it to be quirky but enlightening in several areas regarding diet and nutrition. His approach to hormones, vitamins and diet are unique and refreshing. His health philosophy is straightforward and bold. His diet recommendations are in many ways similar to the Paleolithic Diet

One thing that really caught my attention because of I have Celiac disease is that he says eating grains and legumes is the cause of many of our diseases. This is because our DNA is not designed to process grains, and today's genetically engineered grains are even less edible. Eating grains and legumes damage our gut and allow toxins to enter our blood also triggering autoimmune responses. 

According to Wikipedia:

Compared to Paleolithic food groups, cereal grains and legumes contain high amounts of antinutrients, including alkylresorcinols, alpha-amylase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, lectins and phytates, substances known to interfere with the body's absorption of many key nutrients. Molecular-mimicking proteins, which are basically made up of strings of amino acids that closely resemble those of another totally different protein, are also found in grains and legumes, as well as milk and dairy products. Advocates of the Paleolithic diet have argued that these components of agrarian diets promote vitamin and mineral deficiencies and may explain the development of the "diseases of civilization" as well as a number of autoimmune-related diseases.

Never heard about lectins before now. I am just now starting my research but from what I have read so far, this issue is of grave concern to all of us. There is a great web page THE LECTIN STORY that explains in detail how lectins cause damage and disease. I encourage the reader of this blog to do their own research.

My focus now is on getting healthy and healing my body after discovering I have Celiac disease. Gluten is poison to me and I am beginning to think that other grains are not good for me either. So how do we eliminate lectins from our diet?

There is a very good article on the web Soaking Grains Exploration: Lectins Present Yet Another Problem which talks about sprouting grains a way to destroy toxic lectins. The article says:

Cooking doesn't really affect most lectins, but two traditional food preparation methods destroy or nearly completely diminish lectin content:
  1. Sprouting not only increases the overall nutrition of seeds, but it completely destroys the lectin. You can sprout both grains and legumes.
  2. Soaking beans in water and tossing the soak water also dramatically reduces lectin content.