Saturday, June 15, 2024

Gradual AND Sudden Awakening

    A few nights ago, shoulder pain woke me around midnight. I got up & meditated on the meaning of the chronic, day & night pain, versions of which has been tugging at me for attention for at least three years. Soon after sitting down to meditate, I became immersed in a very complex, beehive-like buzzing - a manifestation of energy. And the pain & suffering melted away. This insight was a wonderful reminder of how everything is complex, intelligent, loving energy, and that pain is only one, tiny, insignificant, transient manifestation of It. I found this quote the day before, with the same message:
    The center of every man’s existence is a dream. Death, disease, insanity, are merely material accidents, like a toothache or a twisted ankle. That these brutal forces always besiege & often capture the citadel does not prove that they are the citadel.”
G.K. Chesterton
understood his word 'dream' to mean Mystery - our actual identity, dreaming up what we assume to be reality when we forget that we are the Dreamer, not the dream.

    Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.” Ram Dass 

    'Witness' is easier to understand for our personal mind than 'writer-producer' - the One dreaming all of this.

    “It is said that awakening is an accident, and when we keep practicing, we become more accident-prone.” Nikki Mirghafori

    chance only favours the mind which is prepared…”
Louis Pasteur

    Zen teacher Henry Shukman concisely describes how - IF we're INTERESTED - we do evolve / grow / mature:

    "Broadly speaking, there are two approaches in human spirituality: gradualist and 'subitist.'
    The gradualist approach says we need to painstakingly, gradually improve our states of mind & heart, and we need long term training to do this.
    ... you work systematically ... reducing negative mind states, then eliminating negative mind states so they don't arise again, and gradually reducing & eliminating the causes of negative mind states. ...
    The subitist approach ... means 'sudden.' The idea here is that we're already whole, perfect & pristine, but we don't realize it. We actually are, but don't see it.
    Therefore, the logic of the practice here is to realize it, and suddenly see that that is indeed the case. We are already whole and okay, as expressions of a blessed empty boundless unity that all things belong to. Some call this 'pure consciousness,' others 'buddha nature' or awakened nature
reason this kind of practice is known as sudden is that it’s a matter of finding what is already the case. Nothing really changes, except that we have a revelatory moment when we realize that all has been well all along, so to speak.
    This might sound extremely counter-intuitive, when the world is manifestly on fire, with war, oppression, cruelty & suffering. But actually, the logic here is that the world is only this way because we haven't realized how okay things actually already truly are. If we only see that, then our behavior will no longer be guided by our illusory way of seeing things, based on a separate sense of self, but by the reality of a larger wellbeing previously unnoticed, but always right here, which all things share.
    So one question is: are these two views and approaches reconcilable? And is it possible they're both right? The answer is surely, yes. It could be that by temperament some people are more drawn to one or the other, and that we may change our orientation as we change through practice. And it could also be that one without the other is incomplete. ...
    Either way, we are slowly & incrementally becoming more aligned with the underlying order of things, the fundamental wellbeing that is unfolding as this world – and which, paradoxically, we have always been expressions of anyway. But what a world of difference it makes to realize it. Yet, at the same time, on another level, it makes no difference at all.
    So on we go, down the pathless path."
Henry Shukman

    "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff … and it's ALL Small Stuff!"

    It's remarkably effective to remember who we truly are whenever life feels stressful & heavy:

     LISTEN to Eckhart Tolle clearly & humorously summarize, in 14 minutes, the heart of what I've been trying to say in over a thousand blogs: "The Mind's Limitation in Understanding Awareness"

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