A word about that recent GPU-based password cracker: it was done using Virtual OpenCL, which extends OpenCL to clusters, allowing one program to use OpenCL and distribute its accelerator calls across all the OpenCL-aware accelerator cards in a cluster of machines. This is a big deal, because it culminates years of effort to bring accelerator cards (of which GPUs are but one example) into the fore as a bona fide computing platform for general-purpose computing. This will hasten the breakup of the traditional server architecture and pave the way for a much more distributed computing platform.
This weekend was rohatsu sesshin, which is usually a longer 4- or 5-day sesshin but this year was reduced to just a day and a half. Anyone familiar with sesshins knows you can’t get a whole lot (not)done in just a day and a half. But I tried. And at first, it looked like I’d be proving the rule…but in retrospect I believe the time was a lot better spent than I thought.
Last sesshin, in October, was much longer (4 days) and I was able to really “polish the mirror” with great effort, to the point that I was really able to experience that “snow in a silver bowl” sort of clarity of vision. It’s startling…the precision of that clarity of mind. Everything takes on such a knife-edged exactness. But it doesn’t last…well, at least not for me, not yet.
This sesshin started with makyo, almost immediately — as soon as I’d got my brain calmed down enough to stop complaining and focus a little, the makyo came on with a fury. I’ve had powerful makyo before…hell, I’ve had full-on all-senses hallucinations. These weren’t that strong. But they were crystal-clear, high-definition, deeply-detailed, and fully observable (meaning I could look around at the details before the makyo faded). And, most importantly, they were creative, and by that I mean that each makyo seemed to stand by itself apart from my personal history instead of being just a rehashed memory (my makyo are usually just that…rehashed memories).
It occurs to me now that some of the realizations from October’s sesshin were powering the makyo in December’s sesshin. That same clarity of vision was definitely there, as well as that shimmering snow-in-silver quality of light. Either my brain is reusing the imagery…or my brain is learning how to get into that space quicker than I am willing to let go. I believe it’s the latter, because when I engaged with these “bright makyo”, they turned to shit (meaning, the brightness dulled and their mind-essence returned). As long as I was just observing them, they persisted…but as soon as I engaged with them, tried to reason about them, tried to investigate them, they turned to shit (or, rather, the clarity became obscured by my self-centered mind). I can’t think of better proof of the obscuring qualities of the ego than this phenomenon of the bright makyo.