04.14.2011 - Dharma and Darshan

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    Our conversation centered around Pila's essay on Dharma and the notion of darshan.

    Pila Mulligan: hi Dao
    Bruce Mowbray: Hi, Dao.
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Dao
    Ataraxia Azemus: Hi Dao :)
    Dao Yheng: Hi Pila, hi all!
    Bruce Mowbray: Hi, Anon.
    Bruce Mowbray: (way far away, Anon.)
    Dao Yheng: Thanks for your essay this week, Pila
    Pila Mulligan: :) thank you
    Pila Mulligan: is the term darshan failiar to anyone here?
    Dao Yheng: I have never really considered the meaning of "dharma" except in a buddhist context, where it generally refers to the Buddha's teachings, or more generally "phenomenon/stuff"
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Ataraxia Azemus: Yes
    Agatha Macbeth: Tartan yes, not darshan
    Dao Yheng: I'm not familar with darshan either!
    Pila Mulligan: darshan is an exepereince of being in the presence of a master or deity
    Dao Yheng: ah, thank you
    Pila Mulligan: darshan is also probably one of the more direct expereinces of dharma
    Dao Yheng: so, if you meet your teacher on retreat or in a dream, is that considered darshan?
    Pila Mulligan: straight on teaching
    Pila Mulligan: yes Dao
    Coffee Mug whispers: Ahh! Fresh Hot Coffee
    Agatha Macbeth: Ah, nice
    Pila Mulligan: dharma as one of the three pillars of Buddhism began with darshan :)
    Dao Yheng: darshan might also be the feeling of really being in the presence of a flower, say? Or is that stretching it?
    Pila Mulligan: it is not stretching for me Dao
    Pila Mulligan: a flowering epiphany :)
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Ataraxia Azemus: :)
    Dao Yheng: Could you say more about the three pillars beginning with darshan? Does it mean, in an individual encounter, or are you saying something about the roots of buddhism?
    Dao Yheng: (sorry if my comments are coming out of order, my connection is a little slow today)
    Ataraxia Azemus: Hi Zen :)
    Pila Mulligan: I was thinking of the roots, and not being a Buddhist I am using terminology loosely
    Bruce Mowbray: Hi, Zen.
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello dere Zen
    Dao Yheng: Hi Zen!
    Pila Mulligan: hi Zen
    Agatha Macbeth: Top o the evenin'
    Zen Arado: Hi all
    Bruce Mowbray: Darshan goes back to the Hindu roots of Buddhism -- meeting with one's guru, who is regarded as the manifestation of Dharma. . .
    Bruce Mowbray: but a lot of that is mythological, isn't it, Pila?
    Pila Mulligan: myths, yes, indeed
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Agatha Macbeth: 'Never let facts get in the way of a good story'
    Zen Arado: I'm going to a Tibetan Temple in Scotland tomorrow
    Bruce Mowbray: the notion of guru infalliblity, for example. . . mythological.
    Agatha Macbeth: Wow
    Pila Mulligan: nice
    Ataraxia Azemus: Oh, awesome, Zen :)
    Zen Arado: there is a lot of guru devotion in Tibetan Buddhism
    Dao Yheng: fun, Zen :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Oh say more, Zen!
    Zen Arado: that I don't quite understand
    Agatha Macbeth pictures Buddha in a kilt
    Dao Yheng: :))
    Zen Arado: http://www.samyeling.org/
    Zen Arado: that place
    Zen Arado: it has been going sincd the sixties
    Zen Arado: Chogyam Trungpa was there for a while
    Zen Arado: just going foe a course with Ringu Tulku
    Zen Arado: nice break anyway
    Dao Yheng: sounds great, Zen
    Zen Arado: was there before about 3 years ago
    Bruce Mowbray: so, this center is in the Shambhala tradition, Zen?
    Zen Arado: it's A BIG PLACE
    Zen Arado: sorry caps :)
    Agatha Macbeth: I CAN IMAGINE ZEN
    Bruce Mowbray: I'm trying to find a map to learn where in Scotland it is located.
    Zen Arado: Dumfires
    Agatha Macbeth: Ah
    Zen Arado: Dumfries
    Bruce Mowbray: Dumfries. ahhh!
    Zen Arado: near Lockerbie where the plane crash was
    Bruce Mowbray: Have a wonderful time, Zen.
    Agatha Macbeth: Yes, meditate well
    Zen Arado: not sure what they do at courses
    Zen Arado: mostly teaching I think
    Dao Yheng: will be interesting to hear your report when you get back :)
    Agatha Macbeth nods
    Zen Arado: the teachings have been pased down through all these traditions
    Bruce Mowbray: Hi, Anon.
    Ataraxia Azemus: Hi Anon
    Zen Arado: we learn to be thankful for that in Zen
    Zen Arado: Hi Anon
    Agatha Macbeth: Wow, it's Cloud strife
    Bruce Mowbray: bye, Anon.
    Zen Arado: :)
    Dao Yheng: back on Darshan -- an interesting way of framing it -- coming from a more mahayana perspective, where all is empty and all is buddha nature...
    Zen Arado: what is darshan?
    Dao Yheng: a sense that the "meeting" is all that truly is
    Pila Mulligan back and reading after RL phone call
    Dao Yheng: from Pila Mulligan: darshan is an exepereince of being in the presence of a master or deity
    Bruce Mowbray: In Hinduism, Darshan is being in the presence of and receiving instruction from one's guru, Zen.
    Zen Arado: ah ok
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dar%C5%9Bana
    Zen Arado: they say the very presence of enlightened masters can bring you to that too
    Zen Arado: I haven't experienced that
    Pila Mulligan: shaktipat
    Pila Mulligan: in Hinduism
    Zen Arado: is that genuine or do we add it by our own thinking?
    Agatha Macbeth: Bless you
    Mitsu Ishii: it's genuine
    Mitsu Ishii: transmission
    Bruce Mowbray: I ws with Muktananda in the 70's and saw a lot of shaktipat -- although never experienced it myself.
    Pila Mulligan: :) Ags
    Agatha Macbeth: :)
    Zen Arado: my own teacher has a lot of ...presence
    Mitsu Ishii: you can receive transmission, but you have to be ready
    Bruce Mowbray: I was not ready!
    Zen Arado: a quietness of demeanour
    Bruce Mowbray: by a long shot!
    Mitsu Ishii: I'm not sure how it works or why
    Zen Arado: are you now Bruce?
    Mitsu Ishii: but I have experienced it, very strongly.
    Zen Arado: how would you know?
    Mitsu Ishii: it's obvious
    Zen Arado: the teacher has to determine?
    Bruce Mowbray: Muktananda touched me with a long feather -- and all I felt was a feather. . .
    Mitsu Ishii: no, it's obvious. or it was for me at least.
    Bruce Mowbray: so, I think I'm probably more of a nature-buff than a guru buff.
    Zen Arado: what was obvious?
    Pila Mulligan: some have gods some had dogs
    Agatha Macbeth: Nothing wrong with that Bruce!
    Zen Arado: (soorry for questioning)
    Mitsu Ishii: transmission was obvious. I mean I didn't really know what was happening
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, aggres with Mitsu -- It was QUITE obvious to those who were experiencing it. . . (but I was not.)
    Mitsu Ishii: but it was huge
    Agatha Macbeth: They all say that
    Mitsu Ishii: I later spoke with my teacher and he verified what he was trying to transmit
    Mitsu Ishii: and it was exactly what I experienced, etc.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Huge, yes.
    Bruce Mowbray: overwhelming, in fact.
    Agatha Macbeth: HUGE
    Dao Yheng: :))
    Mitsu Ishii: it wasn't really an experience in the ordinary sense of the word, though
    Bruce Mowbray: I have great respect for that, --- but i did not experience it personally.
    Zen Arado: I'm not ready for that for sure
    Anon: hay how yall doing
    Agatha Macbeth: Wow, that's what I call lag...
    Mitsu Ishii: the word I'd use to describe it is "NOTHING"
    Mitsu Ishii: not nothing as in a void
    Anon: this place is cool
    Bruce Mowbray: Welcome, Anon.
    Mitsu Ishii: but nothing as in nothing at all needs to be done but in this really thoroughgoing way, not just an idea
    Agatha Macbeth: Actually I'm quite warm
    Dao Yheng: Anon, we're talking about http://waysofknowing.kira.org/
    Bruce Mowbray: We are a group of explorers in mindfulness, Anon. We call our group "Ways of Knowing" and it is part of the Kira Institute.
    Bruce Mowbray: This is the Kira Cafe.
    Bruce Mowbray listens for more from Dao.
    Zen Arado: Rumi poem: they told me to stand outside the doo and knock but when I did I found I had been knocking on the inside"
    Zen Arado: door
    Dao Yheng: that was quite good, Bruce, thank you :)
    Mitsu Ishii: yep, exactly :) (Rumi)
    Dao Yheng: and zen!
    Bruce Mowbray: yw ;-)
    Ataraxia Azemus: :)
    Anon: yall noany cool places to go
    Anon: i mean any cool pcaces
    Agatha Macbeth: Greenland?
    Zen Arado: depends what you want Anon
    Zen Arado: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: or antarctica
    Anon: any yall like flying around and exploring
    Zen Arado: dancing places?
    Zen Arado: just like sitting and talking
    Zen Arado: seems to be what I do most anyway :)
    Agatha Macbeth: It's just yer age Zen :p
    Dao Yheng: Pila, I was wondering too if you would say a bit more how you see the relationship between karma and dharma
    Zen Arado: yeh I guess
    Agatha Macbeth: :)
    Zen Arado: yeh I wondered about that
    Zen Arado: don't really see the connection
    Ataraxia Azemus: I should be heading out....thanks, everyone :)
    Dao Yheng: bye ata
    Ataraxia Azemus: Be well :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Enjoy Atari
    Zen Arado: bye Violet :)
    Dao Yheng: ...or anyone, really -- was intrigued but not really sure I understood
    Pila Mulligan: it is a tough one Dao
    Pila Mulligan: I'm not sure there is a formula
    Zen Arado: they seem like two separate things to me
    Pila Mulligan: but I think they are easily confused with one another
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: and probably a very perosnal view in most cases
    Pila Mulligan: karma is something that exists on a very large scale, to me
    Pila Mulligan: we live iwth it regardless
    Zen Arado: maybe Dharma is a guide for how to behave but Karma is how we actually do behave?
    Pila Mulligan: dharma is something we can learn and appreciate for its worth
    Pila Mulligan: maybe Zen
    Pila Mulligan: here's a quote i was reading a while ago
    Pila Mulligan: The core of Buddhism is made up of the three pillars of the Buddha, the Dharma (his teachings) and the Sangha (monks and nuns). Simply explained, one could say that without the historical Buddha Shakyamuni there would have been no Buddhist Dharma, nor Sangha. Without his teachings, the Buddha would not have made much of a difference, and also the spiritual community would not have existed. Without the Sangha, the tradition would never have have been transmitted through the ages. The Buddha would have been 'just' a historical figure and his teachings would have been 'just' books.
    Pila Mulligan: the same is true in Christianity, Islam, Krishna religions, and so on
    Pila Mulligan: they are teachings of a master or diety
    Pila Mulligan: karma is the whole of life and human nature
    Pila Mulligan: to me :)
    Pila Mulligan: is that too much ?? :)
    Zen Arado: but isn't karma predicated on actins?
    Zen Arado: actions
    Pila Mulligan: there's a touogh question -- yes it is, but is it separate from aCTIONS?
    Pila Mulligan: actions*
    Zen Arado: actions produce karma, good or bad?
    Pila Mulligan: :) ?
    Bruce Mowbray: Bye, Ataraxia.
    Zen Arado: but what we do is the result of the way we are
    Pila Mulligan: my mythology has led to this end: to understand karma we can look at atman, the self, and ask is karma personal, am I real, or is it all just one big flow?
    Pila Mulligan: karma exists either way
    Pila Mulligan: do I?
    Zen Arado: it's like we have relative individual choices but it's also all part of a big flow?
    Pila Mulligan: free will? :)
    Pila Mulligan: these are big quesitons, eh :)
    Dao Yheng: I'm not sure if karma exists without the whole logic of action, self and object
    Zen Arado: yep
    Bruce Mowbray: I prefer to think of "karma" as momentum that follows action.
    Pila Mulligan: like swimming Bruce?
    Bruce Mowbray: so all behavior - action - involves momentum in some way. . .
    Bruce Mowbray: well, perhaps swimming -- but ANY behavior.
    Zen Arado: momentum needs something to produce it too though?
    Pila Mulligan: if we analogize it to swimming then water ebcomes part of the context
    Bruce Mowbray: there is a continuation -- not an immediate and discrete cause and effect.
    Bruce Mowbray: bye Anon -- Hoping we'll see you at the pavilion.
    Zen Arado: if we are totally with the flow we need little action
    Bruce Mowbray: Doing nothing, everything gets done.
    Bruce Mowbray: Ahh!
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Pila Mulligan: annother big question: do good works count for anything?
    Pila Mulligan: this is getting back to dharma
    Bruce Mowbray: like water -- or a mountain -- no effort to be stable -- no effort in the watercourse way.
    Bruce Mowbray listens for more from Pila.
    Pila Mulligan: well, that wa sit really
    Zen Arado: sometimes I think talking about these things doesn't get you anywhere
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Pila Mulligan: karma, free will and good works, the three pillars of Pilaism
    Agatha Macbeth grins @ Zen
    Bruce Mowbray: agrees with Zen.
    Pila Mulligan: but it is fun
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    Zen Arado: yeh there's that :)
    Bruce Mowbray: yes, aggrees also with Pila!
    Dao Yheng: yup, yup!
    Pila Mulligan: and I really do not have the answers
    Bruce Mowbray: Where is there to go? To "get somewhere"?
    Pila Mulligan: just imaginings
    Zen Arado: I know
    Zen Arado: or do I ...sigh
    Dao Yheng: OK, I hate to ask, but does anyone have any ideas for next time?
    Dao Yheng: (the real stumper)
    Bruce Mowbray: I mean, suppose you achieve some marvelous stability in your meditation -- who's to know that? and are you going to show off about it? -- Nowhere to "go".
    Pila Mulligan: if talking about these things doesn't get you anywhere, what gets you somewhere?
    Pila Mulligan: topic idea
    Bruce Mowbray: Being gets you here.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Zen Arado: how about the difference between reality and fantasy
    Agatha Macbeth: Is there one?
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    Zen Arado: it came up at ouir retreat
    Agatha Macbeth: So that's what you get talking about
    Zen Arado: what is 'real'?
    Agatha Macbeth: Whatis love anyway...
    Pila Mulligan: where do we want to be?
    Agatha Macbeth: The pub?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Zen Arado: comes up all the time about SL
    Dao Yheng: reality and fantasy -- sounds good to me!
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    Agatha Macbeth: Ah well...
    Bruce Mowbray: Perhaps "reality" is one of those myths, Zen. . .
    Agatha Macbeth: Time to hit da road
    Agatha Macbeth: Byeeee
    Pila Mulligan: bye Ags
    Bruce Mowbray: Byeeeee, aggers.
    Dao Yheng: Bye Agatha!
    Zen Arado: 'Is this the real life..or just a fantasy...
    Zen Arado: bye Aga
    Bruce Mowbray: is it a man or a butterfly who is dreaming?

    The session officially ended here, though our conversation meandered on for a while ... :)

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