externality of experience

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The Essence of the Aitareya and Taittiriya Upanishads

Chapter 5: Ananda Mimamsa

Swami Krishnananda

We will continue the subject of the Taittiriya Upanishad. We observed that our individuality is constituted of different layers, and these layers are called koshas in Sanskrit. There are primarily five such koshas, or sheaths, in which our consciousness is enveloped. These sheaths are nothing but the forces of objectivity that pull the consciousness outwardly in terms of space and time. Thus it becomes clear that these sheaths are not substances or material objects like five walls that may be built round a person sitting inside a room. They are mere urges of consciousness to move outward in greater and greater density, and with more and more of impetuosity towards externality of experience.

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step by step

 

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Dogen Genjokoan

9. A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. However, the fish and the bird have never left their elements. When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm. If the bird leaves the air it will die at once. If the fish leaves the water it will die at once.  Continue reading

an expression complete in itself

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Dogen:

Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet, do not suppose that the ash is after and the firewood before. You should understand that firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood, which fully includes before and after and is independent of before and after. Ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, which fully includes before and after. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death.  Continue reading

the world illusion

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Arunachala and Ramana Maharshi

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In all people, as soon as the ego-sense known as ‘I’ arises to afflict them,

the world-illusion, manifesting as multiplicity, follows along behind.

Who might have the power to describe the vastness

of the ocean of misery that grows out of this:

as flesh; as the body; as the intellectual faculties;

as the inner and the outer; as the all-pervasive space;

as earth, water, fire, and air; as mountains and forests; Continue reading

ecstasy and calm

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Q: So one should not try to perpetuate blissful or ecstatic states?

Ramana: The final obstacle in meditation is ecstasy; you feel great bliss and happiness and want to stay in that ecstasy. Do not yield to it but pass on to the next stage which is great calm. The calm is higher than ecstasy and it merges into samadhi. Successful samadhi causes a waking sleep state to supervene. In that state you know that you are always consciousness, for consciousness is your nature. Actually, one is always in samadhi but one does not know it. To know it all one has to do is to remove the obstacles. Continue reading

Engaged Buddhism

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The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism 

by Thich Nhat Hanh

1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.

2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times. Continue reading

free and vast

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On plants and stones it is to lay,
My minds nature is free and vast,
White clouds are with me, day by day!
My path is not open to the world.
My heart is void unable to say!
On the stone bed I sit alone,
The white moon rises up round and gay!
My mind is like the white moon,
Clean and clear as the mirror,
Nothing can compare with it,
How could I make metaphor?

source: Han Shan

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