Saturday, April 30, 2016

Show me your original face before your parents were born!

     “Just keep exploring what you truly are. Am I a separate limited awareness? Or is the awareness that I know myself to be totally open, unlimited, and ever-present? 
     Because the belief and the feeling that what I am, comes and goes, and is limited, and therefore lacking, that is at the heart – that belief and feeling, that single belief and feeling is at the heart of all your suffering. That’s the only thing in suffering that needs to be explored – not the whole paraphernalia of whatever seems to be causing the suffering, because if you explore each of the causes in turn, it’s just endless. Money, work, relationships, - it goes on forever. But all these different colors, different facets of suffering, it all hinges on one thing – the belief that what I am, the I that is knowing my thoughts and hearing these words right now, the awareness I know myself to be, shares the limits and the destiny of the body-mind. 
     That’s it. That is with that belief we seem to shrink into a separate self. All our suffering is dependent upon that belief and feeling alone. 
     So once that’s clear you become naturally one-pointed. You see that all your suffering is just based on one thing. So all your disparate energies are now gathered together in that one direction. What am I truly? 
     You even forget about suffering because you’re dealing with what’s at the heart of it. You forget about the paraphernalia of suffering. Who is this one, this self that is suffering? Who is this one on whose behalf I spent my life thinking and feeling, acting and relating, I spent my life serving? This self – who is it? I’ve never seen it. Where are you? Come out. I want to make your acquaintance. Show me what you’re made of.”            

Essence Of Pearl by Pennie Gibson

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mind - a Non-dual (Advaita) Perspective

     “Just consider the possibility that everything you experience is mind – thinking, imagining, feeling, sensing, seeing, hearing, tasting. It’s not so hard to consider this possibility because it is actually in line with our experience.
     What should be much more difficult to imagine, is that our experience is made out of something other than mind, such as matter. Because nobody has ever found or experienced that stuff. 
     Could it be that all experience is a coloring of mind - just like all movies are a coloring of the screen?”           Rupert Spira

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Freedom to Choose One's State of Being

     “A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes – within the limits of endowment and environment – he has made out of himself. In the concentration camps, for example, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Man has both potentialities within himself; which one is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions.”
     Viktor E. Frankl. “Man’s Search for Meaning. An Introduction to Logotherapy.” ed 3, Simon & Schuster, 1984.

     "Moral transgression," above and beyond all other dangers & hardships, is considered by another psychiatrist to be the most important cause of combat PTSD.
       Jonathan Shay. “Achilles in Vietnam. Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character.” Scribner, 1994.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Our Capacity to Observe

     "If we look at or analyze the various components that comprise what we call our individual consciousness; we will discover thoughts, concepts, beliefs, story-making, preferences, tendencies, images, memories, imagination, sensations, self-images, sense of identity and various other psychological phenomena.
     All of these mental factors are individually dependent on multiple prior factors and conditions. And each one of those are themselves dependent on multiple prior factors and conditions. All of these conditioned mental factors are what make up our 'karmic' dream-like trance called samsara.
     However there is one exception in consciousness that is itself not dependent on any previous factors or conditions; and that is our capacity to 'observe'. Observation requires none of the above mentioned mental and psychological components.
     The capacity to observe is always pure, unconditioned, thought-free and pristine. All other aspects of mentation are dependent, conditioned and constructors of our delusions. 
     By differentiating this capacity to observe, from ALL the other mental and psychological phenomena, our true, permanent refuge is actualized in every observing moment.
     Being the 'observing' exclusively in experience, will cause it's intrinsic treasures of wisdom, bliss and unconditional love to naturally arise and manifest in ever wider arcs of compassionate resonance for the benefit of all."   Jackson Peterson

Salt Marsh by Susan Paterson

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The True Purpose of Martial Arts Training

Do not recognize friend or foe in your mind. 
In your heart let there be generosity as large as the sea which accepts both clean and unclean water. 
Let your mind be as merciful as nature which loves the smallest tree or blade of grass. 
Let your mind be strong with sincerity that can pierce iron or stone. 
Repay the forces of nature, work for the good of all and make yourself a person whom nature is pleased to let live. 
This is the true purpose of training.
Koichi Tohei, "Aikido: The Arts of Self-Defense"


Monday, April 11, 2016

Falling Feels like Flying … for a Little While

YET, at the SAME TIME ...

We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute
of eternity. We are pain
and what cures pain, both. We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.                                      Rumi

What we are looking for is what is looking.                                        St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Refugees & More - a Poem

Old song of a ship sailing from Scotland to Canada
People continue to migrate all over the world
Seeking better lives
Stories of stories of stories
From one generation to the next
Groundhog Day upon Groundhog Day
The timeless, endless, humanizing project
Emptiness exploring emptiness
What it means to incarnate
To be embodied in flesh
Form in endless variety
Appearances only
From holy perfection
To apparent depths of depravity
To be born, live, grow old, and die as a sentient being
The material manifestation of (don’t even attempt a name)
That which words, ideas & concepts can’t begin to describe.

Refugee by Davide Monteleone 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Core Insights of Buddhism

     “The three core insights of the Buddhist tradition are the facts of impermanence, of suffering, and of non-self
     The first of these refers to the truth that all phenomena, without exception, change; 
     the second recognizes that all experience is structurally incapable of yielding lasting satisfaction; 
     and the third points out the awkward truth that we are not quite what we take ourselves to be. 

     To these we might usefully add the associated ideas of the interdependent arising of all phenomena, and the notion of awakening as a radical psychological transformation.”

       Olendzki A. "Unlimiting Mind. The Radically Experiential Psychology of Buddhism." Wisdom Publications, Boston, 2010. 

     Useful introduction to the above:

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Blues - As Good As It Gets? Really??

     It can take a painfully long, long time - and some of us never really get it: it's not about being rescued, saved, or completed by anyone or anything out there.
     Each one of us, individually, needs to fully discover, directly experience who / what we actually are. However with our common personal-verbal level of consciousness, we can only grossly underestimate:!Two-Levels-of-Consciousness/c17jj/56f14e0c0cf266a292561f27
     The blues - even the wonderful Mary Gauthier's (below) - seems to be about the seemingly endless futile struggle to find happiness, wholeness, perfection, outside of ourselves. No wonder so much of the blues is about all sorts of doomed, broken escape routes - booze, drugs, gambling etc. 
     We need to see clearly, accept & have compassion for this deluded aspect of our shared human life. But we need to grow bored, sick & tired of wallowing, and break through to the other side of this ...