The Fragile State of Modern Dharma

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4 weeks 1 day ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #117685 by SigmaTropic
I will be issuing personal invitations to join the fraternity to key dharma leaders. Stay tuned. 
Last edit: 3 weeks 6 days ago by SigmaTropic.

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4 weeks 1 day ago #117686 by Philip Stone

They will no longer be controlled by sexualized media feminization of men that occurs every day in the media.

Where do you get this from? If anything, to me the media reinforce toxic masculinity and rigid gender roles.

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4 weeks 1 day ago #117688 by Ona Kiser

Philip Stone wrote:

They will no longer be controlled by sexualized media feminization of men that occurs every day in the media.

Where do you get this from? If anything, to me the media reinforce toxic masculinity and rigid gender roles.


I think you're both right. My conservative Christian friends have a completely different perspective on daily life than my progressive pagan friends, and the same event, cause, activity or news can see like good news or bad news depending.

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4 weeks 1 day ago #117689 by microbuddha
Lots of aversion comes up when I read about this new project, Sam.    Your message comes across like Jordan Peterson Dharma.   I think I will just stick  with my regular old Dharma,  Not Dharma for Dudes.   Good luck, wish you the best in your mission.   

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4 weeks 1 day ago #117690 by SigmaTropic
Well, I am sorry my project is displeasing to you. I would expect this to be an unpopular notion and I'm at peace with that., I hope to appeal to men who are free of attachment or want to be. The idea of men getting together to practice, organizing as men is actually a typical format.  

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4 weeks 1 day ago #117691 by Ona Kiser
I do find the concept and underlying ideas interesting, as I have and am in sometimes similar territory (finding, for instance, the utter banality and unspiritual gobbledegook that one finds at some churches to be so horrifying that I can only call it blasphemy, because I so love my God, and so love my faith, that it is a ghastly offense to see it turned into sentimental claptrap by a priest (for example) who is supposed to be showing people the incredibly amazing journey towards a divine life with Our Lord and Saviour, but only makes a mockery of the Mass or (perhaps worse) celebrates with a "who cares, let's get this darn thing over with so I can go watch the game" kind of attitude... And this leads to either chronic frustration/anger or an ongoing exploration of what it means to be (in my case) Catholic, and how to live a Christian life in a context in which there are so few "Catholic" spaces in which I feel at home, and what I should do about that, if anything. The Church seems to thrive on a constant flowering of new groups, new teachers, new saints, new movements. Some last, some don't. Some are nipped in the bud, some you think probably should have been but weren't.

I'm also constantly noticing how God draws people into the faith from 'random' places. In fact, the actual practice of the faith doesn't seem to be the cause of holiness, except sometimes by chance. Even when there is excellent teaching many of the people present don't care. And often enough in the context of horrible teaching or fumbling around or outright sin (think Paul on the road to Damascus) God reaches out and touches someone's heart, and there is an awakening, a startling new view, and new life, and a quest to understand this new path begins. 

I enjoy having friends, including spiritual friends, who are muddling about in all kinds of places, as there's some shared space in which we are curious, mystified, lost, hurting, joyful, etc. together.

I must say I also have found it very difficult to find groups of women I resonate with - because my style is more hardcore and serious, and I'm not into New Agey or sentimental stuff much. But I do have now some nun friends, and they seem to hit the right note - hardcore, serious, tough as nails, and deeply mystical, too. 

Anyway, sorry if I am too far off topic here, but I enjoy the conversation, if and when it happens. 

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4 weeks 1 day ago #117692 by Chris Marti
Hmm…

I never felt constrained or limited by my marital status, family, children, my career, money or other such “normal” stuff that Sam mentioned. It wasn’t hard at all to have a meaningful practice and all that other stuff. So am I different than the normal practitioner in the modern western age? I’m not sure but my guess is if you really want a meaningful, fruitful practice and to stay with and love your family and provide for them, you can.

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4 weeks 1 day ago #117695 by Shargrol
Whew Sam, this just sounds like you have a problem with women and are trying to create an entire system to insulate yourself from it. This reeks of spiritual bypassing and sounds more like the beginnings of a cult. 

This is my opinion based on the words on the page. Hope I'm wrong. I'm wrong lots of times, so it won't be the first time if I am wrong.

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4 weeks 21 hours ago #117700 by SigmaTropic
Shargrol, 

Thanks for your kind opinion. 

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4 weeks 20 hours ago #117701 by SigmaTropic

I never felt constrained or limited by my marital status, family, children, my career, money or other such “normal” stuff that Sam mentioned. It wasn’t hard at all to have a meaningful practice and all that other stuff. So am I different than the normal practitioner in the modern western age? I’m not sure but my guess is if you really want a meaningful, fruitful practice and to stay with and love your family and provide for them, you can.

I have nothing against women or "normal" things like marriage and career and money, and such, let's just say "worldly" things. And that's great that you have been able to have a fulfilling practice in the midst of worldly things. 

My system teaches that energy is a spiritual asset and energy is required to do practice. Men can learn to charge and accumulate this energy and learn to channel this newfound spiritual energy into factors of awakening. This aspect of energy transfer is a Daoism principle, but it is very relevant for the modern man. Men can learn to manipulate their Chi and their life force and using the principles of visualization and energetic awareness. Men in retirement age are especially suited for the practices that I teach, because the practices are known for increasing vitality and longevity. Men who undertake the Brahmacharya practices and the Zhan Zhuan practices (which is definitely doable for a retired man) will notice a vast increase in their vital and masculine energy. I will be uploading talks on all these topics so please stay tuned. The site is free and contains lots of writings about how I think good practice is done. 

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4 weeks 7 hours ago #117719 by SigmaTropic
I am trying to figure out why people have had such a negative reaction to my post, and re-reading it, I can see that it sure has an energetic, enthusiastic feel to it, but it was just because I wanted to make the writing provocative and inspiring, not offensive. I wasn't trying to alienate anyone and I'm suprised how people have reacted to these ideas.  

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4 weeks 4 hours ago #117720 by Philip Stone

The effect of toxic feminism on men across western society, seen in the #me too movement, television commercials, and music, has unfortunately infected spiritual teachers of the western dharma scene as well.

Television and media and music is attempting to brainwash men with non-stop sexual innuendo and feminizing narratives. We are portrayed in the media as increasingly feminine, gender-fluid, and weak. Men these days need to reclaim their seat at the table.

I find these sentences very triggering - I find it hard to see how you come to these conclusions (obviously I see different media being from the UK but there's a lot of overlap) and I get the feeling, although you haven't stated it explicitly, that you have an issue with feminism and also an issue with people who don't conform to specifically male gender stereotypes and want to go back to an old-fashioned macho model of masculinity.




 

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4 weeks 3 hours ago #117722 by SigmaTropic
The thing that I can offer is a different way to relate to the question of male female polarity than the stereotypical "macho" man. The thing I'm trying to inspire is for men to embrace their masculinity and learn to cultivate an awareness of their energy. This is clear when you renounce things, the energy from the activity and the mental state around the activity is re-channeled and can be used. I feel like this principle is ignored because it gets close to the sex question. And it's frustrating that no one talks about this stuff so there is an attitude of secrecy and hush-hush about sex and biology on the awakening process. 

My view is that men and women are biological inverses, and should remain as such in order to have fulfilling sexual relationships. This is not a crazy theory. This is simply nature. It's my opinion, and probably another unpopular opinion, but I'll say it anyway, my opinion is that the rising prevalence of gender-ambiguity I believe is a downstream result of the type of sexualization that I'm referring to in the media. Before modern media, men were men and women were women. This is simply biology 101. What changed? Have you taken a look at some of the teenage boys these days? They are increasingly wimpy and effeminate. I'm just making observations. The high school aged kids these days look different, act different, and not in a good way. 

There is such a narrative against toxic masculine traits, that the media has strayed over way in the other direction- almost toward condemning masculinity. And feminine traits are also disappearing with the lack of strong male role models. The disappearance of gender polarity leads to dissatisfactory sex, pornography, leading to even more dissatisfying sex, pornography, and dissatisfaction. People seem to be ignorant about simple principles of polarity. Men who display masculine traits that suggest prosperity and security get women. Weak, indecisive, effeminate males don't. Women will tell you so and it's not them thinking of gender equality it's them responding to their natural female drives. It seems like we are condemning that from all directions. Brahmacharya is one tool to directly recapture a man's masculine drive.

Brahmacharya is a direct way to counteract this degradation of sexual polarity and I am surprised people don't realize these things. Men who embody some of the spiritual principles I promote are very masculine assertive and powerful men, but not by fulfilling some macho stereotype. It's through a self-assured confidence which is highly enriched by Brahmacharya. I can attest that my techniques are attractors for women, I'm not lying to you. This is a good thing and it's totally macho to be reserved and in control of oneself.  

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4 weeks 2 hours ago - 4 weeks 2 hours ago #117724 by Shargrol
I'm sorry, your additional posts just clarify a really oversimplified view of the world, a kind of fun?damentalism. And fundamentalism is always a reaction to some overarching fear, worry, concern that is projected outward instead of personally owned. Again, when I read this, I feel like that you are in the midst of a feeling of fragileness in your own dharma and are trying to shore up yourself against what you perceive as threatening. But someone who is solid in the dharma is a light onto themselves, they don't need to be supported by others.

It's like the old observation that men who truly are strong and powerful don't have a need/desire to watch Arnold Swartzenegger movies. I'm sure you are going to quickly find out that you're not going to attract assertive and powerful men to your fraternity, you're going to attract men who want to be assertive and powerful. You'll catch people in your net, sure. But then you'll have to deal with the cognitive dissonance between what has happened and what you wanted to occur. 

Think back to this past year. You have been all over the place in your ambitions and spiritual models (buddhism, retreat leader, taoism, energy work, personal power, sexual charisma...). This just signals a lack of maturity and deep development and grounding. Can you really be trusted as a leader? Why not spend some time stabilizing your own practice (years, not months) and then revisit this idea? Why not visit and talk with other teachers and sanghas that you respect? 

There is a clear sense that you need to be a leader and it reeks of ego and entitlement. There is a kind of desperation and anger (purity models and fundamentalism has hurt/anger as it's root) to what you are doing and it's right there on the surface. The fact that you are surprised that people are seeing it means that there might be something in your psyche that you are ignoring.

This is what it looks like when the ego gets re-entrenched after a spiritual opening.

I'm saying this all in a straightforward way, knowing that you are probably not interested in what I think. But there it is.
Last edit: 4 weeks 2 hours ago by Shargrol.

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4 weeks 31 minutes ago - 4 weeks 14 minutes ago #117730 by Chris Marti
Since sexual identity seems to be a critical piece of this conversation:

I'd try to keep in mind that the media did not create human biology. We've always been a mixture of types and kinds, and the binary interpretation of our sexuality has been painful, sometimes brutally so, to those who can't fit into a conceptualized classification scheme we've used. Over my lifetime this non-representative binary schema has slowly but surely been loosening its grip. And thank heaven. Let people be what they are, and what they need to be. And, to one of shargrol's points, it seems to be fear that drives people to reject the non-binary reality that some people just are.

EDIT:

Sam, I also want to reiterate something I said in a post to you some time ago. You seem to be in a really big hurry. I'm not sure what's driving the need for that kind of speed but it makes me suspect that you might be running away, not running toward something. I worry that you aren't taking some time to reflect on the last six months or so. You've had a lot going on. You might benefit from slowing things down. Please just think about it.
Last edit: 4 weeks 14 minutes ago by Chris Marti.

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117732 by Kalle Ylitalo
Sam, sounds to me that you have a rather fixed idea about how human beings should be and act according to their genitals. You seem to be making generalized statements like "Before modern media, men were men and women were women. This is simply biology 101. What changed? Have you taken a look at some of the teenage boys these days? They are increasingly wimpy and effeminate." without basing these statements on anything expect what kind of thoughts and observations you have about the world.

If you'd like, you can read about transgender history in this article:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_history

If I've understood correctly the me too -movement was/is a project which helped many people to start dealing with the shame and hurt of being harassed in many ways in many phases of their lives. As a result I see some re-evaluation and adjustment of what is acceptable behavior between typically men and women going on. I find this to be a very good thing.

I've found feminism to be a helpful tool to become aware of the largely cultural concepts, which dictate what kind of expectations the environment imposes on the individual based on their assumed gender and sexuality. I don't know the truth of course, but would it be possible that boys are acting in varying ways, because there's a bit more room for movement in the stereotypical male image? Not that there still is much room IMO, but perhaps some. :D You can read a description of what feminism is here:  wgs.eku.edu/what-feminism-0

I agree that sexuality is an important aspect of human life (for most, not all of course) and I find it best to include it as a part of the spiritual path. Tantric practices (which have been around for quite a while) are very good for this. Btw, my teacher Lama Glenn often talks about how in tantra we see ourselves as 50/50 % male and female. Many practices are explained through balancing the male and female energies in oneself. One way off seeing tantric practice is that everything about being human is brought into the practice, sex and sleeping included. Just thought it might be of interest.

I also agree on some parts of the consumerism -aspect of your manifesto. We are told and believe we need many things we really don't need IMO.

I found this talk of "elite members" and "...these men are among the highest form of men." -talk to be worrying. I read it as making promises of elevating practitioners above other humans/spiritual practitioners, but perhaps I was mistaken and you were just enthusiastic? It did sound like making a division between this group and all others, and as such did sound pretty cult-ish. 

I like the idea of enthusiastic people finding a community of practitioners dedicated to similar forms of spiritual practice to explore the vastness of human potential. I hope you find a balanced way to make it happen.

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3 weeks 6 days ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #117733 by SigmaTropic
 Shargrol I can see that you have your opinions and I appreciate the effort, and I'm sure it might be useful for someone else, so thanks. 
Last edit: 3 weeks 6 days ago by SigmaTropic.

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117734 by SigmaTropic
We've always been a mixture of types and kinds, and the binary interpretation of our sexuality has been painful, sometimes brutally so, to those who can't fit into a conceptualized classification scheme we've used. 

Chris this is logically antithetical to evolution. Mating is what propagates the species. If there are asexual people and gender fluid and male females and female males then they might not have the same mating and birth rate as a situation with male/female polarity. This makes no sense and I'm not here to argue about evolution or history. 

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3 weeks 6 days ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #117735 by SigmaTropic
Shargrol I don't agree with most of what you said but you are free to your opinion. 
Last edit: 3 weeks 6 days ago by SigmaTropic.

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3 weeks 6 days ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #117736 by Philip Stone

SigmaTropic wrote:

Chris Marti wrote: We've always been a mixture of types and kinds, and the binary interpretation of our sexuality has been painful, sometimes brutally so, to those who can't fit into a conceptualized classification scheme we've used.


Chris this is logically antithetical to evolution. Mating is what propagates the species. If there are asexual people and gender fluid and male females and female males then they might not have the same mating and birth rate as a situation with male/female polarity. This makes no sense and I'm not here to argue about evolution or history. 

It doesn't  matter what you think about how evolution works, although I assure you it's vastly more complex than the simplistic view that mating is the sole thing determines survival. The fact is that trans and non-binary people do exist and not as a result of media indoctrination.

I will give you a non-human example: long-tailed tits frequently raise their chicks with the assistance of non-breeding 'aunts' and 'uncles' - by the same argument this should not happen as it is 'logically antithetical to evolution'.
Last edit: 3 weeks 6 days ago by Philip Stone. Reason: FIx the quotes

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117737 by SigmaTropic

Shargrol wrote: I'm sorry, your additional posts just clarify a really oversimplified view of the world, a kind of fun?damentalism. And fundamentalism is always a reaction to some overarching fear, worry, concern that is projected outward instead of personally owned. Again, when I read this, I feel like that you are in the midst of a feeling of fragileness in your own dharma and are trying to shore up yourself against what you perceive as threatening. But someone who is solid in the dharma is a light onto themselves, they don't need to be supported by others.

It's like the old observation that men who truly are strong and powerful don't have a need/desire to watch Arnold Swartzenegger movies. I'm sure you are going to quickly find out that you're not going to attract assertive and powerful men to your fraternity, you're going to attract men who want to be assertive and powerful. You'll catch people in your net, sure. But then you'll have to deal with the cognitive dissonance between what has happened and what you wanted to occur. 

Think back to this past year. You have been all over the place in your ambitions and spiritual models (buddhism, retreat leader, taoism, energy work, personal power, sexual charisma...). This just signals a lack of maturity and deep development and grounding. Can you really be trusted as a leader? Why not spend some time stabilizing your own practice (years, not months) and then revisit this idea? Why not visit and talk with other teachers and sanghas that you respect? 

There is a clear sense that you need to be a leader and it reeks of ego and entitlement. There is a kind of desperation and anger (purity models and fundamentalism has hurt/anger as it's root) to what you are doing and it's right there on the surface. The fact that you are surprised that people are seeing it means that there might be something in your psyche that you are ignoring.

This is what it looks like when the ego gets re-entrenched after a spiritual opening.

I'm saying this all in a straightforward way, knowing that you are probably not interested in what I think. But there it is.


Yeah Shargol, I can assure you that you do not know what I'm talking about clearly. You can feel free to characterize me according to your wishes and your agenda for the narrative and spout off some #buzzwords acting like you know me. But you clearly have never experienced anything like this. And I am under no illusion whatsoever that you are my friend. And for your information, Shargrol, I am a leader of men and starting fraternities and leading dharma is what leaders of men do.   

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117738 by Kate Gowen
You say you don’t understand the reactions your manifesto provoked.

In my experience, dharma practice is meant to produce insight, insight by which to direct our lives. Energy phenomena are byproducts of practice, epiphanies are another, “mere” clarity of mind is another.  It seems to me that the best metric of progress is understanding, and that any practitioner can know whether there is confusion or understanding in their daily life, and what practice is conducive to understanding.

As you are a practitioner, I’m sure a fearless and honest inquiry into both what you wrote and the responses you have received will prove fruitful.

My first thought, on seeing the original post, was that “fragile” is not a word I’ve ever thought of, with respect to dharma. For that matter, neither are politics, identity, gender, modern, or Western..

Those of us who came as refugees, at the beginning, have less interest in debating controversies than most groups, I think.

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3 weeks 6 days ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #117741 by microbuddha
Wow, just wow.   

double down
  1. 1.strengthen one's commitment to a particular strategy or course of action, typically one that is potentially risky."he decided to double down and escalate the war"
Last edit: 3 weeks 6 days ago by microbuddha.

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117743 by Chris Marti
What Kate said.

A really thorough self-examination, especially in the face of serious pushback from a series of experienced practitioners, would be my next activity. The whole point of studying dharma, of taking up a dedicated long-term practice, is to be able to examine the self, the ego, and the motives and tendencies that are sourced from there, see through them, and make some appropriate corrections. Seeing clearly is a hugely valuable capability that the dharma can bring to us.

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117744 by SigmaTropic
Chris this is laughable that you're patronizing me and attempting to talk down at me from your imagined high horse. This place is a mushroom factory circle jerk, have fun on your hill Chris. I am sorry but this is just sad. 

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