80 A Fantastic Foray to Shambhala


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After a brief musical interlude, Alan comes back to the Pali tradition, introducing us to Ajahn Po, an 82 year old Thai forest monk whose detailed explanation of the view naturally arising from his own experience corresponds to Mahamudra and Dzogchen. And all this from following the breath. So there’s a wide openness and a convergence from wherever you come with pure motivation. The great perfection is there. Meditation is on mindfulness of breathing and non-meditation – ground and space After meditation, we return to the text on p. 127 – which sets out the journey ahead. Then Alan returns to the discussion of the history of modern science and how its trajectory outward put an end to the contemplative tradition. Now there’s just a monolithic approach to truth, based on quantitative and physical enquiry. This creates a problem for the many fine scholars of the Pali cannon, because the Buddha’s description of the universe is fundamentally incompatible with main stream physics and astronomy. How can they reconcile the scientific view of our world with Mount Meru, previous Buddhas with lifespans of tens of thousands of years and so on. But if we investigate carefully, it’s all internal. There are no objective measures. For us the power of jnana is inconceivable. But if you master the jnanas you can master our physical reality. So from that perspective, Mt Meru is as real as cats and dogs and none of them are inherently existent. Alan then takes us through his understanding of the Buddhist world view and how it may or may not correspond to the world we know, including a brief foray into Hopi territory! He finishes with an intriguing and wide-ranging excursion into the Kalachakra tantra and the significance of Shambhala, including one description of how to actually walk there! This is a fantastic foray … you need to listen! Meditation starts at 12:25. ___ Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store. Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

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