Monday, December 20, 2021

True Intimacy

     Our ideas of the world, ourselves, others, life itself, are heavily influenced by our past experiences - predominantly early negative / traumatic ones:
     Other powerful influences include current societal trends: "
materialism, hedonism, narcissism & nationalism, as well as a coursing nostalgia for a world that never really existed.” James Hollis

     So our heads are usually crammed with self-talk about all of the above, with little space left to clearly see, & intelligently deal with here-and-now reality! Self-talk is the echo-chamber of the noisy ego. For a balanced, appropriate approach to life, we need to cultivate a quiet ego, so we may approach life with far deeper intelligence. I highly recommend Iain McGilchrist's talks & books on balanced left- & right-hemisphere:

A monk asked his teacher, ‘What are you thinking of in that immobile sitting position?’ ‘I think of not-thinking,’ replied the teacher. The monk asked again, ‘How do you think of not-thinking?’ ‘Beyond thinking,’ replied the teacher.
     ‘I think of not-thinking’ is a key teaching of our practice. Thoughts come. We do not try to exclude them. Our effort is to leave them alone as much as possible and let them go on their way. Not-thinking, or zazen, is how the universe thinks. We are this undivided, unfabricated movement of energy in the universe. You can call this ‘beyond thinking.

     Suzuki Roshi told us, ‘When you say, “Yes!” you forget all about yourself, and you are refreshed into some new self. Before the new self becomes the old self, you should say another, “Yes!”’
     When we can see things as they are, we are nobody special anymore. You can’t see things as they are when you have a self. When you keep saying yes and keep finding a new self, it takes you into the unknown. We keep finding a new self and don’t know what that will be. It may feel like freedom.

     True intimacy occurs when we directly experience reality for ourselves. ... Each one must find intimacy directly, not through our thinking mind, but from immediate direct experience prior to the mind’s mediation.”
Thanas. “The Truth of This Life. Zen Teachings on Loving the World as It Is.” Shambhala, 2018.

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