Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

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Aryjna
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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Aryjna » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:11 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:03 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:37 pm
The view that if you practice during daily life you do not need many hours of formal practice as well. It goes without saying that you should always be practicing during other activities.
If when one is introduced to the nature of mind they "get it" and can "maintain it", of what value is formal practice?

Granted this is a HUGE "if".
I don't think I've ever heard of someone who could do that. Then again I have not really read many namthars.

I am just mentioning it because lately I think a lot of people here seem to suggest that as long as someone is a Dzogchen/Mahamudra practitioner there is no need for renunciation etc. But unless the person in question is of extremely high capacity that does not seem correct.

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Grigoris
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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:19 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:11 pm
I am just mentioning it because lately I think a lot of people here seem to suggest that as long as someone is a Dzogchen/Mahamudra practitioner there is no need for renunciation etc. But unless the person in question is of extremely high capacity that does not seem correct.
I agree with you, just saying...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Aryjna
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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Aryjna » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:24 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:19 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:11 pm
I am just mentioning it because lately I think a lot of people here seem to suggest that as long as someone is a Dzogchen/Mahamudra practitioner there is no need for renunciation etc. But unless the person in question is of extremely high capacity that does not seem correct.
I agree with you, just saying...
Unfortunately it does not really matter if the option to live in a cave does not exist in the first place :D

I think the only real choice for someone who wants to go for full renunciation in the west nowadays is to live as a homeless person. Much less romantic than living in a cave.

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Miroku » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:28 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:24 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:19 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:11 pm
I am just mentioning it because lately I think a lot of people here seem to suggest that as long as someone is a Dzogchen/Mahamudra practitioner there is no need for renunciation etc. But unless the person in question is of extremely high capacity that does not seem correct.
I agree with you, just saying...
Unfortunately it does not really matter if the option to live in a cave does not exist in the first place :D

I think the only real choice for someone who wants to go for full renunciation in the west nowadays is to live as a homeless person. Much less romantic than living in a cave.
And way bigger chance to get brutally attacked by the police or some right wing youth or drug users. Guess it is better to have a stable income.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Aryjna » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:30 pm

Miroku wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:28 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:24 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:19 pm
I agree with you, just saying...
Unfortunately it does not really matter if the option to live in a cave does not exist in the first place :D

I think the only real choice for someone who wants to go for full renunciation in the west nowadays is to live as a homeless person. Much less romantic than living in a cave.
And way bigger chance to get brutally attacked by the police or some right wing youth or drug users. Guess it is better to have a stable income.
Probably. Though I think even in caves in Tibet etc there was a significant chance to be beaten or killed by bandits or animals.

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:31 pm

Miroku wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:28 pm
And way bigger chance to get brutally attacked by the police or some right wing youth or drug users. Guess it is better to have a stable income.
All of these can happen to you on a stable income too, especially if you are black or brown... ;)
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Miroku » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:37 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:31 pm
Miroku wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:28 pm
And way bigger chance to get brutally attacked by the police or some right wing youth or drug users. Guess it is better to have a stable income.
All of these can happen to you on a stable income too, especially if you are black or brown... ;)
True, I forgot about those... Damn guess it is time to do closed retreat away from people in general.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

Miroku
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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Miroku » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:37 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:30 pm
Miroku wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:28 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:24 pm


Unfortunately it does not really matter if the option to live in a cave does not exist in the first place :D

I think the only real choice for someone who wants to go for full renunciation in the west nowadays is to live as a homeless person. Much less romantic than living in a cave.
And way bigger chance to get brutally attacked by the police or some right wing youth or drug users. Guess it is better to have a stable income.
Probably. Though I think even in caves in Tibet etc there was a significant chance to be beaten or killed by bandits or animals.
You are right. Being a full time yogi is not easy.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by pemachophel » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:23 pm

Two weekends ago, Tulku Yeshe Gyamtsho said something that really caught my attention. He said, "Until you are working for all sentient beings all day every day, you're not yet a Bodhisatva." The implication was that, until then, one is only aspiring to be a Bodhisatva. Forget nirvana; forget Enlightenment. We are not even yet an actual Bodhisatva.

In thinking about this, it seems to me that one doesn't need to be a monk or nun or a hermit yogi or yogini, one doesn't need to be a Geshe or a ngakpa, married or single, young or old, rich or poor to work for the sake of all sentient beings 24/7/365. All one needs is mindfulness and the constant thought of helping all sentient beings no matter what outwardly you are doing -- manual laborer, white collar professional, skilled artisan, homemaker, or homeless person. My point being that, as long as one has the right motivation and mindfulness, one can practice the Bodhisatvayana every moment of every day regardless of one's outer circumstances. In addition, the Vajrayana gives us a whole arsenal of skillful means to use as we go about our lives, whatever that life looks like. The issue is putting these methods into practice at all times and in all situations.

IME, if one finds, no matter what their outer lifestyle, that they keep forgetting to generate Bodhicitta and keep forgetting to use those skillful means, it is because, first of all, of insufficiently pondering and truly understanding the four topics which turn the mind (away from samsara and toward nirvana; i.e., the lo-do nam-zhi). Secondly, it is also because one has not brought their practice of lo-jong, the mind-training of a Bodhisatva, to perfection. If one has perfectly internalized and understood these four thoughts and perfectly practiced lo-jong, then one will be just like Milarepa in terms of putting the Dharma into practice every moment of every day regardless of outer appearance or mundane occupation.

Personally, I think we (I!) need to stop blaming our outer circumstances for our failure to practice and recognize that real practice takes places in our minds regardless of what's going on around us. It really doesn't matter how other practitioners in other times and other cultures have lived their lives. Nor does it matter what the world looks like now, how things are. It only matters what we do in the present moment -- and then the moment after that, and then the moment after that, and then the moment after that...

"No matter where you stay, be it a busy place or a solitary retreat, the only things that you need to conquer are your mind's five poisons, and your own true enemies, the eight worldly concerns - nothing else."
~ Chatral Rinpoche
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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Sennin
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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Sennin » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:43 pm

Solitude is useful to be free from distractions and interruptions.

Even so, obstacles are our teachers and teachings.
Hope for realization in retreat and fear of non realization while practicing amongst the people is not the main point.

Enjoying the practice without any expectations with a mind of compassion and the continual generation of bodhichitta and renunciation; with the view free of extremes, always take refuge in Guru three jewels.
Last edited by Sennin on Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thus, there is not a single one who has entered into this teaching who fails to attain buddhahood.

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:54 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:11 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:03 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:37 pm
The view that if you practice during daily life you do not need many hours of formal practice as well. It goes without saying that you should always be practicing during other activities.
If when one is introduced to the nature of mind they "get it" and can "maintain it", of what value is formal practice?

Granted this is a HUGE "if".
I don't think I've ever heard of someone who could do that. Then again I have not really read many namthars.

I am just mentioning it because lately I think a lot of people here seem to suggest that as long as someone is a Dzogchen/Mahamudra practitioner there is no need for renunciation etc. But unless the person in question is of extremely high capacity that does not seem correct.
More and more I am thinking that perhaps we need more renunciation, less materialism, and more effort towards becoming a Bodhisattva.

DS
For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.
- Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by KRB80 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:43 am

pemachophel wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:23 pm
Two weekends ago, Tulku Yeshe Gyamtsho said something that really caught my attention. He said, "Until you are working for all sentient beings all day every day, you're not yet a Bodhisatva." The implication was that, until then, one is only aspiring to be a Bodhisatva. Forget nirvana; forget Enlightenment. We are not even yet an actual Bodhisatva.

In thinking about this, it seems to me that one doesn't need to be a monk or nun or a hermit yogi or yogini, one doesn't need to be a Geshe or a ngakpa, married or single, young or old, rich or poor to work for the sake of all sentient beings 24/7/365. All one needs is mindfulness and the constant thought of helping all sentient beings no matter what outwardly you are doing -- manual laborer, white collar professional, skilled artisan, homemaker, or homeless person. My point being that, as long as one has the right motivation and mindfulness, one can practice the Bodhisatvayana every moment of every day regardless of one's outer circumstances. In addition, the Vajrayana gives us a whole arsenal of skillful means to use as we go about our lives, whatever that life looks like. The issue is putting these methods into practice at all times and in all situations.

IME, if one finds, no matter what their outer lifestyle, that they keep forgetting to generate Bodhicitta and keep forgetting to use those skillful means, it is because, first of all, of insufficiently pondering and truly understanding the four topics which turn the mind (away from samsara and toward nirvana; i.e., the lo-do nam-zhi). Secondly, it is also because one has not brought their practice of lo-jong, the mind-training of a Bodhisatva, to perfection. If one has perfectly internalized and understood these four thoughts and perfectly practiced lo-jong, then one will be just like Milarepa in terms of putting the Dharma into practice every moment of every day regardless of outer appearance or mundane occupation.

Personally, I think we (I!) need to stop blaming our outer circumstances for our failure to practice and recognize that real practice takes places in our minds regardless of what's going on around us. It really doesn't matter how other practitioners in other times and other cultures have lived their lives. Nor does it matter what the world looks like now, how things are. It only matters what we do in the present moment -- and then the moment after that, and then the moment after that, and then the moment after that...

"No matter where you stay, be it a busy place or a solitary retreat, the only things that you need to conquer are your mind's five poisons, and your own true enemies, the eight worldly concerns - nothing else."
~ Chatral Rinpoche
:good: :thumbsup:
We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all. - Kalu Rinpoche

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:30 am

pemachophel wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:23 pm
---
Sadhu! Sadhu! :twothumbsup:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:40 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:03 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:37 pm
The view that if you practice during daily life you do not need many hours of formal practice as well. It goes without saying that you should always be practicing during other activities.
If, when one is introduced to the nature of mind they "get it" and can "maintain it", of what value is formal practice?

Granted this is a HUGE "if".
Nature of mind is basis for practice, not a path.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by florin » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:13 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:40 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:03 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:37 pm
The view that if you practice during daily life you do not need many hours of formal practice as well. It goes without saying that you should always be practicing during other activities.
If, when one is introduced to the nature of mind they "get it" and can "maintain it", of what value is formal practice?

Granted this is a HUGE "if".
Nature of mind is basis for practice, not a path.

When the practitioner lives in the knowledge of the primordial state the base path and fruit are identical.
The nature of diverse phenomena is non-dual. This means that both pure vision and impure vision are a manifestation of the energy of the primordial state. Even though in reality there is no duality, everything manifests separately. KG

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Malcolm
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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:45 pm

florin wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:13 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:40 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:03 pm
If, when one is introduced to the nature of mind they "get it" and can "maintain it", of what value is formal practice?

Granted this is a HUGE "if".
Nature of mind is basis for practice, not a path.

When the practitioner lives in the knowledge of the primordial state the base path and fruit are identical.
That is a big “when.”
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by weitsicht » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:28 am

pemachophel wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:23 pm
---
Thanks pemachophel. From my :heart:
Be is solitary or amidst hustling and bustling, everybody has to find his own upaya for his path.
And not cease to check against wrong apprehensions.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by oldbob » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:23 pm

Good posts all - especially pemachophels. This is a question that everyone who is a practitioner - who aspires to realization - must face and solve for themselves.

My 2 cents,

Just go for it as you are able, and see what happens. Do something / anything towards your aspiration. One step leads to another.

Find a Teacher who exemplifies in their life and actions what you want to achieve.

Show up - as you are able, read what you can afford. Perhaps everything is on the web for free or you can ask for help from friends. Go to Teachings as you can afford. Make time for practice as you can afford.

In the balance between closed retreats / solitude - vs working in the world / keeping a family happy - be gentle with yourself and your family. ChNNR is always supportive of making a living and families. Don't force anything. Otherwise you might give it up. So the middle way applies. Not too tight - not too loose.

I've had times in my life where I would spend 16 hours a day on the zafu cranking out the accumulations for two nundros. I attended 4-5 long retreats a year with ChNNR from 1980 till recently. I made the effort to receive and practice the 7 stages of the dark retreat over 49 days. I made a long Guru Rinpoche retreat. I made a long retreat to complete the "Purification of the 6 Lokas". Etc.

Am I a Bodhisattva? I made the effort to take my Bodhisattva vows from HHDL under the Bodhi tree in Bod Gaya. Can I offer my body to a hungry tiger or mosquito? -- not my thing. Still I take little guys out of the toilet and release them outside. I've participated in several large animal ransoms and plan to do more - this is a huge and easy way to build relative merit.

On the practical side - In 1980 I made the conscious wish to be helpful to ChNNR and made the effort to found Tseygyalgar - read ChNNR's writings with the Conway Gurdjieff group 6 times, did the 501C3 paperwork and the state tax paperwork. Served on the first yellow Gakyil. Lobbied strongly, for 30 years, that retreats should be free. Still feel that Dharma in the West should be totally financed by sponsors / donations as it is in the East.

Now asking for permissions to be allowed by vision / dreams as was with Ven. Jigmed Lingpa. There needs to be some way to allow permissions and transmissions for the future to be easy and free.

Still asking for all of ChNNRs more than 120 teachings to be supported by SSF / SSI. An ongoing lineage data base for each practice would be nice identifying (for those willing to participate) who has received and accomplished each practice and those approved by the IG.

Still asking for all the audio and video recordings of the over 500 retreats of ChNNR to be re-collected and preserved - as practically possible.

I don't know? I suppose I am content - if I were to ask that question.

On a practical note:

While always better to ask your Teacher, I think it is fine to use helper aids to make doing the accumulations more easy: tilted prostration boards, knee pads etc, hand sliders, are ok, as are mechanical clicker counters and now the app:

https://app.tergar.org/

I don't think that motorized prayer wheels will work.

Just go for it as you are able.

:heart:

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Aryjna
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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Aryjna » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:47 pm

Some quotes by Tulku Urgyen on the importance of solitary retreat:
Vajra Speech wrote:Honestly, there is hardly as much as one instant during a twenty-four hour period when an ordinary person truly remains in uncontrived naturalness. This habit is the exact opposite of Dharma practice. We need to train in the habit of samadhi. In the beginning, it seems very difficult. Unless we give up our normal tasks and distance ourselves from them, we have no opportunity to change our mind's deep-rooted negative habits. It simply will not happen. This is why all the buddhas and great masters encouraged people to seek out quiet places to grow stable in the recognition of their buddha nature. The Mahamudra tradition tells us that by practicing the threefold solitude one grows closer to and realizes the innate three vajras. The Dzogchen tradition tells us to abandon the ninefold activities. This profound and amazing instruction is not easy to do while involved in ordinary life. That is the reason why all the great masters encouraged practitioners to stay in retreat.

In solitude is where all the gurus attained enlightenment within one life and body. They never stayed where their body, speech and mind were not in solitude. This is an important point. When the body is in solitude then one attains the vajra body, when the speech is in solitude one attains the vajra speech, and when the mind is in solitude one attains the vajra mind. The three vajras are attained by remaining in mountain solitude.

Tenma
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Re: Strategies for Keeping Practice in the West

Post by Tenma » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:19 am

Miroku wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:37 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:30 pm
Miroku wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:28 pm


And way bigger chance to get brutally attacked by the police or some right wing youth or drug users. Guess it is better to have a stable income.
Probably. Though I think even in caves in Tibet etc there was a significant chance to be beaten or killed by bandits or animals.
You are right. Being a full time yogi is not easy.
Perhaps everyone should become one once they become old and retired. It's a good aesthetic after all. As I quote Confucius:
“The Master says: At 15 I set my heart on learning, at 30 I know where I stood, at 40 I have no more doubts, at 50 I knew the will of Heaven (life’s purpose), at 60 my ears were attuned (i.e. my moral sense was developed), and at 70 I followed my heart’s desire without crossing the line.”

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