Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Depth of Being

     A frequently-used metaphor for human nature is that of the ocean, with its obvious surface - from crashing waves to brilliant calm; and the hidden depths - dark, mysterious, silent, deep & still. 
     The surface easily grabs & can completely dominate our attention - and when it does, we are the stormy, salty, soggy "me, myself & I."
     Ultimately, we sense that there has to be more to life than splash, noise & self-concern. Indeed, if we relax, settle into stillness, and listen deeply with all our senses, we naturally sense, return home to, spacious, peaceful, silent wholeness.

     We are BOTH of these!

     When we're sweating in a storm, can we remember to embody our depth of stillness? 
     And when we encounter someone battling a storm, can we remember the fragile, soggy aspect of our own nature?

     "Everything is perfect, but there is always room for improvement." Shunryu Suzuki

     “Some years ago in London the Dalai Lama explained that '... there are two kinds of mindfulness: contrived and natural.' While we can 'practice' contrived mindfulness through effort and intention, 'natural mindfulness' is engaged simply by remaining 'naturally and gently in the essence of awareness itself.' He explained that as soon as the mind is disturbed by ordinary notions and reifications, we become lost in identifying with the contents of the contrived mind. Yet underlying this ever-changing creative display of mental activity is our true nature, or home, of natural mindfulness, an elusive though accessible quality of effortless, abiding, natural awareness (rigpa) that is the ever present dimension of awake awareness within each of us in every moment of our lives. The Dalai Lama acknowledges that this experience of natural mindfulness, or rigpa, 'is beyond words, thoughts, and expression and is difficult to communicate.'” 
        Joel & Michelle Levey 

     "When all the layers of false identity have been stripped off, there is no longer any version of that old self. What is left behind is pure consciousness (rigpa). That is our original being. That is our true identity. Our true nature is indestructible. No matter whether we are sick or healthy, poor or wealthy, it always remains divine and perfect as it is. When we realize our true nature, our life is transformed in a way we could not have imagined before. We realize the very meaning of our life and it puts an end to all searching right there." Anam Thubten

       “What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?” Thomas Merton


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