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  1. Hi Jeff, I just answered that question on Quora - that's what Quora is - a question and answer website. A fairly popular one, too - they get something like 200 million monthly visitors. You might find it interesting - there are questions (and answers) on nearly every topic you can imagine, from enlightenment and Kashmir Shaivism, to business, to venture capital and other investing, to science to technology to relationships, to various hypothetical scenarios, and more. The dynamic is basically the same as if someone has started a topic here with the question that I answered (i.e. anyone can answer a given question, and no particular authority or expertise is implied or perceived because someone answers --- each answer stands on its own merit, quality-wise and credibility-wise). All the best, as always, Doug
  2. Thanks very much, Shanmugam - I appreciate the kind words.
  3. Hi All, And Yes - Thanks, David - lots of excellent detail, there! By way of comparison, Slack looks like its least expensive option is $8/mo., per user (based on a quick review). Slack Pricing Thanks again, everyone! Doug
  4. Hi All, Jeff - you're most welcome! Karen - That sounds great - and thanks for doing that upgrade. I agree that "control over content retention" makes sense (more privacy = good, as I think essentially all of us agree). And yes - please feel free to use the LU logo as the channel avatar. And thanks again to everyone - Tom, too - and whoever else who may have contributed to the "emergency" finding and setting up of a new chat solution, i.e. Shady, who apparently suggested Slack as an option - and including the details such as content retention, etc., that Tom and Karen have been managing. I really appreciate others taking the lead here - a key reason being: neither Shweta or I participate in chat all that much, and so, I'm happy to see those who do use it managing the details. It's smoother that way, all around - and it creates a better chat experience for those who use chat a lot (those of you who really make use of it know what features, considerations, etc. are important). Great team / community effort all around! Thanks, Doug
  5. Hi All, Just FYI, we now have a new tab on the top menu bar that says "Living Unbound Slack Channel (Chat)" for easy access. Only forum members can see it (i.e. you have to be signed in to the LU Forum, to see that link). It seems to work great (if you're not signed in to Slack, it takes you to the sign in page - if you're already signed in, it takes you to the main chat room). Thanks, Doug
  6. Hi Jeff, Thanks - per your phrasing, I thought you were equating nectar with the "crap" (obstructions, presumably) to be cleared out --- which, understandably -- didn't make sense to me. Got it, now.
  7. Hi Jeff & All, Thanks - I agree with what you've said - though am not familiar with your use of the term "nectar" re: 3.16, if you wouldn't mind clarifying that. Also, re: 3.17 - an important note is that KS references certain yogic / mystical powers as obstacles to liberation - though, of course, they're obstacles only from unrealized / egoic perspective. Since the context of this group of sutras is that of experiencing daily life naturally (without egoic perspective), that warning, found elsewhere (i.e. in the Spandakarikas) doesn't apply here. In essence, KS teaches that liberation is the natural state, and naturally present when obstructions (egoic perspective and desires) are absent - and that when mystical powers arise, they arise naturally, per that absence of obstruction.
  8. Hi Qibrush, One thing that's nice about Kashmir Shaivism is that its symbolism is very clear and specific once you understand it. And, side note: several years ago, a good friend of mine gave me a framed, artistic rendering of 3.15, and it's hanging on my office wall, next to my computer monitor - and so: I see "Maintain breakless awareness on that supreme energy which is the seed of the universe." on an ongoing basis, every day. I would say that "breakless awareness" is the natural, present awareness that is both the result of releasing the conceptual, limited "bubble self" as our identity, as well as the means of, the key and only practice of, Sambhavopaya, the Divine (or Supreme) Means, in Kashmir Shaivism (which is addressed in detail in Section 1 of the Shiva Sutras). Yet that 3.15 also says "on that supreme energy which is the seed of the universe" - and so - what is that supreme energy? It is the original, breakless, natural awareness which underlies everything else. It's always right here, but the limited idea-self isn't in conscious touch with it - but it's still the field in which everything occurs - even universal mind, or cosmic consciousness, arises from it. Original breakless awareness is Shiva, and any motion of it, at any level, is Shakti, Energy - which is non-different from Shiva. It's like Shiva (awareness) is the ocean, and Shakti (consciousness) is the motion of the ocean - whether that motion is the overt motion of surface waves, or the most subtle currents in the ocean's deepest recesses. When we consciously maintain breakless awareness, there's natural presence, and the natural being-knowing of non-duality in experience - of wholeness. And so, as Jeff said, daily life is not different from meditation - because breakless awareness is another term for the experience of deepest meditation (samadhi), as well. Essentially, meditation and related practices ultimately come full circle: we engage in practices, and bit by bit, release the limited concept self. Meditation practice becomes deeper and deeper, until it is an experience of pure, breakless awareness - aka samadhi. Then - the "full circle" part - that breakless awareness of samadhi becomes part of daily life as well - because the content of each moment of daily life no longer disturbs it. And so, 3.15 is basically describing how to maintain, and ultimately experience as permanent, the realization expressed in 3.8, that the waking state is fully "it", too - another facet of Shiva nature. There is no non-Shiva, no non-wholeness - because awareness includes all its content - everything it is aware of, too. 3.16 is saying that breakless awareness is the real asana - the real seat (which is what the Sanskrit word asana means) - and that in maintaining it, every moment is experienced as the "ocean of nectar" - the bliss of experiencing wholeness as our own true nature. 3.17 makes the point that with breakless awareness, it is realized that everything objective arises from the subjective -- the perspective of self (the subjective), or experiencer, determines perception, and how objects are perceived. Because there is no actual separation, awareness-consciousness and all that it experiences are facets of wholeness - and, realizing this, it is then possible to create anything that one desires. As 1.6 states: śaktiḥcakrasaṁdhāne viśvasaṁhāraḥ By establishing and meditating on the wheel of energies the differentiated universe comes to an end. Or, as stated in another translation - "When the wheel of energies unites, the universe dissolves" - meaning "the universe as an idea of something separate from oneself". Constricted, egoic semi-consciousness experiences a given moment with the naturally united and completed wheel of energies (Shaktichakra) in a very fragmented manner - which is why any power ego seems to have is so illusory, partial and inconsistent. In the case of ego, things that are perceived objects - thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, etc. are confused with "self" - they "feel like me". Simple, present observation reveals that even thoughts are objects - because there is, obviously, the aspect of experiencing a thought that is aware of that thought - the awareness itself, and the thought it is aware of, are both part of complete experience. However, essentially everyone has a lifetime of conditioning that causes them to focus on the objects in awareness, and not on the ever-present awareness that is unconditioned by anything it is aware of, that is an inherent aspect of all experience, as well. That's what practices, observation, etc. are for: to help recondition the human system to the point where natural, breakless awareness, and, therefore, the liberation of experiencing our inherent wholeness, becomes the default state. Then, knowing that there's no actual separation between inherent awareness and anything in it, it's realized that it is possible to create anything one desires. Interestingly, though, the commentaries on the Shiva Sutras all give examples of things like "experiencing wholeness", i.e. "communion with the highest Lord" (Shiva), and so on, as examples of what one might desire. That's because, in actual experience, anything else ultimately pales by comparison, and because other desires (for powers, wealth, etc.) are ego driven - and with the ego absent - where would those desires come from?
  9. Hi Jeff, Thanks for your "translation services". Your explanations sound right to me - meaning - it seems we see these sutras in essentially the same way, and are just using different words to describe what they're saying - which, hopefully, will be helpful to Qibrush and others.
  10. Hi Qibrush, I'm in somewhat the same position .... I'm not sure exactly what you mean by the terms "universal mind" and "light level" - though once I do understand, I can probably equate them with the equivalent terms in Kashmir Shaivism. Are those terms you know from a certain tradition? Or terms you may have discussed with Tom and/or Jeff, or others here? If so, maybe they can help "translate" - I'm just not familiar with those specific terms.
  11. Hi Qibrush, 3.8 is referring to the fact that (per 3.7) one the illusions of limitation are released, even the regular waking state is experienced as "another formation of his real nature of consciousness". The wholeness of non-duality - Siva-nature - includes everything, including the waking state. Starting from 3.1, this section of the Shiva Sutras, which addresses the Individual Means, describes the limitations experience by a practitioner who misunderstands his or her true nature. 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6 generally describe what must be done (the illusion of fragmentation must be dropped, by releasing identification with the concepts that cause someone to think they are limited), and how to do it - with the result being described in 3.7 - "After conquering the field of illusion (māyā) by destroying its many impressions, one attains the victory of the pure knowledge of consciousness. " And so, 3.8, 3.9 and 3.10 describe what one's experience is like without the obscuring concepts that create the illusions of limitation. It is experienced that the waking state is not actually limited, but is "another formation of his real nature of consciousness". (3.8) It is experienced that, with concepts of limitation released, that one's true self is unbound, universal consciousness - the ever-present, original awareness that is the field in which we all experience every moment - just consciously, now, per 3.9. Then, 3.10 - 3.14 are actually kind of a sub-section of their own, as follows, describing how, with conceptual limitations absent, the perception of the relationship between self and "other" change in ways that are very different from the experience of the false, egoic concept-self. 3.10. raṅgo’ntarātmā The player is the internal soul. 3.11. prekṣakāṇīndriyāṇi His own organs are spectators. 3.12. dhīvaśātsattvasiddhiḥ By means of a supreme intellect filled with awareness of the self, this yogī experiences that he is actually acting. 3.13. siddhaḥ svatantrabhāvaḥ The state of absolute independence is already achieved. 3.14. yathā tatra tathānyatra This (absolute independence) is the same in the external world as it was in samādhi. Thus, at the level of daily life, we experience that daily life continues - but experienced as natural wholeness, rather than as fragmented, due to the conceptual limitations we previously identified with. The direct experience of wholeness (non-duality) which was previously experienced only in meditative samadhi, is now experienced on an ongoing basis, in regular living. I hope that's useful - if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask, of course! Doug
  12. I recently re-read the Jed McKenna "quadrology" (the original trilogy plus his Theory Of Everything) - and came across the following quote in that latter book: "I am left not in an elevated state of superior knowledge, but in a knowledgeless state of superior elevation." I like that quote, because it helps dispel a key myth about enlightenment (that it's an "elevated state of superior knowledge"), while also succinctly describing one aspect of its reality (it's "a knowledgeless state of superior elevation" --- "knowledge is bondage", as Shiva Sutras 1.2 states it). That quote above makes for a nice companion statement to one of Jed's original myth-dispelling statements about enlightenment: "I don’t have something you don’t; you believe something I don’t." And to emphasize the point further, he says elsewhere: "The point is to wake up, not to earn a Ph.D. In waking up." Here's a list of Jed McKenna quotes we put together on the main LU website for anyone who is interested.
  13. Hi Running, Jeff & All, Agreed. I think part of the nuance (that 2.10 may be referring to) could be: even after energy has stabilized to the point where someone can remain in samadhi for a while, and without falling asleep -- attachment to thoughts or other mental forms (i.e. visions, etc.) can still come up cause attention to focus - and thus, pull someone out of samadhi. Once someone gets even more stable in samadhi, that won't happen any longer (the thoughts or mental forms may come up, but the absorption - the samadhi - remains, and there's no longer the specific distraction / focus of attention that pulls someone out of samadhi). It's all a process for everyone - and slightly different for everyone. The Shiva Sutras is one of the few texts I know that acknowledges that dynamic (the "slightly different for everyone", and that even at advanced stages of practice, there are things than can be destabilizing) - which is one of the many reasons I like it (very "real world", and highlights what people can expect to experience at every level of practice and experience).
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