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Tomorrow Never Knows

First posted Feb 13th, 2007 on my Zaadz/Gaia blog

I’ve been thinking about inclination A LOT recently. Adyashanti talks about it often at satsangs lately, and really hammered on it at the retreat I went to at Mount Madonna Center in January.

When I had a chance to see Byron Katie, on her book tour for her brand new book “A Thousand Names for Joy,” she was also quite specific that when we aren’t holding a thought action just happens, and she would question whether “we” are involved in the least.

Yesterday I was entertaining thoughts for much of the day (I just saw the major tag-line on Byron Katie’s website – “When you argue with reality you lose – but only 100% of the time ;-)”) and was once again feeling my connection with inner awareness dim out some. But then this morning, things started flowing again. I was listening to Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth for the Nth time (recommended, recommended, recommended, check it out on audio read by him, listen over and over…), and as I generally do, hearing greater depths to it when the following grabbed me by the throat:

“When you find that truth,
all your actions will be in alignment with it” (somewhere in chap.3)

That’s it! It’s not about “your” inclination at all. Simply let go of thought (and I did and will), and enter into the pristine beauty of the moment. This isn’t a skill, it’s our natural state, meaning it requires no effort or movement. The requisite skill, optional perhaps but highly recommended for anyone having tendencies for falling back into obsession (hello people of the West…) is to be able to observe when thought begins to cloud the experience. That’s what understanding the structural nature of the Imaginary Self (see A New Earth) really helps with, although as one gets clearer this is left behind as the experience of suffering that arises when we go into resistance becomes so “in your face” that there’s no question of ignoring it or hesitation in letting go of that thought.

Move into the center. Observe what’s there. Perhaps nothing but Peace, Beauty, Bliss.

Turn off your mind, relax
and float down stream
It is not dying
It is not dying

Lay down all thought
Surrender to the void
It is shining
It is shining

That you may see
The meaning of within
It is being
It is being

That love is all
And love is everyone
It is knowing
It is knowing

That ignorance and hate
May mourn the dead
It is believing
It is believing

But listen to the
color of your dreams
It is not living
It is not living

Or play the game
existence to the end
Of the beginning
Of the beginning
Of the beginning
Of the beginning
Of the beginning
Of the beginning

Lennon-McCartney (written by John, too bad he lost IT…)
(c) whatever

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Thomas Carlyle

First posted Feb 6th, 2007 to my Zaadz/Gaia blog

This is a comment to Siona’s  blog posting  on Thomas Carlyle on the anniversary of his death. Quoting from her post:

“But this I love more: Carlyle had an unblinkered awareness of the suffering inherent to the world. He believed the point of life is to make man blessed, not happy, and that the pursuit of happiness is one of the things that prevents people from achieving blessedness.”

To which I comment:

“Yes, yes, yes. Carlyle seems amazingly close to the core! – But I wonder if the blessed / happiness distinction doesn’t suffer from issues of definitions of terms. I really like Eckhart Tolle’s idea that unhappiness is any state of identifying who we are with emotions we’re having an aversive reaction to, such as feelings we should have something or shouldn’t be experiencing something else.

When viewed with detachment, the same feelings are clearly seen as an ineffable, invaluable part of the unblemished suchness of each moment. Without the story attached to the feelings, the background of joy emerges, as the content, no longer resisted, merges with the whole mass-of-what-is, penetrated through and through by the vast, spacious awareness. Then we fall into being, consciousness and bliss. How can this not be happiness?

So, the pursuit of happiness is exactly its opposite when we are grasping at any “thing” that we dream will somehow finally complete the image of “Me,” completely impossible within the temporal framework of the world of form. And is utterly transformed when we release attachment to outcomes and to the chronic reaction to the sense of unsatisfactoriness that drives the imaginary self. The pursuit becomes effective and practical when directed by a seeing of what is along with complete acceptance of what’s seen. Then we are truly blessed, but not by anything outside of ourselves. We are blessed by surrender to that to which we are directly connected at the center of our being.”

And as Siona ended, Yes.

First posted to my Zaadz/Gaia blog Feb 23rd, 2007

Chinese Finger Cuffs

Remember These?
In Evelyn’s Zaadzblog for yesterday  (Feb. 22nd) she quotes Lama Surya Das also quoting Trungpa Rinpoche as saying;

”Renunciation means to let go of holding back. Can we let go of holding back? Can we relinquish our fears and defenses?”

Holding back is all the hypnotically enmeshed activity of the Imaginary Self, the entirely mental conflation we have throughout the memory of this, and possibly many, lifetimes assumed to be what we are. Although That which we truly are is infact entirely surrounding and penetrating everything that appears as the content of the mind and senses, we none-the-less feel hemmed in by “reality,” what Eckhart Tolle calls our life situation. We are actually in a chronic posture of clenching onto what is actually and totally a dream.

If you’re of a certain age, perhaps you remember the fairs or carnivals at your school or church, where for a dime or so you could take part in contests requiring questionable skill, for success in which you were gifted with cheezy treasures, prominent among which were the ever-daunting Chinese Finger-cuffs (Dun-Dun-Dun). The thing with these classy little products of some sweatshop in the Far East was that you’d stick a finger from each hand in one end of the little woven tube, and when you’d pull on it hard enough it’d grip the fingers with enough force to dislocate yer dang knuckles. And you could do what you wanted, twist the fingers, shake ’em, whatever, but as long as you kept pulling, you were trapped.

That’s how it is with this clenching that keeps the small self firmly ensconced front and center in our experience. So someone comes along and tells you that you don’t have to stay in states shot through and through with the quality of unsatisfactoriness, which is seemingly ever-recurrent suffering. Or, perhaps they come from a perspective a few notches down and say that the suffering will go away when you meet all your desires (say, through the Law of Attraction(R)…). But whatever catches your attention, the Who-You-Think-You-Are starts out making efforts to get out of your traps in life. There follow the inevitable seminars, workshops, retreats, visualizations, affirmations, yoga intensives, trips to the Spiritual Bookstore, cleansings, rolfings, dietary regimens, and of course lashings of meditations. Still, no matter what you try, the unsatisfactoriness persists relentlessly, in fact seems to increase the harder you try, the more you mind your P’s and Q’s.

With the Finger-Cuffs, the trick was to relax, even push in a little, and then to gently ease out of the suckers. Basically the same thing applies to easing out of the Ego, you just have to let go. I have found this greatly aided by something that Adyashanti’s teacher, Arvis Justi, told him – (hopefully not paraphrasing too much) “Every ego has it’s dance, and it’s just going to dance it out to the end.” Gradually it begins to dawn that there really are no mistakes, every move that presents itself can be followed in the trust that either it’s the right one, or is a brilliant “mistake” that will lead to the perfect, required learning. Things seem to lighten up. People are less threatening, and you’re less inclined to lock horns or hold energy with them. They even kinda seem lovable, not necessarily because you have any liking for them at all.

You may notice that you stop taking yourself so seriously, or not. But one day, the idea that the Imaginary Self is exactly that, an illusion through and through, may become more than theoretical. That which you truly are may, as it is innately suited to do, sees clearly and directly that there was never anybody home.  We find only ease and peacefulness at the center, our heart breaks open with the realization, and we no longer have to hold anything back.

You finessed your way out of the finger-cuffs.

Shanti

Actually you’ve always been here. Just where that is, is an excellent place start an inquiry. Fighting whatever is keeps awareness from flooding into what’s happening now. Then I’m stuck with the struggle getting more real by the moment.

Relax. Where does the energy want to go? Can you hear the world without? The world within? Is breath flowing?

What  is wrong right now?