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Aloka
18 Jun 17, 05:22
Soto Zen teacher Brad Warner talks about religious experiences. (14 minutes)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX0r-5waaIA&t=47s


I liked his comments about the ego jumping in and grabbing the experience and the person thinking:

"This is mine now..... and I'm going to tell people about it!"

.

woodscooter
19 Jun 17, 13:00
I like to hear from Brad Warner. I like his style, easy, open, honest talking about the Western world and what it means to him. Brad makes quite a few appearances in threads on this forum.

Can't say I share his opinion of Robyn Hitchcock, though.

About "religious experiences", he says it's something that happens to Christians, Muslims, and non-religious types too. He's not claiming an exclusive here. And it's true. I've spoken to a Christian who claims to have heard the voice of God speaking direct to him on one occasion.

That's something totally different from the mind-explosion that Brad Warner was describing in this talk, of course. And there are all levels of experience that can occur, each time leaving a permanent result, something that's never forgotten, that has an effect on a person for a lifetime.

Something that struck me from his talk, is this: He said "Maybe if I hadn't done all that zazen, I wouldn't have had it."

It's probably true that a serious commitment to a meditative life, not only in Buddhism but in other religions too, clears the mind to make it more receptive to this kind of jolt.

But what do you do afterwards? Set yourself up as a guru, teacher, wise man/woman? Spread word about your amazing experience, encourage others to follow your example in the hope of receiving the same experience?

I hope not. You haven't received the keys to the universe. You've just had an individual experience that fits yourself alone. Others must tread their own path.

philg
19 Jun 17, 13:13
I like to hear from Brad Warner. I like his style, easy, open, honest talking about the Western world and what it means to him. Brad makes quite a few appearances in threads on this forum.

But what do you do afterwards? Set yourself up as a guru, teacher, wise man/woman? Spread word about your amazing experience, encourage others to follow your example in the hope of receiving the same experience?

I hope not. You haven't received the keys to the universe. You've just had an individual experience that fits yourself alone. Others must tread their own path.
I agree with most of what you say. My only concern is that by being silent and not sharing experiences, those that have them have nothing to measure them against, at least nothing couched in contemporary language.

Aloka
20 Jun 17, 14:18
My only concern is that by being silent and not sharing experiences, those that have them have nothing to measure them against, at least nothing couched in contemporary language.

I don't think that getting some input about their meditation experiences should be a problem for anyone who wants it. There are plenty of Buddhist meditation groups around these days with established meditation teachers able to give advice. Its also possible to contact some teachers by e-mail, and, in the case of Zen practitioners, there's Treeleaf online sangha, or the "Ask a Teacher'' facility at Zen Forum International.

As the Thai Forest Tradition teacher Ajahn Jayasaro says in no.11 of his "Buddhist Meditation" series on YouTube, in connection with meditation experiences: "No one is quite the same as anyone else."

It therefore doesn't seem to me to be of much value if inexperienced meditators are trying to "measure" one person's experience against someone else's.


:peace: