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Other Dharma Traditions

There are many other dharma traditions, including Taoism, Mysticism and Transcendentalism as described below.

Taoism

If you are interested in Taoism, we recommend reading The Way of Life  by Lao Tzu.

The most frequent element or symbol referred to in Lao Tzu's writings is the symbol of water.  Water always seeks the easiest path, the common level of life. When it reaches a blockage, water find the easiest path around the blockage, or it continues to assemble, and flows over the blockage.

Allow the flow of life to guide you wherever it is supposed to and accept with equanimity, with balance, with poise, whatever happens.

In the I Ching, there's a hexagram that says, "Be like the sun at midday" - view all things as being equal. According to Lao Tzu, "the sound man is immune as to a sacrifice of straw dogs, facing the passing of human generations."

What we seek is the nexus of all possible worlds and states of mind, which is within us.

Before perception, before a perceiver, existence was -- is. This is the consciousness that we refer to as Nirvana, God, Eternity.  "From wonder into wonder, existence opens."

Related Talks    Zen, Taoism and Buddhism

Mysticism

Mysticism is the way of the warrior, a way of action and adventure. From the point of view of mysticism, at every moment you are either getting stronger or growing weaker. At every moment your attention field is increasing or decreasing. In the study of mysticism, everything in your life is eventually set up as a pragmatic energy flow into the light.

A good source of information regarding mysticism and power are the following books of Carlos Castaneda: Journey to Ixtlan, Tales of Power, Second Ring of Power.

Mysticism is the experience of eternity, of that which lies beyond the physical phenomenal universe. Mysticism is the most difficult path to discuss, because it involves the exploration of dreaming and perceptual states which are difficult to describe in words.

In mysticism, we want to see the universe in its absolute, pure, naked perfection. We want to know its wonder. We want to know the totality of ourselves.

There's a resonance inside us, a sense of who we are. We're a multi-bodied traveler. We're an essence. We're a feeling, an awareness that has an ancient existence.

All physical and nonphysical things have another side, a side that is not visible to the senses or accessible to the reasoning mind, a side that can only be known and experienced by emptying one's mind of thoughts. 

Very few individuals have the tenacity and the love to propel them beyond everything they know and can trust to face the unknown, let alone be absorbed in it.

To have the detached eye of the mystic, the occultist, to look outward, to not be so self-reflective but to learn to step through the various viewpoints of consciousness that leads to freedom -- that we call mysticism or occultism.

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The Yoga of Mysticism and Power

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Power

Transcendentalism

We're all eternal. We don't begin and we don't end. We have always been and we will always be, but we take on varying forms in the universe.  Transcendentalism suggests that we are all part of an oversoul. While we have separate finite physical bodies, individual personalities and experiences, these are all a covering. If we could remove this covering, then we would see that we're made of light and energy, which the Transcendentalists refer to as the oversoul.

Transcendentalism suggests that we need to quiet our lives and our mind and reflect, just as a mirror reflects. Transcendentalism has to do with cleaning the mirror of the self to reflect eternity.

Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and others were Transcendentalists.  In the book Walden Pond, Thoreau asserts that solitude is where we find ourselves in a unique way. We are the silent observer that watches all of this without condemnation, without approval and sees something that the eye, the physical eye, can't see - which is eternity.

Nature for Thoreau was a touchstone to a higher reality. Thoreau wished to live with nature because he believed it would teach him about life and the world. He said that he wished, upon coming to his death someday, to know that he had really lived.

In his book Walden Pond, Thoreau reminds us of a place called keeping our room clean.  The way we keep our room clean, the way we keep our life clean, is by not letting a lot of clutter in. We keep it simple. The more complicated we make it, the less clean it is.  What prevents us from experiencing life is self -- self is clutter. The clutter in our lives is a reflection of the clutter in our minds.  When there's less self and more life, we're content, and when there's more self and less life we're unhappy.

What he is saying is that everything is a reflection of one's mind, which is, of course, a very Buddhist thought, Emersonian thought, Henry David Thoreauian thought. Everything is a reflection of our mind.  Once we see mind in its immaculate state, in its perfect state, we really don't want to have it all cluttered up.

 Life is beautiful. But if we do not see it that way, it's because our room needs cleaning. If we clean up our room, it will look beautiful again.

In the practice of Transcendentalism, once in a while, we need to clean our rooms. We need to go directly to life without "isms" and words and names. No thought. Clean mind. Clean room.  

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Transcendentalism

A Clean Room