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Session 2 – What is Enlightenment and Why Should I Care? – Teaching Retreat January 2010


What Is Enlightenment and Why Should I Care? Session 2

The purpose of the Eastern meditation traditions is to bring us to a completely new way of being, known as Enlightenment, Awakening, or Liberation. What exactly does this mean? And how does this relate to us, living as we do in a 21st century technological society confronted with problems that were unheard of even a generation ago.

Master Culadasa leads this weekend teaching where the methods of meditation practice and their immediate benefits are fit into a larger perspective. He then takes participants beyond the meditative practices to examine their ultimate goal, a goal that often seems hidden somewhere beyond the immediate horizon. The Buddha’s definition of Awakening is explored along with how being an Awakened being manifested both in his own life and in the lives of others who have followed this Path to its end.

 

Here we explore the relevance of this 2500 year old Path to Awakening to ourselves, the practical attainability of its goals, and to come to an understanding of how meditation, concentration, awareness, mindfulness, and Insight that we have been cultivating as a part of our daily practices are woven together to make up this Path.

Play the recording below or right click here to save to your computer. (53 minutes)

Note: Upasaka Nandaka is using a tool called Descript to create machine-generated transcriptions of some of the talks on the TMI Archive (at a pace of up to 30 hours of audio a month). The following is one such transcript. If you’d like to help edit them for accuracy and readability, please see this Google Doc for detailed instructions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YxweiCr1N4YXY3Bn1mTzPBp811hTGolKroJS_RCMqo0/edit. Any editing contribution, no matter how small, is appreciated. Please remove this notice when the transcript has been fully edited.

 

Student: [00:00:00] okay. Anybody

Culadasa: have any questions?

Student: Last

Culadasa: little comment on this section

Student: came up earlier and it

Culadasa: went into a vendor as well. Talking about these different expressions of

Student: what are

Culadasa: these students, not the hermit that you hear more about the hoodie Safa, who is driven period.

Student: It's a sense of

Culadasa: I'm living in compassion and trying to bring all that other sentient beings at the same

Student: point they reached and almost

Culadasa: that's the only thing that motivates them. So I'm wondering what these, like the crusty guys in the caves what's,

assume that there'd be nothing left to motivate. What would keep them going? Are they trying to deep attain deeper insights for themselves? So the question is what keeps the crusty guys trusty? What keeps the crusty guys going? That is a very good question. And actually a question, a couple of other sheets asking me about great.

Let me tell you a little interesting thing about about that.

Student: I'll

Culadasa: jump in here, then read you a quote on

Student: age.

Now nationally,

Culadasa: I'm not going to be

paid for. Second paragraph about some popular notions about, so we'll be talking more about this. All such expectations are doomed. As William Hamilton said, I haven't met him in our hot, who wasn't a unique caricature of a personality he was before. And as side Oop on and once said, because of habit, patterns is possible for an R to be obnoxious.

However, the difference with our hearts is that if it is pointed out to them that they are noxious, they are capable of reflecting on situations and changing their behavior. Now that's our house. That's the highest level of life. There was an interesting study done. Ingler and brown back in the seventies that they had they had people at several different stages of enlightenment as as judged by their teachers and their fears.

And they did a variety of of personality evaluations on. They were looking for to see if there were any particular patterns that were associated with it. They were only looking at stages of inside. There are in the light and that they were also looking at stages of insight, proceeding enlightenment.

So it was a pretty good study. But what they found is that in the sort of the middle stages of. That the personality characteristics were quite exaggerated. So whatever personality fits or characteristics person had before would tend to become exaggerated what they found. That was really interesting with our hunts.

Now this I just read you from William Hamilton says our hearts are a caricature of the personality that they had before. But they also, they're not really, they're not really the trustee of noxious ones because they may have some there as a caricature of the personality they were before they may come across as being, rough and or these kinds of characteristics, but underlying that their greatest desire.

Is to teach and to help other people. And this is what anchor and brown found is that in the [00:05:00] Asian, our hot that they were interviewing, they gave them a series of Rorschach inkblots, which is a part of their investigation. They did. And he turned the whole series of inkblots into a teaching.

They said it was safe. Credible imagined that anybody could do that, but it turned a series of ink left. And the interpretation of it was just this wonderful teaching, and they found something similar with a a shaman that was hugely monitored and taken to be a very holy man.

That, when they when they interviewed him, when they did these tests, everything they did, he would turn it into a teaching and a guidance for them. And so I think this is a difference that you get with it in the intermediate stages of enlightenment, the person still has, they still have some degree of attachment, some degree of sense of self.

Some degree of desire and aversion, depending on the stage that you're at, which is what we're going to be talking about next,

Student: but, and

Culadasa: their personality characteristics tend to come out even more strongly. Somebody who was and aloof, in-patient maybe it was a little bit

Listen, thropic to begin with, they may make a lot of wonderful changes in themselves and achieve the first or the second stage of enlightenment, but they still have these characteristics and they become very exaggerated.

And so they may be the ones that, sit in a cave and they don't want anybody to come around. I don't know how I'd have to go to Himalayas, check on the case, validate that's, but that's my guess is there's that? From I've been having a wonderful time on and off his last couple of years, studying and enlightenment.

And all of the things is written about and had light beings. And this picture is emerging, that fits with this, that, and the Biddle stages that this is where you might get some of it's like one of Jack Cornfield's teachers. There was an article that Jack Kornfield wrote for.

I can't remember the name of it now that happens to me sometimes.

Does anybody know that newspaper format journal that they what's that, yeah, it was not try cycles, a glossy magazine. This looks like a newspaper. It comes out

Student: quarterly or twice a year. Yeah.

Culadasa: Yeah. But anyway, he wrote an article and there was so talking about his different teachers. And he talked about this one teacher who, shouted at people and smoked cigars and kick the cat.

This doesn't sound like your idea of that person, but nobody said he was an architect, but he was a teacher in the Hoskin tradition. And in that tradition you're not allowed to become or you're not formally recognized the teacher until you the tank, the second level of enlightenment. So I think I take him to be an example of that.

He was at maybe the second level of enlightenment qualify as a teacher, but definitely not in our art. So some of these personality characteristics that he had would still manifest, but.

That's good, natural. This is what you're saying, but basically the way you described it as once you really attained the degree of the

Student: level of, it's just this

Culadasa: natural, a natural consequence of that is this

Student: completely non do completely limitless, compassionate,

Culadasa: all that remains these guys that are choosing.

You go into seclusion. I not fully realized that's right there. They're still working on becoming realized. Once they become realized, ah, then of course their ability they realize they're not fully realized, but no matter what stage that somebody is at in an enlightenment. But including us an arhat their ability to teach is going to be still dependent upon, their their innate abilities their personality, characteristics, their training and things like that.

I could see that some, our hearts might feel that they are not capable of teaching or not now. But I can't imagine our hot whose primary motivation would be to help other beings in whatever way they could, even if they were not, even if they didn't feel like they were competent to teach, even if they couldn't turn a series of workshops into a teaching, they would still want to help others.

The fact that somebody wants to stay in a cave by themselves means that they're still working. They're still, they still got work to do [00:10:00]

Student: that. You're not there yet. Yes.

Culadasa: That's the way that I felt when I came to Arizona is that I didn't, wasn't interested in teaching anybody else around or anything else.

I just wanted to hide out in my guns and do my own thing I had work to do

Student: But, okay.

Any other questions? And

Culadasa: we're almost finished this first section of getting into the specific Buddhist one last little point. Yeah, I do. And I mentioned to you earlier, the distinction between the enlightenment experience and state thing and and this was once again from all done, right?

Converse all month's book they say we recognize that it is possible for a person to undergo a transient experience with elimination without remaining in a permanent state. Oneness. And that could mean several different things. At first, somebody on the first stage of enlightenment is permanently transformed, but they're not in a permanent state of oneness because that doesn't come until those around.

They're not in our, huh. The other thing it could be is that they're all. These amazing, incredible mystical experiences that people can have, but they are not they don't do the trick. They don't make the change that the definition of enlightenment from the Buddhist perspective, the original definition of enlightenment is all based on the permanent changes that take place and what you'll find in the Buddhist.

It's a teacher may say of a student's experience that may have been the Enlite and lighten the experience. We'll see you over the next few years.

Student: So

Culadasa: we'll see whether it did the trick. Okay. Now let's let's look at this specifically Buddhist view of enlightenment.

And the searches, we find the Buddha

Student: speaking

Culadasa: very clearly. What she teaches is suffering and the end of suffering. And he very consistently throughout always bought everything back to this same defining characteristic, the end of suffering. In terms of the purpose of the teaching, why you came to the teaching, what it was meant to accomplish, therefore, but of course, in the teaching, it's made very clear that the cause of suffering is craving in the form of desire.

And it's also made very clear that the only way suffering can be completely over time is if craving is completely a permanently extinguished.

Student: And

Culadasa: it's also a very clear that craving cannot be permanently extinguished until ignorance has been destroyed. And. What's meant by ignorance here specifically is ignorance as to the true nature of reality, the true nature of self, or we might say ignorance refers to the delusion that we have of being a separate self existence itself in a world of south existence objects.

And although the Buddha always defined. The goal of the path in terms of the end of suffering, it takes only the most cursory examination of the teaching to realize you can't have suffering without the end of the craving. And you had half the end of craving without the destruction of ignorance. So all of that, Paul is automatically.

So therefore on the basis of the original teachings of the clue that the Sutra is, we can expect an enlightened person typically, number one, free from suffering, of course, number two, free from the compulsion of desire and aversion that caused suffering three free from ignorance and attachment to phenomena as relatively enduring and independently assisted.

And understand that attachment there phenomenon inevitably leads to dissatisfaction and suffering [00:15:00] and for it to be free from ignorance and attachment to the personal self as an independent self existing entity, whether permanently abiding or subject to annihilation. And to understand that attachment to self inevitably leads to dissatisfaction and stuff.

So this has got a logical conclusion, a simple, concise statement of the definition of what it means to be enlightened from the information that's provided in the sutures. In that last one that they had referenced to self the self as an independent self existing entity, whether they're permanently abiding or subject to an isolation.

These were the two views. They were predominant at the time where the Buddha was that this self or soul or hotline was pertinent that and that it would be reincarnated in a new body, like taking off the suit of clothes and put in a new suit of clothes over and over again. And of course, within the harmonic and with the Vedantic development of the Vermont culture, the goal was to achieve.

The escape from the cycle of continual reincarnation by the Ottman achieving union with Brahma, which I talked about before. That's that is the within the Vedantic system. That's that is the enlightenment. But in terms of views of the self, the Buddha did it. Except the Ottman view of a permanent divided itself.

And the other predominant view that competed with that at the time was the materialists who also believe that you had a self, but that it was an isolated at death. Although there were some that believed that it might go on for a few hundred thousand lifetimes, but it was subject to annihilation and destruction.

So the Buddha refuted though, it was and said that. Those of you who say the self is eternal. You're wrong. Those of you who say the south was annihilated you're off. Not because there isn't any south.

Okay. So that's the Buddhist definition of enlightenment free from suffering praise from the politicians with desire version free from ignorance and attack. To phenomena as being self existentially as independently, south existence and free from ignorance and attachment to the personal self as being independent sausages, not

Student: clear.

Culadasa: How does that fit in with everything else we've talked about?

Student: Perfectly.

Culadasa: It actually had actually, yes, it is the Buddhist it's the Buddhist take on it, but it is completely consistent with the descriptions that come from other traditions as well.

Student: Yeah. So

Culadasa: there's not really a. We're not really talking about something

Student: very different,

Culadasa: but one of the things that is very different and I don't know of any other tradition that does, this is the Buddhist tradition recognizes that enlightenment is not all or nothing thing.

I, that it happens by stages. Now within Buddhism, there are some schools that subscribed to suddenly. And they're a little bit difficult to untangle when you look at them. For some of them, their sudden enlightenment doesn't turn out to be much different than this in enlightenment by stages, which is called the gradual enlightenment.

But I think one of the tremendous values in Buddhism is everything is systematized. It is broken down and it's analyzed and there's clear-cut procedures and steps and paths to follow up and so forth. And it's, that's true of all of the training that takes place in meditation as part of the path to enlightenment.

But it's true of lifetime itself. The four stages they're given at the bottom of this page here, the first stage of enlightenment is called the screen. Our hot is Australia as a person who's crossed to the other side, but the first stage is a stream enter. Another meeting of strained nature is that once you've entered the strain, you are carried by the power of the strain after that.

And what's the person has entered the stream. They're complete enlightenment they're [00:20:00] attainment at the first stage. Yeah, it was guaranteed there's no fall back on the stream did for, is also known as the seven times return and the stages that follow that the next stage is called the once returner.

And the third stage is called the non returner. And then the first stage is called.

And what these, what this returner business is all about? The traditional rain of every teaching at a time when everybody took it for granted that where you're dying, you're reincarnated, this was the, this was a Brahmanical tradition going back thousands of years and answer. What the seven times returned.

These is that somebody who has become a stream instrument would be reborn at most seven times before they become an army.

And so the once returner, if you've achieved that state and you would be reborn at most, once

the third stage is called the non-Greek. And if you don't become at our hunt in that lifetime, then the non returner is not reborn in the sense realm in the human realm, but rather they are reborn and a special much higher realm data around and they achieve complete enlightenment. And then in our hunt, as somebody who has achieved fallen, completed life.

Now there's another way of interpreting this which is more consistent with the Buddhist teaching no self, which is that. And it also consists is consistent with what we, what is involved in these patients. And what we find there, a person who is a stream and track is still,

Capable of being caught up in the world of appearances, not for very long, and won't become too deeply immersed in it because as it achieved a level of knowledge, What's once his loss of perspective causes a certain amount of suffering to develop, or once the loss perspective has caused him to behave in such a way that he started to cause visible harm others around him.

He will reawakened to the truth that he knows and will make him dance. So the idea is that for somebody who's a stream metric, this could happen a number of times, not a tremendous number of times, not dozens of times, or have you two times, but a few times, like up to seven, same

with the second path. This person has made some great progress. They are let me go back to the first one. I'm going to give you an analogy here because I'm gonna use it and describing the second and the first then the street, but the first path, a path attainment, this could be likened to a person who's having a bad dream and they wake up and ah, it's, it was just a dream, but they don't get out of bed.

They don't stay. Doze off again, bad. Very much. Start up again. This might happen a few times before they completely wake up when they get out of bed and they're done with that once and for all. Okay. Okay. The second path, the second stage that he, the once return, this is a person who

Student: has.

They are still

Culadasa: subject to desire and aversion, but greatly weakened, greatly attenuated, not nearly as much so as before. And so what they do is they go back into the world of suffering deliberately for the purpose of pre completely and permanently uprooting all of the last traces of. Or from material that they have.

So they've returned once more, but they returned more or less deliberately, or this might be why can't it to somebody who's in the middle of a bad dream, wakes up [00:25:00] realizes that was just a dream. And then is able as a lucid dreamer to go back into the dream and change the way that they respond to the situation.

And then the third stage is it is yes. The non returner has the non returner has overcome all craving all desire in your version. Hasn't done B to actually no possibility of being caught out in the world of suffering and the sensory. Don't never, again, the work that they have to do is is of a different.

And then the art hunt is that is the completely awakened, right?

So that's the Buddhist specifically Buddhist version of an argument. Very similar to the general one that we find across different cultures, odd, but far more systematic and especially the emphasis on stages, different stages in life. And when it doesn't happen all at once also as we'll look at it in more detail as we go into this, there's a very systematic training and preparation.

Student: So

Culadasa: anybody have any questions about that?

Student: There

Culadasa: is in. Some people may have heard or may wonder our, all our hunts, like the Buddha was, and it depends on what ways that you're talking about in terms of their enlightenment. And our hunt is a Buddha was fully enlightened, but there was obviously something different about the person that we call the Buddha.

After all this, I don't know how many our hats are in the world right now, but there are artists in the world and they don't seem to be having quite the same impact, but that Siddhartha Gautama via a, his sunlight. I agree. So he has said to be a summer, some Buddha

Saba, something. And here, this is part of what you might call the religious aspect of Buddhism. It is the tradition that traditional teachings but it is said that every time that in, in, in this vast history of sentient beings that is without beginning and without. That the teachings of the Dharma always get lost, but it comes a time where they did January Jen degenerate on her lost and forgotten.

And that every time this happens that a do some Mossad, Buddha up tears who will come and turn the wheel of Dharma. And reestablish these teachings in the world. And and so Siddhartha Gautama was the samosa Buddha of our time. And it is said that the way that somebody that comes to sinus on Buddha is that an a, in a far distant life in the past that person.

Would have made a commitment to the sun was on Buddha to us, something to some Buddha at that time to themselves become assigned to some Buddha for the future. Or we have this check sheet that

Student: I

Culadasa: can't remember the attorney, th they had countless the. Incredible numbers of years, they go back,

Being able to fathom me and all of these lifetimes it's somewhere in that process.

The person who became art route, it made the commitment to another Buddha at the time, and then spent all of these lifetimes in between perfecting. Perfecting his merit so that when he was born in that final lifetime and became himself enlightened, he would have the power to reestablish the darkness of the world and to teach huge numbers of people.

And so that's what I, that's the explanation for the difference between the Buddha and other art mounts. Yeah. He has always uncountable lifetimes dedicated [00:30:00] to perfecting himself, practicing that perfectionist, protecting his Coronet and have carnations.

Student: Yes.

Yeah.

Culadasa: Okay. Yeah. That's what I said to the religious side. We're good. Isn't.

Yeah. You said it another time that would I never talked about imagination. But we birth and that incarnation how we understand it is not, it's not how he sees it, but it's the word again? So I'm a little confused with that. What do you mean by

Student: it?

Culadasa: Okay. What he did is he redefined reincarnation and.

Because they, the notion of reincarnation is based on the idea that the self we think we are is substantial apartment. And he said that he speaks to rebirth. And what is reborn? What is reborn is the is the karma that a person has. Okay. And so there is this, there are different levels of teaching

Student: in B

Culadasa: and the Scholastic analysis of Asian Buddhism.

There's a distinction between two, two levels of Buddhism. They actually overlap. They're not really distinct. One is referred to as village Buddhism or labeled. And or as religious Buddhism. Okay. And the other is referred to as virtuoso, Buddhism, and a virtuoso of Buddhists, and really has two divisions within it.

This is a Scholastic analysis of Buddhism as an entity in the room virtuoso, Buddhists, and the seen as having two divisions of Scholastic division, which are all those that. Carefully analyzed and scrutinized and doctrine and make everything how to make sense of it. And then the contemplative division of Buddhists, a virtuoso Busan who says, ah, I don't need your analysis.

I'm going to sit down, fold my legs and my hands closed my eyes and find out for myself. Okay. And there are

Student: numerous. What appear

Culadasa: to be contradictions between village Buddhism and Richard OSA, Buddhism, or lay booze and Richard Rosewood Buddhism, but Scholastic Buddhism, his very neatly sewed them all together so that they float.

So with there is one level of Buddhism where you speak of reincarnation, but then on the more sophisticated level, this is explaining. And in terms of the doctrines of emptiness and no self. So there is no contradiction.

Student: Okay.

Culadasa: You can't explain to large numbers of people who are not going to put the time and the effort and perhaps lack the educational background and the intellectual ability, these very soft.

Interpretations. And so what you find is that amongst religious Buddhists and follows a pattern in most religions, as I was talking earlier, talking about Christian, an ordinary Christian compared to a Christian mystic and ordinary Buddhist believes that he or she has a perceived themselves is going to return to this world.

And they. That by keeping precepts and doing various meritorious acts that they are going to ensure for themselves. I a rebirth under good circumstances under beneficial circumstances. And of course the Within that belief system that could be reborn as a lizard or a frog or in a hell realm, or is a hundred ghost or anything else.

So you see, once again, there is the polarity between the individual and it's.

Student: Some power

Culadasa: beyond them. And then there's a set of rules and behaviors and things like by which they can manipulate their own future destiny. It's a religious Buddhism is based on all the technically erroneous assumption that there is a self that is originated.

And that that self is the carrier of current. And is the beneficiary near it and so forth, but at the level of virtue also Buddhism, this is all reinterpreted. That the only thing that continues is [00:35:00] the as the karmic propensities that have been developed. And then the further analysis of that is very sufficient.

But on the religious side of Buddhism, of course, things have to be explained about how come a bar. Our huts are like the Buddha was.

Student: Yeah.

Culadasa: Why is all of that very problematic as, as well as other religions where they decide, because. If the 12th suicide of Buddhism tolerate this other kind of religious Buddhism, it's tolerating a lie, isn't it? It's not Satan. That way. It's seen as differently as having a powerfully beneficial effect on large numbers of people who otherwise would have no nothing to counteract their Unwholesome previous positions, they bring a morality of reason order not only that it creates the opportunity

Student: for

Culadasa: some of them to decide to go into it more deeply, or does it take to take roads to go into the monasteries?

So it's not seen at all as spreading their why. It's rather saying as

Student: presented.

Culadasa: Truth in a form that can be understood by people of a lesser capacity. Okay. So if, and that's a, that's not a valid point of view. If those people, if there are those people who can't understand this other view, and that's what I mean by lesser capacity, and they're better off believing that if they keep precinct.

And if they practice generosity and if they, avoid harming others and all of these other things that they will be reborn in better circumstances. And at the same time I can say to themselves in a sense, since there is no self anyway, and it, since every action mental or physical has consequences.

And since those consequences will be realized in the future that in this. There will be a future being who reaps the benefits of those actions. So in that sense, strictly speaking, it's not a lie, it's not false. It's just a it's just offering the truth to somebody in a form that they can understand more easily.

So they may reach enlightenment in spite of their. As a matter of fact, they cannot. Yes. The beliefs are not as a matter of fact, the only thing that's important in terms of enlighten, but is that you are able to step outside of your beliefs long enough to become enlightened. And then after you're enlightened, you can go back to trying to interpret everything and turn beliefs.

And that's not a problem, if you're. Teresa of Avila or John of the cross you interpreted in terms of Christianity. And if you're a Zen Roshi, you interpreted in terms of the belief system that you brought with you. And really, when we say you've got to remember, it's all empty,

empty. And that's not an empty statement either. What do we mean by empty? We need that these brains and we have minds, we have can only work, but constructing things in a particular way. And there's nothing inherently more correct about one construction. There can be. Th there can be a greater or lesser degree of validity in some sense, but there can be equally valid constructions that seem to be totally different from each other.

It is truly is all empty.

Student: Once you achieved

Culadasa: the enlightenment, once you have achieved the nightmares, what need would you have to go back to the particular religious construction?

Student: To teach. It is, it

Culadasa: uses the framework that you have in order to,

Student: Communicate with others.

Culadasa: And what needs would you have to find a different framework, as long as you could do that? And if you're, if you become fully enlightened and your greatest wish is to help others to achieve what you have, then there's no reason to throw out the set of tools that you used, rather you will [00:40:00] naturally want to better to use those and to show others how to use them in the same way.

Student: What you could do

Culadasa: now, and what you could do is say this system, this philosophy, this theology, whatever it is that I learned, I can leave out the parts that are most useless. And I can maybe modify the ones that are more problematic and we've seen this, we see this and the history of all religions, and we especially see it in Buddhism because Buddhism by and large has been less rigidly bound, as it has taken on more and more of the accretions of religious.

It has been, it has still been a predominantly mystical tradition. And so you constantly have people becoming enlightened and they become enlightened and they say I have a whole lot better way to teach this. And as a result, you've had a lot of new sutures come up to, let's say here, I've got a better way of teaching this.

And you have a, a new suture that presents that better way.

Student: What's that.

Culadasa: Oh, that's right. There's no Pope

As far as having the same system that you started with, if it's true. Before I like my chocolate and carry water. That's referring to something else, but also truly, if this is the system that you spent the last 20 years or whoever knows what training, you're not going to throw it out and go shopping for a new one all over again.

You were meant to make. To continue your own path. And then when it's reached its fulfillment to teach him to guide others and to help others. So in that regard, it is the same way, but what you'll see over and over again is Buddhism is it keeps being improved upon changed, modified, attitude, refined and And these refinements are being done by people who have achieved the final path.

And they've looked you to

Student: see

what is taught

Culadasa: today in the process of being taught, acquires this kind of conceptual baggage and distortion and

Culture with creation.

Student: Buddhism

Culadasa: taught in Sri Lanka to Sri Lankans is presented at a particular way that they're going to understand best and clearest. And that's not the same way that Buddhism, but the same ideas are conveyed and play back. Cause it's a different culture. So it's Tibet, it's taught in a different. Which Tibetans can understand and catch on to a lot more quickly.

And it's reluctance and likewise in Thailand or China or Japan, each culture has its own provides its own context. And so the teaching has to change to be effective in the current. Over time, the teaching becomes distorted as a result of the context, somebody else comes along and straightens out again.

Then it gets taken out of that cultural context and into a completely new cultural context. And the teachings two things happen. They don't work as well. So he gets changed once again, but also because they brought some stuff from this other culture it got further distorted because it didn't make the same kind of.

And on the one hand you looked at the Buddhist. Yes, it is so confusing

Student: and contradictory.

Culadasa: That's true. It is alive lie. if it were just a set of teachings that the Buddha said this, and nobody's allowed to change a word of it and everything else, I know there, their traditions to try to make that happen too.

That's another way I guess, to start, do they call it the Bible, but as long as. As long as it's alive, as long as there are new Buddhists coming into the world who are habits, new life, people teaching others, it's going to keep changing to taking new forms and, and the uses, whatever it had.

But

Student: I can't imagine how

Culadasa: over the last 25 years, 2,500 years,

That Buddhism could have remained established without offering people the idea of reincarnation and the ideas of accumulation of merit, superior rebirths, and things like that. It's and I think, I, [00:45:00] the Buddha recognized that he used that language. He used those a of teaching and. And that's happened ever since I'm wondering what's going to happen in the future though, because in, in Western society, we don't have a tradition of believing in

Student: reincarnation

Culadasa: in Western society.

There is a very strong opponent who is more like the materialists and they.

They view the idea of the self, but they're suspecting that cell disappears when the body breaks up. We also Western society, as I mentioned to you, some science and psychology and philosophy have all discovered the truth of. And it's starting to be more and more understood. So I suspect that we're coming up on a Buddhism in the future, which is going to teach a much more refined version of these snakes and much more sophisticated version of the same, a little bit closer to the virtuoso Buddhism that has heritage for bed confined.

The people in the monasteries who have devoted their lives to the Scholastic study or meditation.

Student: And

Culadasa: I'm very eager to see how that turns out. But I think that's I think it has to, that's part of what I'm talking, going to be talking to, hopefully talking with you about this weekend is that,

Student: The

Culadasa: what he would beings need to do is to adopt a completely new value system that's based on this kind of risk and understanding that types from these mystical traditions. We've got to, we've got to grow out of and leave behind. The mythical magical past that we dropped that

Student: because

Culadasa: large numbers of people have to achieve a transcendent understanding every it would be wonderful if everybody did, but enough of our society has to achieve a transcendent understanding that society's values as a whole.

Otherwise, we're going to, talk about all these species going extinct. We're going to be one of them where we're going to put ourselves through. Wait

Student: in a way of

Culadasa: isn't the very fact that our culture is in such a

Student: dissolute, dissolute,

Culadasa: and strange period, working for this transformation. It's becoming more and more painful and more and more impossible to

Student: sustain the delusion.

Yes. Yeah.

Culadasa: But the interesting thing about Buddhism is that it works so well with Western notions of science. And that's what I think the potential is enormous.

So I pretty much used up the times when I wanted to do some meditation this year at,


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