Recent comments

As per the "karma not existing" thing

Pigeon 2023-05-30

Commenting on: No cosmic justice

I can offer a bit of pedantry here (as I myself am not really a practitioner or necessarily believe any of this stuff…), but as per the part about Dzogchen rejecting the law of karma, I just read “A Treasure Trove of Scriptural Transmission : A Commentary on The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena” by Longchen Rabjam – one of the most important (if not THE most important) text on Dzogchen – and he definitely says that karmic actions ripen unfailingly.

He also says neither karma, samsara, nirvana, or the mind itself actually exist. So I guess “awakening” in this context really is ultimately about loosening the knots of self-reifying illusions and then realizing that they, as well as their apparent functioning according to causal determinism, never existed to begin with (like waking up in your bed and realizing the dream you just had isn’t anywhere to be found).

It’s subtle and can easily be interpreted as nihilism (hence all the warnings).

Jed McKenna

David Chapman 2023-05-13

Commenting on: Meditation risks, safety, goals, methods

Not familiar with his work, sorry.

Is Jed McKenna a Zombie?

Todd 2023-05-13

Commenting on: Meditation risks, safety, goals, methods

If you are familiar with the works ascribed to Jed McKenna, would you describe him as someone whose pursuit of “enlightenment” (or “abiding non-dual awareness” as he describes it) resulted in him turning himself into a zombie?

above comment

cucumbers 2023-04-24

Commenting on: The mindfulness crisis and the end of Consensus Buddhism

Above comment too long, i think its about how pizza relates to mindfullness, sadly it does not

Liberals peddling Mindfullness

Jessica Joy Jefferson 2023-04-13

Commenting on: The mindfulness crisis and the end of Consensus Buddhism

I respect Buddhists way more than I respect left-leaning liberals who push “mindfullness” onto me, considering that I’m an Eastern Orthodox Christian and these teachings and beliefs are foreign and heterodox to my Church’s teachings. We are taught to focus on Christ, the rest of the Trinity who is all equally God in 3 persons, His Saints and His Mother. Sure we have the Jesus prayer, but this is actually again focusing on God and not us and we are actually trying to achieve Theosis or likeness to God in His energies, but not His essence.

I’m sick and tired of the left forcing this “mindfullness” agenda onto everyone and everytime I hear someone say to “remember to be mindful,” I secretly get so annoyed and want to punch them honestly. It’s very annoying and you hear it all of the time!

I hear it as a term when people are trying to stop you from having any sort of opinion that differs from the let’s viewpoint or to control you, say telling you at work to be “mindfull” of how much perfume you should wear, when really we should wear whatever and as much perfume as we like, as long as we aren’t bathing in it.

I don’t know, many people compared to the past have become real special snowflakes now and you’re not allowed to be yourself or say anything anymore and every little thing you say is offensive, even if it isn’t. Like the Aladdin movie or the story of Cinderella being offensive for some weird reason… And oh we have to be mindul and introduce non-gendered play to kids at a young age, when we should just let kids be kids and let them play with whatever and without making a big deal of it.

And I don’t want to look at my thoughts or a slice of pizza I’m eating and think how it makes me feel and count how many bits of pepperoni are on the pizza or such silliness. I feel like if you think about things too much, you start to lose your sense of humor and also are actually no longer in the present moment when you think too much, ironically. Many people I meet who practice “mindfullness” even shrug off sarcasm and any sort of criticizing of anything, too. What a bore!

Santidhammo Bhikkhu, Thomas Flint, and the passing of time

David Chapman 2023-03-16

Commenting on: Tantric Theravada and modern Vajrayana

Thank you very much for pointing out the error! I have corrected it.

I wrote this in 2013; at that time, it summarized (as far as I could tell) pretty much everything written in English on the topic. Since then, there’s been extensive additional scholarship; the Wikipedia “Southern Esoteric Buddhism” entry summarizes some of it. I don’t have time to update my own discussion, unfortunately.

I note that Santidhammo Bhikkhu has reconverted to Catholicism and goes (as you mentioned) by his previous name, Thomas Flint. Interesting seeing how things change and also how they stay the same.

Author Attribution Error on Cambodian Vajrayana

Anonymous 2023-03-15

Commenting on: Tantric Theravada and modern Vajrayana

Hi David,

Thanks for your post - it’s very valuable in this subject area where there’s scant research.

I just wanted to point out an error I found in the section
“See blog posts by Bhikkhu Gavesako: overview; history; meditation methods; texts. He also contributed to a useful forum thread.”

Bhikkhu Gavesako did start the forum thread, but the links he included were not his own blog writings. The blog posts were written by Santidhammo Bhikkhu (Thomas Flint).

Thanks again!

Broken link

David Chapman 2023-03-12

Commenting on: Wrathful practice

Sorry about that! I assembled Vividness from bits of three different web sites. One site was about the Aro gTér, which I used to be a student of, but no longer am; so I removed those bits.

There’s an introduction to the topic of romance in tantra here. The book Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon covers it in detail.


S 2023-03-12

Commenting on: Wrathful practice

Also wanted to comment that

just brings me to a page saying “Sorry, you are not authorized to view this page. It’s probably just a draft.”
Was linked on your vampire site. I’d be genuinely curious about your/tantras view on romance, and I don’t know where else to comment.

Eternalism absolutely false?

Marshall 2023-02-14

Commenting on: A Dzogchen-shaped hole in the culture

Hey there,

I see that you’ve mentioned eternalism is false, but I don’t understand how you could be absolutely sure about that. Which chapter in your book and/or external resource would be best for understanding this idea? I’ve gone back and forth on this idea, but I thought there was no way to be absolutely sure.

Thank you!

What "rbf" said is spot on

Courtney 2023-02-14

Commenting on: Shambhala Training was secular Vajrayana

Contemplate his “Spiritual Will” drafted prior to his death. Note the 2 parts…

I dabbled around various teachings through the pandemonia 2020-2021. Bardos, Pure lands, Ian Baker’s book “The Heart of the World”. I have no experience, still on prelims.

What struck me from all the ‘all are welcome’ courses is - how are the yidams used as a means? Same for the Rigden King (PG-13 version) I suspect. Monarch - not monarchy.

My phrase is: “drop it on a fractal” regarding my understanding. As within, so without, etc. “dakini language” self-secret based on one’s level of experience.

Note he said to not systemitize the teachings. Not sure how that would pan out in a culture accustomed to having a syllabus and path a with distinct career field at the end. Supplication to a teacher, but how would one know what teachings to ask and know enough people to make it worthwhile? That’s my hang-up.

Given the times, I’m sure people would make a ‘trip’ of Buddhist symbolism, and he sought to avoid as his style developed. Most requested “more Buddhism!” if they so chose to continue. I knew a retired CFO who managed his Christian church books, and was satisfied after the first set of secular courses (bad word). So it worked to a point. For the rest of us who still didn’t get it, there was another round and assemblies…

To illustrate how subtle he could be, read the conversation shortly before his death. There is meaning - I sense the wit, but don’t know what it means.


Conrad 2023-02-03

Commenting on: Developing ethical, social, and cognitive competence

You mention that at stage 5, one is able to relativize ideologies as useful tools, and that this allows one to “conjure with systems, as animated characters in a magical shadow-play drama.”

I am wondering what you mean by this? And could you give an example (that would be relevant to someone not familiar with Buddhism)?

I take this to mean something like, when you see a systematic worldview as a tool or a toy, by playing with it you can create interpretations that appear as reality to someone who accepts the systematic worldview as absolute reality. Therefore to them it might appear that you have the ability to create real things out of nothing, i.e. to “conjure”.

And this sounds nice, but it’s very difficult for me to imagine what an example of this would look like, and that makes me skeptical of my understanding.

Cosmic justice is not a Indian Buddhism concept

Alipio Fernandes 2023-01-10

Commenting on: No cosmic justice

This view about karma is some sort of justice is not part of India Buddhism.
In early sutras the Buddha appears attributing this sort of view to Jainism.
The ground of first and second turning teaching causality is the concept of interdependent origination. The view of all a person experience is the result of a previous life action would contract the doctrine of multiple causes. So a person suffering can’t be said to be only a their all action results.
In the Yogacara teaching, consciousness is the focus. While often called a idealist school, Yogacara is not neither denying a out of mind world or affirming it. However, in this school, the position about karma is that a person would collect a seed and ripen is into a experience. So the seed of attachment would ripen as the experience of suffering. Not as an action result.
Asian Buddhist master use this concept of karmic punishment to control people. But it’s not a India Buddhist concept.

Mystical Experience

Eftixismeni 2023-01-07

Commenting on: Are mystical experiences metaphysical evidence?

I had a mystical experience that had nothing to do with my religious upbringing. That maybe the case for some people but not for me. In fact it showed my universal truths and the truth of God. It was more of a revelation than subjective experience based on my religion. I never studied or learned about any of the stuff I was shown in my life. I had to do a lot of research and educating myself as to what I was shown.

Enjoyment is also pervasive (if you look)

David Chapman 2022-12-22

Commenting on: Charnel ground

Hmm. First, I am sorry you are suffering. This is a difficult time of year, which may not help!

Did you read the companion piece, “Pure Land”? Horror is pervasive, but so is enjoyment.

Half a dozen hours of practice a day is a lot. It’s unusual to do that much other than under the close supervision of a lama, and probably a bad idea. Do you have a lama? If so, can you ask them these questions instead of me (a random nobody on the internet)?

“All suffering and misery comes from self-cherishing” is a sutric view. For tantra, there is no problem with your self, and suffering has no special significance.

What the hell are you doing practicing all that fancy stuff, if it’s not enjoyable? Those are tools; if you aren’t getting the results you want from them, either there’s something subtly off about how you are practicing them, or else they are not the best practices for you right now. Have you talked to your lama about this? That’s what they should be for, although unfortunately many of them aren’t very helpful.

I don’t know you at all, and I have no qualifications to give personal advice even if I did—but if you want the opinion of a random nobody on the internet, I’d suggest backing way off on your formal practice. Try treating “finding enjoyment in ordinary everyday things” as your main practice for a while.

no escape...

matt 2022-12-22

Commenting on: Charnel ground

If there’s no escape or salvation and if all suffering and misery comes from self-cherishing, then what the hell am I doing wasting half a dozen hours a day practicing mahamudra, dzogchen, deity-practice, tummo and clear-light yoga? Why don’t I just blow my brains out instead?

super enlightened

super enlightened 2022-11-26

Commenting on: Inclusion, exclusion, unity and diversity

i’ve spent way too many hrs here. noteworthy observations:

  • majority preoccupation with the dangers of PC culture, “liberal Western values,” and leftism, to the point of engaging in overt mockery in some posts.
  • an implicit bias in favor of tantra.
  • political self-identification as an [enlightened] “centrist”
  • an overall STEMlord arrogance and belief in the primacy of intellect that I, a former “tech-bro,” can easily identify

Regardless of the 98% deeply interesting and valuable content here, it’s still interesting that some noteworthy, recurring themes (fears) appear with more regularity than others. Unconsciously, perhaps.

I can’t help but wonder if you wound up joining the Curtis Yarvins of the world in embracing some sort of neoreactionary, political trad-conservatism. Or maybe brain worms just start munching away as one gets older and folks get anxious that the world is gasp changing in ways that are, quite frankly, scary.

The “my spouse is x” argument is so reminiscent of the tried and true “I have black friends so it’s okay! I’m one of the good ones!” that it’s borderline absurd. / hacker news

Are these websites you frequent?

<hr />

I am done being cruel now. That was exhausting.

Dead Link on the Dalai Lama's Agenda

Dan 2022-11-05

Commenting on: Why Westerners rebranded secular ethics as "Buddhist" and banned Tantra

Hi there, I just came across this site and am devouring it. I would like to know more about what you called the Dalai Lama’s agenda with respect to the “Open Letter” conference. Couldn’t find the referenced “Buddhist Geeks” podcast.

My overarching interest, and what led me to your site, is that I’m trying to understand why so many prominent Buddhist commentators seem to buy into superficial, mainstream news narratives regarding current world events. If they really want to implement compassion, it seems they should spend the time and energy going down rabbit holes of independent media rather than swallowing wholesale the propaganda coming from corporate mockingbird press on issues such as COVID, Ukraine, climate change, etc. I think your series on Buddhist ethics (or lack thereof) goes a long way toward explaining this; that is, there is a blanket imperative to feel compassion but with no guidance on ethical implementation. Further, I think the self-flattery of “I’m a compassionate person” tends to blind good people to any awareness of the deeper narratives and agendas relating to things like COVID. “I’m too virtuous to ‘question the science’.” I call it “the blindness of goodness”. But–and now I will fully out myself as a conspiracy realist–I also wonder if people like the Dalai Lama are not simply blinded by goodness but rather are consciously onboard with a technocratic, eugenicist population control agenda which they have convinced themselves is the only ethical way for humanity to proceeed.
So I’m looking for that missing link, but also any insight into my overall theme here. And I’m definitely not interested in hearing uninformed opinions from people who have yet to question official COVID narratives and therefore have no idea what’s going on. They are a lost cause almost three years into this.

Teaching models

David Chapman 2022-10-04

Commenting on: Why Dzogchen?

most teachers of Dzogchen and Mahamudra require the traditional 4 Thoughts/100,000’s ngöndro first. Or, if they don’t, they’re looking to inspire you over a weekend, rather than follow you through the process over time

Yes, that’s true I think. There’s both cultural and economic reasons for that, but it’s unfortunate.

Thanks for that

Sam Reed 2022-10-04

Commenting on: Why Dzogchen?

It seems like most teachers of Dzogchen and Mahamudra require the traditional 4 Thoughts/100,000’s ngöndro first. Or, if they don’t, they’re looking to inspire you over a weekend, rather than follow you through the process over time. It’s good to know that between Aro and Evolving Ground there are a couple of teachers who thread the needle. Thanks again.

The New Vajrayana

Cheryl Kass 2022-10-04

Commenting on: Approaching Vajrayana

There is resonance with the Teachings of the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa.
New cannot replace old as they co-exist.
Worm holes can get very claustrophobic.
Myth of Freedom and Cutting through Spiritual Materialism are good starting places.
I chuckle if you have encountered his work, I am the fool.
Said with care and compassion for all struggling beings, may your path be clarified with peace and self knowledge.

Dzogchen Ngöndro

David Chapman 2022-10-02

Commenting on: Why Dzogchen?

Hi Sam,

The description of the four practices as “Dzogchen ngöndro” may be unique to the Aro gTér. (I am not certain of this). However, more-or-less the same set of practices are taught (with some variation) in other systems—for instance elsewhere in Dzogchen, and in Essence Mahamudra.

My spouse Rin’dzin/Charlie teaches them in the Evolving Ground community. “Opening Awareness” is their version of shi-ne, taught as the “foundational practice” (ngöndro, effectively) for Dzogchen.

Shi-ne is more-or-less the same across Vajrayana systems, actually. Lhathong (= shamatha) methods vary much more. This makes sense, because Shi-ne is about emptiness, which is devoid of characteristics, whereas lhathong is about form, which is endlessly diverse!

Desperately Seeking Dzogchen

Sam Reed 2022-10-02

Commenting on: Why Dzogchen?

Hi David,

Once again, I’m a latecomer to this site but am really glad to have found it. So much resonates that I’ve not found written elsewhere.

Regarding the Dzogchen ngondro–who the heck teaches it? All my online searching has turned up only Aro. Is that about right? Not that I wouldn’t go with Aro, maybe I would, but it might be nice to know what my options are. Any tips?

Thank you,


Kegan's 'communal mode' solution is wrong

udh 2022-09-14

Commenting on: Developing ethical, social, and cognitive competence

The honeymoon example Kegan gave and the ‘communal’ solution is wrong because

a) Randomly springing (i.e. without asking) a holiday on your spouse and kids means you didn’t take into consideration spouse & kids needs.

b) Go to places like Ikaria. This dilemma never shows up to begin with because everyone lives nearby and possibly in the same house.

Finally, I cannot see why you would not just say: - we (me & spouse) planned this holiday for just us. If all of us (me, spouse, parents, kids) want to get together; let’s plan something together - a holiday, picnic etc.

you get your couple holiday and also make it clear if you want to do an ‘all-together’ then its going to be another time, and planned by all of you (well maybe not kids).

Lotus Buddhas

Lotus Buddhas 2022-09-13

Commenting on: The Making of Buddhist Modernism

Buddhists today are too attached to the Dharma. They spend too much time arguing about things they haven’t really experienced. Like the story about the raft, you should leave it when you’ve crossed to the other side.

Building it up to tear it down

Sam Reed 2022-09-04

Commenting on: Some preliminaries: ngöndro

Thanks for that, David. Makes sense. I’m fairly certain he does not, or did not, mix the two.

The quote you include is timely. It’s funny–approaching Vajrayana in my 40’s, I can dimly see that the work ahead is to undermine the very self I’ve spent the last couple decades working to strengthen, in however healthy a way. Or it’s to experience that self as made more of space than of particles. Or something.

Also intrigued by Aro Ter, I’ll have to check that out. Anyways–thoughtful stuff, all around.

Different flavors of enlightenment

Andrew Skotzko 2022-09-03

Commenting on: Epistemology and enlightenment

Hi David,

First off, thank you so much for your writing. I devoured the whole Vividness site over the last 1-2 weeks and found it extremely interesting. I’m grateful to you for giving language to some of the discrepancies I’d struggled with and been unable to articulate.

Regarding the possibility that there may be multiple “flavors” of enlightenment, I thought you may be interested in this study.

I haven’t finished going through it, but one of the ways it was framed to me by a teacher I’ve worked with is that the evidence suggests the various maps of practice are in fact leading to different awakenings. For example, the hinayana map leads to neural changes that tend to shut down the sense of self, whereas the vajrayana tend toward changes that shift the seat of “self” from a more local to global sense of identification (e.g. identifying as lively spacious awareness itself).

I’m new to my explorations of vajrayana/tantra—I’m using those words as synonyms, which I think is how you do as well—but thought this was a fascinating bit.

Daniel P. Brown and psychotherapy as ngöndro

David Chapman 2022-09-01

Commenting on: Some preliminaries: ngöndro

Hi, Sam, I’m glad you found this helpful!

I know only a little bit about Daniel P. Brown’s work. I do know a couple of clueful people who speak highly of it.

From what little I’ve heard, I’m slightly wary of his synthesizing psychotherapeutic ideas with Vajrayana. (If it’s the case that he does that.) I don’t think those are compatible.

However, psychotherapy as a preparation for Vajrayana, or as a complement to it, does make sense. Not technically as ngöndro, but as maybe a precursor or supplement to ngöndro.

In my spouse Rin’dzin‘s Evolving Ground system, the three-part “base” for Vajrayana practice consists of opening awareness meditation, ethical maturity, and personal autonomy. Psychotherapy could definitely be helpful in establishing the last of those, and probably ethical maturity as well.

They write:

Many therapies facilitate self-confidence. Therapies often consolidate boundaries and personal identity, self-worth, personal agency, and autonomous activity. They rely on narrative and commentary to clarify personal processes. This is valuable for skillful, emotionally mature relationships. Knowing yourself, your preferences, and your limits is important!

Opening awareness leads to another, complementary sort of confidence, based in a clear mind, free from commentary. This experience does not eliminate personal boundaries and emotions—neither does it consolidate them. It brings relational habits into view such that more choices and self-possibilities are available. In everyday experience this confidence leads to fluid, responsive activity.

Depending on your circumstances, you may want to practice self-confidence and self-worth in therapy before or alongside starting a meditation practice. If you have unprocessed trauma or difficulty dealing with your emotions, therapy can be a valuable complement to opening awareness.

Somehow, somewhen, someone benefitted

Sam Reed 2022-09-01

Commenting on: Some preliminaries: ngöndro

I just wanted to submit a note of appreciation for the uncommon perspective of this page and the site as a whole. I had been planning to start the traditional ngondro of one of the Nyingma lineages this fall, but I admit that what I read here gives me pause.

I’d be curious to know if you are familiar with the late Harvard professor and meditation teacher Daniel P. Brown and his Pointing Out the Great Way method. Apparently students are guided through Mahamudra and Dzogchen without a ngondro requirement, which seems unusual. He says in an interview that psychotherapy is like a ngondro for Westerners–an intriguing notion (not to mention, for this well-therapized Californian, a convenient one).

Thanks for your time.

Zen transmission

David Chapman 2022-08-30

Commenting on: Beyond emptiness: Zen, Tantra, and Dzogchen

Thanks, that’s useful and interesting… I know Zen only from reading, and the more I did of that, the less I understood it, so it’s very likely that you are right and I am wrong!

What I’ve read is that in Zen “transmission” is formal authentication as a teacher, which maybe notionally equates to an instantaneous recognition of wisdom mind, but is basically a ceremony. Maybe this is a degeneration of the Real Thing. The use of dbang (empowerment) in Tibetan Buddhism as a generic ceremony is certainly such a degeneration.

Notionally, a ceremony that includes the vajra master empowerment gives you the ability and right to serve as a guru yourself, and most modern ceremonies do, but they no longer have that function.

And although “empowerment” is sometimes equated with “transmission” (I did in TFA) this is not accurate—certainly not from a Dzogchen POV, where transmission is any moment in which rigpa jumps from teacher to student, and can be entirely informal or accidental.

Zen Transmission and Tantric Transmission

Nicky D 2022-08-30

Commenting on: Beyond emptiness: Zen, Tantra, and Dzogchen

In Tantric initiations (I’m acquainted with Sakya Kriya and Nyingma Mahayoga/MahaAti) there is a point where the Lamas give transmission of wisdom mind. I have always understood that as the same as dharma transmission in the Zen tradition. In the Korean Zen tradition (what I’m acquainted with) there’s dharma combat between teacher and student and when the students realization is the same as the teachers it’s the transmission of wisdom mind. Maybe the semantics are different but to me seems like the same shit!

No Strings Attached Budhism

Kevin 2022-08-02

Commenting on: Buddhism shattered

Another way Tolle makes his system attractive is that anyone can practice it and improve their life right now, in their living room, no strings attached. I think Budhism has a much higher perceived entry barrier. It scares people away thinking you have to find a teacher/Guru and practice for 100 hours to even know if this thing is working, and even then you wont know for sure it wasn’t just your bad Guru.

A Budhism Lite that required less input but didn’t distort the teaching could be attractive.


Adam 2022-07-31

Commenting on: Buddhist morality is Medieval

I’m actually pretty disgusted to hear that the sangha accepted slaves as gifts. It would be more than fine, if they accepted them and freed them. But to keep them in bondage is something I strongly disagree with.

I believe in the golden rule, do not do something to someone if you don’t want them to do it to you. I don’t want to be a slave, so I could never enslave someone.

I’m unsure of these scriptures, since they were written hundreds of years after the Buddha. Who knows what he really said.

Dangers, redux

SusanC 2022-07-21

Commenting on: Meditation risks, safety, goals, methods

So, I recently mentioned to my friend S. that I was thinking of trying mindfulness, and she said I should be careful of that. From this site, I was already aware of potential risk, but was a little curious about how she knew. It turns out, she knows some Buddhists (via the Extinction Rebellion movement) who communicated to her this very useful piece of information.

Well, my problem is that I’m too much in my own thoughts most of the time, and a little being-in-the-present might do me some good.

Lucid dreaming on the other hand … no, just no. I haven’t tried lucid dreaming in a long time, but back when I did I had a very bad experience that I did not recognize as such as the time. There were several potential causes, of which lucid dreaming is just one (having PTSD was one of the others). The lucid dreaming might have been nothing to do with it.


Be careful with this stuff.

The thought “my life sucks, being in a dream I can control sounds like it would be much more fun” is, I think, a dangerous one. It is also probably not what motivated traditional Buddhists, but seems present in the contemporary lucid dreaming community.

Bad experience #2 was finding out what happens when I’m isolated for an extended period during covid lockdowns. This made me re-evaluate bad experience #1.

Naked truth

Jeff 2022-07-20

Commenting on: Some preliminaries: ngöndro

Dear David, there is so much truth and light in your posts! Thank you for speaking out, you are the hero for many of us sincere practitioners!

I felt huge relief from loneliness when I stumbled upon your blog. I’m happy I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

As for ngondro, I believe we have already developed a method to replace it - Enligthened Intensive by Charles Berner.

It’s the first method that really gave me a taste of enlightenment. I didn’t make it on my 1st seminar, but I did on the 2nd. And because of how its done, I find it to be the perfect preparation for tantra.

Its really one heck of a violent method but it works so well.

Lucid dreaming risks

SusanC 2022-07-14

Commenting on: Meditation risks, safety, goals, methods

I have changed my mind about lucid dreaming. I now think it can be very dangerous. The risk is that you lose contact with reality without realizing that that is what has happened.

Blocking out

SusanC 2022-07-05

Commenting on: Meditation risks, safety, goals, methods

I have had a sudden thought about this:

What CBT calls “blocking out”, or using some distraction to avoid thinking about the thing that’s worrying you, might in the long run be extremely bad. Presumably just as bad if the blocking out activity is meditation, rather than surfing the Internet or some other distraction.

At this point, commenters may say “people who do that are doing meditation wrong”. Quite possibly. The main idea in this thread is that doing meditation wrong might be bad for you.


Possible things people might be blocking out at the moment: trying to suppress their fear of covid19.

(Lots of people I know have had covid19 in the past few weeks; all of them are ok, including one vulnerable person with previous history of respiratory infections.)


Dawn Martin 2022-05-19

Commenting on: Beyond emptiness: Zen, Tantra, and Dzogchen

Humourous, lighthearted wisdom, so often sadly lacking among the more orthodox, thank you for this.

Wakeful Awareness

Drew 2022-03-25

Commenting on: A Trackless Path: Dzogchen in plain English

I find your description of Dzogchen as “simply wakeful awareness” interesting, if not frustratingly simple. In the context of the four naljors, could it be said that shi-ne is discovering the wakefulness of awareness just by itself, and that lhatong is integrating that wakefulness with phenomena?

As an aside, I love McLeod’s books. He’s probably my biggest influence in terms of practice, particularly the book Wake Up To Your Life. He has described that book as being about the the sutric path, but the final two chapters always seemed Dzogchen-ish to me.


Drew 2022-03-09

Commenting on: Sutra and Tantra compared

Thanks, that is interesting. Coincidentally, just after posting that comment, I remembered that I have a Mahamudra book called ‘Mind at Ease’ on my kindle and started re-reading it. I do recall from before that the chapter on insight practices mostly deals with observing the nature of thoughts.