By Ian Baker

ISBN-10: 0143036025

ISBN-13: 9780143036029

The parable of Shangri-la originates in Tibetan Buddhist ideals in beyul, or hidden lands, sacred sanctuaries that show themselves to religious pilgrims and in occasions of hindrance. The extra distant and inaccessible the beyul, the vaster its reputed characteristics. historical Tibetan prophecies claim that the best of all hidden lands lies on the center of the forbidding Tsangpo Gorge, deep within the Himalayas and veiled by way of a large waterfall. Nineteenth-century money owed of this fabled waterfall encouraged a chain of ill-fated ecu expeditions that ended upfront in 1925 while the intrepid British plant collector Frank Kingdon-Ward penetrated all yet a five-mile component to the Tsangpo’s innermost gorge and declared that the falls have been not more than a “religious myth” and a “romance of geography.”

the center of the Tsangpo Gorge remained a clean spot at the map of worldwide exploration until eventually world-class climber and Buddhist pupil Ian Baker delved into the legends. no matter what cryptic Tibetan scrolls or prior explorers had acknowledged concerning the Tsangpo’s innermost gorge, Baker made up our minds, may be established simply via exploring the uncharted five-mile hole. After a number of years of encountering sheer cliffs, maelstroms of impassable white water, and dense leech-infested jungles, at the final of a sequence of impressive expeditions, Baker and his nationwide Geographic–sponsored staff reached the depths of the Tsangpo Gorge. They made information around the world by means of discovering there a 108-foot-high waterfall, the mythical grail of Western explorers and Tibetan seekers alike.

The middle of the World is without doubt one of the so much appealing tales of exploration and discovery in fresh memory—an impressive trip to at least one of the wildest and so much inaccessible areas in the world and a pilgrimage to the center of the Tibetan Buddhist religion.

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Just sitting, one simply meets the immediate present. Desiring some flashy experience, or anything more or other than “this,” is mere worldly vanity and craving. Again invoking empty nature, Hongzhi says, “Fully appreciate the emptiness of all dharmas. ”21 The Trap of Passivity This nonseeking quality of Hongzhi’s meditation eventually helped make it controversial. : Daie Sōkō). A popular historical stereotype is that Dahui and Hongzhi were rivals, debating over Hongzhi’s silent illumination meditation as opposed to Dahui’s koan introspection meditation.

All Zen ritual activity, at least ideally, does have some impact, or liberative effect, for the participants. On the other hand, attachment to the mere procedural forms of ritual, in which the forms are followed in a routinized, rote manner, is traditionally considered a hindrance to practice. Nonattachment or not clinging is a primary feature of Dōgen’s practicerealization. Such clinging would be to neglect rather than to protect and care for practice-realization. Practice marked by pursuit or attainment of enlightenment can become a form of spiritual materialism or greed.

It is not that through zazen eventually there will be some transformation. That would be our habitual, acquisitive way of thinking, which arises because of how we have been conditioned by culture and language and family dynamics. Habitual patterns lead to thinking that if you do zazen now, then eventually, later on, you will achieve this transformation. But actually, the transformative function is happening in each moment of awareness. zazen mind and transformative function 19 How does this transformation develop?

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The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet's Lost Paradise by Ian Baker


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