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I do not know how to extract the secret plans for a “dharma antenna” from the sūtras.

The Sanskrit sūtras do not contain hidden plans for a “dharma antenna”, based on principles taught by ancient astronauts.

This being Mastodon, the Dharma Realm is not just for straight up dharma practitioners; it's for dharma weirdos. That's why I'm the right guy for the job.

@mithriltabby So what do I do with this colander and knitting needles on my head? I certainly felt like I was transmitting something. Spaghetti consciousness.

“Nirvāṇa” is another one of those Buddhist terms that get a lot of hype, and hype makes it easier to develop attachment that impedes progress. Literally it means “blowing out”, like a candle.

The metaphor is that greed, anger, and delusion are like fires that bring us misery, and they are endlessly fueled, so it’s up to each of us to extinguish our own flames.

The lump depicted on top of the Buddha’s head was not raised by a blow from a “bodhi hammer”.

THE HIDDEN LAMP is a collection of koans and stories of Buddhist women over the centuries, with commentary by modern women teachers. It’s particularly good for the modern day where very few of us are practicing in monastic settings; women usually practiced out in the world.

Even after the Buddha’s big awakening, he was still stuck in old assumptions. He wouldn’t ordain women until Mahāpajāpatī publicly shamed him over his continued attachment to old ways.

Having an awakening experience doesn’t make you “woke”.

Ignore those, though, and you’ll eventually get occasional moments of peace and quiet, or what they describe as “thusness” or “suchness”; the things people talk about as “kensho” and “satori”.

These are just moments, though. They aren’t a matter of having crossed over to another shore. Even the Buddha kept sitting all his life; he didn’t become an “enlightened being” who didn’t need to continue practicing.

An important reason to have a teacher in Zen is to have someone to tell you to ignore certain side effects: voices in your head as you fall asleep, feelings of cosmic significance. That’s makyō, the devil’s cave.

Doing reps on the zafu builds up your brain circuit in a way that has benefits when you’re no longer on the mat; it gets easier to let go out in the fuss and bustle outside the zendo.

And it also has some weird side effects.

Zen has a reputation for being mysterious and inscrutable; the hype generated from within Zen often doesn’t help.

In my experience, though, it comes down to something very simple: zazen (aka vipassanā or insight meditation) is like a gym workout for a very particular circuit in your brain: the “letting go” one.

Even if your brain is full of noise as you sit, each time you let go of a train of thought, that’s like one rep with a dumbbell.

There is no such thing as a “bodhi hammer” that induces enlightenment when whacked on someone’s head.

The antonym, “sukha”, is usually translated as “bliss”, but the roots mean “good axle hole”. Not like ‘blissed out”; more like “smooth ride”.

“Dukkha” is the Pali word that usually gets translated as “suffering” in Buddhism, but the roots of the word mean “bad axle hole”— that the axle of your wheel is off-center, creating an unpleasant ride. When the Buddha is talking about liberating us from suffering, it’s not pain he’s talking about; it’s the misery created by our own minds.

The Buddha did not sit under a pipal tree for 49 days because a cat had fallen asleep in his lap.

If you meet the Buddha on the road and he can remain in the Earth’s atmosphere for more than three minutes, kill him.

Buddhism is not a conspiracy created by cats with the objective of increasing the supply of available laps.

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Dharma Realm is an open, friendly, diverse Instance that serves the Dharma community, including (but not limited to) all forms of Buddhism, Yoga, Advaita, Hinduism, Tantra, Tao and related spiritualities, and contemporary forms of Dharma philosophy and practice. All we ask is that you bring curiosity, kindness and an open mind. Dharma Realm is hosted on