Angkor Wat III

The apsaras are supernatural female beings — typically dancers. They sometimes seduce gods and men. We will see many apsaras and other figures.

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We are visiting Angkor temples outside of central Angkor Wat. These temples were not protected from encroaching vegetation.

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Can you use this as an opportunity to look inside yourself?

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Can you explore the nature of your self?

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Is the self like an island, separate from all others?

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The “self” seems permanent — like a being made of stone — but if you look inside yourself you see thoughts, emotions, perceptions — events emerging and passing away. A thought comes — but it is not the self. An emotion comes — but it is not the self.

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There are passage-ways into and through the self — what seems solid has entrances and exits.

Some people define the self as the observer — but others say there is no actual inner self — merely electrochemical processes. Perception is a mental construction.

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Passageway – we walk through.

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Apsara

“What are your thoughts about these temples?” I ask Karen. “They focus on the female body.”

“Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists tend to ignore women,” Karen says. “Here they recognize the existence of women.”


We are on a route known as the “Grand Tour.” I seek sacred places that will reach into your heart.

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Apsaras

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Ancient Yoni

There is battle between the trees and the temples. The trees damage the temples but they are now part of the temples.

Men and women are basically different but intertwine.


I pass another ancient “yoni.”


We see musicians who are land mine victims.

It is the dry season — very hot.


Trees in the temple — like the thoughts in your mind — intertwined.


Passing through the gate

The various mystical traditions do not agree regarding the best way to interpret meditational experience. Does the self exist?

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I once heard a zen master refer to the “self-less self” — the self that goes beyond the self, the self that attains “no-self,” the self that realizes that there is no self.

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Here is what I say: There is no need to discuss this.

Your happiness depends on your relationships with others. By looking inside, you perceive the interconnectedness — and gain compassion — this is happiness.

Lao tau says, “Free of desires, you realize the mystery. Caught in desire, you see only the manifestation.”

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