NYC Talk: The Power of Potty Training

5 thoughts on “NYC Talk: The Power of Potty Training

    1. Kenneth Folk

      You can do interactive noting in a round-robin style if you have a small group; just go around in a circle, with each person saying one note. The bigger the group, though, the longer it takes to get back around to each individual, which can be a disadvantage because it allows too much time for wandering mind in between notes. You can also split up into pairs for ping-pong noting, even with many people in the same room. We have done this at the workshops and it works great. Thanks for the question, Omni!

  1. JGroove

    Krishnamurti had an odd definition of stupidity. It had something to do with “placing too much importance on that which is put together by thought or made by the hand.”

    We ought to be interested in reality rather than our ideas and concepts about it. It’s instructive to me that I got so irritated and disappointed listening to this most recent talk. I am indeed invested in the woo-woo factor and the idea that the dharma ought to be respected and revered and not likened to something lowly like potty training. But what is the dharma if not something “put together by thought”? (Finger/moon map/territory cliches go here.)

    If Kenneth had used the guitar lesson metaphor throughout, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been nearly so offended. Trungpa also used potty training metaphors at times and I remember, back in the day, I was highly offended at this as well. Part of the reason is that it points to the silliness of those students who take the woo-woo factor so deadly seriously, invest their egos in it, literally build altars to it. A stirring talk about Milarepa’s heroics or Padmasambhava’s holiness might inspire people to practice harder, but the flipside is that this kind of thing can encourage people to turn up the volume on their fascination with the cultural and religious trappings. A talk like the above can offend, but it can also reveal the degree to which we’re invested in the woo-woo factor. Interesting…

  2. AndyW

    This talk made me grin from ear to ear! I want to go and shout it from the rooftops! I have spent years trying to establish a decent spiritual practice that was both effective and free of woo-woo.

    But it’s like a horrible practical joke. You try to avoid the woo-woo and all you get is dry, “Protestant”, pointlessly intellectual commentary on practice. You try to go where the decent practice is and you’re made to chant, believe in a bunch of dogma and bow to statues.

    I’m all for beautiful cultural practices that support our spiritual life – I sometimes light incense, and I have a little buddha in my meditation area. But I cannot wait for the day when we can do spirituality without religion. Heck, even without spirituality.

    Thanks Kenneth for an excellent talk. You really should write a book for beginners. If I’d heard this near the start of my meditative journey, I would’ve saved myself a lot of time, money and suffering.

    Andy

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