Thursday, January 31, 2013

To Vaccha on Fire (sutra)

Dhr. Seven, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly translation (Aggi Vacchagotta Sutra, MN 72)
Buddha as modern museum art, Singapore (Angloitalianfollowus/
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Buddha was staying in Savatthi, at Jeta's Grove, in Anathapindika's park. 
Then the wanderer Vacchagotta came, exchanged courtesies, sat respectfully to one side, and asked:

1. "How is it, Master Gautama, does Master Gautama hold the view: 'The cosmos is eternal; only this is true, anything else false'?"
Composite art echoes doctrine of Dependent Origination
The Buddha answered: "...No."

[In sutras, which were originally memorized by making them into chants, there is a great deal of repetition: Each answer repeats the question in its entirety. While this is an excellent device to aid chanters, memorizers, and listeners, it is needlessly cumbersome and may even be misleading to readers. Nor is it likely that it would have been spoken this way in the first place.]

2. "Then does Master Gautama hold the view: 'The cosmos is not eternal; only this is true, anything else false'?" "...No."
3. "Then does Master Gautama hold the view: 'The cosmos is finite...'?" "...No."

4. "Then does Master Gautama hold the view: 'The cosmos is infinite...'?" "...No."

5. "Then does Master Gautama hold the view: 'The self [atta/atman, essence, ego, soul, or animating principle] and the body are the same...'?" "...No."

6. "Then does Master Gautama hold the view: 'The self is one thing and the body another...'?" "...No."

7. "Then does Master Gautama hold the view: 'After death the Wayfarer [Tathagata, one who like you has attained the goal you teach in your Doctrine and Discipline] exists...'?" "...No."

8. "Then does Master Gautama hold the view: 'After death the Wayfarer does not exist...'?" "...No."

9. "Then does Master Gautama hold the view: 'After death the Wayfarer both exists and does not exist...'?" "...No."

10. "Then does Master Gautama hold the view: 'After death the Wayfarer neither exists nor does not exist...'?" "...No."

"How is it, Master Gautama, that when Master Gautama is asked if he holds the view 'The cosmos is eternal...' ... 'After death the Wayfarer neither exists nor does not exist; only this is true, anything else false,' he answers '...No' in each case?"

 "Seeing what drawback does Master Gautama entirely shrink away from each and every one of these ten positions?" 

A Thicket of Views

"Vaccha, the position 'The cosmos is eternal' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing [eel-wriggling] of views, a fetter [bond] of views. It is accompanied by dissatisfaction, distress, despair, and fever. It does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, to calm, direct knowledge, full enlightenment, or nirvana.

"The position 'The cosmos is not eternal' is a thicket of views... [and so on for each of the ten views].
"Vaccha, the position 'After death the Wayfarer neither exists nor does not exist' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by dissatisfaction, distress, despair, and fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, to calm, direct knowledge, full enlightenment, or nirvana."
"Does Master Gautama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that the Wayfarer has done away with. What the Wayfarer sees is this: 
"'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are formations... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' Because of this, I say: The Wayfarer -- with the ending, extinguishing, cessation, renunciation, and abandoning of all views, all speculations, all I-making and mine-making and obsession with conceit -- is freed through the abandoning of clinging."

"But, Master Gautama, the ascetic whose mind/heart is thus released, where does one reappear?"
"'Reappear,' Vaccha, does not apply."

"In that case, Master Gautama, one does not reappear."

"'Does not reappear,' Vaccha, does not apply."

"...Both does and does not reappear."
"...Does not apply."
"...Neither does nor does not reappear."

"...Does not apply."
"How is it, Master Gautama, when Master Gautama is asked if the ascetic reappears... does not reappear... both does and does not reappear... neither does nor does not reappear, he says, '[This]  does not apply' in each case?

"At this point, Master Gautama, I am baffled and confused. The small amount of clarity from our earlier conversation goes out now."

"Of course you are baffled, Vaccha. Of course you are confused. Deep, Vaccha, is this Dharma [this Doctrine concerning existential phenomena like the Five Aggregates, which leads to enlightenment and complete freedom], hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise.
"For those of other teachings, other disciplines, other practices, other aims, other teachers, it is difficult to know-and-see. Such being the case, permit me to question you. Answer as you see fit. 

"How do you see this, Vaccha: If a fire were burning in front of you, would you know, 'This fire is burning in front of me'?"

[Vaccha repeats the question then answers] "...Yes."

"Now suppose someone were to ask you, Vaccha, 'This fire burning in front of you, dependent on what is it burning?' So asked, how would you answer?"

"...I would reply, 'This fire burning in front of me is burning dependent on grass and wood as its sustenance.'" 

"Vaccha, if the fire burning in front of you were to go out, would you know, 'This fire burning in front of me has gone out'?" "...Yes."

Which way did the flame go? (yaymicro)
"Now suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, which direction has it gone? East? West? North? South?' So asked, Vaccha, how would you answer?" 

"That does not apply, Master Gautama. Any fire burning dependent on and sustained by grass and wood, being unnourished -- from having consumed its fuel and not being offered more fuel -- is simply classified as 'gone out.'" 
"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form used to describe the Wayfarer, that has the Wayfarer abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the causes-and-conditions of existence, is not destined for future arising [reappearing].

"Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Wayfarer is deep, unbound, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' does not apply. 'Does not reappear' does not apply. 'Both does and does not reappear' does not apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' does not apply.

"Any feeling... Any perception... Any formation...

"Any consciousness [these are the Five Aggregates of  Existence and Clinging] by which one describing the
Wayfarer would describe him, that has the Wayfarer abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the causes-and-conditions of existence, not destined for future arising. 
"Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the
Wayfarer is deep, unbounded, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' does not apply. 'Does not reappear' does not apply. 'Both does and does not reappear' does not apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' does not apply."

Wandering Indian ascetic (saiva tantra)
When this was said, the wanderer Vacchagotta said to the Buddha: 
"Master Gautama, it is as if there were a great sal tree not far from a village or town, and its branches and leaves were stripped away, its bark stripped away, its sapwood stripped away, so that -- divested of branches, leaves, bark, and sapwood -- it stood as pure heartwood. In just the same way, Master Gautama's words are freed of branches, leaves, bark, and sapwood and stand as pure heartwood.
"Excellent, Master Gautama, excellent! It is as if one were to set upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or were to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see what was there. In just the same way has Master Gautama -- through many lines of reasoning -- clarified the Dharma. I go to [the Buddha] for guidance, to the Dharma for guidance, and to the [enlightened] Sangha for guidance. May Master Gautama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for guidance from this day forward."

"Look At Me Now" (Family Guy)

Paulv "Family Guy" Lahos; Karmin; Wisdom Quarterly

The New KKK: less hate, more racism (video)

Wisdom Quarterly; Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, Mr. Show with Bob and David (HBO); Stephen Colbert (; Associated Press;
The new Ku Klux Klan - now with 1% less racism!
(LINK) Mr. Show comedy clip: Skip to Minute 1:47 for "The New Ku Klux Klan"

According to last night's episode of The Colbert Report, there's a "new KKK" (1/30/13) and as reported at -- more Christian, less "hate group," and every bit as racist as before. Members have been leafleting the Eastern Seaboard in search of new recruits, much to the chagrin of residents from Florida to New York.

Klansmen making cross to burn on lawn
It was only a matter of time before the KKK loosened its membership requirements to allow more hate from more American. But it is still all about "Wake up, White America," white supremacy, neo-Nazism, ignorance, hate, and Aryan Brotherhood (quite like the fabled "Muslim Brotherhood" America and other Western powers banned in Egypt).

Meanwhile, the Associated Press is reporting today that -- although Asians are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the America -- Hispanics will equal Whites within the state of former-Mexico-now-California in six months:
Hispanics soon to equal Whites
SACRAMENTO, California (, 1/31/13) - State demographers say California's Hispanic population will equal that of whites within six months and exceed it early next year -- a milestone in the country's racial and ethnic shifts.

Population projections released Thursday [today, 1/31/13] by the state Department of Finance show that Hispanics will become the dominant ethnic group in California for the first time [since this territory all belonged to Mexico prior to it being misappropriated by former European expansionists and conquistadors].
By 2020, demographers say Hispanics will be about 41 percent of California's population, with whites less than 37 percent.
The white population will fall to about 30 percent by 2060 from the current 39 percent, affecting politics and public policy in the nation's most populous state. Whites currently lack a majority in only Hawaii and New Mexico. The report says California's population will hit 50 million in 2049. More
"Oh You Men" - one of the funniest episodes of Mr. Show ever!

Remembering the GATE 2012 Experience

Seth Auberon, Gary Sanders, Wisdom Quarterly

Did Buddhism come up at GATE 2? You bet it did. Samsara, the endless cycle of birth and death, gave way to a genius writer's "Storywheel" chart shown below (Wisdom Quarterly).

Last year's appearance of Eckhart Tolle at GATE was an extravaganza of "transformational media" as the Occupy Movement was building and the Mayan world was ending.
Parking in Beverly Hills, sitting in the elegant Saban, rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elite, its movers, shakers, talent brokers, and dealmakers, we came to understand degree to which spirituality is on the mind of the entertainment industry.
Hearts shone brightly in the theater (WQ)
And what's on its mind will soon be on the public's mind then, due to hegemony, the world's. So what happens here matters everywhere. It is the way of empire. Los Angeles is a power center in more ways than one. And all of this was the creation of a Buddhist -- Jim Carrey.
We sat as ready as the rest of the world (WQ)
Fortunately, the iconic comedian is an openminded, inclusive Buddhist, like most American Dharma practitioners. After all, Buddhism is not a faith; it is a practice.
So what is GATE for, what does it do, and why? GATE ("Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment") answers all. Moreover, last year there was a live simulcast adding transparency as the whole world watched.

Meet Wisdom Quarterly at this year's event: GATE 3.

GATE 3: Writing to Awaken Humanity Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013; Wisdom Quarterly
Traveling through the gateless gate is a Zen experience (


“The Power of Story to Create Personal, Social, and Global Transformation”
“Celebrating Meaningful Messages for an Awakening Humanity”
  • Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013
  • Daytime Program: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Evening Program: 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm
A Celebration of Transformational Entertainment, Media, and Arts

The Saban Theater
8440 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211 (MAP) (TICKETS)

LiveTalks LA:
Daniel Pink, Jan. 17
Matt Groening, Feb. 7th

    Banning Yoga in School (audio)

    Kyla Calvert, Morning Edition (; Wisdom Quarterly
    Yoga mudras or hand gestures (
    Chakra (Subtle Energy Center) System (Amy Fox)
    During first period at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School in Encinitas, California, Kristen McCloskey leads about two dozen third-graders through some familiar yoga poses.
    "All right, so let's do our opening Sequence A," she says, instructing the kids. "Everyone take a big inhale, lift those arms up. Look up."
    At the end of the half-hour class, 8-year-old Jacob Hagen says he feels energized and ready for the rest of the day. "Because you get to stretch out, and it's good to be the first class because it wakes you up," he says.
    Kids in Downward Dog (Kyla Calvert/NPR)
    Schools across the country are focusing more on teaching students to make healthy choices; Encinitas Superintendent Tim Baird says yoga is just one element of the district's physical education curriculum.
    "We also have a nutrition program," he says. "We also have a life-skills program where kids learn about perseverance and responsibility." LISTEN

    "The New Alien World Order" (video)

    ErGHaw; Wisdom Quarterly

    Some people may question whether "Leonid Elenin" is a real person, despite the fact that he is acknowledged as a contributor to various scholarly journals since 2009. Several people have posted ideas about "Elenin," claiming that the name is actually a coded message.

    For whatever reason, some believe that the Powers That Be (the military-industrial complex, globalists, elite) encode hints in names as a means of communicating with one another. It is good to question. But let us focus on the fact that what is revealed in this video is a litany of police state aspirations, globalist plans, PsyOps, Orwellian scenarios, and real-world operations already being enacted. There is also serious discussion of extraterrestrial forces throughout human history and in the USA/Israel today.

    The goal here is to familiarize viewers with an alternative explanation for things going on in the world that one never hears through mainstream media outlets. It may seem funny, preposterous, upsetting, or even dangerous to discuss. But many things known to have happened -- brought about by unelected movers and shakers -- fit that description. 

    Part 4
    Part 5
    Part 6 (end)

    Truth has always been much stranger than fiction. It is easy enough to go back to sleep and ignore the writing on the wall. People make revelations at great personal risk. We intend to hear them out even (especially) when the information does not agree with our preconceived notions. We invite viewers to do the same.

    "BONK: Curious Coupling of Science and Sex"

    Mary Roach; Wisdom Quarterly
    BONK (
    The LA County Natural History Museum presents the a discussion with Mary Roach on her book Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex for its First Fridays series. 
    From the Masters & Johnson artificial-coition machine to Dutch gymnasts coupling in MRI machines, the study of human sexual physiology is the most vital, surreal, awkward, and oddly overlooked branch of modern science.  Roach salutes the bravery of early pioneers and takes us through the highlights (and low points) of the past century.
    Mary Roach is a renowned American columnist and author who has written for Outside, National Geographic, New Scientist, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine, among others.  Her books include  Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (2003), Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife (2005) (aka Six Feet Over: Adventures in the Afterlife), and Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void (2010).

    Once a month, the entire Natural History Museum stays open until 10 pm and features live music, exciting scientific discussion, and behind-the-scenes curatorial tours. First Fridays is an immersive program designed for audiences of all ages, bringing together dynamic discussions with scientists on the cutting edge of their fields and musical performances by fresh and innovative artists. In recent years, the program has been hailed as the “Best Intellectual Event in Disguise” (L.A. Downtown News) and the “Best Museum Party Night” (Los Angeles Magazine). First Fridays welcomes its audience back to the Museum they loved as kids, putting a new and exciting spin on an old favorite.

    Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 6:30-9:00 pm

    Amida Buddha (photos)

    DgtlDale (; Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
    Amida Buddha, Kamakura, Yokohama, Japan (
    We were lucky to be able to observe this Buddhist ceremony. It was fascinating and beautiful. The Amida Buddha used to be housed in a temple complex but was destroyed by a tsunami in the 15th century and has remained outdoors ever since. For a small fee it is possible to enter the metal statue. It is lit inside by windows on the massive Buddha's back. A fundraiser with local dignitaries was going on for the victims of the recent tsunami. We purchased a beautiful iron souvenir then walked back to the train station. PHOTOS

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    Alcohol can be a GAS (car fuel)

    David Blume (, Peak Moment; Wisdom Quarterly
    Peak Moment 78 (9-22-2007): David Blume, Founder, International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, Soquel, California.
  (links to Coast to Coast appearances)
    Ethanol (
    What was the real reason for the temperance movement's prohibition of all alcohol in the USA? It was an oil kingpin's funding in 1915 of women to oppose drinking. They were given four million dollars, which was used to pay off Congressmen who amended the constitution. This went on for years while gasoline, a waste product of the petroleum industry, became the dominant fuel. This happened in spite of the fact that the internal combustion engine was invented before gasoline was. Alcohol was the original fuel. Vegetable oil was the original diesel (biodiesel). Polluting petroleum made money for the oil business, which synthetically replaced whale oil and lard for heating. Brazil did not go into massive debt like other Latin American countries because they avoided borrowing money to purchase oil. Instead, they began using alcohol as fuel in mixtures between 25-90% alcohol to 75-10% gasoline with NO modification to vehicles. Modern cars have computers that automatically adjust to flex fuel mixtures. Cars could run on 100% gas but would need more air than they get on settings expecting gasoline. Emissions are drastically reduced by doing so. And since alcohol can be "grown" on the farm (by fermenting carbohydrates), their economy has prospered.

    Colbert Report: Iran's Space Monkey (video) (Jan. 29, 2013); Wisdom Quarterly

    History of Money, NDAA, Martial Law (video)

    Pat Macpherson, Ashley Wells, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly
    Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance -- from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on "Planet Finance."
    Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. 

    To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the basis of war. To revolutionaries, it's the bondage of labor. Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress and reveals it is the essential backstory behind all history.
    Suddenly, the civilization of the Renaissance looks very different: a boom in the market for art and architecture made possible by Italian bankers adopting Arabic mathematics. The rise of the Dutch republic is reinterpreted as the triumph of the world's first modern bond market. The origins of the French Revolution due to a stock market bubble caused by a convicted Scot murderer.
    But what about when the biggest and easiest means of supporting high finance turns out to be war?

    What is money? What do banks do? What's the difference between a stock and a bond? What does buying insurance or real estate really do? What exactly is a hedge fund?

    Visit post-Katrina New Orleans to see the free market deal with catastrophes. Find the origin of the subprime mortgage crisis. Understand why the world's biggest countries, India and China, are going from poverty to wealth in the space of a single generation -- an economic transformation unprecedented in human history.
    The central lesson is that sooner or later every bubble bursts -- bearish sellers outnumber bullish buyers, greed flips into fear, and there's nothing the Donkeys or Elephants can think to do about it...except for "fascism," which simply means the marriage of corporations and state power.
    No hard feelings, Barry? No, of course not, Bibi.
    Never again. That's what we used to say. Never again. Never what?

    Never lots of things -- loss of civil liberties, state sanctioned discrimination, legal slavery, sexism, racism, mass incarceration, invasion of privacy, illegal searches and seizures, taxation without representation...

    Stop government abuses! (Tyranny of Defense, Inc.)
    How about imprisonment without due process?  Now there's something we can all get behind!

    Well, not us but our representative in the Senate and Congress. The NDAA and Senate Bill 1867 are "building blocks" for martial law will never come. Dicks Cheney and Bush are no longer in office. But someone's cousin is.

    Living in “interesting times” with a president no one would vote for if our one-party system hadn't pre-selected and promoted him. What choice did anyone have, Worse or Worser? 
    What is on the horizon, what does the Oracle say, what would have been even if the overtly right-wing candidate had triumphed?

    Jew vs. Palestinian: The Cooking Contest!
    Next up, a police state, secret courts (or no courts at all), unrestricted spying for full-spectrum dominance throughout the homeland. The 9/11 event changed everything. And just as planned, the Patriotic Act, CIA spying on America, an entire department of homeland spying (uh, that's security if you don't mind). 

    Forget “What could happen?” We must be in denial of what is happening? Go back to sleep, America. Everything's okay. The military-industrial complex -- parents and relatives working for corporations and the war makers -- will keep us “safe.” Sleep, wake, history will be made either way. Why? It is because what is happening now was planned in advance, thought through by Trilateral Commission members, CIA bureaucrats, NSA and NSC heads, and Wall Street movers and shakers.
    “War is Peace;
    Freedom is Slavery;
    and Ignorance is Strength.” -Source

    The goal of the agenda? We must lose what we have in order to preserve it. Spying is necessary to protect privacy. War is necessary to preserve peace (and make a little money side, just wetting our beak a bit). Our elder brother perhaps put it best: War is peace...

    Kiriakou-guestFormer CIA agent John Kiriakou speaks out just days after he was sentenced to 30 months in prison, becoming the first CIA official to face jail time for any reason relating to U.S. torture...
    John_brennan-cia Days after he was sentenced to 30 months in prison, John Kiriakou -- the first CIA official to be jailed for any reason relating to the torture program -- denounces [the military-industrial complex's selection and] President Obama’s choice...

    Music parents (are supposed to) HATE

    TheFineBros, Skrillex, the Elderly; Amber Dorrian and Bela, Wisdom Quarterly

    It's the beat, the beat, the beat! That's what's wrong with rock 'n roll. And not just rock. It's wrong with jazz, R&B, gospel, punk, industrial, rap, death metal, drum 'n bass, house, electronica, techno, trance, screamo, dubstep, and now the latest shaman grunting gagadoo hardcore. It's always the beat. So who'se afraid of Skrillex? Other than Ellie Goulding. Not these parents. Of course, what parents don't know is that it isn't so much the music as the show.

    Skrillex performing at Tomorrowland in 2012

    Israel forces birth control on Ethiopian Jews; Wisdom Quarterly
    Yeah, we did it, but it was this whole big crazy thing, y'know how it is? - Yeah, sure.
    Ethiopian Jews who emigrate to Israel receive a surprise -- sterilization (wiki/
    Sorry, buddy, but Israel comes first.
    Israel has admitted that it has been giving Jewish Ethiopian immigrants birth control injections, according to a report in Haaretz.
    An Israeli investigative journalist also found that a majority of the women given these shots say they were administered without their knowledge or consent.

    Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu acknowledged the practice -- without directly conceding coercion was involved -- in a letter to Israeli health maintenance organizations, instructing gynecologists in the HMOs “not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.”

    Depo-Provera is a hormonal form of birth control that is injected every three months. More

    Entering Buddhist Caves (photos)

    Marten Lagendijk (Donmarty/; Seven, Kasan, Dev, Wisdom Quarterly
    A fanciful depiction of the Buddha in Maha Kassapa's Pipphali Cave, Rajgir (Yuttadhammo)

    Indian women behold Ajanta cave complex in the distance; inside cave (Donmarty/flickr)
    A darkened nook and lit shrine in the Ajanta complex (Martenlagendijk/Donmarty/flickr)
    Chiang Dao (Peter Apflauer/
    The best ascetics (shamans, shramans) are minted in caves. Everyone must know that by now.
    Long, long ago the Bodhisat retreated to the Himalayan foothills extending from Afghanistan's Hindu Kush through Nepal's secluded climes to India's northeastern hinterlands
    That region includes the modern states of Sikkim, Assam, Nagaland, and Arunchal Pradesh north of Bhutan (the world's last Himalayan Buddhist kingdom).

    Why enter caves?
    Ajanta Cave (Donmarty/
    As meditation worsens, we want louder, brighter, more chaotic stimuli to keep us distracted and entertained or at least not bored. As meditation progresses, we want quieter, dimmer, stiller stimuli to keep us concentrated and serene as we experience more internal stimuli than we can usually handle.

    What comes from successful meditation is so gorgeous, brilliant, overwhelming, and sublime that putting it into words falls flat. We are reduced to platitudes.

    The first phase of meditation is serenity or tranquility (samatha, samadhi, dhyana) that becomes absorption. This needs withdrawal and mental seclusion -- separation from sense-distractions, craving, and lust/thirst.
    Ajanta cave art (Paroxysmal30/flickr)
    "But I like lust!" we say. Of course. In this world, in our ordinary state, we came here to try to feed our endless cravings for sensual delights. And there are many, most of them illusory. There is only one abyss, and that is the mouth. No matter what we put in it, it is never full for long. It is an endlessly hollow hole to be filled.
    Ajanta (Nevilzaveri/flickr)
    So we retreat to another hollow hole and do not attempt to fill it. Instead, we see what there is to see when we are not distracted.
    Like Plato's Allegory of the Cave, we begin to distinguish forms from shadows, the real thing from the tinsel we've been getting by on.

    Udayagiri, Khandagiri, Orissa (Aisamit/flickr)
    The second stage of meditation needs, or strongly yearns for, more silence, stillness, and solitude -- all the things that s*ck when we have little internal to rely on. This is because real insight meditation (not the rote mental noting that skips the cultivation of foundational concentration that gives the heart/mind penetrating energy) is much more subtle and sublime than the amazing bliss of the first stage (eight phases) of meditation.
    Caves of Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan near the real Kapilavastu with Hindu Kush (part of the Himalayan range) in background (Wiki commons)

    There are two ways to understand that "Buddh-ISM" began in caves. The first way is to remember how often the Buddha-to-be or Bodhisatta (Sanskrit, Bodhisattva)
    Many "Birth Tales" (jatakas) place the individual striving for buddhahood in caves along the foothills of the Himalayas.  
    Sattapanni Cave, India (
    What were once the tallest Buddha sculptures in the world are carved into cliffs dotted with many caves used by Buddhist monastics and practitioners, many being Shakyans from (the real) Kapilavastu. Now Bamiyan, "Copper Well" (Mes Aynak), "Golden Mound" (Tillya Tepe), and other Afghan archeological sites.

    Of course, the Buddha-Dharma -- the message and mission/ministry (buddha-sasana) of the Enlightened or Awakened One -- began in the wild forest under caring trees among wilderness devas or "sprites" (elementals, fairies, funloving spirits).

    Buddha surrounded by devas (Donmarty)
    But the -ism, the religion, the formal institution began after the Buddha's final nirvana in Sattapanni, Saptaparni, or Srataparna Cave on the first of seven hills surrounding Magadha's enclosed royal city of Rajagriha, India, where the Buddha spent much of his life after the great enlightenment. 
    Maha Kassapa, a Brahmin arhat and prominent disciple of the Buddha who lived in the nearby Pipphali Cave when his teacher dwelled on another hill called Vulture Peak and Veluvana Monastery just outside the royal city's gate, called for the First Council that led to the formation of a standardized "religion. 

    The unimaginable magnificence of the Ajanta Buddhist cave complex, India (Donmarty)
    Now there are "Buddhist caves" all over the world -- India (Ajanta, Ellora), Central Asia (the -Stans), Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan (which was part of India until 1947), China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Bhutan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma, Nepal, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Java, Singapore, Malaysia, Mongolia, Siberia, Russia, and Europe's Kalmykia.