Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Too Beautiful to Die?

“Don’t prioritise your looks my friend, as they won’t last the journey.
Your sense of humour though, will only get better with age.
Your intuition will grow and expand like a majestic cloak of wisdom.
Your ability to choose your battles, will be fine-tuned to perfection.
Your capacity for stillness, for living in the moment, will blossom.
Your desire to live each and every moment will transcend all other wants.
Your instinct for knowing what (and who) is worth your time,
will grow and flourish like ivy on a castle wall.
Don’t prioritise your looks my friend,
they will change forevermore,
that pursuit is one of much sadness and disappointment.
Prioritise the uniqueness that make you you, and the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit.
These are the things which will only get better."                         Judi Dench

    "The Buddha taught that all phenomena, including thoughts, emotions, & experiences, are marked by three characteristics: impermanence (anicca), suffering or dissatisfaction (dukkha), and not-self (anatta). These three marks apply to all conditioned things—that is, everything except for nirvana. According to the Buddha, fully understanding & appreciating the three marks of existence is essential to realizing enlightenment.
    Everything changes, the Buddha taught. This may seem obvious, but much of the time we relate to things as if their existence were permanent. So when we lose things we think we can’t live without or receive bad news we think will ruin our lives, we experience a great deal of stress. Nothing is permanent, including our lives
, suffering or dissatisfaction, is among the most misunderstood ideas in Buddhism. Life is dukkha, the Buddha said, but he didn’t mean that it is all unhappiness & disappointment. Rather, he meant that ultimately it cannot satisfy. Even when things do satisfy ― a pleasant time with friends, a wonderful meal, a new car ― the satisfaction doesn’t last because all things are impermanent.
not-self, non-essentiality, or egolessness—is even more difficult to grasp. The Buddha taught that there is no unchanging, permanently existing self that inhabits our bodies. In other words, we do not have a fixed, absolute identity. The experience of “I” continuing through life as a separate, singular being is an illusion, he said. What we call the “selfis a construct of physical, mental, & sensory processes that are interdependent & constantly in flux.
is the illusion of a separate, permanent self that chains us to suffering & dissatisfaction, the Buddha said. We put most of our energy into protecting the self, trying to gratify it & clinging to impermanent things we think will enhance it. But belief in a separate, permanent self leads to the craving that, according to the four noble truths, is the source of our suffering.
Buddha’s teachings, especially the practice of the eightfold path, provide the medicine to cure our illusions, so that we become less self-centered & less attached to impermanent things. As we investigate the truth of the three marks of existence, we develop factors of enlightenment such as equanimity—the ability not to be jerked around by our likes & dislikes — and serenity." 

    Nirvana (above) - which alone is NOT characterized by impermanence, unsatisfactoriness & not-self - is the awakened state or enlightenment.
Buddha was a human being who around 500BCE felt the urgent need to end his own & humanity's existential suffering, found the cure for it, and over a 50-year period, taught thousands of others to reach his level of awakening from suffering. His teachings are
universal - for everyone, so there are even Catholic nuns & Jewish Rabbis who at the same time are highly accomplished practitioners of Buddhism, especially Zen.
    Below are glimpses of awakening - experiences of a higher dimension than
conditioned phenomena, our usual frame of reference, so words are inadequate:

    "To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things." Zen Master Dogen

    "Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. 

If only they could all see themselves as they really are. 

If only we could see each other that way all the time. 

There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, 

no more greed… I suppose the big problem would be that 

we would fall down and worship each other....

There is no way of telling people that they are 

all walking around shining like the sun...."                                 Thomas Merton

If we could really, really, really see right now, all that we really, really, really are, we’d see the infinite mystery of God pouring itself out and giving itself away as the intimate immediacy of all that we really are. That vivid state, in the fullness of that state, would be the unitive mystical experience. And then we can learn to be habituated in that state and translate it into love for other people." Jim Finley Interview


     “We are here to find that dimension within ourselves that is deeper than thought.” Eckhart Tolle 


    “Carl Jung said, ‘How can we claim the years have taught us anything, if we’ve not learned to sit & listen to the secret that whispers in the brooks?’ 

    So if I look at a fire, for example, with ego-consciousness, I see a fire. But if I gaze into the flames, in that contemplative gazing at the flames, I sense in the flames the intimations of the holiness and the mystery manifesting itself as this flame. 

    That’s why I think when we try to talk about it, we’re trying to grab it in words. But if we sit in meditative silence infused with love, the state of wonder, we intimately taste directly for ourselves for which no words can be found. That’s why we long for the experience to which our words are aluding to, and how to stabilize in it, and how to share it with people.”  Jim Finley EXCEPTIONAL Interview

“You know you have loved someone
when you have glimpsed in them
that which is too beautiful to die.”                                      Gabriel Marcel


by Mollycules


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