'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

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jundocohen
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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by jundocohen » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:27 am

desertwoodworker wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:02 am

Jundo, I note thus far that you have not mentioned instances of students of yours mentioning a change in vision (or "the brain's" visual interpretation or reporting of scenes seen) upon undertaking intensive practice as on sesshin, with you. Does this mean that no one has approached you about this? That would be very interesting. I can't imagine that this phenomenon is rare. But, have a look at posture. Do many -- or few? -- sit half-lotus?

Particular posture may be key in this / to this... .

Tnx,

--Joe
Hi Joe,

I hear from folks encountering various visual phenomena all the time, but they vary in content as well as subjective interpretation. Some have aspects of what you described. I have had folks see lights, auras, enhanced colors, waves, strange movement, visions, visitations from the dead or living relatives or famous people, confusion of near and far, blending of items into each other, magnified vision (e.g., an ant crawling by appears huge), and the list goes on. Also syntestheia, seeing sounds, etc.

I don't put much stock in the half Lotus, except that sitting in a stable, balanced and comfortable posture of some manner facilitates such long sitting. I do not think that the Lotus works any particular physiological effect apart from that. Having the spine straight, upright and balanced is a good thing.

I also still have trouble with your description of there being "no thought" for weeks or months, as I have difficulty to understand any ability to function in life if so. Your definition of "no thought" must mean something else that could be described better. I am thinking (ha ha) that you mean moments of "no thought" and just bare awareness, coupled with a reduced thinking in daily life in which some aspects of thought (for example, complicated analytical problem solving and pondering) were not as engaged in most of the time. "No thought" just is a coma otherwise.

Gassho, J

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:47 am

Thanks, Jundo. Good to hear that students mentioning visual effects in practice may not be rare.

I emphasize sitting through pain as a possible increaser of visual effects, eventually, and this may occur more commonly in those who take lotus or Half-lotus, versus those in chairs or on benches; anyway, I suspect so.

I've come also to accept that what I call this enhanced, "Sesshin-vision" type of vision may be our default-mode natural vision, anyway, ancient in its origin and flowering; and that, what we fall back to, instead, when not practicing, and call "normal" vision, is in fact a degenerate "Dharma-ending" type of vision which is the root cause of all the Human-world's ills, or at least one such root cause. Because, when we're not seeing "the Nature", we're full of self, instead.

:namaste:

--Joe

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Crystal » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:51 am

jundocohen wrote: also still have trouble with your description of there being "no thought" for weeks or months, as I have difficulty to understand any ability to function in life if so. Your definition of "no thought" must mean something else that could be described better
Yes, I don't quite understand that. When I relax and meditate, thoughts settle and mind becomes spacious - and this can continue for a while afterwards - but not for weeks or months. Also, when I used to do group practices with a Vajrayana teacher, I usually had a very heightened mental state without thoughts afterwards...but I don't recall it lasting for much longer than a day.

_/|\_

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:22 pm

Dear Crystal, and Jundo Roshi,

Well, you're both missing something, in not reading with comprehension and retention (it happens). No worries. I'm here to reiterate:

And that is, I am not talking about meditation, nor states of meditation. I am talking about the state of awakening. It's in the state of awakening when no thoughts arise, because there is then no mind. For me, this has at times been for weeks; and once, for months and weeks. True Wisdom arises (like lightning, fast), and true Compassion carries out responses and actions. In no-mind and within emptiness, there is no movement, and no thoughts, and no dreams. That is all. Again, I'm not talking about states of meditation (I hope you both now get this now quite clearly). I'm talking about daily life, in the awakened condition, in walking-around, daily work-life; rest; and sleep. Wonderful! The miraculous mind of no-mind is just what teachers of olde have said it is.

I don't believe this is rare, although I find it comes about by being dependent on and relying on very good (excellent) cooperating causes and conditions, and a certain rather intense or even extreme level of practice, such as we find on intensive and lengthy meditation-practice retreats in Ch'an- and Zen-Buddhist circles. Maybe in Vipasanna also, dunno, but I have heard they can be intense too, some courses of it lasting 10-30 days (would love to try that). But for me, Ch'an retreat or Zen sesshin is my home away from home since 1979.

Of course, one may help one's likelihood and susceptibility of waking-up on retreat by maintaining a strong level of practice at home in daily life. I find that, in myself, less than two hours a day is not quite enough to maintain practice at a level or degree of samadhi-state(s). More than two hours per day for me seems to be "the ticket", with posture as half-lotus, and yoga practice and aerobic practice each day, and eating sparingly.

This amount also more than enables the onset and persistence in daily life and work, "24-7", of the wonderful "sesshin-vision" I mention, and the sensation and action all day of the soy-bean on the forehead in all one's activities and non-activities.

Folks can find literature references to accounts of experience in the awakened state, say, from autobiographies of Cha'n and Zen masters of the past, and the recent past. I tip my hat (and take it off in respect) and can say that they have not lied to us (neither has the Buddha). Usually, they do not speak over-plainly, but sometimes you'll find they do.

--Joe
Crystal wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:51 am
jundocohen wrote: also still have trouble with your description of there being "no thought" for weeks or months, as I have difficulty to understand any ability to function in life if so. Your definition of "no thought" must mean something else that could be described better
Yes, I don't quite understand that. When I relax and meditate, thoughts settle and mind becomes spacious - and this can continue for a while afterwards - but not for weeks or months. Also, when I used to do group practices with a Vajrayana teacher, I usually had a very heightened mental state without thoughts afterwards...but I don't recall it lasting for much longer than a day.

_/|\_

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Crystal » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:33 pm

"desertwoodworker" wrote:I am talking about the state of awakening. It's in the state of awakening when no thoughts arise, because there is then no mind.
Do you believe that its the same as "enlightenment", Joe?


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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by jundocohen » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:09 am

Hi Joe,

Again, I am sure that you have experienced something wonderful. I am just doubtful that it could be termed "no thought," for you could not function, work your job, pay your taxes, have conversations with loved ones with words. Were you engaged in those social activities during that period? If you did those things, you had a mind and you had thoughts.

Perhaps you were simultaneously working from thought and no thought, which is quite possible.

We are capable of certain activities without overtly conscious thought, such as driving a car or breathing. However, other activities such as discussing the day's events with one's wife, planning when to schedule a retreat during vacation periods, writing a report for work, debating on a forum require thinking. I can understand if you engaged in those activities with a simultaneously "transcendent" awareness beyond thinking complete with the bean between the eyes, great pulses of wisdom and compassion ... but you were thinking to the degress engaged in such thought requiring activities. You were moving, so there was movement, even if your heart was also in a place beyond movement or no movement. If, however, you were residing in a cave with little social interchange, staring off into space, then perhaps your description could be.
desertwoodworker wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:22 pm
Dear Crystal, and Jundo Roshi,

Well, you're both missing something, in not reading with comprehension and retention (it happens). No worries. I'm here to reiterate:

And that is, I am not talking about meditation, nor states of meditation. I am talking about the state of awakening. It's in the state of awakening when no thoughts arise, because there is then no mind. For me, this has at times been for weeks; and once, for months and weeks. True Wisdom arises (like lightning, fast), and true Compassion carries out responses and actions. In no-mind and within emptiness, there is no movement, and no thoughts, and no dreams. That is all. Again, I'm not talking about states of meditation (I hope you both now get this now quite clearly). I'm talking about daily life, in the awakened condition, in walking-around, daily work-life; rest; and sleep. Wonderful! The miraculous mind of no-mind is just what teachers of olde have said it is.

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Crystal » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:54 am

jundocohen wrote:I am just doubtful that it could be termed "no thought," for you could not function, work your job, pay your taxes, have conversations with loved ones with words. Were you engaged in those social activities during that period? If you did those things, you had a mind and you had thoughts.
Yes,I agree, for example I decided to have a cup of coffee rather than tea this morning . Yesterday I made a decision about what to cook for my evening meal. Thoughts were present in order to complete those activities .....

_/|\_

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by fuki » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:04 pm

Crystal wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:54 am
for you could not function, work your job, pay your taxes, have conversations with loved ones with words. Were you engaged in those social activities during that period? If you did those things, you had a mind and you had thoughts.
There's no such thing as your or my mind Jundo, when you talk to your loved ones you could close your eyes and still communicate with them, thoughts are also perceptions, you can be aware of them if they arise but they're not necessary perse, all activities can be done naturally without representations of brain activity, but when thoughts arise it has nothing to do with a mind, that is just a concept ofcourse that there is such a thing as mind. You can do your taxes without feelings or sounds right? so too without thinking or words. It's only when there are words we imagine there is such a thing as mind. The mind is an archetypical representation of something that never existed, but a nice fantasy playground ofcourse :D

Not that I care if thoughts arise or not. I agree talking with friends and family is mostly a "split-affair" :lol:

ps sorry quoting the wrong body/focal point there, should be Jundo instead of Crystal.

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by jundocohen » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:21 pm

fuki wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:04 pm
There's no such thing as your or my mind Jundo, when you talk to your loved ones you could close your eyes and still communicate with them, thoughts are also perceptions, you can be aware of them if they arise but they're not necessary perse, all activities can be done naturally without representations of brain activity, but when thoughts arise it has nothing to do with a mind, that is just a concept ofcourse that there is such a thing as mind. You can do your taxes without feelings or sounds right? so too without thinking or words. It's only when there are words we imagine there is such a thing as mind. The mind is an archetypical representation of something that never existed, but a nice fantasy playground ofcourse :D

Not that I care if thoughts arise or not. I agree talking with friends and family is mostly a "split-affair" :lol:
There is no such thing as personal (self) mind, except there is at least provisionally, and it is that mind that allows a person to hold a cogent conversation with other human beings, do a crossword puzzle, design a science experiment and do much else in human life. Yes, someone might do much of that while visually and hearing impaired, but still communicate in writing and read braille, which also requires thoughts. Even Helen Keller reported having thoughts before her breakthrough. In any case, many human activities require complex thoughts. So, unless Joe's life was reduced to feeding and drinking, sex, urination and defecation and other most basic brain functions we share with worms and fish, Joe was thinking in an ordinary human sense in order to function in ordinary human life. Did he utter any words to other human beings during that period in any kind of complex sentence? If so, I promise you that there were thoughts behind it.

Of course, one can also experience a transcendent state beyond thoughts at the same time, or sometimes be totally within a transcendent state when there is no need to communicate, do a crossword or science experiment. However, to the extent he was doing any of those things, he was also thinking.

I once had a fellow come to me who was having some kind of interesting medical episode, some kind of dissociated state, in which he felt that ... while he was speaking with me ... he was not speaking with me, and the words were just coming out of his mouth from some other source as if he were witnessing someone else running his body. Even more interesting, he told me this, with the "message" conveyed by the other disembodied source of the voice. He described that he was floating around some place watching his body do this. Well, maybe so ... or maybe it was just the chemical imbalance that was soon rectified by his doctor, causing him to snap out of it. Another case happened when I was contacted by someone convinced that they were dead, asking me to prove that they are alive (they were quite serious, and I never did hear the end of that case). I AM NOT SAYING AT ALL that is what happened to Joe, but I am saying that people can be sure that they are experiencing some kind of state without thoughts but, in fact, are having lots of thoughts which would be testified to by their behavior. If Joe was going to work, doing science experiments, crosswords, having conversations with content beyond grunting at other human beings, he was having thoughts.

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by fuki » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:33 pm

I understand what you're saying. I'm just saying that there's always the potential for thought activity but it's possible that in whatever activity there are no thoughts. Ofcourse when we refer to our own experiences/memory we consider things not possible if we only have that as a reference.

I once cycled 12 kilometers to an appointment without being in the room (consciousness) it wasn't a state of unconsciousness, it just shows YOU whom is always prior to the cosmos doesn't require to be manifest or consciously represented in a vehicle/galaxy/universe.

Ofcourse that's not what Joe is refering to, I'm just saying whether "in" or "out" of the room, human nature will function on its own accord without any of the fantasy of an inhabitant with a so called volition or non-volition, same is true when "in" the room whether with or without thoughts, there is a potential for thoughts arising but it isn't necessary. But mostly ppl say things are like this or that based on their own private memories, and it can't be other. I'm more "open-minded" with such thingies. :lol:

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:50 pm

Jundo,

I understand; and these speculations of yours, informed evidently by the moving mind of samsara, are natural to pose, and presumes that the person posing them has not experienced the condition I speak of. Else, you'd only nod and smile in appreciation of a shared experience. No disrespect intended. Maybe it's not as common an outcome of intensive practice as I would have thought.

But conditions may have to be quite ideal. I was truly lucky.

When I say no thoughts of any kind, and no motion of mind, I mean exactly that, exactly those things, with no equivocation. Astonishing, yes.

But, more astonishing, was what there was instead, the wonderful, marvelous, and miraculous mind of no mind, and its functioning. The ancestors have not lied to us!

What reigned was the instantaneous and spontaneous unbidden true Wisdom and true Compassion, arising in seamless response to circumstances, events, and beings.

As I say, this awakened condition eroded when I took on too many extra responsibilities and work, and did not support and nourish this condition with an evidently necessary amount of practice to sustain it beyond 2 1/2 months. One has not a thought for oneself ;) , in this condition, where practice seems to sustain itself provided it is not displaced or pre-empted by too much dedicated output of activity and work (it's self-sustaining practice in the sense of: "when hungry, just eat; when tired, just sleep").

Live and learn.

This sharing of no-mind for me has been the very lengthy and rich experience that has solidified my faith in Buddhist teaching, and especially in Ch'an- and Zen-Buddhist practice over the following 40 years to the present.

best rgds,

--Joe

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by jundocohen » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:01 pm

Hi Joe,

I think you misunderstand me. I think the condition possible, but you have not answered whether you were, during this same period, having complex conversations with other human beings, doing the crossword, designing science experiments, weighing whether it was time to get an oil change for the car, considering whom to vote for. If you were not doing such things (or equivalent human activities), then I totally believe and know that such states are possible (I believe I have experienced something akin while on "auto-pilot" during a couple of highly regimented and structured Japanese retreats in which choice was almost completely out of my hands, and the routine was repetitive and mechanical. I was like an automaton and quite blissful).

However, if you did engage in any other the activities which I listed (or their equivalent), could you tell me in some detail how you were able to perform those tasks without thought, and where the seemingly necessary mental work involved happened if not thought?

Thank you for your patience.

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:12 pm

Crystal,

"Enlightenment" was a mis-translation by some British translators when they first tried to put some Buddhist writings into English.

We can't blame them too scathingly for this gaff, though, because, really, they had no analog in their own experience. And so they reached, probably, for some development in Western religion or intellectual history, such as "the Era of Enlightenment", and used that as their analog. What a poor choice, but they were ignorant of what the Buddha had in fact experienced and come to embody (awakening; and the awakened state, or condition).

What the Buddha is given to have claimed is that he is "Awake". But the Brit translators glorified this with the word "Enlightenment", instead. Pity! And more's the pity. It's confused a lot of English-speaking people over centuries. It's past time that that ended.

So, I can't answer your question in any way except to say that: Yes, being awake is being awake (and in the way that the Buddha meant it).

In the Ch'an and Zen traditions, it's known as our natural state, our original state/face before our parents were born, our original Human inheritance. The mind of no mind. Hail!

--Joe
Crystal wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:33 pm
"desertwoodworker" wrote:I am talking about the state of awakening. It's in the state of awakening when no thoughts arise, because there is then no mind.
Do you believe that its the same as "enlightenment", Joe?
Last edited by desertwoodworker on Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by fuki » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:15 pm

desertwoodworker wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:50 pm
Maybe it's not as common an outcome of intensive practice as I would have thought.

But conditions may have to be quite ideal. I was truly lucky.
Speaking then of "open-mindedness" nice conceptual framework eh :lol:

Would you then also say it's possible though not very common that beings (humans or non-humans) experience that condition without intensive practise or no practise at all, even if you might not have any proof/memory of encountering them? :D

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:28 pm

Fuki,

YOU'RE a cat person:

Take a look at ANIMALS, then.

Animals perform a lot of very complex and extremely exacting, skilful tasks. Do they have thoughts? Any thoughts at all? Do they put things to themselves in words? Do they ponder and calculate? Or do they just act on what's necessary and needed?

Fuki, don't let yourself be jerked around by the moving-mind of samsara, Marcel, making you think as in your post, and rule on such things. Not that you CAN, as a matter of will, stop this samsaric mind and mode. Only correct and sufficient practice, and a good guide ("teacher") in this, can kill the mind of samsara dead, starve it out, until it's belly-up, feet in the air, and disappears in an instant as you wake up.

If preparations and purifications have been adequate, and practice has been correct and natural, then it may last a good long while, too, before the fog rolls in densely again. And so, we practice. For ourselves and all beings.

Strong practice,

--Joe
fuki wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:15 pm
desertwoodworker wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:50 pm
Maybe it's not as common an outcome of intensive practice as I would have thought.

But conditions may have to be quite ideal. I was truly lucky.
Speaking then of "open-mindedness" nice conceptual framework eh :lol:

Would you then also say it's possible though not very common that beings (humans or non-humans) experience that condition without intensive practise or no practise at all, even if you might not have any proof/memory of encountering them? :D

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by fuki » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:35 pm

Ah Joe, you made me weep a little (not as in an emotional reactivity) because I know your words are true, just like a few others I was fortunate to meet.
Thanks for the inspiration as always, from the cats too (and all beings)

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:47 pm

Hi, Jundo. I had no intention of evading any questions, and did not see you pose any. You seemed to be making assumptions that thinking was simply necessary, even despite what I reported to the contrary. This is and was effrontery to me, but I racked it up to a lapse in your reading comprehension and retention, as I mentioned.

It seems you're still assuming what you assumed about thinking as being necessary in the awakened state, and thinking's being present. It is not, and was not.

The miracle of the marvelous mind of no-mind is just that. Miraculously-functioning. One must just experience it, and then one can if one wishes, as you say, "tell ... in some detail how you were able to perform those tasks without thought, and where the seemingly necessary mental work involved happened if not thought?"

I leave the exercise to the Professor. :556:

Your moving-mind needs no more silage to chew on.

--Joe
jundocohen wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:01 pm
Hi Joe,

I think you misunderstand me. I think the condition possible, but you have not answered whether you were, during this same period, having complex conversations with other human beings, doing the crossword, designing science experiments, weighing whether it was time to get an oil change for the car, considering whom to vote for. If you were not doing such things (or equivalent human activities), then I totally believe and know that such states are possible (I believe I have experienced something akin while on "auto-pilot" during a couple of highly regimented and structured Japanese retreats in which choice was almost completely out of my hands, and the routine was repetitive and mechanical. I was like an automaton and quite blissful).

However, if you did engage in any other the activities which I listed (or their equivalent), could you tell me in some detail how you were able to perform those tasks without thought, and where the seemingly necessary mental work involved happened if not thought?

Thank you for your patience.

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by p22 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:00 pm

I have no idea what you guys are talking about of course but when I zone out I'm not paying attention completely .. Im off in the clouds ..

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:07 pm

Talking about: "'The ZEN of EVERYTHING!", evidently. ;)

What do you mean by "of course"??

Howdy, p22,

--Joe
p22 wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:00 pm
I have no idea what you guys are talking about of course but when I zone out I'm not paying attention completely .. Im off in the clouds ..

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Crystal » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:12 pm

.

Like the morning mist that dissolves into thin air,
Going nowhere but ceasing to be,
Waves of conceptualization, all the mind's creation, dissolve,
When you behold your mind's true nature


http://keithdowman.net/mahamudra/tilopa ... ching.html

_/|\_


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