Friday, March 10, 2023

Of Two Minds

     Many are 'of two minds' about spirituality, awakening - actually about anything that involves stillness, silence, and meaningful depth. Many quickly label these: 'too serious,' 'depressing,' 'too deep,' 'too confusing,' 'unscientific,' 'an individual matter,' etc - whatever it takes to quickly change the subject to 'something lighter.' While these comments might be age-appropriate for teens, they are as likely to be voiced these days by those in their 70s

    “In the lives of children & adults, there is often little time and encouragement to be still and feel the deeper currents within & without. Our lives are shallower as a result."
    Tobin Hart. “The Secret Spiritual World of Children: The Breakthrough Discovery that Profoundly Alters our Conventional View of Children’s Mystical Experiences.” New World Library, 2003. POWERFUL BOOK imho

    Our strikingly shallow, materialist culture is driven by the endless, restless cycle of working & shopping, working & shopping... Stopping, or just slowing down to get our bearings, asking ourselves meaningful human questions: Who am I? What is life about? - in the short term - is BAD FOR BUSINESS! And sadly, materialist culture is itself SHORT TERM - unsustainable, as we're finally starting to notice.
time to pay very close attention to humanity's wisdom traditions (& far less attention to ads & frenzied shopping).

    "Compassion and love are not a luxury; they are essential to our existence. Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community. We must learn to work not just for our own self, family, or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind." Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

    "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." Antoinne de Saint-Exupery, "The Little Prince"

    "In the midst of a conflict or frustration, in the middle of a hurried day, or as a regular ‘tune-in,’ you and I, and our children, too, can get a look from the heart by simply sitting quietly for a few moments, taking a deep breath, and gently bringing awareness to the area of the chest. There is often a felt shift involving a sense of tenderness, spaciousness, slowing down, and settling in. This process can change the scene that is in front of us or the one that is spinning in our mind. Few activities are so simple and powerfully beneficial, but so infrequently practiced.” Tobin Hart (from his book above)


    changing a habitual way of being is a huge challenge. Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither is calm. Rome wasn’t built with twigs; calm isn’t built with tips. It’s not that we can’t help ourselves: We can learn to maintain calm, to roll with change when change rolls in. We just have to acknowledge, even honor, the scale of the adventure before us. It requires nothing less than … allowing the mind to be rewired by mind training — by meditation. It untangles us. Gradually it replaces ancient patterned reactions with fresh & appropriate responses. This is why it’s called practice. It takes time and effort, but to an amazing extent we find ourselves helped.
    Practice changes our relationship to what would otherwise be upsetting. Facing change, we see how futile and painful it is to try to hold on to what is passing — which is everything. Compassion washes in with a kinder, truer understanding of why people do what they do (and that includes you). Things seem simpler, easier.
    The self-help mentality is a matter of shopping, accumulating tips. We don’t have to go shopping. We just need to sit back and let practice work on us. We don’t need tips; we need patience, we need equanimity. How to develop these qualities? I have a great tip for you: Meditate! Start now, continue forever!Amy Gross


“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep!

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!

People are going back & forth across the doorsill
where the two wolds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep!”

Jelaluddin Rumi -  The Breeze at Dawn


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