Here at TiltedCandle, I use my understanding of modern hypnotism to unpack ancient spiritual practices and identify common elements in different ancient techniques.

This post indexes the good stuff you can find here on TiltedCandle.

Ultra-short menu:

Blurbs for each one …. More


The 4 Noble Truths (not part of the 7 sets series!)

Dhamekh Stupa, where the Buddha gave the first...

Dhamekh Stupa, where the Buddha gave the first sermon on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to his five disciples after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.

The 4 Noble Truths are not actually part of the 7 Sets.  Therefore this is technically not part of the 7 sets series… but I’m cheatingly squeezing them in.  They’re important.

The four noble truths are:

    1. The basic problem is suffering.  Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.
    2. The origin of suffering is this craving (or attachment) which leads to reincarnation, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for life, craving for death.
    3. The cure for suffering is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance on it. (That is, Enlightenment.)
    4. The cessation of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

For “suffering” also read “unsatisfactoriness.”  The Buddha wasn’t claiming that life is pure misery from birth to death.  It has its good points — it has moments of union with what is pleasing.  The overall point is, the basic situation is inherently unsatisfactory, and it is because satisfaction, or even non-misery, is conditional.

Hindu doctors would diagnose illnesses with four questions:

    1. What is the disease?
    2. What is the cause of the disease?
    3. What is the prognosis? — is it treatable, and what would a cure look like?
    4. What is the treatment?

The Buddha contemplated the problem of the human condition as a Hindu doctor considered a patient’s disease.  (Not everyone knows that.)  The basic unsatisfactoriness inherent in life was the problem.  The cause was attachment, clinging or desire, which keeps a person reincarnating as a human.  The solution was to surrender the attachment that causes that stuff.  This means radical letting go of Self, or enlightenment.  The treatment — how to get there — is the Noble Eightfold path, which is explicated in the 7 sets.

The 5 aggregates the Buddha mentions are the sets of mental phenomena that produce consciousness, starting with matter (the brain; the embodied person) and resulting in pure mind.  That’s also not part of the 7 sets, so we’ll consider that too.

An Angel Taught Me How To Pray

To ramble on in prayer, unburdening your heart, is permissible, but not ideal.  It is not focused and it is less effective.  wp.me/p2ukOd-2F

The proper method is to consider deeply, looking into your heart, and to find one single sentence that exactly expresses your request.  You may find you do this by becoming very still.  At such a time a well-framed request may pop into your mind.

An Angel Taught Me How To Pray – download this post as a flier (pdf)

The prayer that you frame should be literally correct and relevant.  It should be correct and accurate to the letter.  This is not a time for irony or to presume that whoever answers your prayer will develop a deep understanding of your context or your emotional nature.  Consider that your words themselves become thoughts and those thoughts have power.  Also consider that a prayer, a wish, is permission to do something in your life, and in God’s name pray wisely. More

How do you win?

Personal History:  Is what you really want to, on the day you die, have no worst day?



Adoration, a love song to God

'Adoration of the Magi' - Murthly Hours

Adoration is a love song to God, writ and sung by Erin Zintdle of the Ragbirds.  A beautiful song.

From the lyrics:

I want to come to your house God
And climb inside your window…

It is the immediacy of God, the felt sense of God as a person, that is so touching here.  It seems I’m not the only person who finds this song touching.  It got into one blogger‘s head, and she posted a list of things she wanted to do with God.  Among them was, “eat macaroni…”

The song is off the album “Yes Nearby.”  The band bio explains:

Zindle and Moore began their relationship busking on the streets of Ann Arbor with Celtic and gypsy fiddling over tricky beats of tambourine, Middle-Eastern doumbek and tabla. In 2005 the duo gathered three band mates and began to record Erin’s original songs. This recording was released a few months later as The Ragbirds debut album “Yes Nearby”.

The Ragbirds

The Ragbirds (Photo credit: GarnetJ)

…which regretfully says little enough about the thoughts and life experience that lead up to the song.

Listen free online.  There’s not an mp3 you can download for free, but you can listen for free.


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