Sunday, April 16, 2023

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

“The art of peace begins with you.
Work on yourself and your appointed task in the art of peace.
Everyone has a spirit that can be refined,
a body that can be trained in some manner, 
a suitable path to follow.
You are here for no other purpose
than to realize your inner divinity
and manifest your enlightenment.
Foster peace in your own life
and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.”
Ueshiba Sensei, founder of Aikido
“Although the final breakthrough is not in our power,
yet we move toward this end
when we strive for the open mind.
Striving for this objectivity is a difficult movement,
it means leaving behind mental constructs & security blankets
that, until now, we never knew we had…
I know of no other path
than that of the open mind
which leads to this end.”
Bernadette Roberts, contemporary Christian mystic
    It's useful to practice sincerely asking oneself, 'How open-minded am I?' Most of us proudly insist that we're open-minded AND YET "can't" let go of our rigid, long-held ideas (personal/group ego) that keep our mind/heart/life/soul fossilized, and which make no sense at all spiritually or scientifically. When anyone challenges our rigid ego structure, we react aggressively, emotionally, "out of character," and - at the time - believe that our emotional over-reaction is justified & reasonable - life-saving even. After we've calmed down, we might be embarrassed about our weird, childish outburst. And yes, even elderly, well-educated professionals are prone to this. 
    Most of us are, to some degree, psychologically & spiritually wounded & stunted. But instead of recognizing this as a call for psychotherapy & deeper, more meaningful spiritual practice, we instinctively run & hide, angrily branding anything of depth & real significance "too deep, confusing, unscientific, unsubstantiated, subjective, etc," and sink back into the familiar grim 'ordinary unhappiness,' assuming that this is 'as good as it gets.' We simply cannot see when woundedness locks us into a 3-year old's level of maturity who yells, 'I hate you Mommy & Daddy! I'm running away from home now!'

    “We become disabled, unable to function in areas of our lives that evoke feelings we’ve never learned to tolerate. Turning away from this primary pain creates a second, ongoing level of suffering: living in a state of contraction & constricted awareness.”
John Welwood

    “Are we training in how to distract ourselves from inner discomfort or anxiety? Are we training in numbing ourselves in the face of fear, or training in waking up? Training in opening the heart, or training in shutting down?” Gaylon Ferguson

    “We are no longer in a period of history when the inner journey is solely about our own liberation: it is about taking part in a global shift in consciousness. It is about preparing us to act, with compassion, on behalf of this planet & the beings around us." Lama Willa Miller

    I invite you to listen to : - a profound, 55-minute interview with Chris Bache PhD - an intelligent, brave, well-educated, wonderfully wise, well-balanced, grounded explorer of consciousness, with profoundly useful experiences to share with those who are on a meaningful spiritual journey. I base this on having watched at least 5 of his long interviews, and reading his impressive, well-written 2019 book, “LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven.
Ervin Laszlo, in the foreward, states that readers "must be willing to entertain three premises:
    That there is an intelligence behind the things in the universe,
    That there is a purpose exhibited by this intelligence, and
    That it is humanly possible to access some elements of this intelligence and learn some of its purpose."

    Notice how Laszlo writes "entertain premises" - curious & open-minded as in serious science & serious spirituality. Bache does not recommend anyone else use high-dose LSD. My own interest is in how his carefully-conducted psychedelic-mediated experiences closely overlapped with & confirmed the spiritual experiences of past & present serious meditators / contemplatives - mystics, saints, as well as average meditators like myself.
    This interview
provides ample opportunities to observe where you are open-minded - AND - where you remain stuck in your reactive, armored 'small self' / Eckhart Tolle's 'pain body.' 

    When I find myself full of fear or desire, I remember that I am dealing with a brain and nervous system that has been hard-wired for millions of years for these emotions. Then I apply one of my favorite mantras, ‘I’m perfectly human.’ When I sit in meditation as a human being rather than as an individual, I feel I am part of a collective effort on the part of our species to right itself, to find a new sanity. As Robert Thurman says of meditation, ‘It’s evolutionary sport.’ In the light of that big perspective, I thank you for being on my team.” Wes Nisker

    "contemplative practices allow the egoic mind to drop of its own accord, and for you to experience something greater – that direct experience of the vastness of which we are a part." Rabbi Rami Shapiro

    “Spiritual practices are methods that can begin to soften our stance toward our self, toward life in general, and to open us to what transcends the habitual. They are invitations to become intimate with the wisdom of silence and stillness.” Dorothy Hunt. “Ending the Search. From Spiritual Ambition to the Heart of Awareness.” Sounds True, 2018. 


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