¹ A support for a meditation technique is that phenomenon which is used as the focus of attention during meditation. Meditation always involves a technique for focusing one’s attention on something — even the absence of something — in a particular way. In the case of inner spontaneous sound, the focusing of attention itself gives rise to a particular, shrill, metallic-like squeal that can be used as the focus of one’s attention in a kind of mental feedback phenomenon.

Focusing one’s attention is very much like holding a stick in place in the middle of a moving stream — the more firmly held in place that stick is, the louder its interference with the free flow of water becomes. The unwavering concentration of our attention has the same effect. Thus, the characteristic inner spontaneous sound of our concentration is inner spontaneous sound’s super power as a meditation support, as it gives immediate feedback on our progress in developing our concentration during meditation.

² This point was made by Manjushri, the Buddhist Bodhisattva of transcendental wisdom, in the “Surangama Sutra,” which is presented in Volume Three, “The Way of Tradition”

³ Some religions simply call this “grace,” meaning it is an unmerited gift from God. I would suggest that it is little more than individual variation coupled with an unwavering intention and much effort.

⁴ An important point for my philosopher friends: while I use the word “mind” frequently, it is a messy affair because, before we undertake the effort to train our minds, we start with the understanding that we each have a mind — one that is personal and ours alone — and that is absolutely not the case. There is no single mind anywhere, and certainly not the multitude normally conceived of. You will find that we are troubled by our having conflated “our” perspective with a personal mind. “Mind” should be used as a verb, not a noun. This is a complex subject dealt with later in this Volume Two, The Way of Contemplation, but bear in mind that the constraints of philosophical Idealism (the idea that things only exist as ideas in the mind) do not hold because individual minds do not exist, and 'mind' is the collection of everything that is natured — thoughts, trees, rocks, and stars, etc., and not simply as ideas in the mind (equating it with thought) but as actual manifestations. We are confused by these manifestations because we commonly see them as independently real things, not noticing that everything arises from the naturing that I call mind here. And obviously, the fault of Materialism — the idea that reality consists of separate material things organized by physical laws alone — cannot get between us.

⁵ For example, see the article, "Mystery of The Four Elements Sound Practice,” in Volume 3, The Way of Tradition, for the history of the Practice of the Supreme Sound of the Four Elements in Tibetan Dzogchen.

⁶ Excerpt From: Dilgo Khyentse, Matthieu Ricard & Padmakara Translation Group. “The Heart of Compassion.” Shambhala Publications.

⁷ See “Knowledge” later in this Volume – The Way of Unsaying

⁸ Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican,” Galileo Galilei, Florence, 1632 CE

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

The Need For This

¹ I’ve heard the Buddhist Nyingma teacher Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche call such conceptually watered down or imaginatively dressed-up explanations: Cinderella Teachings.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

A Word About Language and the Written Word

¹ N. David Mermin, who was a solid-state physicist at Cornell University, was known for his now often-quoted line, “Shut up and calculate!”

² “Le Miroir des âmes simples et anéanties,” Paris: Albin Michel, 1984 7:11-25, pages 26-27

³ “Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations,” Werner Heisenberg, 1971

⁴ Wikipedia: Copenhagen Interpretation, retrieved March 2, 2017 at 11:10 AM

⁵ This is not an equating of brain and mind, however it is an assertion that the correlates of thought arise in the brain. More on this later.

⁶ See: “Forms are Empty, Emptiness is Form.”

⁷ “Taoist Yoga - Alchemy and Immortality,” Lu K’uan Yü, page 115, Samuel Weiser Inc., 1970

⁸ An excellent example of this can be found in a video of a lecture given by Richard Feynman in the second part of his Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures on the Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) theory. In response to a question about when this theory of QED was finalized, he explained that the “interpretative scheme” took 20 years after the initial formulation was done because of the confusion caused by the idea of a “wave-particle duality” which wasn’t accurate and still represents a “state of confusion” in the minds of scientists. See: Fits of Reflection and Transmission: Quantum Behavior at time-mark 1:30:20. Also see The Peculiar Nature Of Light, the Universe, and Everything later in this volume.

⁹ “Physics and Philosophy,” Werner Heisenberg, page 56, Prometheus Books, 1999.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

The Trouble With Agency

¹ We live in an age today where “face-talking,” i.e., talking at someone, and only listening to ourselves, is so rampant it is assumed to be normal, so I feel it necessary to point out that although I have said there is nothing that can be the “cause, or agent, of any change,” it will be taken by some that I have just said there is “no change.” That is facilely untrue—both that I said it and that it could be the case.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

The Responsive Origin And Spontaneous Nature of Thoughts

¹ Segueing to quantum physical theories when difficulties arise in an explanation seems to be the deus ex machina today in almost every field of human endeavor.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Understanding Experience

¹ If it were possible, there wouldn’t be such contention regarding what mediative experience actually is.

² By “sourced” I mean that it appears to be caused or created by an identifiable source outside or inside the body according to physical causal relationships, i.e. you bang two sticks together, or beat a drum, and you get sound.

³ See Footnote #1 in the Foreword, as well as the opening subsection of that Foreword.

⁴ “Polymorphic” means: occurring in several different forms.

⁵ Please refer to “The Sounds” section later in this Introduction.

⁶ Compare this to the ancient Greek use of the word “Apollo,” which literally means “not many.” This wording is explained in the Plotinus quotation found in “Nonduality and The Problem of Perspective” in the “Seven Metacognitive Guides” section of this volume. It explains the common misperception that there is “one” thing, and explains the difficulty in our attempts to describe the undelimited.

⁷ Saying “our minds have great difficulty grasping” is necessary because we haven’t yet cleared away all of our misunderstandings about mind. Later, this will be corrected to point out that “nothing cannot be natured.”

⁸ According to David Loy, the English word “emptiness” has a more nihilistic connotation than the original Sanskrit. The Sanskrit root “su” conveys the concept of being swollen with possibility, which I find to be absolutely the case. (Loy, David, in the afterword to Swedenborg, “Buddha of the North,” page 104, Swedenborg Foundation, ISBN 0-87785-184-0

⁹ See “The View From Nowhere,” Thomas Nagel, Oxford University Press, 1986

¹⁰ There is a further difficulty that arises here, which leads to “idealism,” but that is not pertinent to my dialog, as will be made clear later.

¹¹ A “continuum” is a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct, and is used here to mean that from moment to moment there aren’t perceptible differences in our experience, but as the duration of the “moments” are extended from the microscopic to the macro scale, the imperceptibility of the changes gives way to their perceptibility, which founds our belief in qualities and aspects of things, and their change over time.

¹² I attach a specific meaning to this word that reflects what is being argued towards here. Refer to the full explanation in the “Reality and Existence” section of the “Seven Guides” later in this Introduction.

¹³ By immanence, I mean something different than “being in". Meister Eckhart (13th-14th German theologian and mystical philosopher) used an example of wine in a wood cask to illustrate the difference between being “in” and being “immanent.” The wine, he said, is in the cask differently than it is in the wood, which it permeates. We can drink the wine in the cask, but not the wine in the wood. So there are these two different meanings of "in". But it is different, he said, with spiritual immanence, which is somewhat close to what I mean by “wholly lived events.” Such immanence means not only that the wine is permeating the wood, but the wood is also permeating the wine, and the wine is the wood, and the wood, the wine.

¹⁴ In other words, by “extra-sensory” I mean beyond the five senses.

¹⁵ There are, however, super mundane powers that are well known outcomes of dedicated practice. One of those super mundane powers is mahākaruṇā — omninclusive responsiveness. This is the “power” that results from the use of inner spontaneous sound.

¹⁶ “Punctured Equilibrium” is an expression taken from evolutionary biology. Its use in that field is to describe the way that species tend to remain in a morphological stasis, with little or no change for very long periods, and that stasis can become “punctured,” like a balloon, when changed environmental conditions pressure the species to adapt. I use it here to describe the episodic character of the arrival of stages of enlightenment, or “attainments,” which come suddenly without anything special happening that could be said to have triggered it, while for long periods of time, even dedicated meditators will not experience any qualitative change in their meditative insights.

¹⁷ Some go even further than overlooking these polysemous uses of words that conflate different phenomena as if they were all the same thing. Some ridicule those that point this out. For example, Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize winning physicist during his previously mentioned lecture (see: footnote in the Foreword) joked about philosophers who asked if we truly see things as they are, since we only see light that is reflected off them, remarking that such philosophers will die out for lack of being able to find anything to eat!

¹⁸ An explanation of what the “understanding” is must be postponed until later in this text.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།


¹ This porousness of the distinction between practical and theoretical knowledge is easy to overlook. For many spiritualists, there is a distinction between absolute Truth and relative truth, where relative truth encompasses knowledge that is both practical and theoretical, with no distinction as to its usefulness. But absolute Truths, which are impossible to convey in language as direct assertions because of the nature of their subject, tend to be conceptualized, or represented by an idol (e.g., the concept of “emptiness” for the absence of inherent self-existence, or the god “Apollo” for nonduality). This causes great confusion all around, and reduces the usefulness of such knowledge. And for materialists, who do not for the most part bother themselves about what the mind is, usually equating it with the brain and its operations, so that there is not the “two-truths” consideration of absolute versus relative knowledge, the distinction as to the role of knowledge doesn’t seem to come up.

² Max Planck, “Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers,” 1949, Philosophical Library

³ Knowledge from Authority is reputed to be absolute knowledge, but we can already see that, because it is transmitted in writing, or orally, it is only based upon absolute knowledge. What we receive from scripture, teachers, or science, is mediated theoretical knowledge. It can set us on a path to absolute knowledge, but it isn’t itself that.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

The 7 Metacognitive Guides That Kept My Contemplations On Track

¹ I remember the singular event that opened my eyes about other religions was the day my friend asked me to go hiking in the forest one Sunday morning and I responded that I had to go to Mass. He looked quizzically at me and said, “What’s that?” I was shocked to learn that there was another religion other than my own. I was approximately 12 years old at the time. It wasn’t until I was in high school, that I began to actually read about other traditions and religions, having been cloistered in a Catholic upbringing for the first nine years of my schooling.

² Plotinus “Enneads” V.5.6, Loeb, pp 173-174

³ “Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness,” Khenpo Tsultrim Dyamtso Rinpoche

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

This Visceral Feeling of Self

¹ “Dark Night of the Soul,” Saint John of the Cross, Christian Classics Ethereal Library

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

No Inherent Self

¹ This is the modern Buddhist term for the realization—and the reality it arises from—that there is no inherent self in anything. According to David Loy, the English word “emptiness” has a more nihilistic connotation than the original Sanskrit. The Sanskrit root su conveys the concept of being swollen with possibility. (Loy, David, in the afterword to Swedenborg, “Buddha of the North,” Swedenborg Foundation, 1996, page 104

² Remember Plotinus’ admonition on the use of this word, “One,” that I gave in my Seven Guides section.

³ “Persphinctery” literally means the condition of having come through the anal sphincter, but in this case denotes a perfunctory and ignorant statement made by someone. It is reminiscent of the latin vocus flatus meaning “mouth flatulance (farts),” and is a nicer way of saying the more modern: “you’re talking out of your ass.”

⁴ This might be seen as a form of “cœnæsthesis: ”The general sense or feeling of existence arising from the sum of bodily impressions, as distinct from the definite sensations of the special senses,” but in my imperience, it arises from a much deeper level than any sense perceptions because it is the presence to the sensual that gives rise to this feeling.

⁵ I’ve heard the Buddhist Nyingma teacher Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche call such formulaic storylines: “Cinderella Teachings.”

⁶ Suñña Sutta

⁷ The Heap of Jewels sutra

⁸ Quote attributed to Longchenpa in the “Yeshe Lama,” by Vidyādhara Jingme Lingpa.

⁹ Ibid. “Yeshe Lama”

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

A First Mover Is Not Needed

¹ Fate is where you start from, according to Ralph Waldo Emerson, so “genetic fate” is the quality and completeness afforded to you at birth by your genes.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Mapping Concepts To Reality

¹ In “Wholeness and the Implicate Order,” by David Bohm, Routledge, 2002.

² See The Danger Inherent in Modern Secular Meditation.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

The Irrefutable Fact of Now

¹ Einstein, Albert (1911). "Die Relativitäts-Theorie". Naturforschende Gesellschaft, Zürich, Vierteljahresschrift. 56: 1–14.

² Langevin, P. (1911), "The evolution of space and time", Scientia, X: 31–54.

³ “The Yeshe Lama,” Jigme Lingpa, translated by Keith Dowman, 2014, pgs 31-32.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Our Limited View of Time And Eternity

¹ Saint Augustine, “Free Choice Of The Will”, Book I.

² Vipassana, otherwise referred to as The Art of Noting, is a meditation method developed by the Burmese Buddhist monk Mahasi Sayadaw (1904 – 1982). A very popular form of meditation today is that of concentrating on the breath, which is known in the Buddhist tradition as Samatha.  While Noting Meditation does incorporate a significant amount of breath focus, it also allows the mind to roam by switching the meditator’s attention to the object of the minds wandering, such as thoughts that might occur.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Inner Spontaneous Sounds

¹ See: “Incidence of Retrocochlear Pathology Found on MRI in Patients With Non-Pulsatile Tinnitus,” Choi, Kevin, J., et. al., Otology & Neurotology, December 2015 - Vol. 36 - Issue 10 - pgs 1730-1734.

² See: “Non-pulsatile subjective tinnitus without hearing loss may be caused by undetectable sounds originating from venous system of the brain,” Devrim Bektas, Refik Caylan, Elsevier Medical Hypotheses, 2008, 71, 245-248.

³ Appearance is used here with the sense of the arrival of something, or its becoming visible or noticeable.

⁴ And yet, can the “organ” of hearing be a truthful distinction? Isn’t it the case that we hear with the whole body? Certain maladies of the body, such as sinus congestion, affect our hearing. But how could that be if we hear only with the “organ” of hearing? Sometimes we need to incline an ear toward a sound to hear, so doesn’t that implicate the body as a whole in hearing? And what of internal noises of digestion and bones creaking? They are heard, but not by the “organ” of hearing, though they arise based upon physical conditions.

⁵ Testimony from the Buddhist Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī in “The Śūraṅgama Sūtra,” Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2009, pg 254.

⁶ A Middle-English term.

⁷ An “actual known fact” is not what happened, but that something did, in fact, happen. We can dispute the contents of an imperience, as we each attempt to apperceive it into the body of our understandings, but we can never truthfully deny that there was an imperience. For example, we can deny that we just saw a pink elephant walk by— because there is no such thing—but we cannot truthfully deny that we hallucinated something.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Consciousness And The Unconscious — Mereologically Speaking

¹ We would obviously be conscious of any attempt to deny that we are conscious.

² The problem with these ideas is that God is understood to be the creator of all beings, which leaves us with the implication that God self-created, or that there are levels of being. And this latter implication leaves open the possibility that there is a higher being that created God, which is contrary to the assertion that God is the highest being. It is the understanding that God is the actor in the creation of all beings that is the source of the problem. Thus the issue is with human understanding, not with God.

³ “Awareness” is usually seen as the bare possibility of knowing something, while consciousness is awareness of a known something. That is, consciousness is an abstracted aspect of our lived experience, and awareness is an abstracted aspect of consciousness.

⁴ There are no veridically dual-functioned components in living organisms, but this doesn’t stop anyone from confusing polymorphic effects of a function with being multi-functioned. For example, a study of anthocyanins, “the pigments responsible for spectacular displays of vermilion in the leaves of deciduous trees,” asserts that “Anthocyanins have been implicated in tolerance to stressors as diverse as drought, UV-B, and heavy metals, as well as resistance to herbivores and pathogens. By absorbing high-energy quanta, anthocyanic cell vacuoles both protect chloroplasts from the photoinhibitory and photooxidative effects of strong light, and prevent the catabolism of photolabile defence compounds. Anthocyanins also mitigate photooxidative injury in leaves by efficiently scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Far from being a useless by-product of the flavonoid pathway, these red pigments may in some instances be critical for plant survival.” See: Nature's Swiss Army Knife: The Diverse Protective Roles of Anthocyanins in Leaves, Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, 2004, doi: 10.1155/S1110724304406147 Retrieved 20190119 at

⁵ The placebo effect and the nocebo effect are two notable ones. The former is the epitome of ability of the mind, i.e. “consciousness,” to heal the body, and the latter shows the power of the mind to overcome body chemistry.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Meditation And Science

¹ “History In English Words,” Owen Barfield, Methuen & Co., Ltd., 1926.

² What do most people misunderstand about Einstein's Theory of Relativity?

³ Albert Einstein, “What is the Theory of Relativity?” published in The London Times, November 28, 1919 (emphasis added).

⁴ “The Nature of Scientific Theory,” Siddharth Chatterjee, Current Science, Vol. 102, No. 3, 10 February 2012, pgs 386-388.

⁵ Einstein, A. (1949). Autobiographical Notes.

⁶ Mainwood, Ibid.

⁷ See the “Meditation Is More Complex Than Science Suggests” section later in this chapter.

The Mind and Life Dialogues XXIV: Latest Findings in Contemplative Neuroscience, at The Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN 2012.

Dr. Britton's keynote on meditation-related difficulties at the Center for Mindfulness Research and Practice Conference, Chester England July 8th 2017.

¹⁰ The first of these was a very interesting summary of his situation given on the closing day of the Kagyu Monlam by HH. the 17th Karmapa. The video of it, however, is no longer available on YouTube. It was located here: The second was during an oral teaching by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche from the Nyingma tradition.

¹¹ Headspace Aims To Be First FDA-Approved Prescription Meditation App.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

The Danger Inherent in Modern Secular Meditation

¹ “Why Schools Are Banning Yoga,” Alia Wong, The Atlantic, on, September 27, 2018.

² Ajahn Brahm, “Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond.” Wisdom Publications, Inc. p. 25. ISBN 0-86171-275-7.

³ Be Mindful Of Mindfulness: Drug-Free Doesn't Mean Side-Effect Free, The Guardian, May 21, 2015.

⁴ Specifically, the Four Elements Inner Spontaneous Sound Yoga, a practice that was once included in the Dzogchen teachings of Tibetan Buddhism as well as Bön, the pre-Buddhist Tibetan shamanic tradition. The reasons why the practice is no longer included are confused. See: The Mystery of the Four Elements Sound Practice.

⁵ “Kung Fu” with David Carradine.

⁶ The reader may not accept that what they hold to be true is just a theory, but if you are of a scientific bent, then you must accept that this is the case.

⁷ For example, the 11th precept found in the "Bodhisattvabhumi" section of the Yogācārabhūmi Śāstra in Mahayana Buddhism prohibits teaching the doctrine of emptiness to those whose minds are unprepared.

⁸ For example: Willoughby Britton’s research at Brown University was discussed in “The Dark Knight of the Soul,” in The Atlantic, and “The Dark Side of Dharma,” in The Statesman.

⁹ The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

On Ego, Happiness, And The Suffering They Bring

¹ “Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill,” by Matthieu Ricard, 2007, pg 42.

² “The Middle Length Sayings (Majjhima Nikaya),” Volume I, tr. I.B. Horner, Luzac and Co., Ltd., London, 1954, pg 253.

³ “The Book of the Gradual Sayings,” Volume IV, tr. E.M. Hare, Luzac and Co., Ltd., London, 1935, 1955, pg 200. “Philosophy of the Buddha,” Archie J. Bahm, 1958, pg 38-39.

Autogenous means to spontaneously arise from within, thus an autogenous response is a response that spontaneously — without cause or intent — arises in response to whatever is in the present moment of your life.

⁵ This insight comes from the earliest teachings of the Buddha. You can find an excellent discussion of it in “Philosophy of the Buddha,” by Archie J. Bahm, Jain Publishing Company, 1958.

⁶ See “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism,” by Chögyam Trungpa (Shambhala Classics, 2002) for an excellent treatment of this phenomenon and how to overcome it.

⁷ I think it is worth noting that this idea of following the Buddha’s path in a search of ‘happiness’ led one Tibetan lama, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, to write a book on the path with the title: “Not for Happiness.” He suggests that if you want to follow this path because you want to feel good or to help you relax and be happy, then you are far better off getting a massage.

⁸ American Prosperity - Its Causes And Consequences, Paul M. Mazur (Lehman Brothers) 1928, pgs. 24-25.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

In the Servitude of Science

¹ Ideas And Opinions, Albert Einstein, Three Rivers Press, New York, 1982, pg 22.

² “Attention,” Alan White, Oxford, 1964, pg 61.

³ “Creative Evolution,” Henri Bergson, Modern Library, New York 1944, pg 359.

⁴ Ibid, pg 99.

⁵ “Autobiographical Notes,” Einstein, A. (1949).

What do most people misunderstand about Einstein's Theory of Relativity?

⁷ Albert Einstein, “What is the Theory of Relativity?” published in The London Times, November 28, 1919 (emphasis added).

⁸ “Parallax” is the angular difference in the position of stars from a moving point of observation over time, such as the Earth as it orbits the Sun.

⁹ “The Galileo Affair,” George Sim Johnston, Catholic Education Resource Center, courtesy of Scepter Press, Princeton, NJ.

¹⁰ Theories must be falsifiable to be scientific.

¹¹ “Saving the Appearances,” Owen Barfield, second edition, Wesleyan University Press, 1988, pg 49.

¹² Albert Einstein, “What is the Theory of Relativity?” published in The London Times, November 28, 1919 (emphasis added).

¹³ Ibid. George Sim Johnston.

¹⁴ Russell-Einstein Manifesto, London, 9 July 1955.

¹⁵ White, Ibid.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Before The Pump Was Invented, What Did The Heart Do?

¹ Plotinus, "Enneads" IV, 3.23, Harvard University Press, 1984, pgs. 107–109

² Taken from: “Why Galen and Harvey did not compare the heart to a pump” by Rudolph E. Siegel M.D., The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 20, Issue 1, pages 117-121, July 1967

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

The Relentless Logic Of Mechanistic Materialism

¹ “The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy,” by Anne Conway, Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy, Cambridge University Press,1996, pg 64

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

On The Practice Of Science

¹ “Since the time of the Greeks, the purpose of astronomy was to "save the appearances" of celestial phenomena. This famous phrase is usually taken to mean the resorting to desperate expedients to "save" or rescue the Ptolemaic system. But it meant no such thing. To the Greek and medieval mind, science was a kind of formalism, a means of coordinating data, which had no bearing on the ultimate reality of things. Different mathematical devices — such as the Ptolemaic cycles — could be advanced to predict the movements of the planets, and it was of no concern to the medieval astronomer whether such devices touched on the actual physical truth. The point was to give order to complicated data, and all that mattered was which hypothesis (a key word in the Galileo affair) was the simplest and most convenient.” “The Galileo Affair,” George Sim Johnston, Catholic Education Resource Center, courtesy of Scepter Press, Princeton, NJ.

² “Profiles in pseudoscience: Rupert Sheldrake,” by Massimo Pigliucci, on, accessed 29-November-2022.

³ John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, in a letter he wrote to scholar and ecclesiastic Mandell Creighton, dated April 1887.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Alienation & Unconcoctability — The Change That Enlightenment Brings

¹ Métis means a particular quality of intense awareness that always manages to stay focused on the whole: on the lookout for hints, however subtle, for guidance in whatever form it happens to take, for signs of a route to follow however quickly they might appear or disappear. (Reality, Peter Kingsley, The Golden Sufi Center, 2003, pg 90).

² “Papañca is a pregnant and complex term that indicates the mental and emotional proliferation as a whole (conceptualizations, volitions, opinions, judgments, etc.) and that possesses three essential ingredients: 1) taṇhā, thirst or self-centered desire, 2) diṭṭhi, opinion or, more precisely in this context, uncritical belief or mental acceptance of something without verification, and thus erroneous opinion; 3) māna, conceit, which traditionally has nine aspects, which depend on whether the comparison is done with people who are believed to be inferior, equal or superior to oneself.” -taken from: Atammayatā in the Pāli Nikāyas, by Francesco Sferra, Annali, Volume 67, Università Degli Studi Di Napoli “L’orientale”.

³ Francesco Sferra, Ibid.

⁴ Aṅguttara Nikāya, Book of the Sixes, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 1998 (retrieved from: on 18-May-2020).

⁵ Francesco Sferra, Ibid.

⁶ Atammayatā by Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Interpreted into English by Santikaro Bhikkhu,
A Dhamma lecture (1/5) given at Suan Mokkh on 5 February 1989.

⁷ Atammayata: The Rebirth of a Lost Word By Santikaro Bhikku, Evolution/Liberation #4 (1993).

⁸ Santikaro Bhikku, Ibid.

⁹ Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Ibid.

¹⁰ Source: Wikipedia, retrieved 18-May-2020.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Four Intuitive Moments That Made All The Difference In My Life

¹ Academic Freedom of Individual Professors:

A. The Professional Standard

The professional standard of academic freedom is defined by the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which was developed by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. It is the fundamental statement on academic freedom for faculty in higher education. It has been endorsed by over 180 scholarly and professional organizations, and is incorporated into hundreds of college and university faculty handbooks. The 1940 Statement provides:

Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties. . .

Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter that has no relation to their subject. . .

College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline…

Taken from: the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) website:

AAUP, Policy Documents & Reports 3-4 (9th ed. 2001) (hereafter "Redbook").
Courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have relied on the 1940 Statement's definition of academic freedom. See, e.g., Roemer v. Board of Public Works of Maryland, 426 U.S. 736, 756 (1976); Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672, 681-82 (1971).

² “The Metaphoric Mind: A Celebration of Creative Consciousness” by Bob Samples, 1976, page 26, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Entertaining Nonrational Experiences

¹ The Russell-Einstein Manifesto, issued in London, July 9th, 1955.

² An Introduction to Awareness, James Corrigan, Nonduality Publishing, 2006, page 108

³ The Encyclopedia Britannica says this about Kurt Gödel: “Kurt Gödel, Gödel also spelled Goedel, (born April 28, 1906, Brünn, Austria-Hungary [now Brno, Czech Rep.]—died Jan. 14, 1978, Princeton, N.J., U.S.), Austrian-born mathematician, logician, and philosopher who obtained what may be the most important mathematical result of the 20th century: his famous incompleteness theorem, which states that within any axiomatic mathematical system there are propositions that cannot be proved or disproved on the basis of the axioms within that system; thus, such a system cannot be simultaneously complete and consistent. This proof established Gödel as one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle, and its repercussions continue to be felt and debated today.” Retrieved from: dated Jan 10, 2019.

⁴ “Consider their claim: ‘The VCM—the Verificationist Criterion of Meaning—is true’. Is it true by definition? Not if the VCM is a bold thesis, not a mere truism or tautology. Can the VCM be verified scientifically? No, how can you verify verificationism? Science doesn’t prove verificationism, it presupposes it. The VCM is a victim of its own austerity: it is not even false—it is cognitively meaningless. Q.E.D.” Kurt Gödel, in: “The Entangled-Puzzle-Room,” by Gary Mar, 2019.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Personal Examples of Nonrational Experiences

¹ The Śūrańgama Sūtra, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2009, page 344

² See, for example, “Mystery of The Four Elements Sound Practice” in Volume Three - The Way of Tradition.

³ "Timeline," by Michael Chrichton, 1999

⁴ CESNUR 2007 - The Dordogne-Périgord- from the Sacred Mysteries of Lascaux to One of the 21st Century World Centers of New Spiritualities, retrieved 2-May-2020 from:

⁵ For example, read the “Śūramgama Samādhi Sūtra,” Étienne Lamotte, translator, 2003, and the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sūtra, Charles Luk, translator, 1972

⁶ See: (retrieved 2-May-2020)

⁷ See: (retrieved 2-May-2020)

⁸ The GRE was revised in 2011, which included revisions to its scoring system. For GRE exams taken prior to August 1, 2011, as mine was, the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the exam were both scored from 200-800 in 10-point increments. Today, the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections are scored between 130-170 in 1-point increments.

⁹ One of the qualifications for the Triple Nine Society (99.9 percentile) is a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) combined verbal and quantitative score of 1460. Taken from Wikipedia page for Triple Nine Society.

¹⁰ Older Students And The Gre Aptitude Test, by Terry Hartle, Joan Baratz, Mary Jo Clark, GRE Board Research Report GREB No. 76-1313 ETS Research Report 83-20, June 1983

¹¹ For those that feel this scenario is too reminiscent of the film “Into the Wild,” which came out in 2007, I can only point out that my dream occurred over three decades before that film was released.

¹² Transcript of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s speech from “An Evening of Appreciation & Awareness: Buddhist Literary Heritage Project”, held on 20 March 2010 at Tai Pei Buddhist Center, Singapore. Retrieved from:

¹³ Clyde Lee Miller, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Personnel in the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Philosophy, Stony Brook University, 28-Oct-2008

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

The Intent For This Book

¹ Please refer to the “Mystery of The Four Elements Sound Practice” in the “Way of Inner Meditation” section of this book, for an actual example of this degradation.

² For example, in the Buddhist tradition, there is the well-known “Visuddhimagga,” or “The Path of Purification,” written by Bhadantācariya Buddhaghosa. It lays out the stages of enlightenment that one experiences during the course of a dedicated, long-term, meditative practice. As well, there is the “Śūramga Samādhi Sutra,” which details a similar progression of stages of enlightenment.

³ “An Introduction to Awareness,” James Corrigan, 2006, page v

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Ruining the world

¹ Source: Laurent Banguet, AFP, June 26, 2011

² Source: Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian Magazine, April 2015

³ Ibid. Laurent Banguet

⁴ Ibid. Laurent Banguet

⁵ “Cave Art And Painting By Modern Humans,” Facts and Details. According to the article, it’s information was sourced from: Text Sources: National Geographic, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, Nature, Scientific American. Live Science, Discover magazine, Discovery News, Ancient Foods ; Times of London, Natural History magazine, Archaeology magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, BBC, The Guardian, Reuters, AP, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, World Religions edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); History of Warfare by John Keegan (Vintage Books); History of Art by H.W. Janson (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Some Background On My Path

¹ “But the question arises: Why is the Divine light (which as we say, illumines and purges the soul from its ignorances) here called by the soul a dark night? To this the answer is that for two reasons this Divine wisdom is not only night and darkness for the soul, but is likewise affliction and torment. The first is because of the height of Divine Wisdom, which transcends the talent of the soul, and in this way is darkness to it; the second, because of its vileness and impurity, in which respect it is painful and afflictive to it, and is also dark.” (“Dark Night of the Soul,” Saint John of the Cross, Christian Classics Ethereal Library,, Chapter V, Section 2, page 66)

² From "Helping Others," in “Great Eastern Sun: The Wisdom Of Shambhala,” by Chogyam Trungpa, 2001, page 175-6

³ Peter Maniscalco, 1941-2018

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Speaking About A "Universal Path to Enlightenment"

¹ “The Śūraṅgama Sūtra,” Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2009, pgs 253-257

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

A Universal Direct Path to Enlightenment

¹ Plotinus “Enneads” V.5.6, Loeb, pp 173-174.

² Why this is the case has already been explained earlier in this volume, in the No Inherent Self chapter.

³ “The Yeshe Lama,” by Jigme Lingpa, translated by Lama Chönam and Sangye Khandro, 2008, pages 47-49.

⁴ Literally translated, “hua t’ou” means ante-word.

⁵ Literally translated, “hua wei” means word-tail.

⁶ This is the practice of Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva, as he described it in the Surangama Sutra.

⁷ In other words, to accord with the world, its ways and customs; to die.

⁸ Master Hsu Yun's Discourses and Dharma Words 46.

⁹ Plotinus, Ibid.

¹⁰ “The Yeshe Lama,” page 53.

¹¹ “The Surangama Sutra,” in “A Buddhist Bible,” Dwight Goddard, 1938, page 246.

¹² Ibid. pages 126-127.

¹³ Ibid. page 221.

¹⁴ Anonymous,“The Cloud of Unknowing and Other Works” Translated with an Introduction and Notes by A. C. Spearing, Penguin Books, 2001.

¹⁵ In other words, lacking an inherent self-nature.

¹⁶ “The Yeshe Lama,” page 57.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།

Great Responsiveness — For The Good Of All

¹ “Reality,” Peter Kingsley, 2003, page 27.

² “The Tibetan Book of the Dead,” Composed by Padmasambhava, Revealed by Trenton Karma Lingpa, translated by Gyurme Dorje, and edited by Graham Coleman and Thupten Jinpa, Penguin Books, 2005, pages 455 and 484.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།