Ram Bomjon and the Development of Myth

Ram Bomjon and the Development of Myth

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by jclifford 11/21/2005 @ 9:08 pm. Filed under GeneralReligion

Looking for a different kind of story to think about during the Thanksgiving holiday? One that’s not yet all over the blogosphere? How about trying Ram Bomjon on for size.

Ram Bomjon Nepal buddha

Ram Bomjon is, his followers say, a new buddha. Buddha meditated for 49 days under a pipal tree. Ram Bomjon, it is said, has been doing so for six months, and continues to do so today, even after being bitten by a snake – and he is just a 15 year-old boy.

Is it for real? Well, I’m suspicious Ram’s closest followers won’t allow outsiders in to inspect the boy – not even doctors. Of course, it makes for a good story, which is why thousands of people are making pilgrimages to the site. What do they expect to get out of the trip? What will taking a look at the boy do for them? Does enlightenment rub off?

Before we get too critical of the pilgrims in Nepal, we ought to remember that similar numbers of people here in the United States will make pilgrimages, and pay money, to see Mariah Carey.

As you take a second helping of Thanksgiving Dinner, you might want to think about Ram Bomjon, and the legend of six months without a bite to eat. But then, you also might want to think about a community of people in Nepal who are making an awful lot of money from the visitors who are coming to see this teenage mystic, and consider how thankful they are for that.

Related Posts:Ram Bomjon’s Handlers Under InvestigationPhotos Show Ram Bomjon MovedIs Ram Bomjon the AntiChrist?Ram Bomjon and TemptationWhat are We Talking About This Week? A Tag Cloud for Irregular Times

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116 Responses to “Ram Bomjon and the Development of Myth”

  1. HareTrinity Says: 
    November 22nd, 2005 at 4:16 pmReminds me of that “woman who can life off just sunlight” scam. At least this one doesn’t seem to have followers starving themselves to death.
  2. RS Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 12:15 amSounds too good to be true. However, a lot of “miracles” Jesus performed were hard to believe as well. If you believe in Biblical facts, why can’t this be true?
  3. Parupta Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 1:20 amThat “if you believe in Biblical facts” part is a big if.I think that’s your point, though, isn’t it, RS – that belief in Biblical claims is kind of like believing that this kid in Nepal has really been sitting absolutely still without a bite to eat or drink for 6 months.
  4. Someone Who Knows Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 7:45 amAll three of you are idiots.
  5. Peregrin Wood Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 9:26 amThat’s what I love about spiritual people. They’re so wise – like this person who goes by the label “Someone Who Knows”. Deeply spiritual people like this are always going around at peace with the universe, with a balanced mind disciplined through meditation, saying things like “All three of you are idiots.”Tell us more, oh guru!
  6. Charles Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 9:18 pmI think it could very well be true, i’m no bible thumper, but i do belive. If god wants us to sit under a tree for six months or six years, he can make it happen.
  7. Ed Says: 
    November 25th, 2005 at 12:01 amGee, Charles, that’s a very neat little statement of belief. Pure belief. Yet, you don’t bring any argument or evidence to support your belief. You’ve just said what you believe, as if that stands on its own.In particular, I’d like an explanation of why any supernatural being would want a 15 year old boy to sit still under a tree without eating, drinking or taking a shit for 6 months. What could the cosmic rationale for that be?I could just as easily say that I believe that Madonna is a man – no evidence, no proof, not even an argument about why such a belief makes sense. I could just declare that I believe that Madonna is a man. Doesn’t make it true.
  8. Irregular Times: News Unfit for Print » Blog Archive » Ram Bomjon’s Handlers Under Investigation Says: 
    November 25th, 2005 at 5:32 pm[…] Four days ago, I wrote about Ram Bomjon, the 15 year-old boy in Nepal who claims to have not eaten, taken a drink, or moved at all in six months. Bomjon’s followers call him the new Buddha. I expressed some skepticism about the claims of Bomjon, especially since no one, not even medical doctors, were being allowed closer to Bomjon than 15 feet. […]
  9. Chris Says: 
    November 25th, 2005 at 9:07 pmIn responce to Ed above. For those who have engaged in serious, ie sitting regularly for at least an hour a day, meditation, you get a different veiw. If you consider that ALL the problems we face in our world are created in the human mind, then it is there that the answer must lie. Sitting completely still in meditation brings you directly into contact with the process of your own mind. In this way we CAN find a way to come to a practical and first hand understanding of how suffering in the mind originates. This was the practice which bought Gotama Buddha out of suffering. Since that time his practical technique has been practice by many with the same result, a reduction in suffering in the mind. This is a direct, practical and compassionate response to sufering. The point I am making is that it is not about a super being wanting a boy to sit for 6 months, it is just that this boy has such intense longing to end suffering that he would have the focus and concentration to do this . This degree of concentration is the depth of his compassion. This is a sign or symbol of an incredible level of human compassion. When we persist is creating such suffering for ourselves and eachother, this example is a reminder of our potential to rise beyond our own expectations, and limitations. To anyone who has not experienced serious sitting meditation, I recommend doing a Vipassana course in the Goenka tradition, where you get the chance to sit 10 hours a day for 1 days. This will certainly give you much insight into the significance of this act. xxx
  10. Joan Says: 
    November 25th, 2005 at 9:35 pmSorry, Chris, but the statement “consider that ALL the problems we face in our world are created in the human mind” takes a big leap of faith to accept. That’s a statement of Buddhist dogma, not a self-evident truth.You are taking another big leap of faith in stating that this boy is sitting still out of compassion. First of all, you don’t know that he has been, in fact, sitting still. Secondly, you don’t really know why he’s doing it. There’s nothing in any of the news reports that suggests that compassion is the primary motivation, and the boy’s committee of supervisors won’t let anyone see him now, much less talk to him.You’re making a lot of statements based on what you hope to be true – not based on what you really know.
  11. Chris Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 9:18 amHi Joan
    What do we “really know”? Have you as I suggested sat for 10 days in silence? Certainly to verify anything from “external” experience, which seems to be your stand point, is contrary to all Spiritual teachings. It is not a question of faith but rational. It is not difficult upon inspection to realize that our senses are easily fooled. Perhaps that is why the emphasis in Spiritual practice is to go within, know thyself, kingdom of god is within, become and island unto yourself, cease the turnings of the mind. I paraphrase from Christian Vedic and Buddhist teaching.The statement that all the problems we face originate from the human mind IS self evident TO ME, and certainly takes no leap of faith.You are relying to much on external senses. Nothing can be proved. Try sitting!Chris
    xx
  12. Joan Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 11:14 amChris,It’s kind of arrogant for you to think that I don’t sit and consider. No, I don’t and can’t take ten entire days out of my life to sit at some spiritualist spa and contemplate my navel. But I know this much – there is a difference between me and the rest of the word. There is a separation between my mind and the world outside it. My mind cannot create external reality just by thinking really hard. That’s a fact, and it’s also a fact that all these pray for peace or meditate for peace activities don’t work.Sorry, but there are good standards of proof for truly rigorous minds to understand and use. For you to pretend that there are none is to jump in with both feet to the mentality of the intelligent design crowd, which fails to understand how science works.My mind did not create Hurricane Katrina, okay? That storm did not originate in anyone’s mind, as much as this Buddhist claptrap might want me to pretend it does. Please take a step outside your dogma for a minute – long enough to consider rejoining the reality based community.
  13. moondo Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 4:48 pmI wouldn’t compare a meditating boy to Mariah Carey. They are different in nature. Mariah Carey seeks to be famous, buddha kid seeks nirvana. The industry that grew because of that kid is not his intention, only a bunch of opportunists.But I admire that kid. Even if the article is not completely true and he had sat down for only one or two days in meditation, that’s far better than most of the 15yr old brats you find around the US. It’s hard to find kids with good manners, or common sense. I noticed how the youth can’t seem to focus… seriously it’s as if they all acquired attention deficit disorders. Maybe it’s the food and our culture.
  14. Odd Claude Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 8:32 pmI don’t know, moondo. Did you notice the update article indicating that Ram Bomjon’s inner circle is now under investigation for embezzling money and defrauding pilgrims? Sounds to me like the Ram Bomjon – Mariah Carey comparison, if unfair, is only unfair to Mariah Carey.
  15. Jim Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 8:50 pmOdd Claude,Not necessarily. It may be that Ram Bomjon is himself an innocent while he is surrounded by people who abuse his innocence. Right?
  16. Chris Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 9:04 pmTo JoanWhen I say “sit” I am refering to meditation not just “sitting”. If you take the sitting meditation out of Buddhism what are you left with? Meditation can not be compared to consideration. One is a cognitive process and the other is the release from all cognitive process. Your comments only further underline your inexperience of the process of meditation and its aim. The point you make about the hurracaine. I think that that is just a reactionary comment. We are always going to be vunerable while we are in this body. We are frail and vunerable, and also this body is temporary, we know that. I am not suggesting that by controlling nature we can cease to suffer as you think I am suggesting. Indeed we can only surrender to nature as it is so imensly powerfull. Maybe you think we can control it with science??? Once we have surrendered then the intelligent observation is, that it is our reaction to experience, not the experience itself, which we can take control over. But this can only be accomplised through dedicated and regular, and serious practice of meditation. Gradually we can begin to come out of suffering. This is the process which as I understand it Gottama taught.If I can not end my own suffering then I am in no position to help others. I am not fool enough to think that I hhave to control the weather in order to be happy, this is just plain ignorance.As I said before, maybe you ought to find the time to sit for the 10 day course. It is most probabley the most efficienct use of time possible. An interesting and pragmatic experience.Chris
  17. Jim Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 9:17 pmChris,I don’t agree with you or Joan precisely, finding myself in the middle when it comes to my position. What strikes me is that your description of meditation as a “dedicated, regular and serious” practice is also a description that can be applied to science. Both are disciplines. The two have different purposes and different outcomes. While I’m not a meditator, I think I am ready to accept that the exploration of both disciplines might have value, although that doesn’t mean I’m willing to expend the energy to explore either one, and I also think that hesitancy is OK.Do you understand where I’m coming from?
  18. J. Clifford Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 10:28 pmAs for myself, I think that it is reasonable to err on the side of skepticism when someone claims to not have eaten, had a drink, gone to the bathroom, or moved at all for six months – especially when that person is made unavailable for examination.
  19. A.P.MADHUSUDANAN Says: 
    November 27th, 2005 at 8:28 amFriends,
    The news regarding Nepal boy without food and water forlast six months is need more examination.So wait and watch for more detailes.
    If our science can provide answer to unconsious mind of human,in full then we can be get a clear picture of this episode and new story of incarnation.[how the natures photo copy/e-mail works.]
  20. mubb zeeb Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 8:30 ami think it is a bit supperficial to disregard these situations and say it is a spam.
    what the kid is experiencing is called samadhi and it can be attained in specific conditions in yoga.
    it is better for all of you that dought these things to have a quick research about it and about yoga, then give your opinions.
    and for your info, doctors and scientist wont find anything, cause it is beyond their understanding.
    we are trully living in an age of darkness, where the west think has the answers to everyting…….shame
  21. Mr.Komo Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 12:20 pm“Conventional thinking” relies on “mediation” whether you like it or not You can
    not. We communicate (10%)very little, as we are given you the doubt we are sinners at heart, we condemn eachother and believe that “you” are in essence, awaitning a person to disessemble, to drink his blood and be saved from anything you wish to be forgiven of
  22. Joan Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 12:29 pmwhy why you sound so aggressive, my dear. what chris meens with sitting is different from
    sitting on a chair and thinking. meditation ist different and I am afraid that you need
    to try to know. but it will take somne time. reading cook books and eating is not the same.
    of course you will have time enough fot meditation, everybody does. it is just not important to
    to everybody. one thing to the feeling of being different:
    in buddhism no one is really seperated. noone is unimportant, noone can be forgotten.
    all belong together. the pain of one hurts the other as well. sorry, my english is not good enough for explaining. good luck to all of you. maybe the boy will be a buddha someday, the world could
    need it.
  23. Native Canadian Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 1:42 pmIn respect to the introspection “soon 2B MAN” Ram Bomjon. I do admire him for his will that “Creative Spirit” gives to him. His hibernation is gonna put him ahead of his time, most “monetary gaining minds” cannot find a reason to attain this. It fills me with envy and pride(confusion!)And i support him in my prayers! For me to achieve in this in my own mind, today, given the fact that I must work and stress out on financial gains. I cant comprehend ! My spirit compells me to sit back and replan my ojective in life. Without seeking a messiah or a leader to teach me to find maturity in a structured religion. Repitition doesnt follow suite with me. My teacher is everywhere around me. In the trees and the mountains, not always from your mouth to my ears. I attribute my lessons and humbleness to some 40 people throughout my life( I am 37 today and need more to learn to give me the necessary tools to stagger onward into the next doorway, and my children can teach to be what my parents taught me and my own lessons, combined. We can all do without a lot in life, help eachother even when your not on thier thier favourite kind of people to have around, I ned everyone to share and get me into the next life, a happy man.
  24. ofir from israel Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 2:10 pmin the bible said that moses n eliauh the prophet fast for 40 days n its outstandig! but 6 month??? i realy dont know even israeli travelers said that its unbelieveble who can judge ? i hope doctors will test him n find if its true LOVE N PEACE FROM ISRAEL THE HOLILAND.
  25. Anne Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 4:36 pmHow could this boy go without food for so long? Consider how science has shown that every state of consciousness has it’s own state of the physiology: peole in everyday waking state typically function differently from people who are asleep and in the dream state of consciousness. The EEG brain signature will be different, as will the body chemistry, muscle tone, etc. And the subjective experience of the dreamer will be different: no matter whether the room is quiet and dark, the dreamer may see only the dream, be it of a rolling river with boaters or some kind of circus. Consider that researchers have identified more states of consciousness beyond waking, dreaming, and sleep. One research laboratory in particular, the Brain Research Institute in Iowa, has collected data on the physiology of higher states of consciousness. The point I want to make is this: If knowledge is different in different states of consciousness and the body even functions differently in different states of consciousness, then who are we, who are set up in ordinary waking state of consciousness, to judge the validity of another person who has been comfortably sitting in one place without concern the pleasures of the senses which we — and certainly any fifteen-year-olds we know — have come to take for granted, like nice food, a warm bed, the company of friends, and some entertainment, not to mention the opportunity to stand up and stretch, yawn, blink and look around at what’s on TV tonight? Perhaps his inner vision is captivated by something much more compelling to him than what is available in the immediate senosry environment. At the very least, if one cannot be impressed that he is alive and healthy after all his rigors, I for one must marvel at his one-pointed discipline and aspiration for one so young. Enlightenment is real and there are not only many such fortunate human beings who have attained it who have been recorded in history, but there are quite a number existing in the world today, though not in the public eye.
  26. Jim Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 4:44 pmAnne,In the abstract I sympathize with what you’re saying, but there are some very practical details that I just can’t help but focus on.MIND ASIDE, how does a body survive without food or water for six months? I mean, evaporation happens, right? In order for the body to work, there must continue to be water there, chemically speaking. So if he doesn’t have water, how does he do it? Same goes for electrolytes and such — they must be replaced. Thought takes calories, since it is a physical activity of the brain. Where do the calories come from for six months without food?A kid sitting in the same position for six months I can buy. A kid doing so without food or water? That’s a real stretch of credulity when it comes to the basic science aspects of maintenance of a human body. Strong claims require strong evidence: if they can actually factually demonstrate that he’s done this, I’ll be amazed and awed and fall right in line. But until they do, given what we know about human bodies, I’ll just continue to be skeptical along with jclifford.
  27. Eliska Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 4:44 pmWhat is the purpose of your life? You seem to contemplate about it.
    That might simplify the discussion , because sometimes it gets unnecessarily aggressive.Don´t you think?
    There is somebody -peacefully sitting, on his own.
    Do you really suspect that he has been sitting there – even if only during the day light as somebody suspects- 12-14 hours a day motionless, 180days – just to make business selling his pictures? That sounds really silly, doesn´t it?
    Isn´t even that peace and persistence admirable.
    Be peaceful in mind not to judge too fast.
    Take care, all people of good will.
  28. Jim Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 4:54 pmDo you really suspect that he has been sitting there – even if only during the day light as somebody suspects- 12-14 hours a day motionless, 180days – just to make business selling his pictures?It’s not proven that he’s doing that. But even if he is, then YES! I do suspect that. If you go to the original Telegraph UK article, you’ll find that there are people making money hand over fist from the episode. People have done loads of weird things for money. Marrying Michael Jackson is just a starter.What did P.T. Barnum say?There have not been any documented, proven historical examples of people subsisting without food or water for six months. Not any. There have been loads of documented, proven historical examples of people pulling the wool over other people’s eyes with false claims of extraordinary feats.Look. I’m not saying it’s not true. I’m just saying that it’s such a strong claim that there had better be some pretty strong evidence before I accept that it is true.
  29. Malt Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 6:45 pmOver 10,000 daily are estimated to be visiting the ‘meditating boy.’ Plenty of money is exchanging hands over this story. With an agnostic Jewish Father and an agnostic Christian Mother cynicism has often got the best of me. I need to see. I need to know. I have fasted with only water for 10 days. After 3 days the hardest craving for food lessens. As long as you don’t attempt much physically or get tasked mentally, 3 to 5 weeks doesn’t sound out of the realm of possibilities providing water is administered. 6 months? I think something is going on behind closed drapes regarding nourishment.
  30. Eliska Says: 
    November 29th, 2005 at 4:51 amTo Malt:
    I do admire your strength to endure a 10-day fast.However, the fact that it has been difficult for you to maintain without food for 10 days or even 30 days does not necessarily mean that there is not strenght
    that can nourish the boy.Even though our “scientists´” measuring devices cannot detect it 
    For Jim:
    Just to support your strong YES, try to cross your legs, man, and sit totally still – at least for
    2 hours e.g.on Saturday – not to “lose” much of your time. Go for this test to find out what you claim.
    I am really curious.
    I do not want to be mean.
    Good luck with anything you do.
  31. babs Says: 
    November 29th, 2005 at 5:10 amAs far as I know, many buddhist monks meditate or a very long time. If you want to become a Lama, I think you need to meditate for three years. But that doest not meen, no food at all. I read that other monks feed them once a day with some soup and help them with going to the toilet. But I think its only once a day. There are stricter and less strict times. I dont think it ist important if he eats or not.
  32. Jay Says: 
    November 29th, 2005 at 12:15 pmas is most often the case, it’s likely all “true”.
    as in “All religions are true, but none are literal.”
    – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Mythby that i mean several things:
    — there is indeed a boy, Ram
    — he is a devout Buddhist
    — he has meditated for months beneath a pipal tree
    — he is fasting
    — none have seen him eat/drink/eliminate-waste during the day
    — none have seen him move during the day
    — he is a true mystic, vastly different from other people
    — though not yet enlightened, he is probably well on his way
    — he probably was bitten by a snake, though it was likely non-toxic
    — some people see the forehead light, as people see lots of things
    — perhaps the forehead light is real, perhaps not; it matters little
    — he has many followers
    — his followers have sequestered Ram from other people
    — his followers have turned the pristine jungle into a mecca of business
    — maybe he moves/eats/relieves at night, maybe not; but probably soit’s all perfectly natural. and in man’s endless quest to transcend the inevitable separation from reality (dellusion) and the separation from life (death) … we transform natural events into supernatural events … via story, fable, mythology, religion.all perfectly natural.it matters more that he is being mythologized while working to transcend thought/belief/dellusion/mythology itself … than it matters whether he is enlightened, a new buddha, a forehead shiner, a divine entity, or a transcender of bodily functions.once again, all perfectly natural.
  33. abby Says: 
    November 30th, 2005 at 5:20 amIt is amazing. its like a new diet
  34. seamus Says: 
    November 30th, 2005 at 12:06 pmTrue, not literal, myth! That’s it. Myth being actually not true, not false. And myth is natural. Some need it, naturally, some don’t. Some wonderful myths about figures like Jesus and Buddha have helped many of us along the way, myself included. Perhaps young Ram Bomjon’s myth can also help with transcendence, who knows. Or not. It’s lovely, he looks so peaceful in the pictures, I don’t need it, though. Thank you. What is that?
  35. Eliska Says: 
    November 30th, 2005 at 12:40 pmAt last, an interesting contribution. Thanks a lot, Jay.
  36. Urmyteacher Says: 
    December 1st, 2005 at 4:13 pmSo what he is sitting under a tree! Does sitting alone make one enlightened? I think not! If he is enlightened will it help anyone else? If so how? The proof will come or be shown when the kid speaks or acts. At this time its just a group of people with the hope of something wonderful. It is all about someone sitting and meditating something that is being done around the world every day. It has been said he hasn’t had anything to eat or drink but that has not been verified. I say once again big deal… What would really be the big deal is if the kid actually would be able to lead people to some type of peace or happiness.On another note how would it help anyone else because buddhism states that one can not become liberated by the work of another….
  37. Miss Starling Says: 
    December 3rd, 2005 at 10:49 pmTo Joan–“Sorry, Chris, but the statement “consider that ALL the problems we face in our world are created in the human mind” takes a big leap of faith to accept. That’s a statement of Buddhist dogma, not a self-evident truth.You are taking another big leap of faith in stating that this boy is sitting still out of compassion. First of all, you don’t know that he has been, in fact, sitting still. ”
    ———————————————————————————————
    Ok, Joan, you do make some valid points, as does everyone on here.I only have one thing to say.
    It may be very true..for YOU and maybe a huge leap of Faith for anyone in your religion.
    I don’t know what your religion is, so I cannot say. I think everyone who ever talks about
    huge leaps of faith..needs to remember that Ram Bomjon is Buddhist. In the religion of
    Buddhism,People don’t rely on their faith. Buddhism is about being yourself.
    Trusting yourself. Connecting with yourself.One thing that is Necessary to know when
    discussing this is that Ram Bomjon wasnt concerned with Faith when he began.
    Buddhism is about trusting your intuition.
  38. Ram Says: 
    December 5th, 2005 at 12:20 amIs the boy really sitting under the tree, and is he enlightened?Meditation doesn’t make you enlightened, you are enlightened already. I may say I don’t believe in that which is beyond knowledge, or that I do–or I may let my dog sit with me at the table and eat off a plate. The tree is no tree. The boy is no boy. Sitting is not sitting.Therefore throughout space and time, the boy sits under the tree, and he is enlightened. Yet never in any place has a boy sat under a tree, and he is not elightened.
  39. physician Says: 
    December 5th, 2005 at 8:02 pmBuddha boy may be dead soon. It does appear he has gone several weeks without eating or drinking. It is possible to do so in a catatonic state. My guess is that this isn’t fakery but he has a psychiatric illness now compounded by weakness and delirium. Delirium can feel ecstatic, which is why he is continuing, but I’m betting he won’t survive much longer. The end will come when he “disappears.” rather than his followers face the humiliation that he died of kidney failure and dehydration/starvation. When his body disappears it will be forever a mystery and a miracle!
  40. Michael Says: 
    December 7th, 2005 at 9:30 amHello everybody,There is certainly an explanation. For me, who follows the footsteps of Buddha, I’m really not worried about the boy and about what’s happening. I think he has no pain and that what’s happening around him doesn’t harm him. If he would disappear, so be it. Because he is in devotion to Buddha, there will not be any problem for his mind. Just leave him tranquil I would say and may you prayers of love join his practice. What he’s actually doing is incredible: he’s showing an example. Though we maybe can’t practise like him today or neither in this life, there are practices in all the Buddhist traditions that are conducive to such a Samadhi.This boy is telling me that I should practise as good as I can so that I’m not only will be prepared to death but also so that I can free myself and that as a Bodhisattva and a Buddha I will also be able to help to free others. People just can’t realise a little bit what a Buddha is in his action, and if they would, there wouldn’t be anything else they want to achieve. That’s my faith, and I believe it’s the one of the boy too. But as somebody already said, with the devotion of this boy, it’s as if faith is transcended …But there are different kinds of faiths, and more than I’m telling you here. Though I follow the steps of Buddha, I ‘m not a Buddhist in actual fact, although others would say I am. But its point of view gives the only way on how to become a Buddha. And because I’m not a Buddhist, I could also easily talk from the point of view of a Christian: I believe in God, it’s to say in the existence of God. Because with “existence” you don’t mean God the Creator is real but what it represents is real. Something exists because you give it a name. What it represents helps us to become close to what is real. From the Christian point of view (at least it was like that in the beginning) and from other religions, I can become close to God but not become God. From that point of view I can say to a Christian that I believe in God, I believe what he represents. And I “believe” because I don’t know what he represents exactly. None of the Christians can say what he is exactly. In Buddhism you can become Buddha, they say. Buddha said you can become Buddha too and it looks like he said how too. Whether Jesus said I’m a child of God. Buddha isn’t a child of God. When I looked closely, I saw that Dharma was really transcending everything.Believe me or not, but reciting the Bible with comprehension is a blessing that you can feel, stronger and stronger. Though I would encourage everybody to follow the teachings of Buddha, other religions are also very much useful. There is nothing wrong in the other spiritual traditions that should be authentic by definition. I think we need to learn more to see which traditions surround us, and how we can make this world sacred. Of course, without mixing all our traditions but through profound comprehension of each one (according to your capacity, because it’s already a big challenge to achieve one practice). We should not mix up the different traditions otherwise anything wouldn’t be comprehensible anymore.You see also that a conversion to one religion or spiritual tradition is not really possible. Because we’re changing all the time, we can’t really identify ourselves. And it would mean that we forget to put ourselves in the place of others. We would forget how compassion rises in each one of us.Because I understand somehow the law of cause and effect, I can know that what I am and what I do now is a result of the past. So the experiences I’ve had in Christianity and those I’ve had in Reiki and mostly in Buddhism, all the experiences I’ve had in my life are a cause to my result. That’s why I try to do no harm, cultivate a wealth of virtue and to control this mind of ours. This resumes the teaching of all the Buddha’s said the Buddha. If I apply myself to that, it will have a great effect.How we can actualise that in our world is quite a big issue. First we should train ourselves and not the others. But how can we integrate that in our life?Liberation is the simplest thing to live they say. But there is a path to it.I know some masters who are very skilful in teaching you that. For example, in the Tibetan tradition, Sogyal Rinpoche, who wrote the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. But there are others you can find, in different traditions. In other religions and spiritual traditions there are also masters. As a matter a fact there are teachings in Buddhism from very great masters on how you can actually find such an authentic master. It’s not easy, because if you think you find him or her, you still have to recognise him or her.So you can see what we think from a buddhist point of view about the boy (at least if I’m not wrong). To sit there every day is already an accomplishment, to sit there also in the night without eating would be an extraordinary revolution in our world. I hope we can examine the case without disturbing him in his meditation. I believe that the people around him are afraid he can be disturbed or even hurt if somebody is able to throw something at him. We have to wait and see. But isn’t it a great inspiration to practise with our mind. We should not lose our time.Good luck everybody.P.S. Dharma is above religion itself, they say. What does that mean?
  41. Kate Says: 
    December 8th, 2005 at 7:02 amI don’t know if this is real or not, but who are we to judge? I’m just amazed that the boy can sit still for so long, let alone without food or water!
  42. Dr. Null Says: 
    December 8th, 2005 at 1:47 pmThe human body can last for many days without food, on average 40 to 50 days. Water is a different story. A person will die within 3 to 4 days. The body structure and developement really makes no difference either. This boy is either one of four things; a scientific anomaly, a spiritual leader in the making, a hoax, or quite possibly dead.
  43. paisley jude Says: 
    December 8th, 2005 at 3:47 pmI’ve been reading articles on this subject for days now and part of me thinks that maybe it is just a hoax, but a strong part of me feels a connection to Bomjon. I realize that the body needs water, food and exersize to survive, but I can’t help feeling that maybe this is the real deal, someone who really wants to find enlightenment. I also have read that people who make pilgramages to the site have been leaving rubbish around the forest. Even if this is just a huge hoax, we should still respect the nature of the forest.
  44. Bart Says: 
    December 9th, 2005 at 11:52 pmIs this boy true? As Jay says ‘all is true, just not literal’(paraphrasing)…but here we are, people around the world, earnestly vindicating our positions of belief all because a boy in Nepal has sat down beneath a giant pipal tree and inspired all of us to look a little further into our own hearts and minds searching for ‘truth’. Yes…he is true in that I stopped to read this small article in my wife’s People Magazine, taking a break from my privileged multimillionaire life, and realized I would like to be a little more like this child. A little more devotion to thought and tranquility and a little less caught up in this game of moremoremore I somehow started playing and haven’t found nearly as satisfying as this dirty, skinny kid seems to be. A Buddha? I have no clue. A morsel of food and a sip of water in the dark? I certainly hope so. But is he true, by inspiring an image in my mind of something more simple and pure to think upon? Yes, my dear Virginia, he is true.
  45. Michael Says: 
    December 12th, 2005 at 6:40 amEven if he eats or drinks a little bit… But we maybe still need to learn more about them and above all about ourselves of course to believe or know how it is possible.
  46. Michael Says: 
    December 12th, 2005 at 7:53 am… or just to believe or know what’s possible. What’s our potential and what’s that of the others? Our conditions and circumsatances make it sometimes impossible to know. Transcending these conditions and circumstances are the greatest experiences of our life. Somebody who does that whitout vanity can affect the experiences of others in the same positive way. During those times everybody is happy.
  47. Bill P Says: 
    December 12th, 2005 at 1:56 pmAnyone who believes this blindly is naive. I’m open to the idea of miracles, considering I don’t understand the universe in its entirety and probably never will. Lets see what those who are observing him objectively come up with.
  48. Steve Says: 
    December 12th, 2005 at 8:20 pmCmon be a little more sceptical guys. The sub-continent is RIFE with scams like this.Use you brain and think about this critically.HUMANS CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER FOR 6 MONTHS.Obviously people are getting food and water to him and arranging for him to go to the toilet. He is OBVIOUSLY in on the scam because he has to move eat and drink etc.Now before you get all excited.. remember this. When this story IS debunked.. when the fraud IS exposed when you hear NO more about this “miracle” don’t come sooking to me about being sorry you were such a fool to ever even entertain that this had some modicum of reality !
  49. Brandon Says: 
    December 14th, 2005 at 10:20 amYou’re an idiot.
  50. rogerwalker Says: 
    December 14th, 2005 at 5:01 pmthe moment is made of energy. If you are not in the moment, then you must be thinking. Thinking feels real. There is a feeling attached to every thought you have. Energy is a feeling…Do you feel like eating?…Do you get energy from eating? That means that it takes energy to think. Food for thought. lol
    People believe that you have to be meditating in order to be enlightened or be in the moment. I believe otherwise. Let me explain. Since thinking feels real. And dreaming feels real. Thinking is day dreaming. lol Then feeling is experiencing. Therefore every experience is in the moment. The trick is to learn how to be in the moment when you aren’t experiencing anything.
    The moment is made of energy and therefore if you are not in the moment you are thinking. If the moment is made of energy then thinking is not made of energy and is therefore made of void. ie after every thought one has they have to fidget. Thus people with ADD are always fidgetting because they are always thinking. Thus scratching feels good. It’s that itch you have to scratch. Becuase the moment feels good. It’s a balance between thinking and experiencing….Light is the moment. Night is naught-me. My theory is that we are suposed to be experiencing the moment during the day. And we are supposed to be thinking while we are sleeping. Thus night has the opposite energy to day. And therfore the defintion of consciousness and subconsciousness changes in the daytime compared to nightime.
    Everybody just wants to stop thinking. The problem is they don’t know how. Does stress feel good?
  51. c.nun Says: 
    December 15th, 2005 at 9:32 amDespite that he is getting food and water at night and going to the toilet, i still respect the fact that this 15 year old boy sits during the whole day with out moving.Man I can’t sit still for more than fifteen min.
    so I have to give some respect to this regardless. What does this kid think about all day? is he druged? This is impossible unless he is made of Wax.
  52. rogerwalker Says: 
    December 15th, 2005 at 8:54 pmThe reason why you can’t sit still is because you have to balance out all the negative feeling that you have created in your body from thinking during the day. If one is in the moment and truly meditating he is not thinking. He is not wasting any energy because he is in the moment (the moment is made of energy) and therefore has no need to eat or drink. And the older you get the more you have to think about, so I guess you must not listen very much. You also probably have problems listening to what you are reading too because I already mentioned why one has to eat in the previous paragraph. You probably believe that it is also possible to think and listen in the same time….And you probably do that all the time too. Have you ever read something while you were thinking about something else? I have and for some funny reason I can’t remember what I just read. Which means that one can only remember doing one thing at a time including thinking….
  53. Kimmi Says: 
    December 19th, 2005 at 1:05 pmBart you are absolutly on target.
  54. c.nun Says: 
    December 20th, 2005 at 1:18 pmok ……lets leave the tree alone…Buddha did not hide behind a curtain. lets respect him, but everyone should stand back and observe from a distance…no interference. Thus avoiding all these people who doubt.
  55. Davo Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 7:42 pmapparently the investigation has been conducted on this boy and the Buddhist consultative committee have ruled that he has abstained from food for over 7 months now and that he is in a deep state of meditation. They fell short of actually stating that he may possibly be on the verge of enlightenment but it’s still a distinct possibility….
  56. Jim Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 8:44 pm“Apparently?” I don’t see it anywhere in the news. Can you give me a citation? I’d be interested in reading it.
  57. Ben Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 8:58 pmI saw something about this, this morning (AEST), they mentioned something about the Buddhist council and their investigation. It said that he the boy was very weak but that they had no reason to believe that this was in any way corrupt.
  58. Davo Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 9:03 pmThanks Ben. I am glad you saw that as well. Sorry Jim it was on Fox, so I can’t provide a citation, but I am sure something will be on the net within hours.
  59. Ben Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 9:07 pmWhy did my last message dissapear?!!? I have seen this news article this morning also.
  60. Vanja Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 9:08 pmThat is correct I saw it also.
  61. darren Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 9:20 pmi have studied the history of buddah doing shaolin kung fu for 10years you learn alot about
    meditation leave this boy alone to many people are getting involved in this boys life
    and his future to become buddah is at risk its been all over the news, papers billboards
    if he fails you will all be to blame for his failure…….
  62. Matt Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 6:27 pmDarren,According to Buddhist teachings I’m familiar with, whether or not Ram Bomjon becomes a Buddha is determined by his accumulation of merit over eons of practice in countless past lives, not what people say over the internet.Apparently, your Shaolin Buddhism says differently. I have never heard of this doctrine. Please, enlighten us.
  63. davo Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 7:58 pmThere was more on that Buddha boy this morning…this time they said that he actually opened his eyes…and when he saw all the people standing around and started crying…poor little thing…He kept asking for his mummy…aaahhh!!! Then he asked for a Big Mac a quarter pounder, family fries and a coke…isn’t that sweet??? What a great kid.
  64. davo Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 8:14 pmhe just wants to go home and have some fried chicken and corn bread with hot sauce go on ram go home and have a big feed and a bath your dog milo misses you to he hasnt eatin for days and mums worried he may starve to death…..
  65. Mrs Bomjon Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 8:32 pmRam…Darling…if you can get access to the net and can read this message (even though it is in english)…Please come home!!! We all miss you here…Milo, Pa and even Uncle Joe with the Wonky leg. I am cooking grits and fried rabbit’s testicles with extra chili just the way you like ‘em. Come home sweety …evn if it is just for a haircut! I promise I won’t be mad at you like last time…Ram…Ram…
  66. ‘Pa’ Bomjon Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 8:37 pmRam…You little sonofagun…You’d betta get your cotton-picking ass home lckety split my boy…or else I’ll be forced into coming over their to nepalKathmanbuddhaland and gitting you myself…you listening to me boy…
  67. bob Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 10:28 pmi remember 1 time i myself was in deep meditation after a night of drinking i woke up and went the toilet i pushed and pushed then feel into meditation for 1hour as i kept pushing this big 10 inch turd came flying out my asshole then i was enlightened and clensed at the same time mmm i feel better
  68. V Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 10:31 pmAmazing ….hehehhehehehehehheehhehehehehehe
  69. davo Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 10:44 pmram bomjam here he sits broken hearted thought he shit but only farted
  70. rogerwalker Says: 
    December 24th, 2005 at 7:37 pmI have discovered where the mind is located…..Have you ever heard somebody say “I have a lot on my mind”, what they really meant was they have a lot to think about and can’t listen to you at the moment. And a scientist will tell you that you think in your head (brain) and therefore a thinker believes that his mind is in his head. lol So then what does mind over matter mean?, if your brain is made of matter………..Dum, da, dum, dum, dum. lol
  71. Carey the Scientist Says: 
    December 26th, 2005 at 3:08 amI think that this thread is fascinating, as it represents the fundamental views of society as a whole with respect to supernatural events. There are three basic points of view, speaking roughly of course, when it comes to such situations. One is purely scientific, and the limits of science are accepted to be the limits of the actual world. Another, the second view, is completely open, and there are no limits necessary, and science is irrelevant. The third is science-based, but allows that science is simply a theory, though a good one in that it is often explanatory. Therefore, science is used as a guide, but subscribers to the third view don’t believe unquestioningly that those phenomena that science can’t explain must not exist.Some people get very upset at the idea that phenomena for which science has no explanation may exist. They call others insulting names, refusing to examine the possibilities critically. This is the worst kind of error for a true scientist. Such bias will not lead to understanding anything new, but simply support one’s current worldview – which, it appears, these people are trying to do at all costs. They appear to be deeply scared of any challenge to what they already accept as truth.A real scientist, however, welcomes challenges, and is open to seeing how his/her theory works to explain new data, as compared with competing theories.A good scientist does not approach the study of new data (in this case, the story about the boy doing something physiologically highly improbable) with fervent hopes that his/her theory will explain it best, or anger at other possible attempts to explain it. That’s the approach of someone who feels threatened.Good scientists are always willing to revise their theories based on new data. And there is always new data coming in. Did anyone think that Newton’s laws would ever have to be revised? They explained the physical world nearly perfectly (or, arguably, perfectly, given the existence of complete vacuums such as space, and otherwise taking into account friction, etc.). But the discovery of quantum physics was essentially a realization that such laws did nothing to explain the rules of the physical world once you study it on a smaller scale. Studying particles of light, for example, Newton’s laws don’t explain how they move or how they work at all. They are both particles and waves at the same time – some physicists call them ‘wavicles’. Would Newton have frantically argued with quantum physicists, calling them names because they tried to compete with his views? I certainly hope not. Even if he had, he would have lost. The search for truth must go on.Science is a wonderful tool. It is extremely powerful. But it cannot, by definition, explain the super-natural. It is not meant to do so. So if one approaches an apparently super-natural phenomenon, limiting oneself to scientific explanations is inherently futile.There are things that happen that science cannot explain. Any good scientist admits this. Those who get angry and fight are not scientists, but merely converts to the religion of science. There is a vast difference.A scientist thinks and challenges the current theory. The current theory must always be challenged, or else it has become dogma. The current theory is always changing over time. In a hundred years, some of what we consider common-sense scientific knowledge today will have been proven incorrect. Good scientists accept this. Converts to the religion of science merely want someone else to give them an explanation so they can get back to the rest of their lives without contemplating anything deeper than getting drunk next weekend or who they’d like to have sex with. They are scared of life, scared of death, and the religion of science is a crutch on which to stand. They are indistinguishable in quality from other blind religious devotees, who don’t question the official dogma of their religion.Let’s keep our minds open, especially for data that aren’t easily explained by our theories. For a good scientist, this is often the most interesting kind of data. Insulting others does not lead to understanding. It merely shows that the offender feels threatened.Science cannot explain God, or whether or not he/she/it exists. It was not made for this task. It can answer questions such as ‘how’ and ‘what’ and ‘when’, but it cannot answer the ultimate ‘why’. Converts to the religion of science often forget this. Let’s not lose our humility, but remember that we are but tiny beings in the midst of the grand and intricate beauty that is our universe.
  72. Ralph Says: 
    December 26th, 2005 at 2:05 pmCarey,I like your comments, and I think you’re getting to some of the issues behind this. I’ve got a question for you.In your claim that science can’t explain the supernatural, are you talking about semantics or underlying realities?It seems to me that, by definition, what science can’t explain could be termed the supernatural. Conversely, what science can explain can be termed the natural. But given that science’s ability to explain things changes constantly, how can we identify a fixed referent for the terms “natural” and “supernatural?”What is your basis for making a distinction between what science does not yet understand and what science is inherently incapable of ever understanding? It seems to me that this distinction would have to be made based on some kind of knowledge about that which–we claim–can never be understood. You see the problem.As to your three types:There certainly are extreme left-wing ideologues who misrepresent science as a source of static, dogmatic truth–and as a valid basis for rigid authority. What we’re talking about here is a Marxist hack of the sort that’s really quite rare in America, despite what some right-wing propaganda would have you believe. I don’t see any of that kind of comment here.America, on the other hand, is full of millions of ideologues who misrepresent religion as a source of static, dogmatic truth that forms a valid foundation for rigid authority. In fact, this kind of view is so prevalent that some wouldn’t call it a “misrepresentation” at all. They actually claim that religion is a static source of knowledge and authority that has remained unchanged since the days of some legendary founder.Even the most hard-boiled of skeptics belong to neither extreme. An ideologue at one extreme will say: I know it’s true without any evidence. Ideologues at the other extreme will say: I know it’s NOT true without any evidence. A skeptic will say: SHOW me the evidence. Most skeptics would be quite content with the level of evidence Jesus’s own disciples are said to have received of his resurrection: examine the body post-mortem, see it come back to life, and examine the wounds.Ask a paleontologist whether a single cow skeleton in Jurassic rock strata would completely demolish his or her view of the world, then ask a religious ideologue whether ANY evidence could ever cause them to doubt their worldview. A true skeptic is committed to a dynamic world view, clings rigidly to no belief, and is open to any possibility. That’s what separates them from extremists.
  73. rogerwalker Says: 
    December 26th, 2005 at 11:30 pmThe first too great opinions out of many other opinions. Science is an agreement of opinion shared between the universal mind. Thanks for taking the time to think about science.
    I would like to start by asking a question. Is thinking the same thing as experiencing? and if so why? And how can they be related?
  74. Carey the Scientist Says: 
    December 27th, 2005 at 3:32 amRalph,let me first respond to your question, the best I can. I believe that science has the potential to understand nearly everything, as long as the definition of science is expanded from ‘work done on chemicals/particles etc. by technicians in lab suits’ to ‘a philosophy of inquiry into the condition of existence based on the scientific method’. Traditional scientists can do a lot of this, though, without expanding the definition. Quantum Physics, for example, has led to the validation of spiritual/religious concepts such as bilocation (the possibility that one entity can be in two places at the same time) that were unimaginable in science just a few decades ago. I don’t dare predict what science will explain next, but I personally believe that some of the ancient spiritual/religious insights regarding invisible energy flows (such as those utilized in acupuncture, and those claimed to comprise the soul, etc.) will be testable relatively soon (and, indeed, some already have been tested).Other aspects of human existence, such as the understanding of language, are far less understood. Linguistics (the science which takes as its focus of study human language) is relatively young/undeveloped (excepting certain ancient geniuses such as Panini), and the vast majority of the world’s languages are not even recorded and archived, let alone analyzed. Even English, the most well-studied language in the history of humankind, is far from being thoroughly understood. Linguists still can’t agree on the meaning of a word like ‘in’, for instance – there are literally several dozen articles and books written on exactly what this word means, all of them adding information or disagreeing with other linguists’ analyses or looking at it from a new direction.So, on the one hand, science is an amazing tool, but on other ways, it is in its infancy.With the expanded definition, however, I think we allow for personal experience of the human condition to be used as data. Some forms of Buddhism, for example, encourage careful scientific analysis of their benefits before wholeheartedly accepting the philosophy. This is, for me, the link between science and the spiritual, at least in my own life. I was fortunate enough to try such a meditation course, in which the teacher was adamant about the students not blindly believing in what he said, but examining the psychological/emotional changes that ensued in themselves as a direct result of practicing this type of meditation, and only continuing if they experienced effects that they considered beneficial. He would not allow the students to ‘believe’ in anything, but requested that we simply experience what the meditation technique had to offer. I would have been very skeptical about any other teaching, but I was able to open up to one like this. So, when I found that I was slower to anger, and I felt that my mind was sharper and more focused, I was able to accept that the meditation technique was beneficial without having to believe in anything. I consider this to be a scientific decision, using the expanded definition of science I mentioned above. If you accept that this is science, then you will probably agree with me that science has the potential to explain/understand much of the human condition, in addition to the physical universe in which we live.However, there are probably questions that will always be beyond the bounds of science, ever-changing as they are. Why the universe exists is certainly among them. Saying that there was a Big Bang doesn’t answer this question; it merely explains what the origins of the universe were. Why it occurred is not a question most astronomers or cosmologists care to deal with, and I can’t imagine that scientifically testable hypotheses will ever be developed with respect to such a question. Even if one says that the Big Bang was a result of the Big Crunch (the ultimate contraction of the universe, which resulted in all matter being compressed into a tiny space, such that the Big Bang occurred), the next question is why that happened, etc. Where the universe originally came from, before any Big Bang or Big Crunch, is not something science will likely even attempt to answer.Therefore, I don’t think that there is a fixed identity for terms such as ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural’, given the promise of the expansion of science in the future. This is not a problem, however, given the attested historical changes in the semantics of lexical forms. For instance, the word ‘meat’ used to mean ‘any food’. ‘Silly’ used to be ‘happy, blessed’. Some of what is ‘natural’ now might be ‘supernatural’ in a few generations, and vice-versa. I also think that there are questions that science will never be able to approach, given the limitations of the scientific method.Note that I appreciate the virtues of the scientific method deeply. In fact, it is not only essential in my profession, but I also use it to evaluate my spiritual disciplines (the meditation I mentioned earlier). But I allow for the possibility that science cannot explain everything, and I am open to intuition as another source of data. And any rational scientist must admit that the scientific method has limitations, as well.I must disagree with your analysis of the prevalence of my first type of belief. In my opinion, people, and particularly people from wealthy countries, can tend to trust their folk beliefs in science almost as a religion. I’m specifically referring to some of the comments above that say something like ‘it’s not scientifically possible, and therefore it’s not possible.’ While I have to admit that I am very skeptical that someone could possibly live for that long without water and food, I don’t want to dismiss the possibility entirely before investigating further. Nobody thought that bilocation was within the realm of possibility until recently, and it has been proven to be real. The idea of one thing being in two places at one time just doesn’t make sense, but it is the way things work, at least when we look at really small things (read The Self-Aware Universe by Goswami if you’re interested in this, and see the movie What the Bleep Do We Know). Unfortunately, I find that people who rely on folk science (i.e. what they understand to be true in science) as a crutch are everywhere in my life.Finally, I agree with your final comment about true skeptics. I would like to consider myself one, but it is really difficult to not cling rigidly to any belief. I find it fascinating that Buddhist texts describing enlightened people often focus on this aspect of their philosophy. They are claimed to adhere to no belief system, at least not rigidly, and be open to whatever life brings them. Maybe ‘enlightened’ simply means a good scientist?As for Rogerwalker’s question, I would say that thinking is an experience, and therefore the two can be synonymous. I believe that having an unconscious experience is not possible – that’s not an experience. I believe that we create our experiences by filtering what is happening through our thoughts. Therefore, two people on the same train ride, sitting next to each other, can have completely different experiences. One is in a bad mood, and sees only the smog from the factories and the poverty. The other is in a good mood, and sees the sunset and the clouds. There’s an ancient Chinese saying ‘A thief walking on the road meets the Buddha. He sees only the Buddha’s pockets.’ To me, this is talking about how our limits are what we think- all we are is what we can see.However, I also have studied what are called ‘mirror neurons’. These are neurons that, when we see someone do something, mirror the action. For example, when we see a Jackie Chan Kung-fu movie, our mirror neurons are rapidly firing away, and we’re imagining that we’re doing those motions ourselves. That’s why many people feel tired, or alternatively, charged, after seeing a movie like that. In that case, thinking (if you call that thinking, which is arguable) is less real than actually doing/experiencing. So I guess it depends on what you mean by thinking, and if you include unconscious mental processes.
  75. Ralph Says: 
    December 27th, 2005 at 2:38 pmYour conception of Buddhist adepts as scientific skeptics and Buddhist meditation as a kind of science experiment strikes me as a rather recent innovation. Out of curiosity, what Buddhist texts and forms of Buddhism are you talking about?Movies like “What the Fuck Do We Know?” grow out of a certain kind of folk religion that incorporates science into an agenda: 1. Science discovers something hitherto unknown or considered impossible, 2. The general remark is made that things that we thought were impossible are actually possible, 3. Therefore things we thought were impossible (the example is almost always a religious or philosophical doctrine that appeals to people for other reasons) might be true, according to science. There’s no logical flaw in the reasoning process, but it’s usually presented in a way that’s very misleading–to suggest scientific legitimacy for some religious or ideological claim on the very basis of the fact that it is inconsistent with scientific knowledgeI think your point about bilocation and Ram Bomjon surviving six months without food or water is an argument of the same kind: 1. We used to think bilocation was impossible, 2. Now we know it actually happens, 3. Now we think going six months without food or water is impossible, 4. But it could actually happen…Yes, weird things happen in quantum mechanics, and in relativity too. But they almost all happen on the scale of the very large or very small. Sure, anything’s possible, but do you actually have a scientific theory about how Ram has survived six months without eating or drinking?There is only one scientific theory I can come up with for how this boy has survived six months without food and water: it’s a fraud. It’s by far the most plausible theory, and it’s reinforced by the fact that his handlers have not let doctors or scientists examine him. Then there’s “what the fuck do we know?”“What the fuck do we know?” Is not a scientific theory. It’s an admission of a lack of knowledge. If you want to expand the bounds of science so that they embrace speculation made on the basis of what we DON’T know, I frankly don’t see how you can do it without losing a lot of rigor in the process.
  76. davo Says: 
    December 29th, 2005 at 12:10 amWHO CARES HAVNT YOU ALL GOT BETTER THINGS TO DO RATHER THAN TALK BULLSHIT ABOUT A BOY SITTING UNDER A TREE GO BACK AND SIT ON YOUR FAT ARSES AND WATCH YOUR DAY TIME SOAP,LET THE BOY MEDITATE LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!
  77. Carey the Scientist Says: 
    December 29th, 2005 at 8:35 amRalph,Thanks for your honest and critical viewpoint. I suspected that I might lose a pure/traditional scientific skeptic with that last post, and so I’m glad to have a chance to address your concerns.For starters, I’m talking about the Pali Suttas, the canonical texts associated with Theravada Buddhism, though I don’t believe that they necessarily represent the actual words of the Buddha, as Theravada adherents generally do. I have studied the sutras (discourses) primarily, though only in translation. My experience with Buddhist meditation is with the Vipassana technique, as taught by S.N. Goenka.You are entirely correct about the logic underlying my mentions of quantum mechanics. I use examples like these to remind myself and others that, no matter how much I/we believe that science has closed the case on a particular matter, it will always be open to question.I do not have a theory of how the boy could have possibly survived for six months without food or water, as I do not think that it’s likely that such a thing could happen. I doubt it strongly, but my point is that I don’t want to say that it’s impossible. Highly unlikely, yes, but not impossible. It would require a ground-breaking explanation to make me believe it, but I am open to the possibility of some explanation like that existing. Until someone presents me with such an explanation, I will simply say that I don’t believe it, but that I try to retain an open mind. I don’t think that I should be put in the position of having to understand the scientific theories behind everything I believe; I believe that the TV isn’t actually a group of little 2-dimensional people, but I have little or no idea of how it actually works.When I claimed to be using the scientific method, to the greatest extent possible, to examine the potential value of the meditation technique I learned, I was referring to the following methodology:First, I practiced the method, and observed various changes in my mental/emotional being. These included becoming slower to anger, being able to focus more intently, and so on. Some of these changes were purely qualitative, such as being slower to anger, and others were also partially quantitative, and more easily testable, such as the improved ability to focus. To test this, I simply focused my mind on one thing, starting as I started my stopwatch, and when I realized that my mind wandered, I stopped the watch. Because I had been interested in this possibility, I timed myself before starting the meditation course, during the course, and after the course, and found that the time I could stay focused increased rather dramatically.Second, I hypothesized that these changes were due to the practice of meditation. There were few other potentially reasonable hypotheses, but some did exist, such as the fact that I was isolated from my usual social environment, eating somewhat different food that I typically eat, etc.Third, I predicted that, as I meditated more and became more adept at meditation, I would see these facets strengthened, as well as seeing other similar changes occur. I also predicted that, even after I returned home and resumed my typical habits of food and friends, my ability to focus would not lessen significantly (testing several competing hypotheses as well).Fourth, after several weeks at home, and continuing the meditation practice for one to two hours a day, I noticed other changes in the way I dealt with emotions such as frustration, that were qualitatively similar to the initial changes I had noticed. Additionally, the time that I could focus on one thing actually increased slightly (mean time over 5 trials within a one-hour period; same as my tests before, during, and immediately after the meditation course).To me, this is nothing less than science, albeit science practiced on a truly sticky area in which to practice. It is certainly less rigorous than much hard science, but no less so, I believe than most linguistics, or certainly most social sciences. The primary problem as I see it is that the data source is the scientist himself, which is an unfortunate situation, but not an impossible one, I believe. Another problem is that the data are not easily replicable, as they are qualitative, for the most part. But I trust my determinations, and that I make them only with my search for the truth in mind, and this science is intended to convince only myself; frankly, I am not concerned with whether others come to the same conclusions as I did or not. However, I must admit that the idea of discussing my beliefs and having to defend them is intriguing to me; hence these long posts.Finally, I just wanted to respond to Davo’s comments. I assume that they express the limits of your intellectual ability, and I have no problem with that, but I fear that they also express the limits of your ability to be kind to others and accept people who are different from you, and that’s a real shame. I am not biased against anyone for having a low (or high) IQ, but people who are stingy, mean, and belittling, I feel sorry for.
  78. Carey the Scientist Says: 
    December 29th, 2005 at 6:21 pmKudos to the moderator for removing Davo’s attack. I agree that it was inappropriate, intolerant, and simply mean.
  79. slim victor Says: 
    January 1st, 2006 at 10:48 amCarey,You have a lot of interesting ideas. You think that someone can accept God based on science? That’s not real acceptance. It’s just the play world.Open your heart to the truth, and see the difference between lust and love.Heart, not just mind.Victor
  80. Ralph Says: 
    January 2nd, 2006 at 1:15 amThanks for answering me honestly, Carey, and accepting a different point of view.I notice you’re adding a lot of adjectives to the word science–”pure, traditional, hard,” etc., in what looks like an attempt to broaden the definition of science to embrace what you’re doing. You seem to want to call what you’re doing “science.” Why?A lot of work on Pali texts has tended to play up aspects of the texts that could be depicted as rationalist psychology, and play down religious aspects of the texts. Many people will tell potential Western converts that Buddhism is not a religion at all, but merely a “system of inquiry into the ultimate nature of reality” (i.e. science in so many words). Are you at all skeptical of these claims?I have some doubts about your account of meditation as an experiment on yourself.You imply that you started off the whole process without first having a fairly well-established set of ideas about what would happen as a result.It seems more likely that you entered your course of meditation with certain expectations about what results you would acheive, then tailored your activities to the pre-existing goal of gaining those results. There’s a not-at-all subtle distinction between this kind of activity and even the softest of sciences.I would guess that when you were trained in meditation, your teacher told you not only what to do but what results to expect. If you didn’t get the right kind of result, you were told to meditate again until you achieved it. That is to say, perform the experiment again and again until the results match the anticipated outcome. You see the problem, I hope, from a scientific point of view.
  81. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 3rd, 2006 at 12:41 pmI practice something called Tantra and from that have learned what enlightenment is. We are all enlightenened every day when we experience a moment. Every experience is in the moment. A moment can be infinately long. And there could never be one moment the same as another. The moment is made of energy. If your not in the moment your thinking. The moment is made of energy and if your thinking you are made of that which is the opposite of energy, some call it nagative energy or unbalance, I call it the void.
    Some budhists will talk about being in two places in the same time. Budhists are refering to a sliver of time or what I call the moment. Budhists are traveling from one place to another without thinking and therefroe experience one moment. So therefore a budhist is in two places that are in the same moment. Every moment feels the same. A moment only feels different if you are thinking and are not in the moment. If you are truly listening (not thinking)to someone you are sharing the moment with them. Every experience that every human has is in the moment. And therefore by listening to someone (being in the moment)you are giving them knowledge from everybodies experiences. Thus my grandmother talks to herself because “The older you get the more you have to thinking about” and therefore she is an energy vampire trying to suck moments away from other people. So the more time you spend thinking the more moments you will need to use and the faster you will age. I am sure that everyone will agree, experieecning and thinking are two different things although they are related to one another. Thinking is to experiencing like matter is to mind, conscious to subconscious, night to day, thinking is to feeling. There is a feeling attached to every thought you have. A thought feels real…..Life is the balance between thinking and experiencing. Have you ever noticed that when you feel good time flies? HAve you ever noticed that when you are bored, sitting around thinking time takes forever? Time travel is being in the moment and aging comes from thinking. Thus obeis people eat to feel good because they have stress caused from thinking too much lol. If experiencing feels good, then thinking feels bad. Are you thinking while you are sleeping?I believe we are. And I also believe we are aware of our dreams. HAve you ever had a scary dream that you woke up from to stop yourself from dying? Have you ever had a wet dream? Thinking feels real. Dreaming feels real. If there is a balance between thinking and experiencing during the day then theere has to be a balance at night….Now we know that you loose energy from physically experiencing the moment at night. And we get energy from dreaming. WE also know that we lose energy from thinking in the day (obeis example) and we don’t loose any energy from being in the moment (Ram Bojon). And if night is the opposite to day. Then at night we get energy from thinking (dreaming), and we loose energy from experiencing. Thus thinking is day dreaming. And the deffinition of subconscious and conscious needs to be changed because you are aware of your dreams at night. The deffintion consciousness and subconscious should be opposite in the day as it is a night. The deffintion should be You are subconscious if you are thinking and conscious if you are experiencing or subconscious is experiencing and conscious is thinking. Because you are experiencing what you are thinking while you are sleeping. Does anyone disagree?
    This is my theory of immortality. Who wants to learn how to be in the moment?
  82. slim victor Says: 
    January 4th, 2006 at 7:44 amRogerwalker,there is so much thinking behind your ideas that I wonder if you are in a self-defeating cycle. Thinking about not thinking, etc.Have you ever been sewn back into wholeness from a dispersed tangle of thoughts and intentions?Have you ever been uncontainable by this universe?Have you given yourself up to the one that shatters human intelligences like fragile glass?Have you ever died, laughing and open like a flower?Being in the moment is wonderful. If you are empty, The Friend will fill you with divinity. I’m talking about what Jesus had, what Buddha experienced. If your own personality and thoughts fill your vessel like a toxic soup, then that’s your choice. But to be empty…it’s so marvelous…. I cannot explain. Those who have experienced it, even once, for even one instant, know. But some hide their heads in the sand like scared birds, quaking in fear at the presence that fills existence once we stop imposing our own made-up ideas everywhere. Yes, I certainly agree with you that it’s good to be empty.Victor
  83. Anonymous Says: 
    January 4th, 2006 at 11:55 amI agree with imposing my thoughts being a wrong thing to do. But these are people who I can’t reach by listening. I have given reasons for them to want to learn how to stop thinking and it might not help. And I am not against thinking, I am for listening. Because what is the point of talking if the other person is thinking about saying something and therefore won’t remember what you said. I do most of my thinking when I am sleeping. lol
  84. wilson sadler Says: 
    January 4th, 2006 at 1:36 pmagain, ram bomjon is making no claims, the excitement is arising from your mind. This mind is contaminated by self grasping which cannot see clearly, because it is thinking of itself.
  85. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 4th, 2006 at 8:18 pmDo you think of your mind? What does it look like? You said exitement was arising from my mind, therefore isinuating that the mind is a feeling. Therefore the mind is the feeling and the matter is the thought. Is it possible to think of a feeling?“Thinking feels real
    Dreaming feels real”-me“Are you thinking while your sleeping?
    Thinking is daydreaming”-me“IF experiencing is a thought
    And thought is a memory
    Then experiencing is a memory”-meDo you believe that an experience is a thought because you can remember experiences by thinking and therefore the moment is a memory? Does the future already exist? Are the past and the moment the same thing? Only the moment exists. And if your not in the moment your thinking.Thinking is the opposite of experiencing but is related through memory. They are not the same thing. A feeling is attached to every thought or memory (thus you experience the feeling). Therefore if experiencing the moment one is experiencing a feeling. But the feeling is not the same thing as the thought. Feeling is the experience. Babies don’t know how to think and they still exist. That is also why a baby is listening to everything “babies are like sponges they absorb everything”. If you take away the thought the feeling still exists. If your not thinking then you are experiencing. And in order to be listening one can not be thinking, thereofre listening is experiencing. And since experiencing is a feeling then listening is also a feeling.
    Is listening a thought?
  86. Sy Says: 
    January 5th, 2006 at 11:30 amRogerwalker, you’ve been sold a load of goods. That’s not Tantra, it’s New Age B.S.
  87. Anonymous Says: 
    January 5th, 2006 at 3:59 pmknowledge is common sense….I learned that by being in the moment. ANd tantra is one way to learn how to be in the moment. In order to have multiple orgasms without ejaculating one must learn how to be in the moment. Atleast I am not old age B.S. lol. I am glad that I have the freedom to seek knowledge and am not ristricted by old beliefs. Maybe it is just a phase. I am guessing that you are someone who can’t change your beliefs. The bible hasn’t ever been changed and therefore it must be right. You won’t ever change and therefore you are right and I am wrong. ANd the world would be a perfect place if everyone was like you. Your not normal unless you are like me……Don’t compare yourself to me, because I am different.
  88. Sy Says: 
    January 6th, 2006 at 12:48 pmGee, all I said was that you’ve got no clue about the difference between Tantra and New Age B.S. From this you conclude I’m a Biblical literalist who can’t change his beliefs, etc.Did your newfound powers of “being in the moment” (um, where else would you be?) reveal all this to you? Or did you get it from “thinking?”Common sense is not knowledge. You gain knowledge by overcoming common sense. The earth doesn’t move–that’s common sense; it took human beings thousands of years of careful astronomical observation to overcome that common sense and gain knowledge. But a million years of your silly New Ageism parading around claiming to be Tantra would never do it.
  89. wilson sadler Says: 
    January 8th, 2006 at 4:44 pmrogerwalker,
    mind itself is imagined, there is no mind, as you point out, it is a concept empty of existence, as is everything else.
    because sentient beings have senses and on contact feelings, is no proof of reality which also is non-existent along with buddha, samsara and nirvana and all other concepts and phenomena.
    like this, george bush etc are just a passing result of passing causes as am.
  90. Anonymous Says: 
    January 11th, 2006 at 5:04 pmSomeone had to know the earth was moving in order to try and prove it. And do you already know what you are thinking? Are thinking and experiencing the same thing?You said,”Thats not tantra , that is new age B.S” insinuating that Tantra has nothing to do with being in the moment. You said that they were different, but had no reason, or proof to prove me wrong…..? And then I proved to you why I believed they had to be in the same category. My family is strictly religious Catholics so I am aware of their perspective on Tantra.
    Sorry, I forgot to ask you if you knew anything about Tantra. And you forgot to research it before you insulted my beliefs. Do you know how to do Tantra? Because in order to know everything about it you must know how to do it. So therefore I guess you will never know wether it is the same or other than New age B.S
    By stating that the “mind being imagined” you are refering to Mind as being a memory. If you are imagining something are you thinking? And in reality you don’t know what it is but are making a statement about it being imaginary. In conclusion the mind does have to do with your thoughts. And since a thought is a memory. And a memory comes form experiencing. Then we can conclude that the mind is used when remembering an experience. But we know that the mind is not an imagination. And therefore the only possible answer left is that we are the mind experiencing the moment. The only agument against my own is “what if you are thinking about something that hasn’t happened yet and therefore it could not be a memory?” And my answer is “you are experiencing that which you do not know and have not experienced yet and are probably wasting your time.If experiencing is a thought
    And a thought is a memory
    Then experiencing is a memoryIf one believes that thinking and experiencing are the same thing, and if one believes that experiencing is a memory then one must believe that the past, and the moment are the same thing. lol And we all know that they are not.I believe otherwise because thinking feels real. Experiencing is a feeling. And experiencing and thinking are not the same thing. Someone who is hypnotised can remember every experience because lol……….he is in a relaxed state of mind, and therefore could not be thinking…he is using his subconscious therefore could not be thinking…because if you are conscious you are aware of your thoughts and actions and if you are subconscious you are unaware of your thoughts or actions. Do you notice how one must be in a relaxed state of mind and using their subconscious in order to remember all experiences. Could it be that every experience is in the moment. And if your thinking your not in the moment. Well that would mean that experiencing during the daytime is subconscious. And if one has a lot on their minds they are insinuating that they have a lot to think about.
    So the mind is subconscious. And the matter is consciousness. Like experiencing is to thinking. They could not exist without their opposite. And in order to remember an experience one must be able to have a thought. But thinking and experiencing are not the same thing.Let me make the new deffintions clear for everyone:Thought, consciousness, conscious, matter, thinking, free will(should be will only), decisions, reasoning, dwelling, stress, unbalance, negative, time, age, past, future, are all the same if done during the day.Feeling,Subconscious, moment, memory, listening, experiencing, Free (without the will),unconcious, collective unconscious, energy, positive, telepathy, soul, balance, thoughtlessness, timelessness, imortality, instincts, . If done during the day.The deffintions change to being the opposite at night time as they are in the daytime. Thus how does one get energy from sleeping without eating or drinking anything?
  91. Sy Says: 
    January 12th, 2006 at 1:18 pmGee, you forgot to ask whether I knew anything about Tantra. How about that? Guess your “in the moment” powers have failed you. But somehow you know I haven’t researched it. Are your powers failing again?OK, without looking it up, explain to me what’s distinctive about Tantra’s understanding of prajna and upaya, and its relationship to Tantric ritual?What you’re spouting is not Tantra, but New Age disguised as Tantra. You’re either a charlatan, or you’ve been deceived by one.
  92. wilson sadler Says: 
    January 12th, 2006 at 3:34 pmfirst recognition:
    i am mentally ill because Im suffering from delusions and other mental diseases.the mind stinks, although it does not exist, in our ignorance we think it does, this results in imagined phenomena being given solid existence, the result is contaminated appearance made up by our own imagination.
    All supported by I, me, mine, myself, the self grasping.
    Seeing this self as most important and all phenomena secondarily out there.
    This is not seeing clearly, we believe the illusion that we create.
    A state of madness.
    The first recognition is about ourself, we should feel compassion for ourself and all other selves,Tantra is being in a state of freedom from this stinking mind.
  93. Sy Says: 
    January 12th, 2006 at 6:58 pmWhat stinking mind? Who is free from it?
  94. Mario Says: 
    January 13th, 2006 at 12:07 pmHello all,
    Do you have any update on Ram condition, scientific investigation results? Now he should have more than 7 months fasting.Regards
    mario
  95. Mario Says: 
    January 13th, 2006 at 1:49 pmLook for updates looking for Palden Dorje, Ram Bamjan or Buddha Gyani. There are newer notes and researches under these
  96. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 16th, 2006 at 8:05 pmIf Sy wants to know he has to experience it. How can I tell you about something you haven’t experienced.
  97. Patricia Says: 
    January 16th, 2006 at 8:23 pmHere’s how:Today, I saw an alien from outer space. It had red eyes and descended to earth in a blue spacecraft that smelled of cabbage.See, you hadn’t experienced that alien, but I told you all about it, right?It’s the sort of thing people do every day – describing things to other people that those people have never experienced.We use language to do it. Let me repeat that: Lang-U-age. Got it?
  98. Sy Says: 
    January 16th, 2006 at 10:43 pmBUZZZ!Sorry Rogerwalker, but thanks for playing. “If you want to know it, you’ve got to experience it for yourself” is New Age B.S., not Tantra.Tantra is a religion, with doctrines and rituals you clearly know nothing about.
  99. wilson sadler Says: 
    January 17th, 2006 at 5:07 amtantra is mahamudra, the union of bliss and emptiness not the doctrines and rituals that might if practised with effortless effort assist one.Mahamudra is non-mindparadox: negate the non-existent?
  100. special needs Says: 
    January 17th, 2006 at 7:16 ammario, i havn’t been able to find any updates on the childs condition either.
  101. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 18th, 2006 at 3:37 pmIs mind control better, or to be out of your mind (not in control of your mind)?
    I brush my teeth every night. I eat every day. Are those rituals. Does the church have rituals?
    Tantra is a sexual ritual. When you have sex do you have rituals that you do every time?
    If one is full of thought is he happy? Is thinking a ritual?
    By non mind they mean non thinking. Is it possible to experience without thinking? Is experiencing a thought? Is experiencing the same as thinking?
  102. Juniper Says: 
    January 18th, 2006 at 4:32 pmIs asking questions a form of answering?
    Is a turtle a car wax or a kind of candy that combines chocolate and nuts?
  103. Tony Says: 
    January 19th, 2006 at 1:21 pmJuniper,There are answers to your questions:Is asking a form of answering? When the question is rhetorical, more or less. Rhetorical questions allow me to suggest an answer without having to go to the trouble of actually giving a straight answer.Is a turtle a car wax or a kind of candy? Both. The word turtle has multiple meanings. It refers to an animal that is flat underneath and round on top, and therefore by extension to a kind of candy that has that shape. The animal in question also has a hard shell–suggesting the kind of protective surface marketers of car wax decided to market through the selection of the brand name “turtle wax.”Yes, Juniper. We can answer our questions. You did want answers to those questions, didn’t you? I mean, you didn’t want to just ask those questions, then say “Whoa!” and call it profundity? That would have been, like, bogus.
  104. Juniper Says: 
    January 19th, 2006 at 2:05 pmYes, and rogerwalker’s profound questions surely aren’t bogus. Surely. Right?
  105. Tony Says: 
    January 19th, 2006 at 5:22 pmAre they bogus?What is the essence of bogusness?Paradox: Is bogusness bogus?
  106. Juniper Says: 
    January 19th, 2006 at 5:33 pmTony, it saddens me that your mind is so closed that you would call my questions bogus.How can you understand what is and what is not bogus unless you have yourself been bogus?
  107. Tony Says: 
    January 20th, 2006 at 5:50 amWell, I’m sad you’re sad, because it proves you’re not enlightened.If you were enlightened, you would realize that all is one.If all is one, bogusness is enlightenment and enlightenment is bogus.
  108. headfacemouth Says: 
    January 30th, 2006 at 4:57 amSy, Patricia, and Rogerwalker,I have started a new post in the Irregular Times Discussion Forum based on your discussion. Please feel free to respond there. It is under Philoshopy and called “Language and Experience”.
  109. Tony Says: 
    January 30th, 2006 at 10:05 amWell, headfacemouth, what would you say to the argument that nothing you say convinces me of anything–because I haven’t “experienced it?”Of course language is symbolic, which seems to be your point. But that basic fact gets used to say that you can’t really say anything–apparently the irony of saying you can’t say something is lost on the person who says it.Rogerwalker’s question: How can I tell you about something you haven’t experienced?
    Patricia’s answer: People use language to describe things other people haven’t experienced all the time.Where in this did anyone say or imply that language IS experience, or that it somehow conveys experience directly? I don’t think anybody is denying that language is a set of symbols that can be used to convey experience. The set of symbols itself is limited, but the potential to combine those symbols to convey meaning is infinite, and the symbolic system has the power to describe things to people who have not experienced them.
  110. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 30th, 2006 at 5:01 pmIf your thinking about what I said your not listening to what I am saying. And if your thinking about saying something your not listening to me. Is listening a thought?
    What is the point of telling anybody anything when they are not listening to you. And besides, since every experience is in the moment. And your ears are one of your senses used to experience the moment. Then listening is experiencing. And by listening one is sharing the moment. By asking a question one has the oportunity to listen. Since listening is sharing the moment, and every experience I had was in the moment then by listening I am teaching (sharing with) them everything I know from my experiences.
  111. Tony Says: 
    January 31st, 2006 at 1:27 amIf I’m thinking about saying something, I’m out of the moment. But if I’m experiencing anything, I’m in the moment.What if I’m experiencing thinking about saying something? Every experience is in the moment, so therefore I must be in the moment. But at the same time I’m thinking about saying something, so I must be out of the moment. I guess I’d be in and out of the moment at the same time!What if I think of saying that I’m experiencing thinking about saying something. Am I back out of the moment I was in by virtue of experiencing the moment I was out of?If I experience thinking of saying that I’m experiencing thinking of saying something, am I in and out and in and out of the same moment at the same time, or am I in and out of more than one moment?Wheeee!
  112. JM Says: 
    January 31st, 2006 at 4:52 amMore on Ram Bomjon from his land is found at link http://www.nepalitimes.com/issue/281/NepaliPan/10147
    and on http://www.blog.com.np/2006/01/23/ram-bahadur-bomjan-the-buddha-boy
    Also on http://www.kantipuronline.com/feature.php?nid=63824
    and on http://www.blog.com.np/?p=1035/
  113. rogerwalker Says: 
    February 2nd, 2006 at 9:53 pmYou are experiencing what you are thinking. But if you are thinking then you are not in the moment. Because experiencing is not a thought. Are experiencing and thinking the same thing?When you said in and out of the moment at the same time, did you mean being able to do two things in the same time? (multitask)
    One can do many things at the same time, but will only remember doing one thing at a time including what he is thinking. So if you are thinking about saying something you are not listening to me….and you won’t remember what I said.
  114. Tony Says: 
    February 3rd, 2006 at 9:27 pmSo, if you experience thinking, you experience what you think. But if you think, you are not in the moment. How do you have an experience that’s out of the moment? Is the experience in some other moment, or outside of time altogether?
  115. headfacemouth Says: 
    February 3rd, 2006 at 9:37 pmTony,Let me first respond to your question about the ‘argument’ that
    “nothing you say convinces me of anything–because I haven’t “experienced it?”I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make, but I’ll answer the best I can.
    Being convinced of something is up to the listener. You decide if you are convinced or not, so whether you have experienced it or not is up to you to factor into the equation.If you are trying to ask me if someone who hasn’t experienced something can understand my explanation, I would answer that they cannot understand, at least in the way that I do (assuming I’ve experienced it). The best they can do is to use the guide of their own experience to imagine what I mean.As for your next statement:
    “Of course language is symbolic, which seems to be your point.”If you read my post and that’s all you got out of it, I guess that’s something, though I didn’t limit myself to that point. The basic nature of language being distinct from that of direct experience was probably a more basic point, and I mentioned the symbolic nature of language as one piece of evidence to support that idea. I also mentioned the fact that it’s more fundamental and temporally prior both in the development of human beings as a species and in the development of the individual as a child. I went into a bit of detail about how language forces us to make choices as to what we want to express, and the we are forced by limitations such as time to leave out almost all information surrounding a state or event we describe. I didn’t mention the fact that some people can’t speak, but everyone can experience humanness, but that’s relevant as well.And your next statement:“But that basic fact gets used to say that you can’t really say anything–apparently the irony of saying you can’t say something is lost on the person who says it.”I don’t know where you got the idea that I was saying that ‘you can’t say anything.’ That’s utterly ridiculous. You can say anything you want to. If you’re T.S. Eliot or Shakespeare, you can say amazing things. If you’re some schmuck who doesn’t often think more deeply than the “sex and drugs” level, you can talk about how you got drunk and vomited last weekend, and how you’re gonna get drunk again this weekend. What I’m saying is that saying something and experiencing it are distinct.Thanks, by the way, for serving as more evidence for my view. You ostensibly read my post, but took an understanding away that was far different than the one I intended. Whether this is my fault for not writing clearly enough or your fault for not ‘getting it’ is not the issue here; what is more relevant is the fact that language could not communicate my thoughts well enough so that you could grasp them.We could try again, with me rephrasing everything, and you explaining your understanding to me, and me checking various points, until we were both satisfied, but would you understand even then? How could we tell? And, even if you understood everything I wanted you to understand, would we then have a shared experience? I don’t see how anyone could claim that we would.
  116. Rin_Lac Says: 
    February 6th, 2006 at 5:36 pmMind is powerful it drives you crazy
    The practice of meditation is fixing the mind in one point,
    thats not easy it takes a lot of practice and discipline to master.
    The goal in meditation is not to be slave by our owned mind.Try to practice these gift and we will get freed from our deluded mind and
    false ego.

Ram Bomjon and the Development of Myth

by jclifford @ 9:08 pm. Filed under GeneralReligion

Looking for a different kind of story to think about during the Thanksgiving holiday? One that’s not yet all over the blogosphere? How about trying Ram Bomjon on for size.

Ram Bomjon Nepal buddha

Ram Bomjon is, his followers say, a new buddha. Buddha meditated for 49 days under a pipal tree. Ram Bomjon, it is said, has been doing so for six months, and continues to do so today, even after being bitten by a snake – and he is just a 15 year-old boy.

Is it for real? Well, I’m suspicious Ram’s closest followers won’t allow outsiders in to inspect the boy – not even doctors. Of course, it makes for a good story, which is why thousands of people are making pilgrimages to the site. What do they expect to get out of the trip? What will taking a look at the boy do for them? Does enlightenment rub off?

Before we get too critical of the pilgrims in Nepal, we ought to remember that similar numbers of people here in the United States will make pilgrimages, and pay money, to see Mariah Carey.

As you take a second helping of Thanksgiving Dinner, you might want to think about Ram Bomjon, and the legend of six months without a bite to eat. But then, you also might want to think about a community of people in Nepal who are making an awful lot of money from the visitors who are coming to see this teenage mystic, and consider how thankful they are for that.

Related Posts:Ram Bomjon’s Handlers Under InvestigationPhotos Show Ram Bomjon MovedIs Ram Bomjon the AntiChrist?Ram Bomjon and TemptationWhat are We Talking About This Week? A Tag Cloud for Irregular Times

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116 Responses to “Ram Bomjon and the Development of Myth”

  1. HareTrinity Says: 
    November 22nd, 2005 at 4:16 pmReminds me of that “woman who can life off just sunlight” scam. At least this one doesn’t seem to have followers starving themselves to death.
  2. RS Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 12:15 amSounds too good to be true. However, a lot of “miracles” Jesus performed were hard to believe as well. If you believe in Biblical facts, why can’t this be true?
  3. Parupta Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 1:20 amThat “if you believe in Biblical facts” part is a big if.I think that’s your point, though, isn’t it, RS – that belief in Biblical claims is kind of like believing that this kid in Nepal has really been sitting absolutely still without a bite to eat or drink for 6 months.
  4. Someone Who Knows Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 7:45 amAll three of you are idiots.
  5. Peregrin Wood Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 9:26 amThat’s what I love about spiritual people. They’re so wise – like this person who goes by the label “Someone Who Knows”. Deeply spiritual people like this are always going around at peace with the universe, with a balanced mind disciplined through meditation, saying things like “All three of you are idiots.”Tell us more, oh guru!
  6. Charles Says: 
    November 24th, 2005 at 9:18 pmI think it could very well be true, i’m no bible thumper, but i do belive. If god wants us to sit under a tree for six months or six years, he can make it happen.
  7. Ed Says: 
    November 25th, 2005 at 12:01 amGee, Charles, that’s a very neat little statement of belief. Pure belief. Yet, you don’t bring any argument or evidence to support your belief. You’ve just said what you believe, as if that stands on its own.In particular, I’d like an explanation of why any supernatural being would want a 15 year old boy to sit still under a tree without eating, drinking or taking a shit for 6 months. What could the cosmic rationale for that be?I could just as easily say that I believe that Madonna is a man – no evidence, no proof, not even an argument about why such a belief makes sense. I could just declare that I believe that Madonna is a man. Doesn’t make it true.
  8. Irregular Times: News Unfit for Print » Blog Archive » Ram Bomjon’s Handlers Under Investigation Says: 
    November 25th, 2005 at 5:32 pm[…] Four days ago, I wrote about Ram Bomjon, the 15 year-old boy in Nepal who claims to have not eaten, taken a drink, or moved at all in six months. Bomjon’s followers call him the new Buddha. I expressed some skepticism about the claims of Bomjon, especially since no one, not even medical doctors, were being allowed closer to Bomjon than 15 feet. […]
  9. Chris Says: 
    November 25th, 2005 at 9:07 pmIn responce to Ed above. For those who have engaged in serious, ie sitting regularly for at least an hour a day, meditation, you get a different veiw. If you consider that ALL the problems we face in our world are created in the human mind, then it is there that the answer must lie. Sitting completely still in meditation brings you directly into contact with the process of your own mind. In this way we CAN find a way to come to a practical and first hand understanding of how suffering in the mind originates. This was the practice which bought Gotama Buddha out of suffering. Since that time his practical technique has been practice by many with the same result, a reduction in suffering in the mind. This is a direct, practical and compassionate response to sufering. The point I am making is that it is not about a super being wanting a boy to sit for 6 months, it is just that this boy has such intense longing to end suffering that he would have the focus and concentration to do this . This degree of concentration is the depth of his compassion. This is a sign or symbol of an incredible level of human compassion. When we persist is creating such suffering for ourselves and eachother, this example is a reminder of our potential to rise beyond our own expectations, and limitations. To anyone who has not experienced serious sitting meditation, I recommend doing a Vipassana course in the Goenka tradition, where you get the chance to sit 10 hours a day for 1 days. This will certainly give you much insight into the significance of this act. xxx
  10. Joan Says: 
    November 25th, 2005 at 9:35 pmSorry, Chris, but the statement “consider that ALL the problems we face in our world are created in the human mind” takes a big leap of faith to accept. That’s a statement of Buddhist dogma, not a self-evident truth.You are taking another big leap of faith in stating that this boy is sitting still out of compassion. First of all, you don’t know that he has been, in fact, sitting still. Secondly, you don’t really know why he’s doing it. There’s nothing in any of the news reports that suggests that compassion is the primary motivation, and the boy’s committee of supervisors won’t let anyone see him now, much less talk to him.You’re making a lot of statements based on what you hope to be true – not based on what you really know.
  11. Chris Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 9:18 amHi Joan
    What do we “really know”? Have you as I suggested sat for 10 days in silence? Certainly to verify anything from “external” experience, which seems to be your stand point, is contrary to all Spiritual teachings. It is not a question of faith but rational. It is not difficult upon inspection to realize that our senses are easily fooled. Perhaps that is why the emphasis in Spiritual practice is to go within, know thyself, kingdom of god is within, become and island unto yourself, cease the turnings of the mind. I paraphrase from Christian Vedic and Buddhist teaching.The statement that all the problems we face originate from the human mind IS self evident TO ME, and certainly takes no leap of faith.You are relying to much on external senses. Nothing can be proved. Try sitting!Chris
    xx
  12. Joan Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 11:14 amChris,It’s kind of arrogant for you to think that I don’t sit and consider. No, I don’t and can’t take ten entire days out of my life to sit at some spiritualist spa and contemplate my navel. But I know this much – there is a difference between me and the rest of the word. There is a separation between my mind and the world outside it. My mind cannot create external reality just by thinking really hard. That’s a fact, and it’s also a fact that all these pray for peace or meditate for peace activities don’t work.Sorry, but there are good standards of proof for truly rigorous minds to understand and use. For you to pretend that there are none is to jump in with both feet to the mentality of the intelligent design crowd, which fails to understand how science works.My mind did not create Hurricane Katrina, okay? That storm did not originate in anyone’s mind, as much as this Buddhist claptrap might want me to pretend it does. Please take a step outside your dogma for a minute – long enough to consider rejoining the reality based community.
  13. moondo Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 4:48 pmI wouldn’t compare a meditating boy to Mariah Carey. They are different in nature. Mariah Carey seeks to be famous, buddha kid seeks nirvana. The industry that grew because of that kid is not his intention, only a bunch of opportunists.But I admire that kid. Even if the article is not completely true and he had sat down for only one or two days in meditation, that’s far better than most of the 15yr old brats you find around the US. It’s hard to find kids with good manners, or common sense. I noticed how the youth can’t seem to focus… seriously it’s as if they all acquired attention deficit disorders. Maybe it’s the food and our culture.
  14. Odd Claude Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 8:32 pmI don’t know, moondo. Did you notice the update article indicating that Ram Bomjon’s inner circle is now under investigation for embezzling money and defrauding pilgrims? Sounds to me like the Ram Bomjon – Mariah Carey comparison, if unfair, is only unfair to Mariah Carey.
  15. Jim Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 8:50 pmOdd Claude,Not necessarily. It may be that Ram Bomjon is himself an innocent while he is surrounded by people who abuse his innocence. Right?
  16. Chris Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 9:04 pmTo JoanWhen I say “sit” I am refering to meditation not just “sitting”. If you take the sitting meditation out of Buddhism what are you left with? Meditation can not be compared to consideration. One is a cognitive process and the other is the release from all cognitive process. Your comments only further underline your inexperience of the process of meditation and its aim. The point you make about the hurracaine. I think that that is just a reactionary comment. We are always going to be vunerable while we are in this body. We are frail and vunerable, and also this body is temporary, we know that. I am not suggesting that by controlling nature we can cease to suffer as you think I am suggesting. Indeed we can only surrender to nature as it is so imensly powerfull. Maybe you think we can control it with science??? Once we have surrendered then the intelligent observation is, that it is our reaction to experience, not the experience itself, which we can take control over. But this can only be accomplised through dedicated and regular, and serious practice of meditation. Gradually we can begin to come out of suffering. This is the process which as I understand it Gottama taught.If I can not end my own suffering then I am in no position to help others. I am not fool enough to think that I hhave to control the weather in order to be happy, this is just plain ignorance.As I said before, maybe you ought to find the time to sit for the 10 day course. It is most probabley the most efficienct use of time possible. An interesting and pragmatic experience.Chris
  17. Jim Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 9:17 pmChris,I don’t agree with you or Joan precisely, finding myself in the middle when it comes to my position. What strikes me is that your description of meditation as a “dedicated, regular and serious” practice is also a description that can be applied to science. Both are disciplines. The two have different purposes and different outcomes. While I’m not a meditator, I think I am ready to accept that the exploration of both disciplines might have value, although that doesn’t mean I’m willing to expend the energy to explore either one, and I also think that hesitancy is OK.Do you understand where I’m coming from?
  18. J. Clifford Says: 
    November 26th, 2005 at 10:28 pmAs for myself, I think that it is reasonable to err on the side of skepticism when someone claims to not have eaten, had a drink, gone to the bathroom, or moved at all for six months – especially when that person is made unavailable for examination.
  19. A.P.MADHUSUDANAN Says: 
    November 27th, 2005 at 8:28 amFriends,
    The news regarding Nepal boy without food and water forlast six months is need more examination.So wait and watch for more detailes.
    If our science can provide answer to unconsious mind of human,in full then we can be get a clear picture of this episode and new story of incarnation.[how the natures photo copy/e-mail works.]
  20. mubb zeeb Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 8:30 ami think it is a bit supperficial to disregard these situations and say it is a spam.
    what the kid is experiencing is called samadhi and it can be attained in specific conditions in yoga.
    it is better for all of you that dought these things to have a quick research about it and about yoga, then give your opinions.
    and for your info, doctors and scientist wont find anything, cause it is beyond their understanding.
    we are trully living in an age of darkness, where the west think has the answers to everyting…….shame
  21. Mr.Komo Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 12:20 pm“Conventional thinking” relies on “mediation” whether you like it or not You can
    not. We communicate (10%)very little, as we are given you the doubt we are sinners at heart, we condemn eachother and believe that “you” are in essence, awaitning a person to disessemble, to drink his blood and be saved from anything you wish to be forgiven of
  22. Joan Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 12:29 pmwhy why you sound so aggressive, my dear. what chris meens with sitting is different from
    sitting on a chair and thinking. meditation ist different and I am afraid that you need
    to try to know. but it will take somne time. reading cook books and eating is not the same.
    of course you will have time enough fot meditation, everybody does. it is just not important to
    to everybody. one thing to the feeling of being different:
    in buddhism no one is really seperated. noone is unimportant, noone can be forgotten.
    all belong together. the pain of one hurts the other as well. sorry, my english is not good enough for explaining. good luck to all of you. maybe the boy will be a buddha someday, the world could
    need it.
  23. Native Canadian Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 1:42 pmIn respect to the introspection “soon 2B MAN” Ram Bomjon. I do admire him for his will that “Creative Spirit” gives to him. His hibernation is gonna put him ahead of his time, most “monetary gaining minds” cannot find a reason to attain this. It fills me with envy and pride(confusion!)And i support him in my prayers! For me to achieve in this in my own mind, today, given the fact that I must work and stress out on financial gains. I cant comprehend ! My spirit compells me to sit back and replan my ojective in life. Without seeking a messiah or a leader to teach me to find maturity in a structured religion. Repitition doesnt follow suite with me. My teacher is everywhere around me. In the trees and the mountains, not always from your mouth to my ears. I attribute my lessons and humbleness to some 40 people throughout my life( I am 37 today and need more to learn to give me the necessary tools to stagger onward into the next doorway, and my children can teach to be what my parents taught me and my own lessons, combined. We can all do without a lot in life, help eachother even when your not on thier thier favourite kind of people to have around, I ned everyone to share and get me into the next life, a happy man.
  24. ofir from israel Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 2:10 pmin the bible said that moses n eliauh the prophet fast for 40 days n its outstandig! but 6 month??? i realy dont know even israeli travelers said that its unbelieveble who can judge ? i hope doctors will test him n find if its true LOVE N PEACE FROM ISRAEL THE HOLILAND.
  25. Anne Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 4:36 pmHow could this boy go without food for so long? Consider how science has shown that every state of consciousness has it’s own state of the physiology: peole in everyday waking state typically function differently from people who are asleep and in the dream state of consciousness. The EEG brain signature will be different, as will the body chemistry, muscle tone, etc. And the subjective experience of the dreamer will be different: no matter whether the room is quiet and dark, the dreamer may see only the dream, be it of a rolling river with boaters or some kind of circus. Consider that researchers have identified more states of consciousness beyond waking, dreaming, and sleep. One research laboratory in particular, the Brain Research Institute in Iowa, has collected data on the physiology of higher states of consciousness. The point I want to make is this: If knowledge is different in different states of consciousness and the body even functions differently in different states of consciousness, then who are we, who are set up in ordinary waking state of consciousness, to judge the validity of another person who has been comfortably sitting in one place without concern the pleasures of the senses which we — and certainly any fifteen-year-olds we know — have come to take for granted, like nice food, a warm bed, the company of friends, and some entertainment, not to mention the opportunity to stand up and stretch, yawn, blink and look around at what’s on TV tonight? Perhaps his inner vision is captivated by something much more compelling to him than what is available in the immediate senosry environment. At the very least, if one cannot be impressed that he is alive and healthy after all his rigors, I for one must marvel at his one-pointed discipline and aspiration for one so young. Enlightenment is real and there are not only many such fortunate human beings who have attained it who have been recorded in history, but there are quite a number existing in the world today, though not in the public eye.
  26. Jim Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 4:44 pmAnne,In the abstract I sympathize with what you’re saying, but there are some very practical details that I just can’t help but focus on.MIND ASIDE, how does a body survive without food or water for six months? I mean, evaporation happens, right? In order for the body to work, there must continue to be water there, chemically speaking. So if he doesn’t have water, how does he do it? Same goes for electrolytes and such — they must be replaced. Thought takes calories, since it is a physical activity of the brain. Where do the calories come from for six months without food?A kid sitting in the same position for six months I can buy. A kid doing so without food or water? That’s a real stretch of credulity when it comes to the basic science aspects of maintenance of a human body. Strong claims require strong evidence: if they can actually factually demonstrate that he’s done this, I’ll be amazed and awed and fall right in line. But until they do, given what we know about human bodies, I’ll just continue to be skeptical along with jclifford.
  27. Eliska Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 4:44 pmWhat is the purpose of your life? You seem to contemplate about it.
    That might simplify the discussion , because sometimes it gets unnecessarily aggressive.Don´t you think?
    There is somebody -peacefully sitting, on his own.
    Do you really suspect that he has been sitting there – even if only during the day light as somebody suspects- 12-14 hours a day motionless, 180days – just to make business selling his pictures? That sounds really silly, doesn´t it?
    Isn´t even that peace and persistence admirable.
    Be peaceful in mind not to judge too fast.
    Take care, all people of good will.
  28. Jim Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 4:54 pmDo you really suspect that he has been sitting there – even if only during the day light as somebody suspects- 12-14 hours a day motionless, 180days – just to make business selling his pictures?It’s not proven that he’s doing that. But even if he is, then YES! I do suspect that. If you go to the original Telegraph UK article, you’ll find that there are people making money hand over fist from the episode. People have done loads of weird things for money. Marrying Michael Jackson is just a starter.What did P.T. Barnum say?There have not been any documented, proven historical examples of people subsisting without food or water for six months. Not any. There have been loads of documented, proven historical examples of people pulling the wool over other people’s eyes with false claims of extraordinary feats.Look. I’m not saying it’s not true. I’m just saying that it’s such a strong claim that there had better be some pretty strong evidence before I accept that it is true.
  29. Malt Says: 
    November 28th, 2005 at 6:45 pmOver 10,000 daily are estimated to be visiting the ‘meditating boy.’ Plenty of money is exchanging hands over this story. With an agnostic Jewish Father and an agnostic Christian Mother cynicism has often got the best of me. I need to see. I need to know. I have fasted with only water for 10 days. After 3 days the hardest craving for food lessens. As long as you don’t attempt much physically or get tasked mentally, 3 to 5 weeks doesn’t sound out of the realm of possibilities providing water is administered. 6 months? I think something is going on behind closed drapes regarding nourishment.
  30. Eliska Says: 
    November 29th, 2005 at 4:51 amTo Malt:
    I do admire your strength to endure a 10-day fast.However, the fact that it has been difficult for you to maintain without food for 10 days or even 30 days does not necessarily mean that there is not strenght
    that can nourish the boy.Even though our “scientists´” measuring devices cannot detect it 
    For Jim:
    Just to support your strong YES, try to cross your legs, man, and sit totally still – at least for
    2 hours e.g.on Saturday – not to “lose” much of your time. Go for this test to find out what you claim.
    I am really curious.
    I do not want to be mean.
    Good luck with anything you do.
  31. babs Says: 
    November 29th, 2005 at 5:10 amAs far as I know, many buddhist monks meditate or a very long time. If you want to become a Lama, I think you need to meditate for three years. But that doest not meen, no food at all. I read that other monks feed them once a day with some soup and help them with going to the toilet. But I think its only once a day. There are stricter and less strict times. I dont think it ist important if he eats or not.
  32. Jay Says: 
    November 29th, 2005 at 12:15 pmas is most often the case, it’s likely all “true”.
    as in “All religions are true, but none are literal.”
    – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Mythby that i mean several things:
    — there is indeed a boy, Ram
    — he is a devout Buddhist
    — he has meditated for months beneath a pipal tree
    — he is fasting
    — none have seen him eat/drink/eliminate-waste during the day
    — none have seen him move during the day
    — he is a true mystic, vastly different from other people
    — though not yet enlightened, he is probably well on his way
    — he probably was bitten by a snake, though it was likely non-toxic
    — some people see the forehead light, as people see lots of things
    — perhaps the forehead light is real, perhaps not; it matters little
    — he has many followers
    — his followers have sequestered Ram from other people
    — his followers have turned the pristine jungle into a mecca of business
    — maybe he moves/eats/relieves at night, maybe not; but probably soit’s all perfectly natural. and in man’s endless quest to transcend the inevitable separation from reality (dellusion) and the separation from life (death) … we transform natural events into supernatural events … via story, fable, mythology, religion.all perfectly natural.it matters more that he is being mythologized while working to transcend thought/belief/dellusion/mythology itself … than it matters whether he is enlightened, a new buddha, a forehead shiner, a divine entity, or a transcender of bodily functions.once again, all perfectly natural.
  33. abby Says: 
    November 30th, 2005 at 5:20 amIt is amazing. its like a new diet
  34. seamus Says: 
    November 30th, 2005 at 12:06 pmTrue, not literal, myth! That’s it. Myth being actually not true, not false. And myth is natural. Some need it, naturally, some don’t. Some wonderful myths about figures like Jesus and Buddha have helped many of us along the way, myself included. Perhaps young Ram Bomjon’s myth can also help with transcendence, who knows. Or not. It’s lovely, he looks so peaceful in the pictures, I don’t need it, though. Thank you. What is that?
  35. Eliska Says: 
    November 30th, 2005 at 12:40 pmAt last, an interesting contribution. Thanks a lot, Jay.
  36. Urmyteacher Says: 
    December 1st, 2005 at 4:13 pmSo what he is sitting under a tree! Does sitting alone make one enlightened? I think not! If he is enlightened will it help anyone else? If so how? The proof will come or be shown when the kid speaks or acts. At this time its just a group of people with the hope of something wonderful. It is all about someone sitting and meditating something that is being done around the world every day. It has been said he hasn’t had anything to eat or drink but that has not been verified. I say once again big deal… What would really be the big deal is if the kid actually would be able to lead people to some type of peace or happiness.On another note how would it help anyone else because buddhism states that one can not become liberated by the work of another….
  37. Miss Starling Says: 
    December 3rd, 2005 at 10:49 pmTo Joan–“Sorry, Chris, but the statement “consider that ALL the problems we face in our world are created in the human mind” takes a big leap of faith to accept. That’s a statement of Buddhist dogma, not a self-evident truth.You are taking another big leap of faith in stating that this boy is sitting still out of compassion. First of all, you don’t know that he has been, in fact, sitting still. ”
    ———————————————————————————————
    Ok, Joan, you do make some valid points, as does everyone on here.I only have one thing to say.
    It may be very true..for YOU and maybe a huge leap of Faith for anyone in your religion.
    I don’t know what your religion is, so I cannot say. I think everyone who ever talks about
    huge leaps of faith..needs to remember that Ram Bomjon is Buddhist. In the religion of
    Buddhism,People don’t rely on their faith. Buddhism is about being yourself.
    Trusting yourself. Connecting with yourself.One thing that is Necessary to know when
    discussing this is that Ram Bomjon wasnt concerned with Faith when he began.
    Buddhism is about trusting your intuition.
  38. Ram Says: 
    December 5th, 2005 at 12:20 amIs the boy really sitting under the tree, and is he enlightened?Meditation doesn’t make you enlightened, you are enlightened already. I may say I don’t believe in that which is beyond knowledge, or that I do–or I may let my dog sit with me at the table and eat off a plate. The tree is no tree. The boy is no boy. Sitting is not sitting.Therefore throughout space and time, the boy sits under the tree, and he is enlightened. Yet never in any place has a boy sat under a tree, and he is not elightened.
  39. physician Says: 
    December 5th, 2005 at 8:02 pmBuddha boy may be dead soon. It does appear he has gone several weeks without eating or drinking. It is possible to do so in a catatonic state. My guess is that this isn’t fakery but he has a psychiatric illness now compounded by weakness and delirium. Delirium can feel ecstatic, which is why he is continuing, but I’m betting he won’t survive much longer. The end will come when he “disappears.” rather than his followers face the humiliation that he died of kidney failure and dehydration/starvation. When his body disappears it will be forever a mystery and a miracle!
  40. Michael Says: 
    December 7th, 2005 at 9:30 amHello everybody,There is certainly an explanation. For me, who follows the footsteps of Buddha, I’m really not worried about the boy and about what’s happening. I think he has no pain and that what’s happening around him doesn’t harm him. If he would disappear, so be it. Because he is in devotion to Buddha, there will not be any problem for his mind. Just leave him tranquil I would say and may you prayers of love join his practice. What he’s actually doing is incredible: he’s showing an example. Though we maybe can’t practise like him today or neither in this life, there are practices in all the Buddhist traditions that are conducive to such a Samadhi.This boy is telling me that I should practise as good as I can so that I’m not only will be prepared to death but also so that I can free myself and that as a Bodhisattva and a Buddha I will also be able to help to free others. People just can’t realise a little bit what a Buddha is in his action, and if they would, there wouldn’t be anything else they want to achieve. That’s my faith, and I believe it’s the one of the boy too. But as somebody already said, with the devotion of this boy, it’s as if faith is transcended …But there are different kinds of faiths, and more than I’m telling you here. Though I follow the steps of Buddha, I ‘m not a Buddhist in actual fact, although others would say I am. But its point of view gives the only way on how to become a Buddha. And because I’m not a Buddhist, I could also easily talk from the point of view of a Christian: I believe in God, it’s to say in the existence of God. Because with “existence” you don’t mean God the Creator is real but what it represents is real. Something exists because you give it a name. What it represents helps us to become close to what is real. From the Christian point of view (at least it was like that in the beginning) and from other religions, I can become close to God but not become God. From that point of view I can say to a Christian that I believe in God, I believe what he represents. And I “believe” because I don’t know what he represents exactly. None of the Christians can say what he is exactly. In Buddhism you can become Buddha, they say. Buddha said you can become Buddha too and it looks like he said how too. Whether Jesus said I’m a child of God. Buddha isn’t a child of God. When I looked closely, I saw that Dharma was really transcending everything.Believe me or not, but reciting the Bible with comprehension is a blessing that you can feel, stronger and stronger. Though I would encourage everybody to follow the teachings of Buddha, other religions are also very much useful. There is nothing wrong in the other spiritual traditions that should be authentic by definition. I think we need to learn more to see which traditions surround us, and how we can make this world sacred. Of course, without mixing all our traditions but through profound comprehension of each one (according to your capacity, because it’s already a big challenge to achieve one practice). We should not mix up the different traditions otherwise anything wouldn’t be comprehensible anymore.You see also that a conversion to one religion or spiritual tradition is not really possible. Because we’re changing all the time, we can’t really identify ourselves. And it would mean that we forget to put ourselves in the place of others. We would forget how compassion rises in each one of us.Because I understand somehow the law of cause and effect, I can know that what I am and what I do now is a result of the past. So the experiences I’ve had in Christianity and those I’ve had in Reiki and mostly in Buddhism, all the experiences I’ve had in my life are a cause to my result. That’s why I try to do no harm, cultivate a wealth of virtue and to control this mind of ours. This resumes the teaching of all the Buddha’s said the Buddha. If I apply myself to that, it will have a great effect.How we can actualise that in our world is quite a big issue. First we should train ourselves and not the others. But how can we integrate that in our life?Liberation is the simplest thing to live they say. But there is a path to it.I know some masters who are very skilful in teaching you that. For example, in the Tibetan tradition, Sogyal Rinpoche, who wrote the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. But there are others you can find, in different traditions. In other religions and spiritual traditions there are also masters. As a matter a fact there are teachings in Buddhism from very great masters on how you can actually find such an authentic master. It’s not easy, because if you think you find him or her, you still have to recognise him or her.So you can see what we think from a buddhist point of view about the boy (at least if I’m not wrong). To sit there every day is already an accomplishment, to sit there also in the night without eating would be an extraordinary revolution in our world. I hope we can examine the case without disturbing him in his meditation. I believe that the people around him are afraid he can be disturbed or even hurt if somebody is able to throw something at him. We have to wait and see. But isn’t it a great inspiration to practise with our mind. We should not lose our time.Good luck everybody.P.S. Dharma is above religion itself, they say. What does that mean?
  41. Kate Says: 
    December 8th, 2005 at 7:02 amI don’t know if this is real or not, but who are we to judge? I’m just amazed that the boy can sit still for so long, let alone without food or water!
  42. Dr. Null Says: 
    December 8th, 2005 at 1:47 pmThe human body can last for many days without food, on average 40 to 50 days. Water is a different story. A person will die within 3 to 4 days. The body structure and developement really makes no difference either. This boy is either one of four things; a scientific anomaly, a spiritual leader in the making, a hoax, or quite possibly dead.
  43. paisley jude Says: 
    December 8th, 2005 at 3:47 pmI’ve been reading articles on this subject for days now and part of me thinks that maybe it is just a hoax, but a strong part of me feels a connection to Bomjon. I realize that the body needs water, food and exersize to survive, but I can’t help feeling that maybe this is the real deal, someone who really wants to find enlightenment. I also have read that people who make pilgramages to the site have been leaving rubbish around the forest. Even if this is just a huge hoax, we should still respect the nature of the forest.
  44. Bart Says: 
    December 9th, 2005 at 11:52 pmIs this boy true? As Jay says ‘all is true, just not literal’(paraphrasing)…but here we are, people around the world, earnestly vindicating our positions of belief all because a boy in Nepal has sat down beneath a giant pipal tree and inspired all of us to look a little further into our own hearts and minds searching for ‘truth’. Yes…he is true in that I stopped to read this small article in my wife’s People Magazine, taking a break from my privileged multimillionaire life, and realized I would like to be a little more like this child. A little more devotion to thought and tranquility and a little less caught up in this game of moremoremore I somehow started playing and haven’t found nearly as satisfying as this dirty, skinny kid seems to be. A Buddha? I have no clue. A morsel of food and a sip of water in the dark? I certainly hope so. But is he true, by inspiring an image in my mind of something more simple and pure to think upon? Yes, my dear Virginia, he is true.
  45. Michael Says: 
    December 12th, 2005 at 6:40 amEven if he eats or drinks a little bit… But we maybe still need to learn more about them and above all about ourselves of course to believe or know how it is possible.
  46. Michael Says: 
    December 12th, 2005 at 7:53 am… or just to believe or know what’s possible. What’s our potential and what’s that of the others? Our conditions and circumsatances make it sometimes impossible to know. Transcending these conditions and circumstances are the greatest experiences of our life. Somebody who does that whitout vanity can affect the experiences of others in the same positive way. During those times everybody is happy.
  47. Bill P Says: 
    December 12th, 2005 at 1:56 pmAnyone who believes this blindly is naive. I’m open to the idea of miracles, considering I don’t understand the universe in its entirety and probably never will. Lets see what those who are observing him objectively come up with.
  48. Steve Says: 
    December 12th, 2005 at 8:20 pmCmon be a little more sceptical guys. The sub-continent is RIFE with scams like this.Use you brain and think about this critically.HUMANS CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER FOR 6 MONTHS.Obviously people are getting food and water to him and arranging for him to go to the toilet. He is OBVIOUSLY in on the scam because he has to move eat and drink etc.Now before you get all excited.. remember this. When this story IS debunked.. when the fraud IS exposed when you hear NO more about this “miracle” don’t come sooking to me about being sorry you were such a fool to ever even entertain that this had some modicum of reality !
  49. Brandon Says: 
    December 14th, 2005 at 10:20 amYou’re an idiot.
  50. rogerwalker Says: 
    December 14th, 2005 at 5:01 pmthe moment is made of energy. If you are not in the moment, then you must be thinking. Thinking feels real. There is a feeling attached to every thought you have. Energy is a feeling…Do you feel like eating?…Do you get energy from eating? That means that it takes energy to think. Food for thought. lol
    People believe that you have to be meditating in order to be enlightened or be in the moment. I believe otherwise. Let me explain. Since thinking feels real. And dreaming feels real. Thinking is day dreaming. lol Then feeling is experiencing. Therefore every experience is in the moment. The trick is to learn how to be in the moment when you aren’t experiencing anything.
    The moment is made of energy and therefore if you are not in the moment you are thinking. If the moment is made of energy then thinking is not made of energy and is therefore made of void. ie after every thought one has they have to fidget. Thus people with ADD are always fidgetting because they are always thinking. Thus scratching feels good. It’s that itch you have to scratch. Becuase the moment feels good. It’s a balance between thinking and experiencing….Light is the moment. Night is naught-me. My theory is that we are suposed to be experiencing the moment during the day. And we are supposed to be thinking while we are sleeping. Thus night has the opposite energy to day. And therfore the defintion of consciousness and subconsciousness changes in the daytime compared to nightime.
    Everybody just wants to stop thinking. The problem is they don’t know how. Does stress feel good?
  51. c.nun Says: 
    December 15th, 2005 at 9:32 amDespite that he is getting food and water at night and going to the toilet, i still respect the fact that this 15 year old boy sits during the whole day with out moving.Man I can’t sit still for more than fifteen min.
    so I have to give some respect to this regardless. What does this kid think about all day? is he druged? This is impossible unless he is made of Wax.
  52. rogerwalker Says: 
    December 15th, 2005 at 8:54 pmThe reason why you can’t sit still is because you have to balance out all the negative feeling that you have created in your body from thinking during the day. If one is in the moment and truly meditating he is not thinking. He is not wasting any energy because he is in the moment (the moment is made of energy) and therefore has no need to eat or drink. And the older you get the more you have to think about, so I guess you must not listen very much. You also probably have problems listening to what you are reading too because I already mentioned why one has to eat in the previous paragraph. You probably believe that it is also possible to think and listen in the same time….And you probably do that all the time too. Have you ever read something while you were thinking about something else? I have and for some funny reason I can’t remember what I just read. Which means that one can only remember doing one thing at a time including thinking….
  53. Kimmi Says: 
    December 19th, 2005 at 1:05 pmBart you are absolutly on target.
  54. c.nun Says: 
    December 20th, 2005 at 1:18 pmok ……lets leave the tree alone…Buddha did not hide behind a curtain. lets respect him, but everyone should stand back and observe from a distance…no interference. Thus avoiding all these people who doubt.
  55. Davo Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 7:42 pmapparently the investigation has been conducted on this boy and the Buddhist consultative committee have ruled that he has abstained from food for over 7 months now and that he is in a deep state of meditation. They fell short of actually stating that he may possibly be on the verge of enlightenment but it’s still a distinct possibility….
  56. Jim Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 8:44 pm“Apparently?” I don’t see it anywhere in the news. Can you give me a citation? I’d be interested in reading it.
  57. Ben Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 8:58 pmI saw something about this, this morning (AEST), they mentioned something about the Buddhist council and their investigation. It said that he the boy was very weak but that they had no reason to believe that this was in any way corrupt.
  58. Davo Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 9:03 pmThanks Ben. I am glad you saw that as well. Sorry Jim it was on Fox, so I can’t provide a citation, but I am sure something will be on the net within hours.
  59. Ben Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 9:07 pmWhy did my last message dissapear?!!? I have seen this news article this morning also.
  60. Vanja Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 9:08 pmThat is correct I saw it also.
  61. darren Says: 
    December 21st, 2005 at 9:20 pmi have studied the history of buddah doing shaolin kung fu for 10years you learn alot about
    meditation leave this boy alone to many people are getting involved in this boys life
    and his future to become buddah is at risk its been all over the news, papers billboards
    if he fails you will all be to blame for his failure…….
  62. Matt Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 6:27 pmDarren,According to Buddhist teachings I’m familiar with, whether or not Ram Bomjon becomes a Buddha is determined by his accumulation of merit over eons of practice in countless past lives, not what people say over the internet.Apparently, your Shaolin Buddhism says differently. I have never heard of this doctrine. Please, enlighten us.
  63. davo Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 7:58 pmThere was more on that Buddha boy this morning…this time they said that he actually opened his eyes…and when he saw all the people standing around and started crying…poor little thing…He kept asking for his mummy…aaahhh!!! Then he asked for a Big Mac a quarter pounder, family fries and a coke…isn’t that sweet??? What a great kid.
  64. davo Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 8:14 pmhe just wants to go home and have some fried chicken and corn bread with hot sauce go on ram go home and have a big feed and a bath your dog milo misses you to he hasnt eatin for days and mums worried he may starve to death…..
  65. Mrs Bomjon Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 8:32 pmRam…Darling…if you can get access to the net and can read this message (even though it is in english)…Please come home!!! We all miss you here…Milo, Pa and even Uncle Joe with the Wonky leg. I am cooking grits and fried rabbit’s testicles with extra chili just the way you like ‘em. Come home sweety …evn if it is just for a haircut! I promise I won’t be mad at you like last time…Ram…Ram…
  66. ‘Pa’ Bomjon Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 8:37 pmRam…You little sonofagun…You’d betta get your cotton-picking ass home lckety split my boy…or else I’ll be forced into coming over their to nepalKathmanbuddhaland and gitting you myself…you listening to me boy…
  67. bob Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 10:28 pmi remember 1 time i myself was in deep meditation after a night of drinking i woke up and went the toilet i pushed and pushed then feel into meditation for 1hour as i kept pushing this big 10 inch turd came flying out my asshole then i was enlightened and clensed at the same time mmm i feel better
  68. V Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 10:31 pmAmazing ….hehehhehehehehehheehhehehehehehe
  69. davo Says: 
    December 22nd, 2005 at 10:44 pmram bomjam here he sits broken hearted thought he shit but only farted
  70. rogerwalker Says: 
    December 24th, 2005 at 7:37 pmI have discovered where the mind is located…..Have you ever heard somebody say “I have a lot on my mind”, what they really meant was they have a lot to think about and can’t listen to you at the moment. And a scientist will tell you that you think in your head (brain) and therefore a thinker believes that his mind is in his head. lol So then what does mind over matter mean?, if your brain is made of matter………..Dum, da, dum, dum, dum. lol
  71. Carey the Scientist Says: 
    December 26th, 2005 at 3:08 amI think that this thread is fascinating, as it represents the fundamental views of society as a whole with respect to supernatural events. There are three basic points of view, speaking roughly of course, when it comes to such situations. One is purely scientific, and the limits of science are accepted to be the limits of the actual world. Another, the second view, is completely open, and there are no limits necessary, and science is irrelevant. The third is science-based, but allows that science is simply a theory, though a good one in that it is often explanatory. Therefore, science is used as a guide, but subscribers to the third view don’t believe unquestioningly that those phenomena that science can’t explain must not exist.Some people get very upset at the idea that phenomena for which science has no explanation may exist. They call others insulting names, refusing to examine the possibilities critically. This is the worst kind of error for a true scientist. Such bias will not lead to understanding anything new, but simply support one’s current worldview – which, it appears, these people are trying to do at all costs. They appear to be deeply scared of any challenge to what they already accept as truth.A real scientist, however, welcomes challenges, and is open to seeing how his/her theory works to explain new data, as compared with competing theories.A good scientist does not approach the study of new data (in this case, the story about the boy doing something physiologically highly improbable) with fervent hopes that his/her theory will explain it best, or anger at other possible attempts to explain it. That’s the approach of someone who feels threatened.Good scientists are always willing to revise their theories based on new data. And there is always new data coming in. Did anyone think that Newton’s laws would ever have to be revised? They explained the physical world nearly perfectly (or, arguably, perfectly, given the existence of complete vacuums such as space, and otherwise taking into account friction, etc.). But the discovery of quantum physics was essentially a realization that such laws did nothing to explain the rules of the physical world once you study it on a smaller scale. Studying particles of light, for example, Newton’s laws don’t explain how they move or how they work at all. They are both particles and waves at the same time – some physicists call them ‘wavicles’. Would Newton have frantically argued with quantum physicists, calling them names because they tried to compete with his views? I certainly hope not. Even if he had, he would have lost. The search for truth must go on.Science is a wonderful tool. It is extremely powerful. But it cannot, by definition, explain the super-natural. It is not meant to do so. So if one approaches an apparently super-natural phenomenon, limiting oneself to scientific explanations is inherently futile.There are things that happen that science cannot explain. Any good scientist admits this. Those who get angry and fight are not scientists, but merely converts to the religion of science. There is a vast difference.A scientist thinks and challenges the current theory. The current theory must always be challenged, or else it has become dogma. The current theory is always changing over time. In a hundred years, some of what we consider common-sense scientific knowledge today will have been proven incorrect. Good scientists accept this. Converts to the religion of science merely want someone else to give them an explanation so they can get back to the rest of their lives without contemplating anything deeper than getting drunk next weekend or who they’d like to have sex with. They are scared of life, scared of death, and the religion of science is a crutch on which to stand. They are indistinguishable in quality from other blind religious devotees, who don’t question the official dogma of their religion.Let’s keep our minds open, especially for data that aren’t easily explained by our theories. For a good scientist, this is often the most interesting kind of data. Insulting others does not lead to understanding. It merely shows that the offender feels threatened.Science cannot explain God, or whether or not he/she/it exists. It was not made for this task. It can answer questions such as ‘how’ and ‘what’ and ‘when’, but it cannot answer the ultimate ‘why’. Converts to the religion of science often forget this. Let’s not lose our humility, but remember that we are but tiny beings in the midst of the grand and intricate beauty that is our universe.
  72. Ralph Says: 
    December 26th, 2005 at 2:05 pmCarey,I like your comments, and I think you’re getting to some of the issues behind this. I’ve got a question for you.In your claim that science can’t explain the supernatural, are you talking about semantics or underlying realities?It seems to me that, by definition, what science can’t explain could be termed the supernatural. Conversely, what science can explain can be termed the natural. But given that science’s ability to explain things changes constantly, how can we identify a fixed referent for the terms “natural” and “supernatural?”What is your basis for making a distinction between what science does not yet understand and what science is inherently incapable of ever understanding? It seems to me that this distinction would have to be made based on some kind of knowledge about that which–we claim–can never be understood. You see the problem.As to your three types:There certainly are extreme left-wing ideologues who misrepresent science as a source of static, dogmatic truth–and as a valid basis for rigid authority. What we’re talking about here is a Marxist hack of the sort that’s really quite rare in America, despite what some right-wing propaganda would have you believe. I don’t see any of that kind of comment here.America, on the other hand, is full of millions of ideologues who misrepresent religion as a source of static, dogmatic truth that forms a valid foundation for rigid authority. In fact, this kind of view is so prevalent that some wouldn’t call it a “misrepresentation” at all. They actually claim that religion is a static source of knowledge and authority that has remained unchanged since the days of some legendary founder.Even the most hard-boiled of skeptics belong to neither extreme. An ideologue at one extreme will say: I know it’s true without any evidence. Ideologues at the other extreme will say: I know it’s NOT true without any evidence. A skeptic will say: SHOW me the evidence. Most skeptics would be quite content with the level of evidence Jesus’s own disciples are said to have received of his resurrection: examine the body post-mortem, see it come back to life, and examine the wounds.Ask a paleontologist whether a single cow skeleton in Jurassic rock strata would completely demolish his or her view of the world, then ask a religious ideologue whether ANY evidence could ever cause them to doubt their worldview. A true skeptic is committed to a dynamic world view, clings rigidly to no belief, and is open to any possibility. That’s what separates them from extremists.
  73. rogerwalker Says: 
    December 26th, 2005 at 11:30 pmThe first too great opinions out of many other opinions. Science is an agreement of opinion shared between the universal mind. Thanks for taking the time to think about science.
    I would like to start by asking a question. Is thinking the same thing as experiencing? and if so why? And how can they be related?
  74. Carey the Scientist Says: 
    December 27th, 2005 at 3:32 amRalph,let me first respond to your question, the best I can. I believe that science has the potential to understand nearly everything, as long as the definition of science is expanded from ‘work done on chemicals/particles etc. by technicians in lab suits’ to ‘a philosophy of inquiry into the condition of existence based on the scientific method’. Traditional scientists can do a lot of this, though, without expanding the definition. Quantum Physics, for example, has led to the validation of spiritual/religious concepts such as bilocation (the possibility that one entity can be in two places at the same time) that were unimaginable in science just a few decades ago. I don’t dare predict what science will explain next, but I personally believe that some of the ancient spiritual/religious insights regarding invisible energy flows (such as those utilized in acupuncture, and those claimed to comprise the soul, etc.) will be testable relatively soon (and, indeed, some already have been tested).Other aspects of human existence, such as the understanding of language, are far less understood. Linguistics (the science which takes as its focus of study human language) is relatively young/undeveloped (excepting certain ancient geniuses such as Panini), and the vast majority of the world’s languages are not even recorded and archived, let alone analyzed. Even English, the most well-studied language in the history of humankind, is far from being thoroughly understood. Linguists still can’t agree on the meaning of a word like ‘in’, for instance – there are literally several dozen articles and books written on exactly what this word means, all of them adding information or disagreeing with other linguists’ analyses or looking at it from a new direction.So, on the one hand, science is an amazing tool, but on other ways, it is in its infancy.With the expanded definition, however, I think we allow for personal experience of the human condition to be used as data. Some forms of Buddhism, for example, encourage careful scientific analysis of their benefits before wholeheartedly accepting the philosophy. This is, for me, the link between science and the spiritual, at least in my own life. I was fortunate enough to try such a meditation course, in which the teacher was adamant about the students not blindly believing in what he said, but examining the psychological/emotional changes that ensued in themselves as a direct result of practicing this type of meditation, and only continuing if they experienced effects that they considered beneficial. He would not allow the students to ‘believe’ in anything, but requested that we simply experience what the meditation technique had to offer. I would have been very skeptical about any other teaching, but I was able to open up to one like this. So, when I found that I was slower to anger, and I felt that my mind was sharper and more focused, I was able to accept that the meditation technique was beneficial without having to believe in anything. I consider this to be a scientific decision, using the expanded definition of science I mentioned above. If you accept that this is science, then you will probably agree with me that science has the potential to explain/understand much of the human condition, in addition to the physical universe in which we live.However, there are probably questions that will always be beyond the bounds of science, ever-changing as they are. Why the universe exists is certainly among them. Saying that there was a Big Bang doesn’t answer this question; it merely explains what the origins of the universe were. Why it occurred is not a question most astronomers or cosmologists care to deal with, and I can’t imagine that scientifically testable hypotheses will ever be developed with respect to such a question. Even if one says that the Big Bang was a result of the Big Crunch (the ultimate contraction of the universe, which resulted in all matter being compressed into a tiny space, such that the Big Bang occurred), the next question is why that happened, etc. Where the universe originally came from, before any Big Bang or Big Crunch, is not something science will likely even attempt to answer.Therefore, I don’t think that there is a fixed identity for terms such as ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural’, given the promise of the expansion of science in the future. This is not a problem, however, given the attested historical changes in the semantics of lexical forms. For instance, the word ‘meat’ used to mean ‘any food’. ‘Silly’ used to be ‘happy, blessed’. Some of what is ‘natural’ now might be ‘supernatural’ in a few generations, and vice-versa. I also think that there are questions that science will never be able to approach, given the limitations of the scientific method.Note that I appreciate the virtues of the scientific method deeply. In fact, it is not only essential in my profession, but I also use it to evaluate my spiritual disciplines (the meditation I mentioned earlier). But I allow for the possibility that science cannot explain everything, and I am open to intuition as another source of data. And any rational scientist must admit that the scientific method has limitations, as well.I must disagree with your analysis of the prevalence of my first type of belief. In my opinion, people, and particularly people from wealthy countries, can tend to trust their folk beliefs in science almost as a religion. I’m specifically referring to some of the comments above that say something like ‘it’s not scientifically possible, and therefore it’s not possible.’ While I have to admit that I am very skeptical that someone could possibly live for that long without water and food, I don’t want to dismiss the possibility entirely before investigating further. Nobody thought that bilocation was within the realm of possibility until recently, and it has been proven to be real. The idea of one thing being in two places at one time just doesn’t make sense, but it is the way things work, at least when we look at really small things (read The Self-Aware Universe by Goswami if you’re interested in this, and see the movie What the Bleep Do We Know). Unfortunately, I find that people who rely on folk science (i.e. what they understand to be true in science) as a crutch are everywhere in my life.Finally, I agree with your final comment about true skeptics. I would like to consider myself one, but it is really difficult to not cling rigidly to any belief. I find it fascinating that Buddhist texts describing enlightened people often focus on this aspect of their philosophy. They are claimed to adhere to no belief system, at least not rigidly, and be open to whatever life brings them. Maybe ‘enlightened’ simply means a good scientist?As for Rogerwalker’s question, I would say that thinking is an experience, and therefore the two can be synonymous. I believe that having an unconscious experience is not possible – that’s not an experience. I believe that we create our experiences by filtering what is happening through our thoughts. Therefore, two people on the same train ride, sitting next to each other, can have completely different experiences. One is in a bad mood, and sees only the smog from the factories and the poverty. The other is in a good mood, and sees the sunset and the clouds. There’s an ancient Chinese saying ‘A thief walking on the road meets the Buddha. He sees only the Buddha’s pockets.’ To me, this is talking about how our limits are what we think- all we are is what we can see.However, I also have studied what are called ‘mirror neurons’. These are neurons that, when we see someone do something, mirror the action. For example, when we see a Jackie Chan Kung-fu movie, our mirror neurons are rapidly firing away, and we’re imagining that we’re doing those motions ourselves. That’s why many people feel tired, or alternatively, charged, after seeing a movie like that. In that case, thinking (if you call that thinking, which is arguable) is less real than actually doing/experiencing. So I guess it depends on what you mean by thinking, and if you include unconscious mental processes.
  75. Ralph Says: 
    December 27th, 2005 at 2:38 pmYour conception of Buddhist adepts as scientific skeptics and Buddhist meditation as a kind of science experiment strikes me as a rather recent innovation. Out of curiosity, what Buddhist texts and forms of Buddhism are you talking about?Movies like “What the Fuck Do We Know?” grow out of a certain kind of folk religion that incorporates science into an agenda: 1. Science discovers something hitherto unknown or considered impossible, 2. The general remark is made that things that we thought were impossible are actually possible, 3. Therefore things we thought were impossible (the example is almost always a religious or philosophical doctrine that appeals to people for other reasons) might be true, according to science. There’s no logical flaw in the reasoning process, but it’s usually presented in a way that’s very misleading–to suggest scientific legitimacy for some religious or ideological claim on the very basis of the fact that it is inconsistent with scientific knowledgeI think your point about bilocation and Ram Bomjon surviving six months without food or water is an argument of the same kind: 1. We used to think bilocation was impossible, 2. Now we know it actually happens, 3. Now we think going six months without food or water is impossible, 4. But it could actually happen…Yes, weird things happen in quantum mechanics, and in relativity too. But they almost all happen on the scale of the very large or very small. Sure, anything’s possible, but do you actually have a scientific theory about how Ram has survived six months without eating or drinking?There is only one scientific theory I can come up with for how this boy has survived six months without food and water: it’s a fraud. It’s by far the most plausible theory, and it’s reinforced by the fact that his handlers have not let doctors or scientists examine him. Then there’s “what the fuck do we know?”“What the fuck do we know?” Is not a scientific theory. It’s an admission of a lack of knowledge. If you want to expand the bounds of science so that they embrace speculation made on the basis of what we DON’T know, I frankly don’t see how you can do it without losing a lot of rigor in the process.
  76. davo Says: 
    December 29th, 2005 at 12:10 amWHO CARES HAVNT YOU ALL GOT BETTER THINGS TO DO RATHER THAN TALK BULLSHIT ABOUT A BOY SITTING UNDER A TREE GO BACK AND SIT ON YOUR FAT ARSES AND WATCH YOUR DAY TIME SOAP,LET THE BOY MEDITATE LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!
  77. Carey the Scientist Says: 
    December 29th, 2005 at 8:35 amRalph,Thanks for your honest and critical viewpoint. I suspected that I might lose a pure/traditional scientific skeptic with that last post, and so I’m glad to have a chance to address your concerns.For starters, I’m talking about the Pali Suttas, the canonical texts associated with Theravada Buddhism, though I don’t believe that they necessarily represent the actual words of the Buddha, as Theravada adherents generally do. I have studied the sutras (discourses) primarily, though only in translation. My experience with Buddhist meditation is with the Vipassana technique, as taught by S.N. Goenka.You are entirely correct about the logic underlying my mentions of quantum mechanics. I use examples like these to remind myself and others that, no matter how much I/we believe that science has closed the case on a particular matter, it will always be open to question.I do not have a theory of how the boy could have possibly survived for six months without food or water, as I do not think that it’s likely that such a thing could happen. I doubt it strongly, but my point is that I don’t want to say that it’s impossible. Highly unlikely, yes, but not impossible. It would require a ground-breaking explanation to make me believe it, but I am open to the possibility of some explanation like that existing. Until someone presents me with such an explanation, I will simply say that I don’t believe it, but that I try to retain an open mind. I don’t think that I should be put in the position of having to understand the scientific theories behind everything I believe; I believe that the TV isn’t actually a group of little 2-dimensional people, but I have little or no idea of how it actually works.When I claimed to be using the scientific method, to the greatest extent possible, to examine the potential value of the meditation technique I learned, I was referring to the following methodology:First, I practiced the method, and observed various changes in my mental/emotional being. These included becoming slower to anger, being able to focus more intently, and so on. Some of these changes were purely qualitative, such as being slower to anger, and others were also partially quantitative, and more easily testable, such as the improved ability to focus. To test this, I simply focused my mind on one thing, starting as I started my stopwatch, and when I realized that my mind wandered, I stopped the watch. Because I had been interested in this possibility, I timed myself before starting the meditation course, during the course, and after the course, and found that the time I could stay focused increased rather dramatically.Second, I hypothesized that these changes were due to the practice of meditation. There were few other potentially reasonable hypotheses, but some did exist, such as the fact that I was isolated from my usual social environment, eating somewhat different food that I typically eat, etc.Third, I predicted that, as I meditated more and became more adept at meditation, I would see these facets strengthened, as well as seeing other similar changes occur. I also predicted that, even after I returned home and resumed my typical habits of food and friends, my ability to focus would not lessen significantly (testing several competing hypotheses as well).Fourth, after several weeks at home, and continuing the meditation practice for one to two hours a day, I noticed other changes in the way I dealt with emotions such as frustration, that were qualitatively similar to the initial changes I had noticed. Additionally, the time that I could focus on one thing actually increased slightly (mean time over 5 trials within a one-hour period; same as my tests before, during, and immediately after the meditation course).To me, this is nothing less than science, albeit science practiced on a truly sticky area in which to practice. It is certainly less rigorous than much hard science, but no less so, I believe than most linguistics, or certainly most social sciences. The primary problem as I see it is that the data source is the scientist himself, which is an unfortunate situation, but not an impossible one, I believe. Another problem is that the data are not easily replicable, as they are qualitative, for the most part. But I trust my determinations, and that I make them only with my search for the truth in mind, and this science is intended to convince only myself; frankly, I am not concerned with whether others come to the same conclusions as I did or not. However, I must admit that the idea of discussing my beliefs and having to defend them is intriguing to me; hence these long posts.Finally, I just wanted to respond to Davo’s comments. I assume that they express the limits of your intellectual ability, and I have no problem with that, but I fear that they also express the limits of your ability to be kind to others and accept people who are different from you, and that’s a real shame. I am not biased against anyone for having a low (or high) IQ, but people who are stingy, mean, and belittling, I feel sorry for.
  78. Carey the Scientist Says: 
    December 29th, 2005 at 6:21 pmKudos to the moderator for removing Davo’s attack. I agree that it was inappropriate, intolerant, and simply mean.
  79. slim victor Says: 
    January 1st, 2006 at 10:48 amCarey,You have a lot of interesting ideas. You think that someone can accept God based on science? That’s not real acceptance. It’s just the play world.Open your heart to the truth, and see the difference between lust and love.Heart, not just mind.Victor
  80. Ralph Says: 
    January 2nd, 2006 at 1:15 amThanks for answering me honestly, Carey, and accepting a different point of view.I notice you’re adding a lot of adjectives to the word science–”pure, traditional, hard,” etc., in what looks like an attempt to broaden the definition of science to embrace what you’re doing. You seem to want to call what you’re doing “science.” Why?A lot of work on Pali texts has tended to play up aspects of the texts that could be depicted as rationalist psychology, and play down religious aspects of the texts. Many people will tell potential Western converts that Buddhism is not a religion at all, but merely a “system of inquiry into the ultimate nature of reality” (i.e. science in so many words). Are you at all skeptical of these claims?I have some doubts about your account of meditation as an experiment on yourself.You imply that you started off the whole process without first having a fairly well-established set of ideas about what would happen as a result.It seems more likely that you entered your course of meditation with certain expectations about what results you would acheive, then tailored your activities to the pre-existing goal of gaining those results. There’s a not-at-all subtle distinction between this kind of activity and even the softest of sciences.I would guess that when you were trained in meditation, your teacher told you not only what to do but what results to expect. If you didn’t get the right kind of result, you were told to meditate again until you achieved it. That is to say, perform the experiment again and again until the results match the anticipated outcome. You see the problem, I hope, from a scientific point of view.
  81. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 3rd, 2006 at 12:41 pmI practice something called Tantra and from that have learned what enlightenment is. We are all enlightenened every day when we experience a moment. Every experience is in the moment. A moment can be infinately long. And there could never be one moment the same as another. The moment is made of energy. If your not in the moment your thinking. The moment is made of energy and if your thinking you are made of that which is the opposite of energy, some call it nagative energy or unbalance, I call it the void.
    Some budhists will talk about being in two places in the same time. Budhists are refering to a sliver of time or what I call the moment. Budhists are traveling from one place to another without thinking and therefroe experience one moment. So therefore a budhist is in two places that are in the same moment. Every moment feels the same. A moment only feels different if you are thinking and are not in the moment. If you are truly listening (not thinking)to someone you are sharing the moment with them. Every experience that every human has is in the moment. And therefore by listening to someone (being in the moment)you are giving them knowledge from everybodies experiences. Thus my grandmother talks to herself because “The older you get the more you have to thinking about” and therefore she is an energy vampire trying to suck moments away from other people. So the more time you spend thinking the more moments you will need to use and the faster you will age. I am sure that everyone will agree, experieecning and thinking are two different things although they are related to one another. Thinking is to experiencing like matter is to mind, conscious to subconscious, night to day, thinking is to feeling. There is a feeling attached to every thought you have. A thought feels real…..Life is the balance between thinking and experiencing. Have you ever noticed that when you feel good time flies? HAve you ever noticed that when you are bored, sitting around thinking time takes forever? Time travel is being in the moment and aging comes from thinking. Thus obeis people eat to feel good because they have stress caused from thinking too much lol. If experiencing feels good, then thinking feels bad. Are you thinking while you are sleeping?I believe we are. And I also believe we are aware of our dreams. HAve you ever had a scary dream that you woke up from to stop yourself from dying? Have you ever had a wet dream? Thinking feels real. Dreaming feels real. If there is a balance between thinking and experiencing during the day then theere has to be a balance at night….Now we know that you loose energy from physically experiencing the moment at night. And we get energy from dreaming. WE also know that we lose energy from thinking in the day (obeis example) and we don’t loose any energy from being in the moment (Ram Bojon). And if night is the opposite to day. Then at night we get energy from thinking (dreaming), and we loose energy from experiencing. Thus thinking is day dreaming. And the deffinition of subconscious and conscious needs to be changed because you are aware of your dreams at night. The deffintion consciousness and subconscious should be opposite in the day as it is a night. The deffintion should be You are subconscious if you are thinking and conscious if you are experiencing or subconscious is experiencing and conscious is thinking. Because you are experiencing what you are thinking while you are sleeping. Does anyone disagree?
    This is my theory of immortality. Who wants to learn how to be in the moment?
  82. slim victor Says: 
    January 4th, 2006 at 7:44 amRogerwalker,there is so much thinking behind your ideas that I wonder if you are in a self-defeating cycle. Thinking about not thinking, etc.Have you ever been sewn back into wholeness from a dispersed tangle of thoughts and intentions?Have you ever been uncontainable by this universe?Have you given yourself up to the one that shatters human intelligences like fragile glass?Have you ever died, laughing and open like a flower?Being in the moment is wonderful. If you are empty, The Friend will fill you with divinity. I’m talking about what Jesus had, what Buddha experienced. If your own personality and thoughts fill your vessel like a toxic soup, then that’s your choice. But to be empty…it’s so marvelous…. I cannot explain. Those who have experienced it, even once, for even one instant, know. But some hide their heads in the sand like scared birds, quaking in fear at the presence that fills existence once we stop imposing our own made-up ideas everywhere. Yes, I certainly agree with you that it’s good to be empty.Victor
  83. Anonymous Says: 
    January 4th, 2006 at 11:55 amI agree with imposing my thoughts being a wrong thing to do. But these are people who I can’t reach by listening. I have given reasons for them to want to learn how to stop thinking and it might not help. And I am not against thinking, I am for listening. Because what is the point of talking if the other person is thinking about saying something and therefore won’t remember what you said. I do most of my thinking when I am sleeping. lol
  84. wilson sadler Says: 
    January 4th, 2006 at 1:36 pmagain, ram bomjon is making no claims, the excitement is arising from your mind. This mind is contaminated by self grasping which cannot see clearly, because it is thinking of itself.
  85. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 4th, 2006 at 8:18 pmDo you think of your mind? What does it look like? You said exitement was arising from my mind, therefore isinuating that the mind is a feeling. Therefore the mind is the feeling and the matter is the thought. Is it possible to think of a feeling?“Thinking feels real
    Dreaming feels real”-me“Are you thinking while your sleeping?
    Thinking is daydreaming”-me“IF experiencing is a thought
    And thought is a memory
    Then experiencing is a memory”-meDo you believe that an experience is a thought because you can remember experiences by thinking and therefore the moment is a memory? Does the future already exist? Are the past and the moment the same thing? Only the moment exists. And if your not in the moment your thinking.Thinking is the opposite of experiencing but is related through memory. They are not the same thing. A feeling is attached to every thought or memory (thus you experience the feeling). Therefore if experiencing the moment one is experiencing a feeling. But the feeling is not the same thing as the thought. Feeling is the experience. Babies don’t know how to think and they still exist. That is also why a baby is listening to everything “babies are like sponges they absorb everything”. If you take away the thought the feeling still exists. If your not thinking then you are experiencing. And in order to be listening one can not be thinking, thereofre listening is experiencing. And since experiencing is a feeling then listening is also a feeling.
    Is listening a thought?
  86. Sy Says: 
    January 5th, 2006 at 11:30 amRogerwalker, you’ve been sold a load of goods. That’s not Tantra, it’s New Age B.S.
  87. Anonymous Says: 
    January 5th, 2006 at 3:59 pmknowledge is common sense….I learned that by being in the moment. ANd tantra is one way to learn how to be in the moment. In order to have multiple orgasms without ejaculating one must learn how to be in the moment. Atleast I am not old age B.S. lol. I am glad that I have the freedom to seek knowledge and am not ristricted by old beliefs. Maybe it is just a phase. I am guessing that you are someone who can’t change your beliefs. The bible hasn’t ever been changed and therefore it must be right. You won’t ever change and therefore you are right and I am wrong. ANd the world would be a perfect place if everyone was like you. Your not normal unless you are like me……Don’t compare yourself to me, because I am different.
  88. Sy Says: 
    January 6th, 2006 at 12:48 pmGee, all I said was that you’ve got no clue about the difference between Tantra and New Age B.S. From this you conclude I’m a Biblical literalist who can’t change his beliefs, etc.Did your newfound powers of “being in the moment” (um, where else would you be?) reveal all this to you? Or did you get it from “thinking?”Common sense is not knowledge. You gain knowledge by overcoming common sense. The earth doesn’t move–that’s common sense; it took human beings thousands of years of careful astronomical observation to overcome that common sense and gain knowledge. But a million years of your silly New Ageism parading around claiming to be Tantra would never do it.
  89. wilson sadler Says: 
    January 8th, 2006 at 4:44 pmrogerwalker,
    mind itself is imagined, there is no mind, as you point out, it is a concept empty of existence, as is everything else.
    because sentient beings have senses and on contact feelings, is no proof of reality which also is non-existent along with buddha, samsara and nirvana and all other concepts and phenomena.
    like this, george bush etc are just a passing result of passing causes as am.
  90. Anonymous Says: 
    January 11th, 2006 at 5:04 pmSomeone had to know the earth was moving in order to try and prove it. And do you already know what you are thinking? Are thinking and experiencing the same thing?You said,”Thats not tantra , that is new age B.S” insinuating that Tantra has nothing to do with being in the moment. You said that they were different, but had no reason, or proof to prove me wrong…..? And then I proved to you why I believed they had to be in the same category. My family is strictly religious Catholics so I am aware of their perspective on Tantra.
    Sorry, I forgot to ask you if you knew anything about Tantra. And you forgot to research it before you insulted my beliefs. Do you know how to do Tantra? Because in order to know everything about it you must know how to do it. So therefore I guess you will never know wether it is the same or other than New age B.S
    By stating that the “mind being imagined” you are refering to Mind as being a memory. If you are imagining something are you thinking? And in reality you don’t know what it is but are making a statement about it being imaginary. In conclusion the mind does have to do with your thoughts. And since a thought is a memory. And a memory comes form experiencing. Then we can conclude that the mind is used when remembering an experience. But we know that the mind is not an imagination. And therefore the only possible answer left is that we are the mind experiencing the moment. The only agument against my own is “what if you are thinking about something that hasn’t happened yet and therefore it could not be a memory?” And my answer is “you are experiencing that which you do not know and have not experienced yet and are probably wasting your time.If experiencing is a thought
    And a thought is a memory
    Then experiencing is a memoryIf one believes that thinking and experiencing are the same thing, and if one believes that experiencing is a memory then one must believe that the past, and the moment are the same thing. lol And we all know that they are not.I believe otherwise because thinking feels real. Experiencing is a feeling. And experiencing and thinking are not the same thing. Someone who is hypnotised can remember every experience because lol……….he is in a relaxed state of mind, and therefore could not be thinking…he is using his subconscious therefore could not be thinking…because if you are conscious you are aware of your thoughts and actions and if you are subconscious you are unaware of your thoughts or actions. Do you notice how one must be in a relaxed state of mind and using their subconscious in order to remember all experiences. Could it be that every experience is in the moment. And if your thinking your not in the moment. Well that would mean that experiencing during the daytime is subconscious. And if one has a lot on their minds they are insinuating that they have a lot to think about.
    So the mind is subconscious. And the matter is consciousness. Like experiencing is to thinking. They could not exist without their opposite. And in order to remember an experience one must be able to have a thought. But thinking and experiencing are not the same thing.Let me make the new deffintions clear for everyone:Thought, consciousness, conscious, matter, thinking, free will(should be will only), decisions, reasoning, dwelling, stress, unbalance, negative, time, age, past, future, are all the same if done during the day.Feeling,Subconscious, moment, memory, listening, experiencing, Free (without the will),unconcious, collective unconscious, energy, positive, telepathy, soul, balance, thoughtlessness, timelessness, imortality, instincts, . If done during the day.The deffintions change to being the opposite at night time as they are in the daytime. Thus how does one get energy from sleeping without eating or drinking anything?
  91. Sy Says: 
    January 12th, 2006 at 1:18 pmGee, you forgot to ask whether I knew anything about Tantra. How about that? Guess your “in the moment” powers have failed you. But somehow you know I haven’t researched it. Are your powers failing again?OK, without looking it up, explain to me what’s distinctive about Tantra’s understanding of prajna and upaya, and its relationship to Tantric ritual?What you’re spouting is not Tantra, but New Age disguised as Tantra. You’re either a charlatan, or you’ve been deceived by one.
  92. wilson sadler Says: 
    January 12th, 2006 at 3:34 pmfirst recognition:
    i am mentally ill because Im suffering from delusions and other mental diseases.the mind stinks, although it does not exist, in our ignorance we think it does, this results in imagined phenomena being given solid existence, the result is contaminated appearance made up by our own imagination.
    All supported by I, me, mine, myself, the self grasping.
    Seeing this self as most important and all phenomena secondarily out there.
    This is not seeing clearly, we believe the illusion that we create.
    A state of madness.
    The first recognition is about ourself, we should feel compassion for ourself and all other selves,Tantra is being in a state of freedom from this stinking mind.
  93. Sy Says: 
    January 12th, 2006 at 6:58 pmWhat stinking mind? Who is free from it?
  94. Mario Says: 
    January 13th, 2006 at 12:07 pmHello all,
    Do you have any update on Ram condition, scientific investigation results? Now he should have more than 7 months fasting.Regards
    mario
  95. Mario Says: 
    January 13th, 2006 at 1:49 pmLook for updates looking for Palden Dorje, Ram Bamjan or Buddha Gyani. There are newer notes and researches under these
  96. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 16th, 2006 at 8:05 pmIf Sy wants to know he has to experience it. How can I tell you about something you haven’t experienced.
  97. Patricia Says: 
    January 16th, 2006 at 8:23 pmHere’s how:Today, I saw an alien from outer space. It had red eyes and descended to earth in a blue spacecraft that smelled of cabbage.See, you hadn’t experienced that alien, but I told you all about it, right?It’s the sort of thing people do every day – describing things to other people that those people have never experienced.We use language to do it. Let me repeat that: Lang-U-age. Got it?
  98. Sy Says: 
    January 16th, 2006 at 10:43 pmBUZZZ!Sorry Rogerwalker, but thanks for playing. “If you want to know it, you’ve got to experience it for yourself” is New Age B.S., not Tantra.Tantra is a religion, with doctrines and rituals you clearly know nothing about.
  99. wilson sadler Says: 
    January 17th, 2006 at 5:07 amtantra is mahamudra, the union of bliss and emptiness not the doctrines and rituals that might if practised with effortless effort assist one.Mahamudra is non-mindparadox: negate the non-existent?
  100. special needs Says: 
    January 17th, 2006 at 7:16 ammario, i havn’t been able to find any updates on the childs condition either.
  101. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 18th, 2006 at 3:37 pmIs mind control better, or to be out of your mind (not in control of your mind)?
    I brush my teeth every night. I eat every day. Are those rituals. Does the church have rituals?
    Tantra is a sexual ritual. When you have sex do you have rituals that you do every time?
    If one is full of thought is he happy? Is thinking a ritual?
    By non mind they mean non thinking. Is it possible to experience without thinking? Is experiencing a thought? Is experiencing the same as thinking?
  102. Juniper Says: 
    January 18th, 2006 at 4:32 pmIs asking questions a form of answering?
    Is a turtle a car wax or a kind of candy that combines chocolate and nuts?
  103. Tony Says: 
    January 19th, 2006 at 1:21 pmJuniper,There are answers to your questions:Is asking a form of answering? When the question is rhetorical, more or less. Rhetorical questions allow me to suggest an answer without having to go to the trouble of actually giving a straight answer.Is a turtle a car wax or a kind of candy? Both. The word turtle has multiple meanings. It refers to an animal that is flat underneath and round on top, and therefore by extension to a kind of candy that has that shape. The animal in question also has a hard shell–suggesting the kind of protective surface marketers of car wax decided to market through the selection of the brand name “turtle wax.”Yes, Juniper. We can answer our questions. You did want answers to those questions, didn’t you? I mean, you didn’t want to just ask those questions, then say “Whoa!” and call it profundity? That would have been, like, bogus.
  104. Juniper Says: 
    January 19th, 2006 at 2:05 pmYes, and rogerwalker’s profound questions surely aren’t bogus. Surely. Right?
  105. Tony Says: 
    January 19th, 2006 at 5:22 pmAre they bogus?What is the essence of bogusness?Paradox: Is bogusness bogus?
  106. Juniper Says: 
    January 19th, 2006 at 5:33 pmTony, it saddens me that your mind is so closed that you would call my questions bogus.How can you understand what is and what is not bogus unless you have yourself been bogus?
  107. Tony Says: 
    January 20th, 2006 at 5:50 amWell, I’m sad you’re sad, because it proves you’re not enlightened.If you were enlightened, you would realize that all is one.If all is one, bogusness is enlightenment and enlightenment is bogus.
  108. headfacemouth Says: 
    January 30th, 2006 at 4:57 amSy, Patricia, and Rogerwalker,I have started a new post in the Irregular Times Discussion Forum based on your discussion. Please feel free to respond there. It is under Philoshopy and called “Language and Experience”.
  109. Tony Says: 
    January 30th, 2006 at 10:05 amWell, headfacemouth, what would you say to the argument that nothing you say convinces me of anything–because I haven’t “experienced it?”Of course language is symbolic, which seems to be your point. But that basic fact gets used to say that you can’t really say anything–apparently the irony of saying you can’t say something is lost on the person who says it.Rogerwalker’s question: How can I tell you about something you haven’t experienced?
    Patricia’s answer: People use language to describe things other people haven’t experienced all the time.Where in this did anyone say or imply that language IS experience, or that it somehow conveys experience directly? I don’t think anybody is denying that language is a set of symbols that can be used to convey experience. The set of symbols itself is limited, but the potential to combine those symbols to convey meaning is infinite, and the symbolic system has the power to describe things to people who have not experienced them.
  110. rogerwalker Says: 
    January 30th, 2006 at 5:01 pmIf your thinking about what I said your not listening to what I am saying. And if your thinking about saying something your not listening to me. Is listening a thought?
    What is the point of telling anybody anything when they are not listening to you. And besides, since every experience is in the moment. And your ears are one of your senses used to experience the moment. Then listening is experiencing. And by listening one is sharing the moment. By asking a question one has the oportunity to listen. Since listening is sharing the moment, and every experience I had was in the moment then by listening I am teaching (sharing with) them everything I know from my experiences.
  111. Tony Says: 
    January 31st, 2006 at 1:27 amIf I’m thinking about saying something, I’m out of the moment. But if I’m experiencing anything, I’m in the moment.What if I’m experiencing thinking about saying something? Every experience is in the moment, so therefore I must be in the moment. But at the same time I’m thinking about saying something, so I must be out of the moment. I guess I’d be in and out of the moment at the same time!What if I think of saying that I’m experiencing thinking about saying something. Am I back out of the moment I was in by virtue of experiencing the moment I was out of?If I experience thinking of saying that I’m experiencing thinking of saying something, am I in and out and in and out of the same moment at the same time, or am I in and out of more than one moment?Wheeee!
  112. JM Says: 
    January 31st, 2006 at 4:52 amMore on Ram Bomjon from his land is found at link http://www.nepalitimes.com/issue/281/NepaliPan/10147
    and on http://www.blog.com.np/2006/01/23/ram-bahadur-bomjan-the-buddha-boy
    Also on http://www.kantipuronline.com/feature.php?nid=63824
    and on http://www.blog.com.np/?p=1035/
  113. rogerwalker Says: 
    February 2nd, 2006 at 9:53 pmYou are experiencing what you are thinking. But if you are thinking then you are not in the moment. Because experiencing is not a thought. Are experiencing and thinking the same thing?When you said in and out of the moment at the same time, did you mean being able to do two things in the same time? (multitask)
    One can do many things at the same time, but will only remember doing one thing at a time including what he is thinking. So if you are thinking about saying something you are not listening to me….and you won’t remember what I said.
  114. Tony Says: 
    February 3rd, 2006 at 9:27 pmSo, if you experience thinking, you experience what you think. But if you think, you are not in the moment. How do you have an experience that’s out of the moment? Is the experience in some other moment, or outside of time altogether?
  115. headfacemouth Says: 
    February 3rd, 2006 at 9:37 pmTony,Let me first respond to your question about the ‘argument’ that
    “nothing you say convinces me of anything–because I haven’t “experienced it?”I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make, but I’ll answer the best I can.
    Being convinced of something is up to the listener. You decide if you are convinced or not, so whether you have experienced it or not is up to you to factor into the equation.If you are trying to ask me if someone who hasn’t experienced something can understand my explanation, I would answer that they cannot understand, at least in the way that I do (assuming I’ve experienced it). The best they can do is to use the guide of their own experience to imagine what I mean.As for your next statement:
    “Of course language is symbolic, which seems to be your point.”If you read my post and that’s all you got out of it, I guess that’s something, though I didn’t limit myself to that point. The basic nature of language being distinct from that of direct experience was probably a more basic point, and I mentioned the symbolic nature of language as one piece of evidence to support that idea. I also mentioned the fact that it’s more fundamental and temporally prior both in the development of human beings as a species and in the development of the individual as a child. I went into a bit of detail about how language forces us to make choices as to what we want to express, and the we are forced by limitations such as time to leave out almost all information surrounding a state or event we describe. I didn’t mention the fact that some people can’t speak, but everyone can experience humanness, but that’s relevant as well.And your next statement:“But that basic fact gets used to say that you can’t really say anything–apparently the irony of saying you can’t say something is lost on the person who says it.”I don’t know where you got the idea that I was saying that ‘you can’t say anything.’ That’s utterly ridiculous. You can say anything you want to. If you’re T.S. Eliot or Shakespeare, you can say amazing things. If you’re some schmuck who doesn’t often think more deeply than the “sex and drugs” level, you can talk about how you got drunk and vomited last weekend, and how you’re gonna get drunk again this weekend. What I’m saying is that saying something and experiencing it are distinct.Thanks, by the way, for serving as more evidence for my view. You ostensibly read my post, but took an understanding away that was far different than the one I intended. Whether this is my fault for not writing clearly enough or your fault for not ‘getting it’ is not the issue here; what is more relevant is the fact that language could not communicate my thoughts well enough so that you could grasp them.We could try again, with me rephrasing everything, and you explaining your understanding to me, and me checking various points, until we were both satisfied, but would you understand even then? How could we tell? And, even if you understood everything I wanted you to understand, would we then have a shared experience? I don’t see how anyone could claim that we would.
  116. Rin_Lac Says: 
    February 6th, 2006 at 5:36 pmMind is powerful it drives you crazy
    The practice of meditation is fixing the mind in one point,
    thats not easy it takes a lot of practice and discipline to master.
    The goal in meditation is not to be slave by our owned mind.Try to practice these gift and we will get freed from our deluded mind and
    false ego.

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