Re: question about visualization
- In most situations, I think you are right. I do try not to judge people, but in order to learn how to save beings, I must diagnose them. There are some reasons I think that all other beings are equal to myself in the important areas, although they might temporarily be lost. I certainly admire students in meditation centers, and I also think that people not in meditation centers are just as good.
Your advice about not worrying about others would certainly help me emotionally, because I still am not advanced enough to be just calm about the suffering of others. No doubt the extra stress of worrying about other beings weakens my health. However, I am willing to be upset by worrying about other beings as part of trying to discover what could save them from suffering. There are so many of them suffering that some distress on my part is of no importance. It is also true that sometimes when I worry about someone, that somehow leads me to discover a creative solution for them. So it may be unpleasant to me, but my worry is good for other beings.
The light question was just that - a question. Therefore, you may well be right that things like light don't change as meditations become more advanced. Can you think of any science type reasons for your belief. If so, that could move us towards a theory which could be helpful.
--- In email@example.com, Susan Law <vze339zw@...> wrote:
> Hi again Jim -
> On 10/13/2012 5:10 PM, jfnewell7 wrote:
> > I don't know how well students are doing this, since I'm not advanced
> > enough to see accurately into their minds. I do know that many older
> > students who have done these practices extensively don't seem to be very
> > advanced. If they really aren't very advanced, as it seems, then the
> > most likely problem would be that they are not following the
> > instructions adequately, but could become more advanced from the
> > practices if it could be discovered exactly where they are making their
> > mistakes.
> Generally the teachers I've listened to advise strongly against trying
> to judge another's level of advancement, or practice, or meditation -
> it's a risky business and the only ones who can do it with certainty are
> those who are enlightened. To some extent and in some instances, you
> can spot certain signs - compassion toward other sentient beings, and
> humility are two big ones. In my opinion, knowledge doesn't matter much;
> insight is more important, but often people keep that to themselves; the
> more advanced someone is the more likely they are to keep their mouths
> shut unless it will help someone. Warmth, quiet, and a certain
> flexibility - that you might see.
> There's no need to worry about other's failures - the main thing is to
> be helpful if the opportunity offers, and to maintain the hope/wish for
> each other person or being that they have happiness, freedom from
> suffering, and obtain and realize the Dharma.
> As I mentioned people vary greatly in their natural ability to
> visualize. There are books that explain it - it's also one of the
> purposes of thangkas - they portray various visualizations, and a
> student can work on his or her practice by looking at a thangka, then
> looking away, remembering as much as possible, looking back, etc.
> My guess is that, given the wide natural variation in people's abilities
> at visualizing, it's not a question of mistakes in constructing them.
> Following *all* the instructions for a practice is important - having
> the right intention, following the process of visualization, reciting
> the prayers and mantras carefully, etc. And of course dedicating the
> merit at the end.
> In another post you responded to a quote from Khenpo Karthar's ngondro
> commentary - "The body of Vajrasattva is almost transparent. It is not a
> body like our own, filled with organs and bones, it is more hollow and
> diaphanous like a light bulb, or like a light inside a bottle, shining
> from the inside out. There is nothing solid or hard about it."
> You wrote a bit about what this could mean and how advanced it was. You
> ended with, "Does the appearance of light become more advanced as
> meditations become more advanced?" As far as I understand it, the basic
> answer is no, at least in relation to visualization, not in a way that
> is worth thinking a lot about. Visualization is a tool, really, used in
> conjunction with practices. There are changes - doing these practices
> does (or can) change you - and, indeed, the whole understanding of what
> reality is shifts and changes - radically, if keep at it. But
> basically, when you have a practice to do, all you really have to do is
> follow the instructions. Some practices are simpler and more basic,
> others are more advanced and in general, as you advance you move from
> the more basic practices to more advanced ones. It's not a question of
> the particular practice becoming more advanced. Although, in fact, as
> your insight grows, you probably will recognize that there is more than
> you saw at first.
> As for Khenpo Karthar - he is a superb teacher.
- "jfnewell7" <jfnewell7@...> wrote:
>no need to be concerned about diagnosis. this comes with dharma eye, it is a natural result of applying methods. not something that needs to be learned in an intellectual way, by asking and receiving and remembering
> I do try not to judge people, but in order to learn how to save
> beings, I must diagnose them.