Random Xpat Rantings

Contemplative dominance for the modern man

Why the Buddha was wrong. Desire is not the origin of suffering.

Posted by xsplat on July 21, 2013

I’ve heard some of the most senior Buddhist teachers and lineage holders of the highest rank say:

1) There is no such thing as Nirvana
2) Cessation of suffering is not possible
3) There is no problem with passion and desire

To explain why these respected high ranking teachers and lineage holders are still considered by their peers to be Buddhists will be complicated. It’s an esoteric subject.

But when it comes down to it, you don’t really even need to go through all the esoteric teaching it takes to reach the subtle views that can be summarized that way. Common sense really is pretty close enough to the mark.

Common sense is this:
We need to see the big picture of what we desire and go after it strategically, and weigh up all the costs and benefits, and decide which cookies are overall helpful, and which cookies are not. There are many ways in which we find happiness. We enjoy sensory pleasures, we enjoy giving to others, we enjoy ego stroking and status, we enjoy oxytocin and dopamine rushes, we enjoy quiet solitude and roller coaster rides. Maximizing happiness can take many flavors, however there are equally many ways to fuck up our strategies and get tunnel vision and take strategies that clearly do not give us the best possible OVERALL happiness. Heroin is not the way to go. Sitting in a box meditating full time is not the way to go. Happiness is about a well rounded strategy that approaches many different ways of being happy.

But if you are interested in Buddhist philosophy, I’ll explain why the 4 noble truths are overly simplistic, and how it’s actually best to simply consider them to be wrong.

In some Buddhist traditions, for instance Tibetan Buddhism, it is taught that there are 3 main schools of Buddhism; Hineyana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. Hineyana Buddhists concern themselves mostly with the Vinaya rules of moral conduct, and mindfulness. Mahayana Buddhists also emphasize compassionate embrace and seeing all aspects of mind and the world as lacking in narrative in their essence – or emptiness. Vajrayana Buddhists use some tricks to embrace emotions as they arise with clarity.

It’s been said that although it appears that there is direct contradiction between the Vajrayana approach of embracing anger and genuinely being angry and acting on anger and the Hineyana approach of dissassociating from negative emotions, that fundamentally there is no contradiction.

Actually, that’s bullshit. There IS contradiction. It’s just that you can’t get to a Vajrayana attitude without starting from a Hineyana one. You need to learn to regulate your emotions before you can see their nature clearly and use them effectively.

It all gets very subtle and esoteric.

Hindus talk about Atman, or your true Self, and say that “you are that”. Buddhists talk about suchness, or tatagata, and say that the nature of mind has no self. On the face of it they are saying the exact opposite, and yet it’s also been said that they are saying the exact same thing. It takes a lot of meditation and study to know why they are saying the same thing. Every thought movement you have is you. It is Buddha mind. When taught to meditate, you are taught to not push away thoughts – if you have a desire, don’t stop it – don’t push it away – just notice it. You start by dis-identifying with it. By noticing it, it is no longer you. But later your awareness becomes more encompassing and it makes just as much sense to say that everything that occurs is you. The keyboard is you. The couch is you. Your desire is you. It is all Self. There is no Self. It’s saying the same thing, strangely.

But you don’t really need to know all that. No matter how deep your meditative experience becomes or how regularly you practice or how profound is your philosophical understanding, common sense is still basically good enough. Because as the renowned Shunryu Suzuki said, karma never stops. There is no cessation of karma. You will never stop having desires, and you will never stop having suffering. That does not happen.

Even trying to make that happen is foolish, and yes, that’s a very Buddhist point of view. The attempt at stopping suffering is impossible and foolish, according to Buddhism. You can’t eliminate desire, and the very effort to do so is counter productive.

You can transcend ego, but chances are that the experience will be temporary. And regardless if you do, desires still arise. Your frame of reference will shift, and you won’t identify with the desires completely, but the desires will still arise. Karma will still happen. The game will still be the game.

Remember the ox herding pictures. At first the meditator goes into the forest, but in the end he just goes back to the marketplace. In the end he just laughs and plays and fucks and looks just like anyone else. In the end common sense is good enough.

Maximize your overall happiness, because that game never stops.

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23 Responses to “Why the Buddha was wrong. Desire is not the origin of suffering.”

  1. I took a class in Buddhism from one of the top Buddhist scholars in the U.S. who got his B.S. from a university in India and his Ph.D. from Yale

    He told the class most of “Buddhism” in the U.S. has almost nothing to do with true Buddhism.

    Suffering has to do with the fact we try to cling to things, and things always change. All it means is that there is more suffering in life that non-suffering. That’s it. Btw, Freud, of all people, noticed the same thing. And I’m sure many other people before him.

    When you meditate, and become enlightened, you move into a permanent state of bliss and mental clarity. In the state you cease to cling to things. It has nothing to do with a state of “non-desire,” except that in that bliss all your desires are fulfilled.

    The Buddha also said that when you became enlightened you ceased to generate karma.

    The Buddha denied the Atman because he said he could not perceive it within himself.

    These are his original teachings. Of course, it doesn’t mean that I or anyone else has to agree with him.

    By the way, my instructor said there was only one book, written in the ’30s, that got the original teachings correct.

    • xsplat said

      I knew a girl who believed that some men in the Himalayas had achieved immortality. When I asked her why no one had ever seen them, she dodged.

      But really it makes no difference if there are immortals. It makes no difference if there are enlightened beings. The fact that you don’t know any means that it is so unlikely that you will ever become immortal or enlightened as to be completely meaningless. Chances are so remote that it’s going to happen to you that it makes no practical difference if it’s a possibility or not.

      Also, it doesn’t make a squat of difference what the Buddhas original teachings were. Truth is what we are after, not one mans understanding of it. Do you enshrine Newtons teachings too?

      He never wrote anything down anyway, and what was written down was written hundreds of years after his death. So much for “original teachings”.

      And your teacher setting himself up as the ultimate arbiter for what constitutes real Buddhism is laughable. Did he even meditate? Wow, amazing guy – the only scholar in the US who gets it right. Even lineage holders from Japan, India, and Tibet got it all wrong.

      Also, the notion of not clinging can be rephrased as simple emotional regulation. No need for claims of the impossible.

      And bliss states are also temporary, and not to be “clinged” after. They come and go. In fact it is very explicitly stated in many Buddhist schools of thought not to get attached to bliss, or get “stuck” in bliss. Bliss isn’t actually that important, and is not the endgame of Buddhism either. Although it is useful to be able to turn that on at will. I recommend chi-kung practices for that.

      Just simple emotional regulation and enhanced very subtle regulations of energies is a better framework than throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

      Desire can not go away. Don’t bother trying to make it go away – that will only lower your quality of life. Use it to improve your overall happiness.

      But I can see the logic. Guys who can’t get what they want want to stop wanting it, because wanting something without getting it is painful. It’s one tactic to take.

      It’s not the best tactic.

      A better tactic includes BOTH the emotional regulation of lowering expectations and being satisfied with what is attainable (limiting desires), AND working to attain what is currently unattainable (becoming a better, more attractive man).

      Having the philosophy that desire itself is the problem is shooting yourself in the foot, all in the name of ego protection. “I’m fine just the way I am – I don’t need no stinking pussy!”

      What ever happened to good old fashioned ambition? Or is that not politically correct unless the ambition is approved by the MGTOW guys as female free? No, for them motivation for anything must come from some impossibly pure fictitious nebulous concept of “freedom”.

  2. I’ve been pointed in the direction of meditation by various people whose opinions I respect over the last 6 months as a way to really solidify inner game. I’ve had some brief dealing with it through CBT sessions, when the technique of detached mindfulness was introduced to me, which has probably been one of the single biggest factors in my development over the last 6 months. Accepting how I am feeling at any given time, and not attempting to quash or fight it, has greatly reduced feelings of anxiety and discontent with myself and enabled me to simply be present in the moment for the majority of the time.

    You’ve obviously got a lot of knowledge in this area – where/what/with whom did you study?

    • xsplat said

      Ya, meditation and chi kung can be helpful broadly. I was out day gaming with my buddies here yesterday, and it helped to be able to generate feelings of wellbeing and joy and contentment, and some of that ability came from meditative and chi-kung habits. Some also came from environmental and lifestyle cues, such as having the support of my friends and lover and business.

      I’ve studied with many teachers of various backgrounds, but mostly with teachers of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Some teachers were imports, some grew up in Canada and the States. Some of the senior teachers occasionally gossiped positive things about my meditation practice and understanding behind my back to the other teachers. I could name drop a long list of the teachers I’ve been exposed to, but somehow don’t want to. I’ve spent time living in a Buddhist monastery (about a year?), several months on solitary meditation retreats, summers living in a large Buddhist mountain communal setting where practice and study was intense, and years closely involved in study and practice supported by the local community, and local and visiting teachers. I’ve also studied chi-kung and similar practices with a number of teachers, again both highly regarded locals and imports, the imports coming from China.

      My preferred meditation style is shamata-vipassana, which can go by other names such as Zazen or Mahamudra.

      • Interesting, thanks for the info. Having now pretty much fully got my shit together through traditional means in life in terms of contentment, sociability, confidence and masculinity, I somehow feel that learning about the nature of my consciousness and how to achieve altered states is the final frontier in my development.

  3. […] xsplat.wordpress.com […]

  4. 1) There is no such thing as Nirvana
    2) Cessation of suffering is not possible
    3) There is no problem with passion and desire

    Yes, this is true because there is no separate anything. Truth is one. All of these things are just concepts in the mind.

    Enlightenment is the experiential realization that you are not what you always assumed yourself to be. The individual is an illusion, as is free will. Illusion doesn’t mean “not real” just something that is not what it seems. What you really are is the timeless, spaceless source/God/Absolute/oneness that both “contains” and is conscious of everything.

    Nothing about you the individual changes post enlightenment, other than his perspective. You don’t become “blissed out” or immune from suffering. If you were an asshole before enlightenment, you’ll probably be one after. What changes is how you see yourself.

    Are you familiar with Jed McKenna, Richard Rose, Jeff Foster, The Book of Not Knowing by Peter Ralston, or Living Nonduality by Robert Wolfe? All of these sources cover this material well.

  5. […] Why the Buddha was wrong. Desire is not the origin of suffering. « Random Xpat Rantings […]

  6. Renfrew said

    Xsplat (and others), what do you make of phenomena like “stream entry” or “the arising and passing away”?

    What I mean is, there are people (like Daniel Ingram http://integrateddaniel.info/book/) who describe certain definite steps and outcomes along the way to becoming enlightened, and, furthermore, discuss and map enlightenment (and methods for pursuing it) in terms that I find highly credible, and a LOT less suspect than much of what’s spouted/promised/exhorted by bearded gurus.

    Basically, the assertion is that when you meditate properly and sufficiently, certain predictable occurrences WILL transpire. (I get the sense that Ken Wilber is in this camp also, as I remember hearing him say things like “Follow this injunction, see what happens, compare notes” in arguing that the internal kosmos or individual interior is knowable in definite, verifiable, and objective ways.)

    These predictable occurrences (“do the work, see the result”) are “mystical” by definition (in our ordinary consensual reality terms), but apparently when they occur to you are experienced as simultaneously exhilarating and mundane, and leave you transformed and yet exactly where you started (the shift in perspective described by Darklightdispatch above).

    So, does the “mystical” actually turn out to be “scientific” after all, in its own way? My hunch is yes — but only if both words remain inside quote marks.

  7. I might be tempted to say that perhaps ego is formed from desire. This would say why the transcendence of ego is temporary, if desire is continual.

    • xsplat said

      Awareness can contextualize the ego, such that ego and desire still happens, but that’s a relatively minor part of what happens. One word for that is vipassana, which has been roughly translated as spacial awareness, or insight. Using words to talk about it breaks down and becomes gibberish, because we need subject/object distinctions in language, but the contextual wider awareness is on both sides of the fence at once.

      Having that experience of prajna, or vipassana, is rare and occurs usually in peak life experiences or to a small portion of the most advanced meditators, and it can be argued that it either never happens as a continual stable experience, or that if it does it happens as a stable experience to an extremely minor population of an extremely minor population. Work at it your whole life with full dedication and it’s still extremely unlikely that you will have a stable strong post meditative experience.

      On the other hand I did have some moments of weeks and months where my experience was flavored with non-dual wakefulness that was wider than ego and knew “itself” to be so, and some periods of near 24 hour awareness, through into dreams and the deep dreamless state. And there are many dixcussions of people regularly experiencing “samadhi”, or the witness state without the subject/object narrative happening at all (and I’ve experienced that too, as I now dimly recall).

      It’s been said that even for those who do stably rest in the witness state, that their thoughts and ego don’t get in line with that perspective for decades later, if ever. Basically our normal self just gets contextualized. The same rules and regulations of emotions that we had before continue on as before. What we like and don’t like stays the same, and our emotions are just as contextual as before; songs and life events affect “us” emotionally. We get angry, irritated, happy, sad. It’s just that awareness can contextualize it to a degree such that this is only a relatively minor part of awareness. It gets silly to call our “self” this narrative story we used to call our self.

      But again, such a witness state is very rare for people to stabilize in, and it’s usually only the most advanced in a very large community of dedicated meditators who get much of an experience of that. And even then without constant dedicated re-grooming of neurons with mindfulness training, such experiences fade.

      What does seem to last however is being less bothered by things – it’s no tragedy if an emotion happens. You already get into the habit of knowing it doesn’t much matter if you are happy or sad, and allow yourself to be that. In a strange way the new type of emotional regulation is to not regulate.

      Talking about that is considered by some to be unskillful, because you have to first go through the stages and steps. It’s not really the same thing to have uncontrolled rage as it is to accept your strong emotions as they arise with nuanced control and finesse, like a surfer riding an enormous Maui killer wave.

      It’s not skillful to tell beginner meditators to not alter their thinking process. But advanced meditators kind of do just that. Sounds paradoxical, so it’s almost better not to talk much about it. But this is why beginning meditators emphasize concentration first, or shamata, and then later raise their gaze and emphasize resting their mind in wide spacial awareness with out altering, or vipassana. The not too tight not too loose balance takes time and physical neuron connections to grow into, and those neuron connections will degrade without regular use, and besides, the shift in attention to a non-dual perspective is elusive for the vast majority of people, and even those that do sometimes get that shift can lose it and not be able to get it back, seemingly no matter what they do.

      But the whole reason I am talking about these things isn’t to get into esoteric Buddhist philosophy or to discuss subtle aspect of meditation, it’s to discourage people from using asceticism as an excuse to not put in the effort to get laid.

      In every school of Buddhism, the ascetic outlook is specifially frowned upon. Despite the fact that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is the hallmark and stamp of the religiously fervent in all traditions, avoiding desire and pleasure for the sake of it is NOT a Buddhist attitude. So, MGTOWers, stop using that holier than thou approach – the Buddha thinks your an idiot for your ascetic self denial in the name of ascetic self denial. You are not a more free person for “not being ruled by your penis”. Your just an ascetic prude.

      You don’t have to make it through to the most advanced stages of meditative awareness to be able to sacrifice and work hard for a cookie, to enjoy the anticipation of a cookie, and to enjoy the delicious crunchy chocolaty goodness. The same for sex. There is nothing holy in self denial. It’s just living life wrong like a stupid idiot.

      • Rameen said

        Your last paragraph really struck a chord in my memory with an allegory of the nature of reality as seen through the movie ‘The Matrix’ (I hope you have watched it for the rest will not make sense to you unless you have).

        If you can recall that scene in the movie where the character ‘Cypher’ is having a meeting with the enemy over dinner and he is busy relishing in his steak dinner he says:

        “You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain..that it is juicy..and delicious……. After nine years, you know what I realize?………….. Ignorance is bliss”.

        I agree with you that people should not deny their desires due to their own ineptitude while covering it up with the pretense of enlightenment.

  8. avd said

    Amen.

  9. avd said

    Fuck it. I’ll share this with your readers on the off chance that it might help one or two of them, and on the off chance that one or two of them might have experience to share that might help me. Ok, here goes:

    Roughly ten years ago, I was pushing extremely intensely hard on the spiritual front. And then it happened. Kundalini awakened and shot up through my spine and out of my head. Before that event I was very skeptical regarding the entire concept of kundalini energy and energy centers and all that. That moment definitely transformed my thinking on such matters. It’s an event that is impossible to convey via language. The only way to get it is to experience it… and even then, I’m not so sure that one UNDERSTANDS it.

    It was a beautiful rush when it happened. Afterwards, however, it was painful as fuck all. It hurt, badly. It felt like I was on fire… all the time. And there was no social outlet for discussing it, because the average person simply has no reference point from which to discuss the phenomenon. Despite its pain, it opened reality for me. To speak on point to your blog, it was as if I flipped on an electromagnet that pulled pussy to me. Literally, since that event, I have never needed to pursue females; they pursue me. Top females. Many a poon hound would say that this is an awesome thing for which I should be thankful. Perhaps. But the coincident pain gives me pause on that matter.

    Here I am, ten years later. That pain of coming face to face with reality caused me a great deal of heartache and broken social relations. Today, I have made peace with the fount of energy ceaselessly coursing up through me and out of my head. This is the first time I’ve ever talked about it.

    What’s my point? You can tell I’m rambling. I’m not sure that I have a point. Fulfilling the spiritual prime directive certainly has its rewards, but it also has significant costs (which are never discussed in the manuals). X’s thoughts above kind of reflect my own experience. Great, let’s say that you achieve nirvana. Then what? Nirvana is very VERY special, but it also alienates you from your clan. The upside is that you become like Neo in The Matrix; the downside is that you become like Neo in The Matrix.

    Fucking any female that you want is great, until it isn’t. For me personally, the day quickly arose where pussy was blasé, and what I really wanted was spiritual connection. I have two male friends with whom I feel able to relate in a spiritual way, but those guys have THEIR lives to live (families and whatnot) and they can’t be there to satiate my spiritual longings. Interacting with every other single individual in my life—including family—feels like a mundane beat down, not to mention ho’s.

    I will never utter the contrite phrase that “I have no regrets in my life, because they make me who I am.” Bullshit. I have lots of regrets. Was activating my kundalini one of them? I simply do not know. Perhaps in ten years I will have a more definite answer to that question. The pros are awesome; the cons are not so awesome.

    Anyway, that’s it, just sharing to aid a man or two, and to maybe get some helpful feedback from a man or two. Peace.

    • Renfrew said

      Hey, that’s cool that you took the time to write that up here. I hope X will weigh in. Personally, I haven’t anything much to say, not having had any comparable energetic experiences. But the notion of an energy phenomenon correlating with a “pussy magnetism”…that’s food for thought, and jibes with some hunches I’ve had for awhile. And I’d be interested in an elaborated description of the pain/anguish you’ve experienced (what’s it like? What seems to make it wax and wane? Etc) if you’d care to get into that.

      • avd said

        *No way am I casting pearls before swine on this one; way too personal.

        But the notion of an energy phenomenon correlating with a “pussy magnetism”…that’s food for thought, and jibes with some hunches I’ve had for awhile.

        *Follow your hunches. It all comes down to energy. Testosterone is a big part of that energetic makeup.

        And I’d be interested in an elaborated description of the pain/anguish you’ve experienced

        *No schadenfreude for you!

      • Renfrew said

        Whoa. I think you may have misread my intent. I am genuinely appreciative of you sharing your experience. If it’s too personal to say more about it, that’s fair enough. I don’t really do schadenfreude much, and certainly not with complete strangers toward whom I’ve no cause for malice. If on reflection you do choose to share further, I’m confident there are plenty of non-swine around here who would value your pearls as well. (The “as well” is me planting myself in the non-porcine camp, but regardless of whether I’m actually in it or not, that camp does definitely exist amongst Xsplat’s readership.)

    • xsplat said

      I really appreciate your sharing that, AVD. I agree that esoteric spiritual practices and kinesthetic feelings can be very isolating, sometimes painfully so. And even among a community of like minded peers, some stuff is still going to be very uncommon. In my extensive Buddhist community there was no chi-kung or kundalini literacy. Even though our Tibetan lineage was said to include knowledge of some kundalini related practices (6 yogas of Naropa), there were no living teachers of it or community practitioners of it that I’d ever met. And the sufi style experience of literally seeing God in the eyes of another was unheard of too. I couldn’t even get realistic answers to the questions I had about lucid dreaming!

      It felt like the blind leading the blind, at the very highest levels, sometimes. No where to turn, all the knowledge was in ancient books that people would reference but have no personal experience of.

      In fact at one point I wrote down how painfully alienating it was for me, and that was kind of a switch. I was just fed up. What was the point? Although I could not exactly turn off these experiences and ways of connecting to people, I did de-emphasize them, and so let them lax. I stopped doing chi kung or meditating or dropped the habit of habitually being so kinesthetically aware, and then slowly over time the sensations diminished. Then later I’d pick it up again, then when things got too intense again back off. You are right – it can be uncomfortable.

      I’ve never experienced the fire up the spine as pain, exactly, but yes it could also be incredibly intense for me too – and I didn’t always want that intensity. Made me horny as fuck all the time too. I guess for a decade or so it was constant and pretty strong, but I let that lax. I started to emphasize energy below the feet, chi-kung style, and to this day enjoy that.

      One of the interns here wanted me to teach him chi kung, and I could see that for him it would be a snap to open his kundalini, but I refuse to give him much information about that or to lead him in those practices. I figure he should work on grounding first, even though that is actually a much more difficult and advanced practice, in a way. More advanced only because for some the kundalini up the spine thing is, like you say, a matter of turning on a switch. You do that and the body just does the rest. Whereas grounding takes slow deliberate time and attention often repeated.

      I don’t even do kundalini sex anymore, whereas before that was all I did – sex was always about energy up the spine. For at least a decade – I can’t even remember now. During my last chi kung retreat – (jeez that was over a decade now) my energies were the strongest ever, and I didn’t focus on the spinal energy much – although that was part of it. It broadened out, and energy below the feet was a big part of sex too. I could move it around at will – above the head, in the heart, in the belly, below the feet. I could sometimes make sparks between apana and prana, or the upward and downward flows, like sparks between charged metal domes. I could make them between any chakra. That was intense too! Different that the spinal energy, but still way intense. Like making an orgasm in the center of your forehead while riding on the bus, with your eyes open.

      Anyway, you can let that kundalini fire die down, (even though I know it seems un stoppable once you turn it on) and you can also lean into other ways to hold your energetic body that are less electric. Chi kong grounding practices might be of interest for you. They don’t focus on that sacral or spinal energy – you work with different kinesthetic energies. It’s a good feeling – not painful at all. Not even bliss related, exactly. A necessary counterbalance, at the very least, to the other practices, and if I were to teach others about this stuff I’d want them to focus on that.

      Spontaneous kundalini awakenings are well known to be troublesome. Sometimes they even cause health or mental problems for people.

      But ya, like you, despite the problems, I like the advantages. Yes, you certainly can use that as part of sexual magnetism, absolutely. Makes you very special, sexually too. I don’t talk about that part much because the jealousy that arouses in other men is counter productive to spreading the memes I’d like to spread.

  10. avd said

    Haha!!!!!!!!!! I laughed silly at your response. I laughed so hard that maybe it even softened me to share more than I was originally willing to share. Ok, I must be surgical about this:

    I don’t think I misread your intent. I think I read it clearly, and responded clearly.

    Per your observation, “it’s too personal to say more about it.”

    I didn’t view YOU as swine. The larger audience of the populace can rightly be viewed as swine.

    How about this? The xsplat camp show themselves to be non-swine, and I will come out of my shell. And then we can all have a splendid spiritual conversation. I don’t see that happening, though I wish that it would. But if it does, I’m in.

    • xsplat said

      A safe public space for talking about kundalini and esoteric practices? He he, wouldn’t that be nice.

      Every time I mention sex without coming, haters are going to hate. I also find that off putting and so don’t talk about it much.

      But sometimes I do, and it’s great to hear from others with similar life experiences. We are out there. We are a minority, but we are out there.

      My kundalini experiences were incomprehensible to nearly every one I’ve ever met, however once I found some groups of chi kung practitioners it felt like being home. That wasn’t kundalini focused, but was close enough and many had some kundalini experience.

      By the time I did find a kundalini community, I wasn’t even much interested in that practice anymore – they focused on the spinal energies and I didn’t really even want to bother with that anymore. My lover who was involved with that group often wondered aloud what the point was in rousing those spinal energies. It’s no wonder to me that such kundalini groups are not popular these days – such practices are well known to be troublesome for people. And my feeling is that the spinal energy by itself is a cool and amazing light show, and can bleed into some magic powers, and open up your perceptions in cool ways, but there is the issue of cost/benefit. It can get distracting or troublesome, and is not really an end in itself. Good to have, as part of a bigger picture – but as an end goal and main practice? I don’t see the point.

      Then again, that spinal energy can be a gateway to other great things. People get really, really, really uncomfortable when you suggest there are better ways to feel sex. Ways that are esoteric and perhaps might even be out of reach. Oh, the hate and denial and anger that comes up. Ya, pearls before swine indeed. “Not coming is self denial! It’s un-natural!” Jeesus. What are you going to do? Some people literally do not want to know. Knowledge would be too painful an ego blow.

  11. avd said

    Well X, I suppose you and I have been teeing up this conversation for some time now. Fucked up though it may be, you are the only person in my life who I feel is qualified for this conversation… including all the many people who I love so much that shared bits and pieces of the spiritual path with me… including even the “teachers” along my path, who time always inevitably revealed to be charlatans… in every case… never expected that. That’s a big reason why I come down so hard on the “leaders” of the MS: I’ve seen it too many times to count. A man gains a following, and it corrupts him, totally, every fucking time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this play out. That’s why I have made a conscious point to remain, always, anonymous, and to never string along a following. It corrupts, and I don’t want to be corrupted. Strange that I now share the deep intimacies with an anonymous internet person, but so be it.

    * there were no living teachers of it or community practitioners of it that I’d ever met.
    I have yet to meet one. That’s a big reason, in my humble opinion, why the whole experience is so disorienting. Lots and lots and lots of talk, but no experience. So when it actually happens, there’s no one credible to share it with. Only talkers, with no first person experience.

    * It felt like the blind leading the blind
    I would humbly rephrase this to: the charlatans leading the blind. In every single fucking case, in my experience.

    * I started to emphasize energy below the feet, chi-kung style, and to this day enjoy that.
    Okay, then. I will have to look into that.

    * he should work on grounding first
    I wholeheartedly agree with this. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this simple concept should form the basis for any new learning in life. Learn how to be grounded, and then proceed with your evolution… whether a new language, game (a new language), MMA, or mathematics. The human brain is a magnificent creation, and can take you to stratospheric dimensions, but at the same time, it is an organ part and parcel of our three dimensional existence. Reward if for its incredible powers. Don’t push it over the cliff (which I am prone to do).

    * Whereas grounding takes slow deliberate time and attention often repeated.
    Yes, see above comment.

    * I don’t even do kundalini sex anymore, whereas before that was all I did – sex was always about energy up the spine. For at least a decade – I can’t even remember now.
    I’m unable to fuck in any other way now. I sent my energy into her and end up controlling both of our realities. They love me for it. I always finish feeling spiritually discombobulated. Like, really? It’s that easy for me to own your flesh and spirit? But I want a companion, a fellow traveler in meta path of life. Fulfilling in the moment, a bit of a let down afterwards. And I still haven’t found a solution for this.

    * Anyway, you can let that kundalini fire die down
    Yes, I’ve long since figured out how to let it die down.

    * Chi kong grounding practices might be of interest for you.
    I’ll definitely look into it.

    * Spontaneous kundalini awakenings are well known to be troublesome.
    Yes, I learned this after the fact.

    * the jealousy that arouses in other men
    This, in my experience, is one of the isolating factors.

    * A safe public space for talking about kundalini and esoteric practices? He he, wouldn’t that be nice.
    I know. I was in a particularly hopeful mood.

    * By the time I did find a kundalini community, I wasn’t even much interested in that practice anymore – they focused on the spinal energies and I didn’t really even want to bother with that anymore.
    The bizarre thing in my own case is that I was in no way pursuing a kundalini experience. I was pushing HARD on the energy centers, no doubt, but never specifically with regard to the kundalini. It just happened.

    * and is not really an end in itself.
    So I learned.

    * Some people literally do not want to know. Knowledge would be too painful an ego blow.

    This is basically what Samadhi burns through—the desire to remain ignorant because it’s comfortable. I get it. I totally get it. It is more comfortable. For whatever reason, however, I’m addicted to truth… not without its problems.

  12. “I’ve heard some of the most senior Buddhist teachers and lineage holders of the highest rank say:

    1) There is no such thing as Nirvana
    2) Cessation of suffering is not possible
    3) There is no problem with passion and desire
    To explain why these respected high ranking teachers and lineage holders are still considered by their peers to be Buddhists will be complicated. It’s an esoteric subject.”

    No it is not an esoteric subject it is a non-Buddhist subject. What you describe could be Taoism, Hinduism, Tantra, or Bon dressed up in Dhamma language but it is not Buddhism. Kundalini, Qigong, witchcraft, demonology, and chakra work is also not Buddhism. Working those systems along with Buddhist practice is diametrically at odds and will produce bad results for the practitioner. Any Buddha-Dhamma not found in the Pali Canon can be true, semi true, or false Dhamma. High ranking teachers and lineage holders be damned. Anyone new to Buddhism (less than 30 years of monestary life) and Westen lay followers in particular should avoid Tantra lineages and teachings.

    “Maximize your overall happiness, because that game never stops.”

    Dhamma is not hedonism, and I’m sorry if that was the big ‘take away’ of your apparently extensive studies of Tantra with Tibetans.

    Buddhism is the Vinaya, the Discipline of a monastic code for living a virtuous life.

  13. andrew said

    A mind that inclines to abandoning …

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