The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:06 pm

Now I'm not saying that you should necessarily do the same Mint, however I use to hit the gym a lot too, although now I've ended up sacrificing the gym, and found that doing a handful of body-weight workouts (pushups, pullups, situps, squats, calf-raises, etc.) for say 20 minutes everyday at home instead, and with Yantra Yoga and/or Hatha Yoga, is enough to stay in great shape and maintain what I've built up with weights and cardio at the gym.

(Of course we're not supposed to view Yantra Yoga and Hatha Yoga as mere physical exercises, as they are more for Integrating Movement with Awareness, and for transmuting the Drops, strengthening the Channels and directing the Winds)
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:18 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Now I'm not saying that you should necessarily do the same Mint, however I use to hit the gym a lot too, although now I've ended up sacrificing the gym, and found that doing a handful of body-weight workouts (pushups, pullups, situps, squats, calf-raises, etc.) for say 20 minutes everyday instead, and with Yantra Yoga and/or Hatha Yoga, is enough to stay in great shape and maintain what I've built up with weights at the gym.


You don't like Taco Bell like I likes Taco Bell.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:25 pm

Not going to say that you have to drop Taco Bell altogether either, but the gym probably isn't quite enough to purify all the artificial chemical preservatives and pesticides from that kind of 'food' which has very little nutritional value anyway. Keeping the physical body healthy is important for Integrating our Energy.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:30 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Not going to say that you have to drop Taco Bell altogether either, but the gym probably isn't quite enough to purify all the artificial chemical preservatives and pesticides from that kind of 'food' which has very little nutritional value anyway. Keeping the physical body healthy is important for Integrating our Energy.


:focus:
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:01 pm

catmoon wrote:I would guess that the mere possession of such books, if you treat them with a modicum of respect, entails some merit in itself. Exposure to material that you have permissions for is hardly going to be harmful. They have a certain spritual backing, in the sense that the beneficial intentions of the authors, editors, translators, lamas, and countless unseen beings lie behind them. Keep 'em around. :thumbsup:


Well, merit or no, if I find out I can return them, they're getting sent back and I'm going to read/do something that I can understand.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:09 pm

You're funny mint! :lol: Really. I think I never saw someone with so much good intentions and potential and yet so clumsy! You're a riot, man! You also need to relax and stop worrying so much. :cheers:
Remember when I said that being present was not the same as being concentrated? Concentration makes you tense and there's a time and a place to develop it, but this is not mindfulness all day round. Being present is not being in the state of instant presence. For that you need to get into that state once when your teacher gives you direct introduction. Being present is just mindfulness. You can enjoy your life a lot more if you are present. You need to release tensions and just avoid wondering all the time in your thoughts. This also doesn't mean not thinking! It means that when you think, you control your thinking process instead of drifting away carried by thoughts. So this is not difficult at all and must be achieved gently and gradually. What is a little more difficult is being present for a long time, because we are very used to get distracted. When we get distracted and notice, we just make ourselves present very gently. It's not something you will develop by sheer will power. It's like a butterfly returning gently to a flower. Gently, again and again. You will see that being mindful makes your life quite better. Most of those worries that engulf you now and then, and when you notice you are already deeply involved with them, can very easily be released if you slowly develop mindfulness. Mindfulness in a certain way is not suffering from constant "amnesia-like episodes" in which we lose ourselves, drifting.

And don't worry about learning everything fast. Just do what you can, like you were a farmer. This takes time, little by little, everyday. It's not by worrying and rushing that you will reap your apples and oranges sooner. ;)
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby alwayson » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:48 pm

I can't believe I am agreeing with Lhug-pa on something, but I also found weight training to be a highly spiritual exercise for an almost infinite amount of reasons.

It is truly a wish fulfilling gem that keeps giving.

You just need six exercises. 3 on one day. 3 on another day.

squats
Bench press
Standing Military press (barbell shoulder press)
Deadlifts
dips
pullups / chinups
Last edited by alwayson on Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 pm

Not so fast alwayson :lol:

What I meant by "sacrificing the gym", is just dropping the gym altogether as to just do short body-weight workouts at home, as to stay in shape, and as to have more time to practice and study.

Was just a suggestion though. Nothing wrong with weight training.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby alwayson » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:58 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:What I meant by "sacrificing the gym", is just dropping the gym altogether as to just do short body-weight workouts at home, as to stay in shape, and as to have more time to practice and study.



I only work out twice a week. It takes a negligible amount of time.

The problem is that people do junk exercises and never get results.

Cardio is only good as a warmup for weight training.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Caz » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:03 am

The problem isnt with Buddhism or catholoism, The problem is with the delusions running your mind.
Dzogchen isnt for everyone if you dont feel conected dont practice it, If Trungpa Rinpoche resonates with you keep reading his works. Give the Dzogchen books to someone who can use them for their own benefit and continue developing a steady practice of concentration and mindfulness. The problem with everyone is delusion its constantly running wild in the mind, without getting into semantics about what to practice if we dont become familiar with our mind through meditation we've got less chance of making our self happy.

The basic teachings of the Buddha are looking for the faults in our own mind and purging them like bad blood, Leaping into bed with the Higher Ego practitoners is not something wise or helpful to do,Look to the Tipitaka and easy meditation techniques like Lojong and so forth. :namaste:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:27 am

Hi Dechen,

You've been a good friend throughout this all. I'm glad you responded to this thread.

Dechen Norbu wrote:Remember when I said that being present was not the same as being concentrated? Concentration makes you tense and there's a time and a place to develop it, but this is not mindfulness all day round.


I get what you're saying. Remaining present isn't a huge ordeal for me. I seem to do it quite naturally. I'm sure I could stand some adjustments, but really, on the whole, there's not much that I don't remain present during. I could potentially stand to be a bit more present when my girlfriend talks about shopping or hairstyles :lol: - but, on the whole, remaining present comes very natural to me, I think. So, since receiving transmission from Namkhai Norbu, and since reading more about Dzogchen, I'm thinking that this state of presence which comes so natural to me must not be adequate and I think this is where I've gotten off track and attempted to develop concentration. And, yes, this has caused me a great deal of the stress I've been feeling.

Being present is not being in the state of instant presence. For that you need to get into that state once when your teacher gives you direct introduction.


So, instant presence isn't something that I can develop on my own? If this is a guarded, restricted topic, feel free to PM me, if you want.

You need to release tensions and just avoid wondering all the time in your thoughts. This also doesn't mean not thinking! It means that when you think, you control your thinking process instead of drifting away carried by thoughts. So this is not difficult at all and must be achieved gently and gradually. What is a little more difficult is being present for a long time, because we are very used to get distracted. When we get distracted and notice, we just make ourselves present very gently. It's not something you will develop by sheer will power. It's like a butterfly returning gently to a flower. Gently, again and again. You will see that being mindful makes your life quite better. Most of those worries that engulf you now and then, and when you notice you are already deeply involved with them, can very easily be released if you slowly develop mindfulness. Mindfulness in a certain way is not suffering from constant "amnesia-like episodes" in which we lose ourselves, drifting.


Good advice - again.

And don't worry about learning everything fast. Just do what you can, like you were a farmer. This takes time, little by little, everyday. It's not by worrying and rushing that you will reap your apples and oranges sooner. ;)


While I know this without you needing to have said it, yet while I know you're right, there's something in my very nature which always tends to rush. Perhaps its due to my competitiveness. As Jikan commented earlier, a great deal of stress has been caused by comparing myself to people here on the forum. But, of all the people who received transmission this past November 20, I'm the only one here on the forum who not only doesn't "get it," isn't practicing or keeping the samaya, and really doesn't have the time to dedicate to the sort of practice that Lhug-pa described above. I mean, I still don't know what a freakin' ganapuja is! And everybody else is talking about lhungrub and vidya and rlung and vase breathing. :techproblem:

I feel like a secondary grade student who has been invited to a college seminar. I also feel like, if Namkhai Norbu were to personally check on the progress of those people who received transmission on November 20, he'd look at alwayson and Lhug-pa and say, "Very good," and then look at me just shake his head in disappointment. I realize that this is neurotic, but it's how I feel. It's been a pretty steady feeling to, not one that has waxed and waned. I'm not saying it's a permanent feeling nor that it's somehow "real," but it's a concern that I am having to deal with. Really, though, what it comes down to is that Namkhai Norbu could care less about my practice: I'm the one who is disappointed in myself for not being a great Dzogchen practitioner and realizing that I currently have boundaries and limitations.

:shrug:
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:55 am

Actually Mint, I didn't "get it".

And this is why I feel that I need to attend more of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche's Webcasts, and do practices like Semdzin and the Rushen preliminaries of Dzogchen.

Although it does seem that my afflictions aren't quite as burdensome as they were before.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Quiet Heart » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:32 am

:smile:
Mint:
Simple answer....you're trying to hard to BE something and not taking the time to grow into that being that something.
My mother used to give swimming lessons at our local town pool to children.
Many times the children tried so hard to learn to swim, they just forgot to relax, and enjoy being in the pool.
They would flail about, kicking their legs and moving thier arms, but never relaxing.
They made swimming hard work when all they really had to do was float there in the water.
For that kind of student the first thing my mom would show them is they could just relax, floating quietly on their backs and watching the clouds.
Once they accepted that, the real swimming lessons would begin.
So if you want to learn "buddhisim" (whatever you consider that to be). first learn to float quietly...just looking at the clouds.
Once you've mastered that...and sometimes that isn't easy...you can learn the rest.
If you want something to practice, try practicing compassion for others, understanding of their need, and reverence for all life.
Those are a good place to start anyhow...irregardless of what comes later.
:smile:
Hint: See what it says below about Quietness when I post this reply.
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:38 am

mint wrote:Hi Dechen,

You've been a good friend throughout this all. I'm glad you responded to this thread.

Don't mention it. You're very honest and candid. You clearly have interest and are reaching for help. I would be a prick if I didn't try to help you, even if my ability to do so is quite limited. Not everyone has the guts to assume their obstacles and ask for help like you do. So it's a pleasure to be here for you, even if I'm not a great help. I'm pleased to know you think of me as a friend. It's mutual. :cheers:

I get what you're saying. Remaining present isn't a huge ordeal for me. I seem to do it quite naturally. I'm sure I could stand some adjustments, but really, on the whole, there's not much that I don't remain present during. I could potentially stand to be a bit more present when my girlfriend talks about shopping or hairstyles :lol: - but, on the whole, remaining present comes very natural to me, I think. So, since receiving transmission from Namkhai Norbu, and since reading more about Dzogchen, I'm thinking that this state of presence which comes so natural to me must not be adequate and I think this is where I've gotten off track and attempted to develop concentration. And, yes, this has caused me a great deal of the stress I've been feeling.

It's great that you find being present something that comes naturally. Not everyone is that lucky. That's a great achievement in itself. You will see the quality of mindfulness increasing naturally. Just keep at it.

So, instant presence isn't something that I can develop on my own? If this is a guarded, restricted topic, feel free to PM me, if you want.

No need. If you attend the transmissions, you will get it as long as you keep practicing. Don't stress. It will happen when it happens. Till then, just do your best. There's a lot to practice to remove obstacles, gather merits, gain wisdom and deepen one's insight. When you are ready to get it, you get it. Remember to be at ease. If you stress about it you become nervous and then it's more difficult. Learn the methods you can use to recognize your natural state through the experience of emptiness, of clarity and of sensation.


While I know this without you needing to have said it, yet while I know you're right, there's something in my very nature which always tends to rush. Perhaps its due to my competitiveness. As Jikan commented earlier, a great deal of stress has been caused by comparing myself to people here on the forum. But, of all the people who received transmission this past November 20, I'm the only one here on the forum who not only doesn't "get it," isn't practicing or keeping the samaya, and really doesn't have the time to dedicate to the sort of practice that Lhug-pa described above. I mean, I still don't know what a freakin' ganapuja is! And everybody else is talking about lhungrub and vidya and rlung and vase breathing. :techproblem:

:rolling: Well, don't do that. Most are at this for a longer time than you. In the beginning they all had their obstacles. Everyone's path is different. You can only do so much. That's it. No need to worry about what you can't do. Just keep being honest and learning slowly. Steady and slow. So that you retain what you learn and don't end up making all sorts of confusions.
I've seen people parroting ChNN's teachings who later on shown to have missed his main points terribly. Lhug-pa still needs to drop that Samael Aun Weor thing before he can even start to think about Dzogchen! :lol: He's cool though. A nice chap and I'm glad he is dedicating himself. It makes me happy when I see people interested in practice. It's an inspiring example for me.

I feel like a secondary grade student who has been invited to a college seminar. I also feel like, if Namkhai Norbu were to personally check on the progress of those people who received transmission on November 20, he'd look at alwayson and Lhug-pa and say, "Very good," and then look at me just shake his head in disappointment. I realize that this is neurotic, but it's how I feel. It's been a pretty steady feeling to, not one that has waxed and waned. I'm not saying it's a permanent feeling nor that it's somehow "real," but it's a concern that I am having to deal with. Really, though, what it comes down to is that Namkhai Norbu could care less about my practice: I'm the one who is disappointed in myself for not being a great Dzogchen practitioner and realizing that I currently have boundaries and limitations.

ChNN cares about all his students. This is why at his age he travels like he does, teaches like he does, gather his students like he does and gives such a tremendous amount of webcasts for free. This is also why we have so much material available. It can be overwhelming, so you need to know how to navigate. When in doubt, ask.

ChNN always repeats two pieces of advice often: remember the main point and do the best you can. Seem simple, but are quite deep.
You are still discovering what is this main point, and that is perfectly natural. You are also doing the best you can. I can only speculate, but I think ChNN would be happy because you are following his advice. We all have our obstacles and limitations. Slowly we overcome them.

Study and try to learn how to practice. When you have doubts, ask. Namdrol is an excellent source of advice about ChNN's teachings, for instance.
Just don't waste time worrying yourself so much. That leads nowhere.

All the best. Relax and again, don't worry. You are doing fine when you are not beating yourself!
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:50 am

Mint, I've always wanted to use that computer smash emoticon. :lol: In fact sometimes I want to actually do that to my phone. :rolling:

Anyway this is what Ganapuja is:

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5903&p=66397&hilit=ganapuja#p66397

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5903&p=70357&hilit=Dudjom&sid=48c6f1d25d8af68ec30cfb661858591e#p70357

It is we could say the Buddhist equivalent of the Christian Communion/Eucharist; and it helps to balance the Five Elements in us, helps to purify negativites, and provides a special kind of additional help.

Since you're from a family background of a Christian denomination, it's good to know that you can simply recite the Pater Noster (verbally or mentally) for blessing the Bread, Wine, and Meat; that is if you're not quite ready to memorize a Tantra style Puja with its Mantras, etc.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is conducting a Ganapuja via webcast early tomorrow morning:

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=4052&p=71863&hilit=Mandarava#p71863
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Silent Bob » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:53 am

Mint--Many people, possibly most, don't 'get it' on their first exposure to pointing-out instructions. Some can't admit it, even to themselves, while others may have lost the ball in the sun but believe otherwise. You really don't need to feel as though you're all alone in your confusion when you actually have plenty of company. IMHO, Tsoknyi Rinpoche's two books are a helpful and user-friendly guide that I recommend without hesitation. Above all, remember rigpa is binary--it's either the pure and potent spring or you've been suckered in by a pale 3.2 approximation of your own making.

Chris
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:29 am

I am humbled by all of the compassionate advice I've received today.

:bow:
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby wisdom » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:08 am

I actually relate with many of the gripes you've posted on this forum so far in my own way, and have struggled with many of the same questions, especially in relation to guru yoga.

After I received transmission also on the 20th I noticed something similar happened with me. Basically a number of delusions began to crash down around me. It threw me into chaos and suffering, confusion and uncertainty, doubt and even anger.

On this note I'll just ponder the fact that a fully realized Guru like ChNN can manifest in a peaceful or wrathful aspect, depending on the needs and requirements of his students. Some might receive transmission and find the experience to be calming, relieving, and so forth. Others might experience it as the opposite. Its not that the former lacks delusion or that the latter is totally delusional, but rather each persons condition is different at any given point in time, and therefore the manifestation of the Guru would differ depending on the needs of each individual.

One could even argue that such an experience indicates just how fully one took everything in, that one is really letting things change ones being, really letting ones shields down, really being open to the teachings. Not only that, but that it indicates a good deal of intention as well.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:22 am

wisdom wrote:I actually relate with many of the gripes you've posted on this forum so far in my own way, and have struggled with many of the same questions, especially in relation to guru yoga.


Glad that I can be of service to someone!
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:18 pm

I don't believe that instant presence is possible, but it makes for good reading.
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