OpenDharma So Far

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by in Blog

collection of my #openDharma hashtag tweets, starts on August 13th 2011

Buddhahood is always already open source. Learn your code and get to work.

Traditional teachings are written in ancient, often obsolete code. Such codes were never designed to be used across platforms.

As radical code was standardized and normalized via subroutines, this gave rise to hidden side effects and even scareware.

Bridge the gap between institutional and hacker cultures through publicized source-management.

Genuine *esoteric* practices are only appropriate for individuals of exceptional sanity. We have too many smoking guns.

Values embraced by the present Dalai Lama – democracy, human rights, and religious freedom – were forged in Europe.

One authenticity test for post-traditional Buddhism is humor, given that one man’s Dharma is another man’s mockery.

World of Western Buddhism is a minefield of hidden assumptions.

Want Vajrayana in plain English? Read Ken McLeod’s “Wake Up to Your Life.”

Revisiting “Contemplative Science” by Alan Wallace.

The uncommon feature of spiritual teachers and groups is openly encouraging mature adult reasoning and behavior.

Stream-winner is a virtuous disciple endowed with genuine trust in Buddha, in Dharma, in Sangha.

The uncompounded: no arising, no passing away, no alteration of what stays.

Siddhartha and his patrons were vanguard in their time and place. So were later masters and patrons in every time and culture.

Attention is necessary, but not sufficient, for awakening.

Not everyone would benefit from awakening now.

If everyone was miraculously awakened now, most would wish they could restore factory settings.

Despite overlap and generic similarities, different paths are seldom commensurable.

Waking up depends on some serious renouncing. Now, what must always be renounced, and what should never be renounced?

Every practice has an end result, and every path an implicit strange attractor. It’s useful to clearly know what that is.

Dark age of Dharma, indeed. These days vajra masters can’t just pick young women and make them their sex slaves, or can they?

Genuine compassion is expressed in bold, ambitious aspiration, instead of a timid, hopeful expectation.

There’s way too much window-dressing and street-walking in the way teachings are presently offered on the web.

Only awareness you can maintain while walking, talking, and working is of any genuine benefit.

Not Slavoj Žižek: “Karma as belief can contribute to maintaining political and social structures.” Ken McLeod

Karma *as belief* hinders the development of awareness, not to speak of meaningful and compassionate social engagement.

Controversies and scandals are not about them perps and them victims. Such events are about our own fears and shadows.

It took me 20 years to appreciate how most Buddhadharma is really just views and opinions.

What kind of Buddhist are you, really?

Past is pride and shame, future hope and fear, present self and other. Watch out!

Intensive training reveals potential. Daily practice honors that promise.

We can only seek high standards for our teachers if we’re willing to uphold high standards as their students (and vice versa).

Quite a few types of spirituality are extinct in the wild. We see new species emerging through selection.

At this time it’s crucial we take a long, deep, critical look at the way Buddhism has been seen and done in the past 50 years.

Buddhist teachings on body, thought, & emotion differ across lineages, thus different methods employ contradictory perspectives.

Four noble truths are effectively a meta-framework for a number of distinct and divergent heterodoxies and heteropraxes.

At the level of Buddhist practice, what is path in one vehicle, may be heresy in another.

Renunciation & ordination, just as empowerment & initiation, were once concessions to dominant mores and customs.

Some students see their teacher as nonesuch, some as guide and mentor, some as just a person. They’re all presumably right.

As to Buddhist logic and epistemology, nothing is explained. But there are more and less useful ways of interpreting experience.

Four principles of solidarity and engagement: generosity, kind speech, meaningful activity, and cooperation.

Ridiculous how even at our worst we never stand outside of what is.

Growing into cosmocentric identity hurts.

Many committed practitioners feel undue attachment to a specific style and form of practice. Devotion is not obsession.

One does not come to terms with awakening. One comes to terms with our natural inclination to conceptualize it.

Everything we do reflects in our brains. Now, let’s move on.

Gratitude is expression of humility and respect, enabling one to notice and acknowledge what’s precious in every situation.

Even awakening is a step, not the goal.

“Plain language” is a good modernist idea, applicable to Dharma, inasmuch it is public communication.

Householders can practice and realize just as any monk or yogi can, given support, capacity, and sustainable commitment.

Don’t hesitate. Knock it out of the park.

The purpose of Dharma is to reveal and protect the sacredness that is our shared human heritage.

Inasmuch as Buddhahood is ideal, the Buddha is idol, and Buddhism an implicit idolatry.

Karma in plain English: your life becomes what you do; you become why and how you do.

“Emotions” remain bewildering for mainstream Buddhist discourse, whether East or West, traditional or modern.

Buddhism sans future lives, sans full awakening in this body, equals Buddhism without meaningful Nirvana.

Genuine inner path was never an escape or hideout from our personal and collective responsibility and engagement.

Traditionalists only seem more convincing and compelling because of our habit of imagining the future by clinging to the past.

Diversity in Western Buddhism is extraordinary and challenging. The awareness of that diversity, however, is far from optimal.

I don’t believe in literal reincarnation, but I do entertain rebirth and continuity as incredibly useful. #disclosure

Used to be that Buddhists engaged unsparingly in wicked disagreements and public debates. Look at us now, going along just nice.

Dharmadhatu is as real as it gets, eluding subjective and objective assessments, both invested in blinding reductionist agendas.

Stephen Batchelor: “Buddhism, in a sense, has a lot of catching up to do.” Couldn’t agree more.

Working on development of esoteric Buddhism, trying to make sense and understand the weaving of history and myth.

Dig into the past of esoteric & tantric lineages continues. To me, their history is almost as fascinating as their teachings.

Factual lives of great people are more inspiring than their hagiografies.

Between sessions working out a cultural app of Yogacara trisvabhava and having my mind chewed by it a la process philosophy.

Everything is energy, hence it’s difficult to use the word in meaningful ways. Still, for practitioners, attention is energy.

In this business of waking up that is like no other business, people do what they do in any other business.

The only way to discover the incessant symbolizing activity is to partake in it.

Further neuroscience will confirm the unique effectiveness of self-generation and awakening by means of three mysteries.

Presently, the most viable framework to explain the operation of three mysteries without nonsense rests in deep semiotics.

No matter how we slice and spin the Dharma, meditation is but 1/3 of Buddhist practice.

Desirelessness is an awkward way of expressing the method & purpose of relaxing & resting in what is already the case anyway.

Translators are to blame for most funny Buddhist ideas in the West today.

There is no one teaching, and no one teacher, appropriate and helpful to everyone at any given time.

A variety of methods serve a variety of purposes. Pursue methods aligned with your personal intention to maximize results.

Most people never get far in practice. Is it really that difficult? Yes. But aren’t we also doing a poor job at optimizing?

There is no way to work out, create, produce, manufacture, fabricate, devise, or contrive wakefulness.

To practice is to care.

Across mindsets, types, and levels we have very different real needs.

For the most part, it’s irrelevant what we get out of practice. What counts is what we put into it.

Future of religion? Faith without beliefs.

On one point all teachings agree, the need to cultivate awareness. Everything else is a tool at best.

When it comes to styles of practice, different toolboxes originate from different views of the basic problem.

There is no way of escaping the world by going inside, or vice versa. Awareness begins when inside and outside are one.

Released from a variety of conditioning constraints, this world is revealed as an unfolding majestic mystery.

Widespread myth of Dharma being averse to money has seriously impaired its dissemination in the West, diminishing its influence.

The meaning of teachings – whether doctrine or practice – is in their intention.

Meditation is [just] a subset of spiritual practice, itself a subset of spirituality, a subset of humanity.

And yet, without attention and imagination, humanity itself is easily compromised.

To say that genuine love is unconditional is rather misleading, since it is not undemanding for either party.

Most look for a way out. Some turn to look for a way in. Finally, the lucky few, seek the way.

Like it or not, the historical Buddha is contingent, and so are his teachings.

Spiritual institutions are by definition prone to every possible political and organizational corruption imaginable.

To find the middle way that goes beyond, hold both extremes in attention and see what happens.

Jack Engler said, “You have to be somebody, before you can be nobody.” Even more so after.

A popular belief says, the best adapted prosper. Such logic is like Swiss cheese.

Postmodern Buddhism renders Dharma to fit the blueprint of suspicion toward all meta narratives. Except its own, of course.

We cannot escape having a way of thinking, a philosophy, an ideology. Nonetheless, we need not blindly believe what it says.

There are many false dichotomies, some outdated, some in vogue. We need good, juicy dichotomies to work from.

Strong connection with one’s teacher reveals among other things how poignantly fragile human relationships are.

Orthodoxy combines early forms of licensing & copyright & branding to create institutional power, hampering original creativity.

Orthodoxy is built around originally groundbreaking, transgressive, unorthodox creativity.

Nirvana, the third of four truisms, remains the most ambiguous notion in Western Buddhist discourse.

Neuro-biological hardwiring vs. free will: if you attend and intend deep enough, it’s a false dichotomy.

Cultural and biographic conditioning – as related to sex, politics, and technology – must be penetrated with awakened awareness.

Realizing inwardly, and expressing outwardly, are two aspects of any path. Their mutual tension gives vitality to our practice.

For an individual practitioner, path walking is opening and releasing into uncharted experience.

Whenever you come out on the other side of serious practice, you tend to take yourself less seriously.

Secret and tantric teachings are often being manipulated to establish power, and withheld to hold supremacy.

Mending and transforming and waking up all at the same time… usually don’t work.

The basic meaning of Dharma is cure.

If some teachings produce people you’d never have as teachers, why would you practice such teachings? Now look at the opposite. #inquiry

Corny and insipid religious aesthetic isn’t improved by doing away with religious aesthetic. Art matters.

What cannot be said can be depicted. What cannot be explained can be sung.

After studying traditional teachings and subjecting them to reasoning, there’s ground for devotion, but also for embarrassment.

Non-attachment has nothing to do with detachment, and everything to do with being able to keep moving on.

Every point of view discloses something true. This something may be useless to me or you at this moment, but it’s significant.

No need to stay with one teacher forever, but don’t let your seeking be a spiritual chatroulette.

ends on April 19th 2012

 

One Response to “OpenDharma So Far”

  1. Gate

    23. Apr, 2012

    Wonderful to see the art of the aphorism so vibrantly alive– even in such an unexpected place as the twitterverse!

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