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PERFECT LOVE — 6 Comments

  1. Hi Zafrogzen
    Followed your link from Freesangha. Nice website. I can see that you enjoy writing, especially about the dharma, and I’ll certainly bookmark and visit regularly. I recently retired from teaching and have taken up writing about what happened to me during 30-odd years of meditating. I’ve always been interested in Zen and how it changes you. Which is what got me into meditation in the first place. As someone who taught all subjects to young children I wanted to know if there were any types of knowledge I hadn’t got access to, and decided to use meditation to change how I perceived the world. Very dangerous, as I found out when, much to my surprise, it really worked.
    Enough of me. Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your writing. I’m writing on forums as stillpointdancer, which describes what I feel during moments of insight.
    Regards, Phil

  2. Hi Phil,

    Thank you for your kind comment. I like hearing about the experiences of fellow practitioners.

    I notice you’ve got a book out. I don’t usually read contemporary writing — just the classic zen masters and sutras, over and over, but your work sounds interesting.

    I do like to write, but it tends to put me in a frame-of-mind that isn’t conducive to meditation, so I don’t do it very often. I’m about half-way through a memoir, that I’ve been fooling with for years, focused on my time in the San Francisco of the sixties. I think it’s a good story, but I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it. However, writing it has affected me more than I thought it would.

  3. I like rewriting the classic sutras, trying to get around the jargon to make things more accessible. Not easy, but makes for a great challenge and helps me understand more. I’m a retired Primary school teacher, used to putting over science and technology concepts in a simple way for young children- believe me you learn more doing that than what you ‘thought’ you knew. And those are things of our own time and culture! Much trickier when it’s something like a sutra.
    It’s only since I’ve retired that I had the time to try writing, and so I had a go at the Saipatthana Sutta, the guide to insight meditation. My book is a modern ‘take’ on it, in my own words and following what I did to myself- a sort of reverse engineering.
    Good to chat with you,
    Regards, Phil

  4. Zafrogzen: very glad to have found your webpages (picked up the link from ‘FreeSangha’). You make sense, and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts, both here and on the forum.
    (Feet of Clay, as usual: Thoreau certainly lived in his cabin in the woods, but lived near enough to home to be able to get his laundry done and to collect food when he was short!)
    With metta and thanks,
    Allen, in London.

  5. Hi Allen
    Writing about the problems of using mindfulness in corporate, and other, training programmes. What do you think about the use of stuff like this, out of it’s Buddhist context and in a ‘completely secular’ way? My own thoughts are that such practices could have unexpected consequences for the practitioner, without the kind of backup you would have in a Sangha.
    Regards, Phil
    West Midands

  6. Hi Phil,

    Sorry I didn’t get your comment posted earlier. I’ve been on a solo semi-retreat for awhile. I really appreciate your feedback.

    I hadn’t thought about any of my stuff lending itself to corporate training programs. I’m very curious to know which practices you (and Allen?) think could have “unexpected consequences” and what those consequences could be and how a sangha and a “Buddhist context” might mitigate them.

    When I was writing about “identification” and the Bhagavadgita, I wondered how that practice might work in a secular context. I think there’s always the possibility that some individuals with mental issues can misuse such practices — as I think we see sometimes on the Freesangha discussions with regard to Buddhism.

    Obviously taking Datura is very dangerous, but I wasn’t suggesting it as a practice. For what it’s worth, I did just add a warning at the end of that post, I’m eventually going to take down those posts that are from the memoir I’m working on. The sixties were pretty crazy, but since then my life has been quite normal.

    Did you read my “meditation basics?” Is there anything in there that you think might be inappropriate? I originally wrote that for a few people I know who I thought would be interested. It’s all basic practice I learned from various teachers, which I‘ve done for decades with only positive effects. It’s said the yogic breathing exercises when done with breath retention (which I warn against) can be dangerous, although I’ve never had any unintended consequences (except for doing stupid stuff when driving down the freeway).

    I’ve read that intense meditation has had very negative mental effects on a few people, but that was from jumping right into extended retreats with teachers and a sangha, not from solo practice. I think it would be very unlikely that someone who was new to meditation would have the willpower to do enough intensive sitting on their own for any unintended consequences to occur.

    Practicing on one’s own is always more difficult. I’ve been having trouble staying off the internet while trying to do some serious sitting.

    BTW I enjoy your posts on Freesangha.

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