Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Previous Comments By 'thierrycac'

Do we Use Thought, or Does Thought Use us?, by Dada

FaceBook  On Oct 26, 2013 Thierry wrote:

It seems the author is speaking of the 95% of our so-called thinking which is vain, irrelevant, superficial, mechanical. The chattering mind. Yet to be aware of this chattering, of this wastage of energy, this  also consumes energy while in a more focused way. It doesn't necessary follow that  meditative watchfulness, must , of itself, generate new insights.. In my experience, insights come through sharing the thinking of others, whosoever whose thinking  has meditative value, what is called wisdom. Which is in no way personal yet must make sense in my experience. The mind is like a huge reservoir not all of us can tap into directly. But we can tap into it indirectly through the mediation of others. This is how impersonal the mind is and how important thinking, in the meditative dimension, is.
Thought is restless, the more so as one does not attend to it. Yet this is only half of the deal. The fact is that the more one attends during daytime the more one is aware of that same restlessness at night. The more one wonders of what to make out of the confusing language of dreams. Speaking of a new dimensional  existence, I wonder if this can be accessed through sheer discipline, least of all, by some sort of wishfulness.
Intuitive intelligence must include some capacity not only to read in between the words but also an ability to  see through that wordless yet symbolic language which is also the language of myth.
 

 

Liberation is Not a Spectator Sport, by Adyashanti

FaceBook  On Oct 8, 2013 Thierry wrote:

 That question of commitment is a tough nut to crack for someone as reluctant as I am to commit myself and yet haunted by the absolute necessity of a commitment. The tension between these two opposites has been present throughout my entire existence. Reading (or listening) 's merit is to point to the difficulties one will unavoidably encounter, help one identify the enemy. But by itself will not effect a deep change other than intellectual. However it may also help one  realize  what is really at stake. Commitment to truth is in no way abstract as I once experienced. It does demand that one exposes oneself to one's psychological fears and limitations if one is to grow out of them while having no certainty about the outcome..  

 

The Committee of the Mind, by Thanissaro Bhikku

FaceBook  On Oct 1, 2013 Thierry wrote:

As far as I can understand, the author describes adequately the process one has to go through if one is ever to tap into the unconditioned dimension of the mind. The order that ensues being the outcome of a natural process, decantation, rather than an order artificially imposed by an outside agency, the conditioned mind itself.
He makes it clear through his metaphor that meditation is not an escape from oneself but just about the opposite. One must face oneself as one is, one's double talk, one's avoidance of those things that may hurt and that have been brushed under the carpet out of complacency. That this requires a sense of order and responsibility, honesty, much skill needed in observation, sustained effort.
A great master of meditation talks of meditation as the greatest of all arts. And this I understand to mean that the art of transcending one's very self ( conditioned self) is not only the most difficult by its subtlety but that it is primarily concerned with perceiving the very essence of beauty. 
 

 

To Separate and Unify, by Mark Nepo

FaceBook  On Sep 26, 2013 Thierry wrote:

Dear Conrad. I have let your comment seep in and it's now quite obvious I must reconsider my position. Thank you for mirroring the fact that the want to dissolve contradiction only leads to further and more radical separation. I am usually a bit more attentive to context but I completely missed out on what the author was pointing at, shooting off in a direction the context didn't call for. I can see that this is symptomatic of a reluctance to bear with the discomfort or tension that goes with contradiction. That this wanting to achieve a false sense of peace deadens relationship, and leads to isolation.
Thanks also to Krysztof for his suggestion about 'going raw' as opposed to 'going mental', an escape to avoid feeling those things on feels uncomfortable with under the skin. A movement away from what is that creates separation.
And thanks to Amy for her appreciation of Britt's beautiful comment. It had me look more deeply into it. 
 Thanks to all who share this space.
 

 

To Separate and Unify, by Mark Nepo

FaceBook  On Sep 25, 2013 Thierry wrote:

Thank you for your feedback Conrad. There is little tolerance in our culture for contradiction and ambiguity and this tendency reflects in some or may be all of my comments. I'll be looking into that. Thank you.

 

To Separate and Unify, by Mark Nepo

FaceBook  On Sep 24, 2013 Thierry wrote:

Beautiful, Britt, as I read you I feel I am in that big sweater with you. You would love Khalil Gibran and  his poetry. But I am still confused and must go to the end of that tether, thought.
I can't identify with any set of religious beliefs. Faith has not saved me, it hasn't saved the world. So I rely on thought. Thought will see me through. The irony is I am a non believer that now believes in thought.. Thought proceeds from knowledge and knowledge is both necessary and enjoyable. Pleasurable to follow one's curiosity as far and deep as it can take you. As a result the frontiers of my world expand. Both Columbus and Jung have contributed to it. But the question remains: has knowledge helped me to dissolve my contradictions, has it unified me, has it unified the world I live in? Can it? Because if it can't then I am constantly deluding myself and my world.

 

To Separate and Unify, by Mark Nepo

FaceBook  On Sep 23, 2013 Thierry wrote:

In every day life and in the world as it goes thought is ever involved in trying to conciliate, unify, forgetting that it itself created the separation in the first place. Thought is always involved in creating and maintaining separation then ever involved in trying to bridge it. This is what it has been doing since Mathusala or near by. Is it because of its nature which is to dissect, take apart, analyse? Yet we tend to rely on thought to solve our relational problems and that of the world. The question is: can thought unify the world, unify me/you? The author says that thought  can unfold in a way that unifies and heals. But then, logically and for the least, thought has to see itself, observe how it tends to create separation in its very proceedings. Religion at its root is the  thirst to belong, to unify. Then see what the devil happens when thought gets hold of that. So, the question remains, can thought ever unify? There may be such a thing as a unifying insight but then is that related to thought?

 

Meditate Like Christ, by Krishna Das

FaceBook  On Sep 19, 2013 Thierry wrote:

Dear Rajeev, I did not mean righteousness as regards to sin but as regards to the assertion of one's faith. For instance I never quite understood the split between Judaism and Christianity nor their mutual antagonism. The bible scholars I mentioned have helped me see through it.  So have the words reported to be of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas ( logion 43, if you care to look it up).
A beauty of the  Indian tradition is to acknowledge that people have different inward complexions and that what is right for one is inadequate for the other. This is why there are different types of Yoga to suit different types of people and help them progress on their way, none being exclusive of another.

 

Meditate Like Christ, by Krishna Das

FaceBook  On Sep 18, 2013 Thierry wrote:

What you say of  Jesus son of God and son of Man is beautiful. But nothing can defeat one's faith better than feeling  self-righteous about it. The history of religion has taught us that much and many have turned away from their native creed for exactly that reason. Actually, I owe to some of those modern gurus and thinkers to have re-discovered the great value hidden inside the perenial teachings of Jesus who spoke through symbols, as was the use in his time. Two very enlightening 'gurus' or rather scholars I would like to recommend are Bishop Spong, an Episcopalian scholar, and Andrew Harvey, author of Jesus Son Of Man, two persons whose faith cannot be questioned.

 

Meditate Like Christ, by Krishna Das

FaceBook  On Sep 17, 2013 Thierry wrote:

What I find interesting in this testimony from Krishna Das is that his teacher found a way to demonstrate that meditation does not center in one's personal suffering or discomfort. But rather that  meditation encompasses  the whole process of suffering in its impersonal dimension, is inclusive of all the suffering both inflicted and suffered by sentient beings since the beginning of time. Raja Yoga would have one inquire into the causes of suffering and one's participation and responsibility to bring one to realize the personal/impersonal dimension of suffering. While I understand this teacher to have a more devotional yet no less effective approach. 
I have  been touched by someone who did sustain an unchanging love for all beings but whose teachings might appear more abstract at first view. His concern for the world and its fate was immense.

 

Dropping That Drug, by Anthony de Mello

FaceBook  On Sep 10, 2013 Thierry wrote:

To the degree I have faced my emptiness I have, to some degree, freed myself from a certain psychological dependence. To the degree I have freed myself  from appreciation or depreciation coming from others I feel more alert and able to face and enjoy life just as it is. But this relative freedom, I can sense in myself. is not the whole deal.  Because, up to that point, where does it relate to love? And is  love the feeling of all-oneness (alone/all one) that comes with complete inward freedom and does one consistently feels it in one's daily experience? If not, then, I understand the author to say one has still to quit the drug. I can easily fool myself into thinking I am free. I have to test that against the reality of my experience.

 

True Meditation Has No Direction, by Adyashanti

FaceBook  On Aug 22, 2013 Thierry wrote:

Thank you, Rajnikant. It is the first time I hear of Syadvad and what it says makes a lot of sense to me. I must remember to pray each day for steadfastness in my practice of watchfulness and inner strength to withstand those things I find difficult to cope with. It is true that such an attitude as the one recommended is the only one helpful. I am coming to realize that there is absolutely no sense and no benefit in opposing other viewpoints and asserting my own. This includes being somewhat judgmental as regard to people that do not share my interest for inquiring into consciousness. In a sense what this philosophy recommends is profound humility. A humility based on the realization that each one is at a different stage of development. Of course any serious teaching will recommend the same for the reason that that the other is fundamentally not different from me in his/her vulnerability. An easy thing to forget. Thank you for this helpful reminder.

 

True Meditation Has No Direction, by Adyashanti

FaceBook  On Aug 21, 2013 Thierry wrote:

It is always a pleasure to discover a few new Sanskrit words such as 'arta' and 'raudra' where we find the root of the English words 'rude', 'rogue', etc. Often unknown to ourselves our Indian heritage is present in the words and structures of our modern European languages. To be aware that we create binds, attachments, for ourselves through suffering, jealousy and greed is at least a beginning. That awareness creates a movement towards inner freedom which I would'nt call a goal but rather a drive.

 

True Meditation Has No Direction, by Adyashanti

FaceBook  On Aug 20, 2013 Thierry wrote:

I don't think this passage means that one should have no goal and no direction, that one should deny the role of the intellect. There is a place for all this. But I think it means that meditation is an inquiry into the nature of the one mind, where all thoughts originate, whether yours or mine, traditional or not traditional., inefficient or efficient, futile or purpose oriented. What is the state of the mind when it is not identified with any thought? Is it different from silence and is silence different from beauty? When does one best see  the great beauty present in nature? Can there be depth and beauty in the field of relationships or must there always be struggle. I think all this is part of  meditation and I think meditation proceeds through endless observation and questioning. I may be wrong but this is what I understand Raja Yoga to be. 

 

True Meditation Has No Direction, by Adyashanti

FaceBook  On Aug 17, 2013 Tim wrote:

Unless one has inquired into meditation with the help of those who have made it into an art and a way of living it is very common to see  silence as the doorway to some ultimate state. This is the essence of seeking and seeking implies one has a goal, a direction. Adyashanti says in another, closely related passage: 'Sitting in silence is not a goal. The goal of sitting is not to attain silence. There is just sitting in silence and recognizing yourself  to be the silence...But if I seek silence as an object, as a state I am trying to sustain, it means I am still seeing silence as an object, as something different from me.' J. Krishnamurti made a very similar answer to someone somewhat stuck with seeking something beyond silence. His answer was: ' Can silence listen to silence in silence? '. 
Both these statements make it very clear that meditation has neither goal nor direction. When this is clear, when one is not attempting to get somewhere one can, tentatively, 'feel the quality of silence'.

 

What Do I Really Need Right Now?, by Sharon Salzberg

FaceBook  On Aug 10, 2013 Tim wrote:

There is a time  when one takes stock of all the benevolence one has met through life and the often unaccounted for kindness that surrounds  one. So did the author in these monasteries. I remember a previous passage we were invited to reflect upon, from Albert Einstein, where the author suggested that, at some point, one had to answer for him/herself whether life was a good or a bad, let's say, event. A lot depended on that answer. If I answer that there is such a thing as goodness and that it manifested in my life in many occasions and still manifests, like, as it were, with this forum, then why be unhappy?
To me happiness cannot be directly aimed for, for then we look for it, as the author says, in the wrong places, we are the prey of illusion. I see happiness as the by-product of an inward balance, clarity. And if this state is not there to start with then I need first to look into my unhappiness. There is a lot to look at, a lot to see before, as someone said, one can feel free as a singing bird in a clear sky. The drive towards inward freedom is the same as the drive towards happiness.

 

Be Love Now, by Ram Dass

FaceBook  On Aug 4, 2013 Thierry wrote:

This passage starts with the word 'imagine' which makes me wonder whether that state of being cannot be somewhat self-induced? The author's approach is not unlike that of sophrology:  taking hold of one's imagination to create a serene climate within. Using the thinking mind to induce a certain state of being. And this is best done when relaxing and sitting quietly.  I am not saying that this is wrong but I wonder if a more direct way is not to deliberately let go of the thinking mind  as one comment suggested. This means accepting being vulnerable in relationship, a very difficult thing to do if one tends to be headstrong. I think this willingness is an expression of love. It creates space for all to flower.  

 

Be Love Now, by Ram Dass

FaceBook  On Aug 4, 2013 Thierry wrote:

I am clearer after reading this passage from Ram Dass as to the reality that lies beyond the words:'unconditional love'. Such sets of words may sometimes end up sounding like mere incantations, something detached from daily living or somewhat reserved to a few very saintly people. This reading reminds me that such love is not an abstraction and that I have already met its living expression although I may not have recognized it a such.
This passage is very dense with meaning, very accurate in its wording and I feel I may need to spend further time on it before I can fully digest it.

 

 

Emotions for Liberation, by Sally Kempton

FaceBook  On Aug 1, 2013 Thierry wrote:

I agree with both John and jon that there is no other  exit to such dramatic crises  than getting over those feelings of hatred and revenge which might seem at first sight justified. And that, in such a situation, one is ultimately responsible for one's action. A very difficult thing to keep in mind in the midst of such a powerful mimetic process as unchained collective violence. Nevertheless, as John says, some people are wise enough not not give in to such a frantic and absurd emotional climate.  

 

Emotions for Liberation, by Sally Kempton

FaceBook  On Jul 30, 2013 T wrote:

I think the problem of gurus , and this word, 'guru', I think,  should be used very carefully, is also that they have to deal with the image the followers tend to build  around their personality.  This image distorts their relationship with the student  and gets in the way of actual understanding. More often than not one has to understand in spite of the guru's personality.

 

Futility of Search, by Author Unknown

FaceBook  On Jul 17, 2013 Thierry wrote:

Hi T. I think you mistook the word searcher for the word seeker. Watch out for 'faux amis' (false friends in French). 

 

Futility of Search, by Author Unknown

FaceBook  On Jul 17, 2013 T wrote:

Is the searcher different from that which he/she searches? Won't its findings be thought projected? Can thought reach beyond itself? When thought observes its own process it comes to see its limitation and then, logically, comes to a standstill. Not to another conclusion. If it is a conclusion then it is just another production of thought.  The observation of the thought process reveals that thought is not the proper instrument. This ends the search but creates space for something unknown to manifest. Not that it will! Or, as amy says, once seen the necessity to keep the restless seeker alone, let That come to you if That will. Supremely free. 

 

Violence and Nonviolence, by The Dalai Lama and Victor Chan

FaceBook  On Jul 1, 2013 Tim wrote:

There is more to nonviolence than just refrain from violence. Nonviolence stems from the philosophy of compassion which gets a person to understand that fundamentally all are one. Or, as J. Krishnamurti termed it : there is no other. So, the other is you, even though that other may not yet be conscious of the reciprocal and may act violently against you. His violence then is to be seen as a manifestation of that unconsciousness. But the moment one is aware, one's responsibility is to stand firm on the principle but not reciprocate the other's violence.
The will to dominate, to infringe on a weaker person's rights, such doing must be stopped. This by standing firm on the principle. But to fixate on anyone as an enemy only perpetuates the conflict and thus misses the mark which is to stop the wrong doing while leaving the door open to the doer so that he may eventually change his perspective. This is the compassionate answer.
The use of brutal force morally diminishes the doer. As do the transient goals, supremacy, dominance, that motivate his actions. No party, in the long run, can win over principles which are fundamentally just and speak to the human heart. This is what I understand from this interview of the Dalai Lama whose firm stand and intelligent response have gained  worldwide respect and affection.

 

Beggarly, Friendly, and Kingly Giving, by Stephen Levine

FaceBook  On Jun 26, 2013 T wrote:

 Great comment.The difference between Apatra and Gupta danam is very significant. Overprotective parents can do a lot of damage to their children when their giving is from attachment. This is commonly overlooked. I would like to know the meaning of Shraddha?

 

Beggarly, Friendly, and Kingly Giving, by Stephen Levine

FaceBook  On Jun 25, 2013 Thierry wrote:

What need is there to categorise? Don't we know instantly when we give reluctantly and with some afterthought, and when we give in a limited way but with a clear intention? As for 'kingly' giving, has anyone given that kingly who did not first answer for himself the question: what would I give my life to? I feel this is the one important question that conditions all the rest if one can answer it whole-heartedly, without reserve. For all I know, those who have answered it do not think of theirs as a giving. They are happy to serve. Life is feeding them back their very generosity  without any need for them to measure up their commitment to some sort of scale.

 

Micro Moments of Love, by Barbara Frederickson

FaceBook  On Jun 19, 2013 Thierry wrote:

I did'nt say such love did not exist. I said I was impressed by those who consistently experience it. I would not venture to participate in this forum if some such people had not left a strong imprint on me and had not made me aware of my radical insufficiency. 

 

Micro Moments of Love, by Barbara Frederickson

FaceBook  On Jun 18, 2013 Thierry wrote:

 I remember a time when I was 'in love' with the works of the great writer and poet D.H. Lawrence, a time when I felt devastated at the sight of a wildly beautiful girl, because this was what in loveness actually was for me: devastating! And, apparently also, in some way, for the author of The Girl And The Gipsy. And what remains of this great fire today is but gratitude for the man who taught me the love of  the English language. No nostalgia whatsoever. And I see human in-loveness now as only the inspirer of good, great litterature, if one has the talent, or as a passion to be transmuted into something less fleeting, more encompassing yet no less vital. I must say I am impressed by some of the comments I just read. Because this transmutation is far from easy and something of the vitality inherent with the state of in loveness may be lost in the process. Whether transmuted  into art, or in the wondrous kind of love of a Jesus or the limitless compassion of a Buddha. The author seems right to say that these moments are moments when we reconnect with something vital which is always in danger of being forsaken.    

 

We Move in Infinite Space, by Rainer Maria Rilke

FaceBook  On Jun 16, 2013 perilous wrote:

 I am not a scholar in Latin but the Latin word for danger is 'periculum' which gave 'pericoloso' in Italian, 'peril' in French and English. Another Latin word 'perire' means: to die, from 'per'/ through and 'ire'/ to go. There is no 'ex perieri'. The Latin word 'experiri' means: to try out. Also generally understood to mean: going through.
The result of experience is stored in the brain as memory which in turn conditions further experience and limits it. A danger too often ignored.

 

We Move in Infinite Space, by Rainer Maria Rilke

FaceBook  On Jun 10, 2013 Thierry wrote:

To more or less understand this passage I first have to be sensitive to its peculiar context and stay close to the words the poet uses. Otherwise I might end up generalizing or drifting away from what it actually says. The context is that of a young poet turning for guidance to the great man whose poetry he loves and admires. Maybe seeking a form of assurance that poetry is really his vocation.
It is not that the world, the outside, can determine our fate, confirm or infirm that vocation through either appraisal or criticism, answers his mentor. Before 'this steps forth out of us to other people' (who will reflect it) an all too important process has taken place if we are receptive to the 'unfamiliar presence' that manifests itself in moments of sadness, melancholy. As this is felt, this becomes part of our being and alters our fate.This is how discreetly 'the future enters us' (through the present moment) and 'it is necessary' that this presence, unfamiliar as it may be, be absorbed, becomes 'our innermost being' as it is the agent of transformation itself.  
So the making of a poet is in no way predictable from an outside perspective: 'the future stands still'. What we call fate owes nothing to the world outside but emerges from us long before the world can, in a way or other, reflect it. If we let infinite space move through us, we move in infinite space.

 

We Move in Infinite Space, by Rainer Maria Rilke

FaceBook  On Jun 9, 2013 sad wrote:

I have read this passage over and over and at this point I cannot grasp what the great poet is saying to his young friend. I have in stock another passage from Rainer Maria Rilke which struck me as very beautiful and insightful but I just don't have the key to this one. I will be on the look out for more inspiring comments.

 

The Shambhala Warriors' Weapons, by Dugu Choegyal

FaceBook  On Jun 6, 2013 Thierry wrote:

I hear your question which is mine as well. It has been with me from the time I stumbled upon a truly intelligent and compassionate being, a great being. To such a man compassion means passion for all. As the word 'passion' implies, it is not something meek at all but something rather fierce like a fire within.  It has great inner strength and endures in the face of tremendous adversity. And through such a being you see  compassion walking hand in hand with intelligence, an intelligence far beyond the personal, an intelligence that perceives the cause of  suffering, that has insight into the very root of problems and is tremendously creative .   

 

The Shambhala Warriors' Weapons, by Dugu Choegyal

FaceBook  On May 31, 2013 T wrote:

At first sight, the author's extraordinarily civilized  weapons, compassion and insight, seem pathetically frail, laughably so, seen from the perspective of the barbarian powers. Those powers do not claim to be barbarian as such. They do not see themselves as malevolent and more often than not claim that their point of view is that of reality, of the inherent competitiveness of life itself. Although they have assimilated the concept of evolution, they think in terms of 'mechanical' darwinian evolution only and do not see that further evolution on this planet will be determined by man's conscious evolution. Even faced with the announced planetary disaster they will affirm, with a very  strange sort of faith, that life on earth will go on and that man's inventiveness alone is capable to work out miracles. This view point, although it manifests some spirit, is limited and geared to short term  action. These barbarian powers are not only found in the elites but also in the great number of so called simple people who rather thoughtlessly share these views. So at first sight it would seem that civilisation, in the highest sense, stands defeated.
 On second thought I think of the tremendous impact a few very determined spiritual activists have had in olden and  recent times and also in the present time, if one considers the Dalai Lama's extraordinary moral and spiritual combat, fought with the apparently frail weapons of compassion and insight. The key, I believe, is for such activists to be free of either hope or despair.   

 

To Be Simply, Radically, Absolutely Still, by Gangaji

FaceBook  On May 26, 2013 teatotaller wrote:

The author is inviting us to be radically, absolutely still prior to seeking happiness, God or any kind of fulfillment for that matter. Is stillness then some sort of ideal state to be achieved as a means to an end? This is what the word ' cultivate' is generally understood to mean. It is not what I understand the author to actually say but rather that stillness is our true nature, not a state to be achieved but a state that naturally emerges once we stop seeking. Neither is he saying how to still the mind, indicating any sort of practice. What he is adamantly saying is just let go the mind, let it be still. Just do it then see what happens. The practice is: Just do it!  At least this is how I interpret this brief passage that doesn't say much about the relationship between stillness and perception but just invites us to try out being radically, absolutely still... for a change. Thank you Gangaji. 

 

The Gentlest Thing in the World, by Byron Katie

FaceBook  On May 16, 2013 Tim wrote:

A native, genuine gentleness is a very, very rare thing in a person. Most of us tend to be judgmental and opinionated and it takes a good deal of attention to our prejudices and a good deal of questioning to get to be a kinder person. And even so, it sometimes seems  impossible to change our native character for the best. It is easier to change one's perspectives, one's world views, easier to sit alone with oneself in relative silence than it is to change one's own 'damned' irritability in the face of circumstances, people, etc. So the abrupt question of a gentle person sitting in a waiting room can be very pertinent: who is he/she that is so irritable if not the observer that so persistently thinks himself different from that which he/she observes? Who reacts with irritation? Who thinks things should be different?  

 

The Gentlest Thing in the World, by Byron Katie

FaceBook  On May 13, 2013 Timid+ wrote:

Finally the 'good' doctor walked  briskly into  the waiting room and from the air of commiseration and undisguised contempt with which he greeted his patients I fully understood how the lady felt and how disquieting it was to be unassuming and defenseless in the  midst of a crowd of somebodies. 

 

The Gentlest Thing in the World, by Byron Katie

FaceBook  On May 13, 2013 Timid wrote:

I was sitting in the waiting room at an ophtalmologist's when a very shy and gentle looking lady entered. She seemed lost and asked me whether she should go and knock at the doctor's door or wait. I told her the custom was for the patient to wait for the doctor to come and fetch him or her, and we sat on in silence, I, rather impressed by her extraordinary timidity and gentleness. Then ,all of a sudden she asked me:' the observer is the observed, isn't it?' I was baffled that she would address such a question to a complete stranger, at such a time and in such a place. But she was so gentle and sincere that I heard me say, possibly out of compassion: 'Yes, the observer is the observed'. She looked relieved: 'You see, I feel so awkward, even with the simplest things'. I then must have said something like 'never mind that ' but I was curious to know why she had asked such a question and had trusted me with the answer? And after a few more exchanges I understood that she loved to paint gardens and that when she painted flowers and trees she felt she was what she painted and then felt unsure of being quite normal and how disquieting this could be.  

 

Why Not Be Ready?, by Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Apr 18, 2013 Tim wrote:

I have just listened to an extraordinary interview of Andrew Harvey titled The Death and the Birth. I warmly recommend it to all. ( sites: Jason Elijah/ Andrew Harvey or andrewharvey.net

 

Why Not Be Ready?, by Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Apr 13, 2013 Tim wrote:

The feeling that I have time is certainly something we most 'naturally' take for granted. Time is the factor that has us think of death as something far away. So that, unconsciously, one has dissociated life from death and doesn't see anymore how both relate to the present. Time-thought, as J.K. would say, to signify that time is thought and reversely: would there be a sense of time if I had no memory, no thought? And our action results from this thought-feeling that I have time. If I could contract that span that is supposed to separate life from death, that would arouse in me that sense of urgency that is often so terribly lacking in my every day experience and resulting action. Time acts as the greatest of our 'shock absorbers' as Mr.G. would say, and is cause of all procrastination.
Seeing that and yet not acutely feeling the imminence of death, can I consciously bring dying in my every day experience? (P.S.: no time, presently, to elaborate!)

 

The Only Power of the Mystic, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

FaceBook  On Apr 7, 2013 Thierry wrote:

I understand the author to say that, for as much as we have not experienced the full flow of the river, we all have some access to at least some of its tributaries. We are not completely deprived of patience, endurance, honesty, etc. We are not disconnected from the source as long as we don't give up effort. Not the selfish effort to improve ourselves but the effort to open up and live from the heart. This has to be the axis of our conscious effort. Just about what I needed to hear. Thank you.

 

He Who Accumulates Cannot Learn, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Apr 4, 2013 Thierry wrote:

Will you then share your interpretation? 

  
 

He Who Accumulates Cannot Learn, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Apr 3, 2013 Amin wrote:

The last time I was reminded that drama is originally a sacred art is when I saw an interpretation of Shakespeare's King Lear by a troup of Kathakali actor's twenty years ago. I then realized what extraordinary demand was put on these actors and their immense capacity of impersonation. Prior to this experience I had the opportunity to see actual communion between these extraordinary actors and their Indian public. At the end of the representation there were no applause but something like great fervor emanated from the audience.
This is beautiful. But what other sort of drama am I playing on myself when I confuse accumulation of knowledge with learning. When I confuse practical knowledge with the problematic 'knowledge' I have accumulated about myself and 'others'. Does holding on to that knowledge give me the illusion of psychological security? So I am on my toes. I don't sit back and say 'Allelujha', I know all about Truth!

 

He Who Accumulates Cannot Learn, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Apr 2, 2013 Thierry wrote:

I don't think this passage deals with factual, objective knowledge as the one needed for daily living like professional learning, professional competence, etc. There experience and thereby knowledge are fully needed. And there experience adds to knowledge and knowledge to efficiency. I think  the author is speaking about quite a different type of knowledge, the kind of knowledge that says: 'I have met this person yesterday she was rude to me' or 'I took this road yesterday I know all about it'. The kind of knowledge that does not really help meeting that same person today or doesn't make that road trip across a beautiful landscape much of an exhilarating experience. The kind of knowledge that diminishes your aliveness as well as that of everybody and everything you happen to encounter in the present.  etc. There is truth in this passage but  I may miss its factuality if I don't take in the psychological factor. My humble point of view.

 

He Who Accumulates Cannot Learn, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Mar 30, 2013 T wrote:

The author addresses the people who have come to attend a talk. A talk not meant to communicate information, satisfy curiosity or  entertain. The talk is about the 'difficult art of communion'. The author says communion can only come about if people are capable to listen and to learn.
He says people deny themselves this capacity when their concern is to add further knowledge to what they know or when they are 'caught up' in the process of accumulating knowledge. The author equates knowledge with experience and says 'it doesn't bring perception and the beauty of understanding'.
To dissociate learning from knowledge is, at first sight, a bit of a quiz for the conceptual mind. Aren't the things happening in the present automatically registered in the brain, imprinted on the mind? It is precisely the process of knowledge and if one is not aware of it one gets 'caught up' in it. In the field of relationship can one prevent the past obscuring the present and dulling sensitivity?
Learning then is the movement by which one knowingly relinquishes knowledge so as to be able to perceive the newness, the freshness and the depth of the present. Learning itself sees that it ceases to be movement the moment it accumulates and thus it is ceaselessly on the look out, vitally alert, seeking to commune with the environment.
Knowledge evaluates, compares, criticizes. This is its normal function and it definitely has its place. But when it is brought over in the field of relationship it brings in dis-function and dulls our capacity to commune with life.

 

Tale of Two Sermons, by G.I. Gurdjieff

FaceBook  On Mar 28, 2013 Thierry wrote:

There is much more to her comment but Amy is pointing to something important which is interpretation. One teacher I used to listen to with some intensity would constantly warn the listener at the beginning of his talks against his or her  tendency to interpret what he said, or compare what he said with previous knowledge. In short,  the danger was of translating the new into the old. Right from start, he made it clear that interpretation stood in the way of actual understanding. With the same intention he would warn the listener against his/her tendency to be influenced by his reputation, his appearance, in brief by some image the listener might have of the speaker. All things pertaining to the realm of personality and leading to miss understanding. That which G., if I am not mistaken, would call 'consideration'.  

 
 

Tale of Two Sermons, by G.I. Gurdjieff

FaceBook  On Mar 23, 2013 Beelzebub wrote:
The context is that of two equally holy men giving a sermon on aspects of divinity. Both very old, yet one vigorous, the other fragile. I am tempted to see in these two figures metaphors for personality and essence. I seem to remember that, from the author's perspective, the problem is that personality tends to develop at the expense of essence, being. One is over developed, the other atrophied. Both knowledge and being are pictured as holy men by G. 
One is grounded in memory and can use words, thought eloquently. It can communicate but does'nt penetrate the essence of things and often mistakes the word for the thing. It is entertaining, as words, concepts and images tend to be but doesn't leave a deep imprint on the listener. It is of the mind and and only speaks to the mind.
The other doesn't define, judge and conclude but observes and notices the discreet, the subtle. He can penetrate the essence of things and can see, sense the reality beyond the word, the mask, the persona. He does'nt seek to entertain but seeks to touch the deeper and finer fabric in the mind-heart of the listener.
Given the right space being can inform, educate personality and use it. Then knowledge and understanding can move together with some harmony.
  
 

Serving is Different From Helping and Fixing, by Rachel Naomi Remen

FaceBook  On Mar 21, 2013 T wrote:
I feel the following is not outside the subject which is that question of service. If we were willing to see what draws us together rather than what separates us and willing to dig into the reality of our so-called cultural divisions that would greatly facilitate mutual human understanding and thus serve that purpose we all seem to agree has absolutre priority. 
 

Serving is Different From Helping and Fixing, by Rachel Naomi Remen

FaceBook  On Mar 19, 2013 Thierry wrote:
The words 'to serve', 'servant', have different connotations according to one's background. In traditional Christian culture to be 'servant of God' was and probably still is a highly valued ideal among Christian monks and nuns. The same is reflected in Islamic culture with birth names like Abdallah or Abdelrahim  all meaning 'servant of God'. Jesus is named Aîssa in the Koran where he is blessed as a great prophet and teacher. He is the one who said: the kingdom is in you, not outside you. Maybe these words have yet to be rightly and widely understood and maybe the times are ripe for this to come about. 
 

Serving is Different From Helping and Fixing, by Rachel Naomi Remen

FaceBook  On Mar 17, 2013 Thierry wrote:
On second view, I tend to agree with David that in helping one does'nt necessarily diminish the self esteem of the other nor is one's self esteem necessarily enhanced in the process if there is true empathy. There are cases where the person being helped can interpret it as a token of trust from the part of the helper. Trust ( in the sense of trusting the person's responsibleness), it seems to me,  can be skillfully used as a lever by a therapist and may be the base of the therapeutic alliance. That is a therapist (fixer?), with a high moral sense, will not be satisfied with just fixing  the person, but will help her unveil, behind her outward  demand to feel better, her much deeper search for meaning.   .  
 

Serving is Different From Helping and Fixing, by Rachel Naomi Remen

FaceBook  On Mar 15, 2013 Thierry wrote:
'We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected'. This phrase sums it up entirely for me. And yet, why is it we sometimes resist this calling to serve that would make of our life a beautiful offering? Why is it I do not give my life entirely to that which I feel is most holy (that which serves the whole).' It must be that the challenge is very great.
'We serve with ourselves', as we are, the author says. Am I willing to accept my limitations, my darkness, my vulnerability? willing to accept the same in others?' Service is a relationship between equals',says the author, which means can I cease to compare? A psychological revolution!
In service, one is no more, no less than the other chap. In administration one gives importance to function, not status. In education one sees that the relationship to the student is rooted in affection, not authority. In charity one serves  without deriving for oneself a sense of holiness.
I don't see any greater challenge. Helping is a fairly natural response that does'nt demand one should be willing to  transform oneself. The same with 'Fixing': the implication on the part of the 'fixer' is somewhat limited as is his perspective. 
 
 

Stop Shooting Arrows, by Thanissaro Bhikku

FaceBook  On Mar 8, 2013 Thierry wrote:
 It seems to me that what the author is talking about is how undisciplined thought can make worse any physical pain condition. He is not denying the reality of physical pain.
Anybody with, say, arthritis will confirm that arthritic pain moves from the knees to the ankles, from the dorsal vertebras to the lumbar region without much pulling or pushing from the part of the sufferer. Physical pain can have a shape that ows nothing to imagination. It can be in the shape of a stomach pain, a pain circumscribed to the area of the stomach and digestive track. Nothing imaginary or mental  here: the pain is factually referred to the part of the body that suffers. And then the mental, secondary, reactions to pain under the form of remembrance, anticipation, worry or depression.
Where to draw the line? At one end physical pain can be created by the psyche as with psychosomatic ailments. At the other end, pain unrelated with psyche as with genetic or degenerative diseases. I feel the author is right to say one should'nt superimpose one's ignorance onto the pain.
When I ask the question is the mind in the body or is the body in the mind, where would the answer be likely to come from: from the mind, if it could answer. But the question is so baffling it silences the mind. At that moment there is only pain and no mind trying to deal with it. In this respect animals have an advantage over us humans. A cat suffering from severe kidney pain does'nt move or maul. It does'nt lose one ounce of its energy battling the pain.
 

Lessons From 25 Years of Meditating, by Yogi Mccaw

FaceBook  On Feb 27, 2013 Thierry wrote:
One very interesting thing on this forum is to get to know people you would have little chance to meet otherwise. So thank you Smita for your invitation to visit Benjamin Smythe on Youtube. I just did it. Smashing! Just about the right kind of counter-poison to taking oneself  too seriously where meditation is concerned. This chap is perfectly in tune with what it means to be completely ordinary yet fun to listen to, yet psychologically fearless . A great discovery!
 

Fearlessness, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Feb 13, 2013 Thierry wrote:
Dear Conrad, thank you for your feedback. What you say feels true. I am not at all sure I understand what  the word 'spiritual' means although I feel  strongly attracted to those people who manifest something of that quality. The qualitative shift has'nt happened for me yet and it is a source of deep frustration.
 I am unsure, of course, of what you mean by 'heavens'. You point to something that must have a reality for you. I would be content if I could sense, as deeply as you do, that life is beautiful. I may still have a good way to go. My feelings  about life are still mitigated but I am not hopeless. Independent of age, I am aware I am a beginner on the path.
God bless you
 

Fearlessness, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Feb 12, 2013 Thierry wrote:
Hi Conrad. I have just turned 65 and one of my main fears has been that of slowly decaying. At a certain age physical decay is already in process. So this is one fear I did' nt need to invite. So much so that, some years earlier, I had thought fit to write on the wall of my  room, in big letters: DO NOT DIE AN IDIOT!  I suppose that single thought somewhat summed up what the perspective of aging inevitably meant for me. Yet I found aging needed not be so if I could keep an active mind. I remained curious of things and meaning and I found it easier to turn inwards. I think, just as you do, that  the trip is well worth living to the very end.   
 

Fearlessness, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Feb 10, 2013 Thierry wrote:
I suppose the author does'nt mean by fearlessness that we should dive alongside a great white shark, a feat I would'nt dare to commit, but which spectacularly demonstrates that when one has no fear one does'nt get harmed. Just the same, the fears which are lurking in the waters of our daily consciousness can cripple us as badly as the teeths of a Great White if we let them unattended.
Fears, or rather fear of living and ultimately of dying. How to separate one from the other when we are invited to die to the past every moment if we are to experience anything new, if we are to experience freedom to be and to do. How to deal with fear? We may turn to the teachers for guidance but we have to do the work ourselves.
The author, it seems, is saying that we must first come to contact with fear, face the feeling itself. Most likely we tend to avoid feeling the feeling itself. Mischievous thought is very good at the game of avoiding to feel. But if we are mindful to stick with the feeling and do not move away from it mentally we may discover that the feeling itself feels like sheer aliveness. Thich Naht Hanh goes further to say that the feeling is to be dearly embraced like one's own child.
 When fear arises, we can watch thought's immediate reaction which is to suppress it or overcome it. Through observing more closely we may come to the realization that thought is both the source of fear and that which gives it a continuity. This is what J. Krishnamurti calls true meditation.
 

Beyond the Conflict of Inner Forces, by Cherokee Story

FaceBook  On Feb 5, 2013 Thierry wrote:
As we were once weeding a garden a friend asked me: just how sure can we be that that such and such 'bad' weeds are not somewhat useful to the cultivated plants? Weeds do participate to the synergy of  the whole. Having to eliminate these evil looking weeds by any means, including through the use of chemicals, is still a credo with many farmers and gardeners. And similarly many of us are conditioned to suppress or repress their psychological equivalent. In the words of Joseph Campbell: 'Our religious conditioning invites us to take a stand between Good and Evil while the Indian's law invites him to put himself in accord with nature.... All the devil is, is a repressed Daemon' , by this meaning the Greek term for the dynamic unconscious, the dynamic of nature.
I can only say that the words of the old Cherokee now ring true to me as do those  teachings which invite us to acknowledge those dynamic forces. Fears, be it the fear of loosing control, always motivate our compulsions to repress. When we  are aware of this tendency and see how counterproductive it is to deny the facts, we regain inward freedom as well as effectiveness.
 

Small Wonder, by Barbara Kingsolver

FaceBook  On Jan 22, 2013 Thierry wrote:
I don't see that I can add much to these excellent comments. That we, 'earthlings' should take care of the place that provided our genesis and is providing our existence is so obvious and simple, as David says. An almost common place realization. Yet it does'nt seem to arouse much of a sense of urgency in a society so ridden with the problems it has created.
I spent some time in a place, a school actually, where taking care of the land,  sharing the menial tasks of the community, like cleaning, washing dishes, etc, was as much a part of the curriculum, for staff members as well as students, than teaching and learning academics. A rare place where one learns that inward freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility and caring.  
  
 

Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindberg

FaceBook  On Jan 8, 2013 Thierry wrote:
A jolly breeze and sweet sailing to all. 
 

Always Had It, Always Will, by Alan Cohen

FaceBook  On Dec 19, 2012 Thierry wrote:
I also liked Tamilyn's earnest comment. But I want to go back to the author's edifying TV show. Why be so candid? All was staged from start to finish in that presumed candid show. All the actors were coached, including the Fedex who cooperated enthusiastically because they were part of the show. The 'amazing' postscript was premeditated, written well in advance, packaged, scotched, all ready to be delivered to the candid TV watcher.
Why? Because it's show biz, and show biz  is show biz all the way. All the way creating the illusion of ...ingenuity.
So, what is it our candid author is chattering about?
 

Always Had It, Always Will, by Alan Cohen

FaceBook  On Dec 19, 2012 Thierry wrote:
 On second thought, I am inclined to think that the Fedex have outwitted their pranksters. Albeit unconsciously. they must have felt they were somehow being toyed with  and they more or less consciously accepted the kind of role playing that was expected of them. Anything that is staged, faked, can be somehow perceived by the most  'unassuming fellow'.  
Always had it, always will ...and what if you have been had?
 
 

Always Had It, Always Will, by Alan Cohen

FaceBook  On Dec 19, 2012 Thierry wrote:
 I can only suppose that Fedex drivers are reliable professionals with a sturdy common sense. They can't be deluded  for long, by this kind of staging. A less naive person, let's say an ex Fed (agent), would immediately suspect  a prank. But should I be the knowing victim of such a scenario, what could I say that would be adequate to the situation?...'Never Mind'. Never mind the prank, never mind the ridicule, let's play along . The words: 'Never Mind' would come to mind instantly.
I am not quite ready to believe the drivers were so unsuspecting. But, not knowing what to make of that crazy situation, they may have responded out of the wish not to deceive the devotees' expectations. Instinctively, they did what was expected of them. And in turn the prankers interpreted the drivers' words in their wishful way. Stage what you want, who wants to prove exceedingly, proves little.   
Of course, provided the proper mind frame and training Fedex drivers could make acceptable swamis. But offered with that possibility, I believe they will prefer to go back to their ordinary life, content to deliver, in time, ordinary things to ordinary people. That's sensible enough.

 

The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell

FaceBook  On Dec 7, 2012 Thierry wrote:
I had the opportunity to watch a few days ago, a series of lectures given about the Bible by a true scholar and humanist. And I remember having read long ago, with the same interest, the Bhagavad Gita with commentaries by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, another eminent scholar and philosopher. To me, both books belong to the litterature of the spirit because they depict stories whose heroes ( gods, kings, prophets) are either in search of, either demonstrate truth and wisdom, the qualities of spirit. They make great use of literary artifacts such as metaphors, parables and do not use direct psychological language as opposed to most spiritual teachings, especially modern ones.
There are two ways of reading this literature. Through literalism, often the official version given by the official clergy, or through in depth interpretation. I find the later, as offered by often revolutionary scholars, richly informative and intelectually vivifying. If I dare paraphrase Jesus: the spirit vivifies, the letter kills.
 

Planetary Birth, by Barbara Marx Hubbard

FaceBook  On Nov 7, 2012 Thierry wrote:
 Beautiful script! What date is the election for the members of Congress?
 

Planetary Birth, by Barbara Marx Hubbard

FaceBook  On Nov 6, 2012 Thierry wrote:
I don't know about otherworldly explanations. It seems to me that what the author is trying to say is very much about holding the present global crisis in a helpful perspective. This is what is required by the circumstances; not denial, not explanations.
The simile with birth is a valid one because birth is a critical moment and the beginning of a new growth. Most important, birth, and the growth that follows, is a natural, organic process. In Alan Watts words, one does'nt come into this world, one grows out of it. So that humanity is in that critical condition, at that turning point, about to give birth to a new process and grow out of its old paradigms ...or perish.
The process of growing more conscious does'nt go without hurts, without pain. It does'nt happen without some pressure, be it the pressure of one's own discontent. It does'nt go without anxiety as one knows that one is going to face the unfamiliar, that the outcome is uncertain. But humanity as a whole is not unlike the little boy or the little girl  we have been who resisted growing while eager to grow and excited by new perspectives.
 

A Servant Leader, by Vinoba Bhave

FaceBook  On Nov 1, 2012 Thierry wrote:
I recently listened to a talk by Alan Watts where he happened to mention that  Sanscrit, the 'perfect language', never referred to the word 'men' ( inclusive of women) as is commonly the use today. It referred to the expression 'human beings' through a name derived from the root name 'Manu'. Alan Watts quoted the precise name used in Sanscrit, but I am sorry to say that I have lost it...not the meaning!       
 

A Servant Leader, by Vinoba Bhave

FaceBook  On Oct 30, 2012 Thierry wrote:
 Thank you for offering the opportunity of reading  this excellent article from Vinoba and the many interesting comments.
 

The Cosmology of Peace, by Thomas Berry

FaceBook  On Jul 31, 2012 Thierry wrote:
 The author says the question that has priority ' is whether the planet can survive the intelligence that it has itself brought forth'. This is, at this stage of the evolutionary process, the planet's community is now totally dependent on man's intelligence. Can this realization bring forth an intelligence that will no longer separate man from cosmos and man from man?
Cooperation cannot come about when one either fearfully avoids conflict either mindlessly gives in to it.

To my knowledge, two teachers have most eloquently spoken of this whole issue and both exemplify ' that highest state of tension the organism can bear creatively': J.Krishnamurti and Andrew Cohen.
 

A Walk in the Rain, by Jeff Foster

FaceBook  On Jul 27, 2012 Thierry wrote:
Hi Sandra. Yes, my friend's experience can be echoed by many. I very much appreciate your comment that ' moving into more light is part of our individual struggle' and ' that it takes hard work to get to see more of that light blinking through the trees.' I suppose this is more or less what I was in a mind to say when taking that exemple. The memory of these glimpses into the real did'nt set my friend going on the path of self-inquiry.
 

A Walk in the Rain, by Jeff Foster

FaceBook  On Jul 26, 2012 Thierry wrote:
A person I have known very well and for many years told me of having 'experienced' such extraordinary happenings of feeling totally one with whatever was . However, to his own avowal, these had no transformative value whatsoever and his life went on being a succession of  dramatic  highs and lows. They did not trigger the desire to enquire further into himself and reality and he is still not able to put whatever happened to him into perspective. In his case such happenings seem to be but random events, however impressive, in the course of a life somewhat devoid of significance. One does not necessarily get such glimpses because one is ready. They may happen also in a very disturbed and depressed mind and leave a person unchanged.
 

A Walk in the Rain, by Jeff Foster

FaceBook  On Jul 9, 2012 Thierry wrote:
What a wonderful happening and what a paradox. But to walk around with the desire to have such an "experience" is precisely desiring the 'more'. That can only happen and all we can do is, as someone said, be orderly in ourselves and just leave the window open. 
 

For an Addict, by John O'Donohue

FaceBook  On May 29, 2012 Thierry wrote:
Yes, this is a lovely poem. 

'No longer yourself, your mind will be owned and steered from elsewhere now'. 

This 'elsewhere' must be fear. Addiction can be to a physical substance but its root is in the psychological, in the ego. I suppose this why the author uses the words 'fundamentalist shell'. He may not refer to a set of firmly held beliefs or ideological standpoints, although the ego may identify with any of that. But to this shell-like, life-fearing entity that is pretending to steer the boat.

'May you cry out for the true intimacy of love that waits to take you home to where you are known and seen'

For the addict, deep inside, is crying to recover his lost integrity. Our true home, that space where we are known and seen, is right under our skin. Awareness of one's own most intimate fallacies is integrity and when we lack integrity we loose ourselves, we loose the capacity to love and be loved.   
   
 

Is the Universe Friendly?, by Albert Einstein

FaceBook  On May 12, 2012 Thierry wrote:
 Albert Einstein, the great physicist, is saying: what the predicament we are in demands is an act of faith. Not belief, which comes from the outside, but faith. Faith! The universe through his voice is saying: Have faith!
From physics to metaphysics, a deeply challenging passage.
 

Is the Universe Friendly?, by Albert Einstein

FaceBook  On May 12, 2012 Thierry wrote:
What I understand this great scientist to say is that you cannot conclude from studying its laws that the universe is either friendly or unfriendly. From the strictly objective point of view of the scientist the universe has no manifest intention. Mentioning  randomness,  the author says that he sees it as 'non  essential'. Yet the  randomness observable in nature, cannot be accounted for scientifically, least of all philosophically. Or can it? Present day genetics see randomness (through recombination of genetic material) as both life sustaining and life threatening (new unknown viruses , etc.) That's a long way from Darwin's theory which saw evolution as following a direction of progress.
Scientific knowledge does not answer the question of whether the universe is friendly or unfriendly. Scientific knowledge is a tool that can serve both survival or destruction. It's up to us to decide that the universe is friendly rather than unfriendly and it is the only sensible option if we want to learn more about its workings and its motives.  
 
 

Is the Universe Friendly?, by Albert Einstein

FaceBook  On May 8, 2012 Thierry wrote:
Do we need to think in terms of an either friendly or unfriendly universe? When earthquakes and tsunamis happen on this planet, when tremendous tension and energy is released at the surface of its comparatively thin mantle. Just underneath, an abyss of magma in fusion! From such awesomely unfriendly premises life emerged and managed to sustain itself and evolve for millions  and millions of years. Science, which studies measurable phenomenas, claims to know barely 2 per cent of the observable universe: are these 2 per cent friendly or unfriendly? Still, it does its best to be predictive and to find proper tools, such as a seismic alert system, to minimize the impact  of 'unfriendly' natural catastrophes. 
To decide that the universe is friendly is somewhat similar to the famous 'Pari de Pascal' : decide that God exists, you will feel better about life (or more in tune with it) and eventually you will be better off in the end if He does.
But  to know as the only observable fact that chaos, a certain randomness, is  part of the order of the universe does not deny this order; it makes it increasingly more difficult if not impossible to know.
If God, the Unknowable, according to religion, does not play dice with the universe then he might feel terrible about humanity doing so with it's own future.  
 

Why Can't We Tolerate Emptiness?, by Natasha Dem

FaceBook  On Apr 30, 2012 Thierry wrote:
Yes Catherine, I misread you and this will serve me as a lesson. Forgive me for adding to your grief. My sincere hope that you and your son will find a more peaceful relationship. 
 

Why Can't We Tolerate Emptiness?, by Natasha Dem

FaceBook  On Apr 25, 2012 Thierry wrote:
Picking up from Ganoba's comment, the state of not knowing that comes when thought realizes it's own limitation is uncomfortable to stay with. This is quite obvious in every day life as when we feel insecure not fully grasping and controling a situation. But even when sitting quietly with oneself, one expects, however subtly, some intimations from the 'deep', some fuller, more complete understanding, direct from source, not mediated by another. And this may not occur until we are more spiritually receptive, more capable to withstand the uncomfort of not knowing.    
 

Why Can't We Tolerate Emptiness?, by Natasha Dem

FaceBook  On Apr 24, 2012 Thierry wrote:

As for me, to sit quietly while observing one's thoughts and noticing the gaps in between thoughts to the point those gaps , to a certain degree, expand, does not necessarily lead to extraordinary inspiration and knowledge. It is simply a good  hygienic  practice that helps, momentarily, still and refresh the noisy, mechanical mind. Insights may occur when we are  self forgotten, like, at those times when we are so intently listening, so intently deciphering another person's thought. It may be while listening to a teacher or while observing the house cat . [...] We are often obsessed by the thought: 'I was at a turning point, I made the wrong choice'. Unrest, regrets, etc. That very thought is , in the now, giving continuity to things past. That thought is the past.That thought is also I/You  feeling wrong at this very moment (eternal now!). Don't escape it, stay with it for a while. Feel what it feels like. Explore its content extensively. As you feel the desires, the fears, it downs on you that none of them are real. Are they not projections, imaginations, illusory and deceptive by nature? Do they not happen in the now? What is the state of your mind NOW? Is it not  free from that thought? As you have attended, explored that thought fairly extensively it will loose some of its grip. It may pop up again but your awareness of the now will be greater. You will be more grounded.  [...]  Each thought, whatever its content, arises in consciousness from past experience. One may find bliss in those moments when consciousness is free of contents but, more likely, consciousness will present one with one's own uncertainties and irresolution. Thought has to be aware of itself and fully understood before it subsides. Otherwise the same patterns pop up again and again, always in the eternal now, of course. Resolution can only happen in the now.    To be aware that consciousness is there prior to any context or thought, the  See full.

As for me, to sit quietly while observing one's thoughts and noticing the gaps in between thoughts to the point those gaps , to a certain degree, expand, does not necessarily lead to extraordinary inspiration and knowledge. It is simply a good  hygienic  practice that helps, momentarily, still and refresh the noisy, mechanical mind. Insights may occur when we are  self forgotten, like, at those times when we are so intently listening, so intently deciphering another person's thought. It may be while listening to a teacher or while observing the house cat .

[...]

We are often obsessed by the thought: 'I was at a turning point, I made the wrong choice'. Unrest, regrets, etc. That very thought is , in the now, giving continuity to things past. That thought is the past.That thought is also I/You  feeling wrong at this very moment (eternal now!). Don't escape it, stay with it for a while. Feel what it feels like. Explore its content extensively. As you feel the desires, the fears, it downs on you that none of them are real. Are they not projections, imaginations, illusory and deceptive by nature? Do they not happen in the now?

What is the state of your mind NOW? Is it not  free from that thought?

As you have attended, explored that thought fairly extensively it will loose some of its grip. It may pop up again but your awareness of the now will be greater. You will be more grounded. 

[...] 

Each thought, whatever its content, arises in consciousness from past experience. One may find bliss in those moments when consciousness is free of contents but, more likely, consciousness will present one with one's own uncertainties and irresolution. Thought has to be aware of itself and fully understood before it subsides. Otherwise the same patterns pop up again and again, always in the eternal now, of course. Resolution can only happen in the now. 

 

To be aware that consciousness is there prior to any context or thought, the unknown prior to the known,  is immensely significant . This fact is so easily overlooked. But there is no escaping the one or the other when they are there.

[...]

This is interesting because it shows how meditation can be used as an escape. I sit on a cushion trying to still a mind in frenzy! The rest of the time, I abuse my family and son. Unaware of what I do, I then victimize: ' they hate me, why?"  I know the case of 'a border-line, narcissic mother '. She had five sons. they all shun away from her. She humiliated her husband, a sort of sweet, too sweet tempered fellow. A tremendous spanking might have corrected her ( in French, a spanking is also called a 'correction') but her father image of a psychoanalyst could not resolve himself to give it.  Blame, guilt, self-pity is mere continuation of that narcissism which is cause of your drama.

Hide full comment.

 

Living Lessons of Biomimicry, by Janine Benyus

FaceBook  On Mar 18, 2012 Thierry wrote:
 Feeling a part of the genius that surrounds us is really a turning point in a person's evolution. Feeling apart from nature one is bound to mistreat and misuse it, as has been and  is still  generally the case. But the chances for  this  radical shift in consciousness to affect society at large seem low. Unless the passion for technology, which seems to inhabit nearly everyone today, succeeds where reflection and sensitivity have failed to bring the younger generations to want to cooperate rather than subjugate nature.   
 

The Secret of Work, by Swami Vivekananda

FaceBook  On Feb 24, 2012 Thierry wrote:

There may be more to trade than mere gamble on the rise and fall of market prices, more to it than sheer gain or loss.  Trade is often the only means of survival  for a multitude of  people all over the world. On the market places, bazaars and souks of the world one finds as many people capable of unexpected decency, fairness, honesty in their dealings as the contrary. And even in our affluent society a commercial contract, termed ' loyal and merchant', is expected to be 'honoured'. If those words have any meaning, they refer, first and foremost, to moral if not spiritual values. So one has to be clear, if one engages in trade, that the contract involved is a moral contract, that a loan is not a gift, that a debt is a debt, that one has obligation.  In the same way, one must be clear that giving is never a contract, can never give rise to any claim, that the one who receives is not indebted to the one who gives. Giving is something one does freely, not pressed by circumstances, not tied by a word given. One may stop giving as naturally as one has given. Because the original impetus is gone. Because a certain giving, appropriate in a certain life context  becomes inappropriate when that context changes. As one cannot account for what one has received one cannot account for what one has given.  Giving owes nothing to morality, good social behavior. If one does'nt like the word spiritual  one may say the act itself is natural, spontaneous. If one takes spiritual pride in giving, off goes spontaneity. Mu  See full.

There may be more to trade than mere gamble on the rise and fall of market prices, more to it than sheer gain or loss.  Trade is often the only means of survival  for a multitude of  people all over the world. On the market places, bazaars and souks of the world one finds as many people capable of unexpected decency, fairness, honesty in their dealings as the contrary. And even in our affluent society a commercial contract, termed ' loyal and merchant', is expected to be 'honoured'. If those words have any meaning, they refer, first and foremost, to moral if not spiritual values.
So one has to be clear, if one engages in trade, that the contract involved is a moral contract, that a loan is not a gift, that a debt is a debt, that one has obligation. 
In the same way, one must be clear that giving is never a contract, can never give rise to any claim, that the one who receives is not indebted to the one who gives. Giving is something one does freely, not pressed by circumstances, not tied by a word given. One may stop giving as naturally as one has given. Because the original impetus is gone. Because a certain giving, appropriate in a certain life context  becomes inappropriate when that context changes. As one cannot account for what one has received one cannot account for what one has given. 
Giving owes nothing to morality, good social behavior. If one does'nt like the word spiritual  one may say the act itself is natural, spontaneous. If one takes spiritual pride in giving, off goes spontaneity. Muslims distinguish between the legal giving, 'Zakat', which is a religious obligation and the giving from the heart which is spontaneous. They also say that the proper way for the giver to give alms is to give with his hand turned upwards so that the receiver is not humiliated and understands that circumstances being different the giver might well be the beggar.

 

Hide full comment.

 

The Power of Here, by Bill Plotkin

FaceBook  On Feb 6, 2012 Thierry wrote:
In my experience, some of us start off in life with little awareness of their 'soul' s deepest desire. As a youngster one is subject to such pressures and influences from the world that one finds oneself lost, ignorant that what is truly at stake is one's own as well as the community's destiny. As one matures one's soul may find proper guidance but the beginnings, as always, are crucial. Life is short. As long as the focus, in education, is mainly to adapt the individual to society a person's potential to contribute creatively to the community while being happy to do so is greatly diminished. 
' Neglect of the role of the individual with resulting overemphasis on the social, may well be one of the fundamental difficulties in the way the human race handles its mind', says P.W. Bridgman in 'From the Way Things Are'.
 

Why Do Social Work?, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Jan 26, 2012 Thierry wrote:
J.K. himself would certainly agree with David that perfection is not needed to start with. His insistence is on clarity. Adolescence, if I remember mine, can be a time of utter confusion when one tends to identify with whatever will gain others' approval. It is good service to the young to help them understand this strong underlying desire which may condition and thwart their orientation.
 

Why Do Social Work?, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Jan 25, 2012 Thierry wrote:

I am not an expert on J.Krishnamurti but I wish to draw the attention to the fact that this great teacher gives unexpected meaning to words which have become somewhat too familiar with us. Thus some foreseeable reactions on this forum.   For instance, the author would rather use the term 'self- knowing' to indicate that learning about oneself is not an accumulative process. The term Self Knowledge implies one has accumulated knowledge about oneself and tends to act from that  psychologically acquired knowledge, from something past. To be self-knowing is an ongoing process where one is learning about oneself, in the present, through the mirror of  relationships. The stress is on instant attention, perceptiveness. Contrary to analysis it does not involve psychological remembrance, time. Action, then, is not being dictated by memory alone. To be self-knowing is to be passively aware of the interference of the past so that one's response to the situation at hand can be new, fresh and truly adequate. In a similar way,J.K.often gives a fresh connotation to some rather 'worn  out' good old words. When using the expression 'religious mind' he refers to a mind intimately and limitlessly connected with all life, knowing no division of any sort. Quite the opposite of what we associate with the word 'religious'. When using the word 'compassion' the stress is on passion while the meaning is: passion for all. 'Right action' is one of  See full.

I am not an expert on J.Krishnamurti but I wish to draw the attention to the fact that this great teacher gives unexpected meaning to words which have become somewhat too familiar with us. Thus some foreseeable reactions on this forum.  
For instance, the author would rather use the term 'self- knowing' to indicate that learning about oneself is not an accumulative process. The term Self Knowledge implies one has accumulated knowledge about oneself and tends to act from that  psychologically acquired knowledge, from something past. To be self-knowing is an ongoing process where one is learning about oneself, in the present, through the mirror of  relationships. The stress is on instant attention, perceptiveness. Contrary to analysis it does not involve psychological remembrance, time. Action, then, is not being dictated by memory alone. To be self-knowing is to be passively aware of the interference of the past so that one's response to the situation at hand can be new, fresh and truly adequate.
In a similar way,J.K.often gives a fresh connotation to some rather 'worn  out' good old words. When using the expression 'religious mind' he refers to a mind intimately and limitlessly connected with all life, knowing no division of any sort. Quite the opposite of what we associate with the word 'religious'. When using the word 'compassion' the stress is on passion while the meaning is: passion for all. 'Right action' is one of those expressions whose meaning one may have to re-discover. 

Hide full comment.

 

Make Your Life Into a Giving, by Jaggi Vasudeva

FaceBook  On Dec 26, 2011 Tam-Tam wrote:

Beautiful sufi tale from Ricky!

 

Make Your Life Into a Giving, by Jaggi Vasudeva

FaceBook  On Dec 26, 2011 Thierry wrote:

 Social man (woman), normally, takes from the environment to give his family, to give those he considers to be his own. And not without a lot of travail! It may be only recently that he was encouraged, through organized religions, to extend his instinctive 'generosity' to those he has not himself 'engendered'. All promised a form or other of retribution, a 'spiritual' incentive, in fact, a transaction: do this and you will get that in this world or in the other.  Think about your next life, aquire merits.

The yet instinctive, ordinary chap was thus encouraged to become a 'do-gooder', a somewhat more refined and more complex kind of fellow. Up to the present time, where the incentive itself has become more refined and complex: the slogan of a foundation appealing for the leprous will be: 'If you do not love, do not give', meaning, if you do not love you are a cripple yourself. A slogan accurately directed at people's sense of self-esteem. Who wants to feel he or she is a cripple inside?   

Interestingly, the author states an example of a person giving out of a sense of fullness. Feeding ants, the most invasive of all species after man, as all gardeners know, actually, is a conundrum. And this charming old lady may have meant exactly what she said: that she had little appetite and enjoyed just watching such forms of life. Yet, this may be at the very core of this question of giving as a way of being. Once asked why he gave his entire life to education, for what purpose, with what motivations, the person so adressed answered: ' Do you ask a flower why it gives away its fragrance?' An astounding answer! So, I believe, present day Teachers are well inspired when they address this obscure side in us that feels unfulfilled, lacking, deprived of energy and love.

 

We Are Between Stories, by Judith Thompson

FaceBook  On Dec 23, 2011 Thierry wrote:

Talking of the old story, in 1945, near Nag - Hammadi, in upper Egypt, the plow of a local peasant uncovered amphoras with parchments dating back to the time of Jesus. Among those parchments a gospel, a record by Thomas Jude Didyme, the 12th apostle, of the living words of Jesus. Among those here is Logion29 (translated from the French version):

"Jesus said:  If flesh has come to exist by the cause of spirit, this is a marvel!... But if spirit has come to exist by the cause of body, this a marvel among marvels! But what feels me with wonder is this: how can this Being, who actually is, inhabit this no-thingness!"

  Where one recognises, first, the "story" of creation; second, the "story" of evolution; then the wonderment at the mistery of beingness that passes understanding. 

 

We Are Between Stories, by Judith Thompson

FaceBook  On Dec 20, 2011 Yoghio wrote:

" All things exist as a communion of subjects", this sounds very true to me. Yet, the more aware of their subjectivity the subjects, the better. All science is often seen, these days, as reductionist. This view of science may well be reductionnist itself. The realisation that the observer interferes in the process of observation is an actuality for most scientists today. Take ethology as an instance, a science of observation, and look at the tremendous insights it gave us into animal behaviour. Is'nt it because those scientists have learned to see what actually is through the veil of human subjectivity. The scientific attitude, in that instance, is respectful of animals and thus truly compassionate. 

 

Letter to My Grandson, by Daniel Gottlieb

FaceBook  On Dec 4, 2011 Thierry wrote:

As adults, with yet a tendancy to resist change as regard to ourselves and others, we are able to see  what's implied in the psychological process of attachment. What does it actually mean when we say we are attached to someone? What we are attached to, in reality, is whatever past knowledge we have about that person. So much so that when he or she changes, meaning does'nt behave according to our expectations, we then feel insecure. So the attachment is not to the person for it's own sake but to the past and to the inner comfort we derive from thinking we 'know' that person. 'Detachment', when it occurs, is only towards this persistent seeking for inner comfort and security in relationship. As we grow aware of this compulsion we are more likely to allow space for ourselves and others to change. We gain inner space and others too, by the same token.  

 

The Difference Between Natural and Unnatural, by Masanobu Fukuoka

FaceBook  On Nov 22, 2011 Thierry wrote:

Conrad's reflection, including his quote, sums up fairly well what we are up against, at a personnal and collective level.

We live in a world where each of us is  prey to a thousand  influences and sollicitations many of them unnatural, and this can only accelerate with today's widespread means of communication. To live with or in simplicity would be far from obvious even if conditions were ideal. Even in a quiet, truly sane and nourishing environment one is  prey to likes and dislikes, one may find himself or herself brooding over some deception and give in to the illusion  that the grass is surely greener elsewhere. This tends to happen all too 'naturally'. Psychological unrest, by itself, creates disorder and attracts unwanted= unnatural conditions.

 

The Difference Between Natural and Unnatural, by Masanobu Fukuoka

FaceBook  On Nov 19, 2011 Tam-tam wrote:

I remember reading Mr. Fukuoka's book, One Straw Revolution, twenty five years ago with the enthusiasm of one discovering about natural farming. I remember him saying that if you encapsulate the seeds you are about to sow in clay  neither will these rot, neither will they be eaten by birds. This is a lot of unnecessary work if you consider, as I do now, that it is natural that some of the seeds should simply rot and some others be simply eaten by birds. Two weeks ago a cat of mine, Tam-Tam, was severely bittten by another cat. She quickly developped a very nasty abcess and would have died if  a vet had not operated her. Was it unnatural to have her operated? Science is certainly not nearsighted: it has done more to enlarge my vision of nature, of the universe, of its marvelous complexity than have any fundamentalists in the realm of religion, nature and otherwise. Some of Mr. Fukuoka's observations are very true concerning modern unnatural farming methods. But his vision may be somewhat too dogmatic. 

 

Pilgrimage to Nonviolence, by Martin Luther King, Jr.

FaceBook  On Nov 18, 2011 Thierry wrote:

To Catherine: cooperation is the most difficult thing, ever. If your cooperation is not returned, it means it is not welcome. Just let it be. Don't fret about it. Turn the page.

 

Pilgrimage to Nonviolence, by Martin Luther King, Jr.

FaceBook  On Nov 17, 2011 Thierry wrote:

The terms 'civil resistance' or non-violent resistance refer to protest as regard to civil laws. Like those wich used to enforce segregation in some states in the USA. The context may have been different in India but still, the country was administered according to  laws established by the occupant. It was laws the people were called to resist non-violently. Speaking of non-violence at large may be very misleading. Pacifism may lead a country to be invaded! 

 

Pilgrimage to Nonviolence, by Martin Luther King, Jr.

FaceBook  On Nov 16, 2011 Thierry wrote:

I was impressed by the words of Martin Luther king jr. celebrating the spirit behind civil resistance . The context was that of the Civil Rights movement of which he was the leader in the Christian America of the early sixties. An organized, powerful and, today, historical movement inspired by the great example of Mr. Gandhi's India. When watching History in the making, as what is presently happening in some Arab countries, I may not find a movement that organized, with such inspired leadership and moral imperatives. But I find a same aspiration towards freedom, justice and human dignity. Another proof that, independant of culture and climate, this call can never be repressed.

 

Stand In the Tragic Gap, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Nov 13, 2011 Treetop wrote:

The problem of inner and outer conflict is central to the teachings of J. Krishnamurti. Our brain is conditionned to see things in a dualist perspective. It creates an opposite to what is in the hope of changing what is. When violence comes up our conditionned reaction is to overcome it, struggling to achieve non-violence. This movement away from violence is what causes that gap, which is also a time gap. When this is observed you see that violence and the movement of thought away from it are one and the same. Then there is no gap to bridge because both terms of the duality are being annihilated in a single act of perception. Perception, unlike thought, is not of time, it has no past, no continuity. But there can't be perception as long as thought is struggling. This is why most of us go on living in that tragic gap. We go on relying on thought to solve the problem and thought, being of time, can only give continuity to the problem. May these teachings be of help to you!

 

Stand In the Tragic Gap, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Nov 9, 2011 Treetop wrote:

Yes, unless we act out, we balance from one foot to the other, caught in that in-between: violence vs non-violence. But to what extent is the gap, the duality, real? 

 

Stand In the Tragic Gap, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Nov 8, 2011 Treetop wrote:

I understand what you mean, Umesh, but the context has changed dramatically. Liberation wars, including by the skillful mean of Ahimsa, are over. Today's world is composed of independant nations and today's focus is on interpersonnal as well as international cooperation. The gap between the ideal of non-violence and actual violence is as great as ever. What can change that predicament?

 

Stand In the Tragic Gap, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Nov 8, 2011 Treetop wrote:

 I doubt there is such a thing as a 'third way' that would miraculously resolve our conflicts. We cannot at the same time hold on to our own opinions,  self image, personnal goals and hope for peace and cooperation. This is just another form of wishful thinking. The tragedy is that we go on clinging to our separate self sense while wishing  for union.  The sense of our self importance is bound to collide with somebody else's sense of self importance, our ego with their egos, creating havoc. So, in the end,  instead of a solution comes a decision, that of the more influencial ego... and most other egos, in that business meeting, feel terribly frustrated. That's, more or less, how the system we are all contributing to, works. You have got to see the nature of that gap very, very clearly, not look for a third way but clear the way !

 

Worms Are, Therefore I Am, by Satish Kumar

FaceBook  On Nov 6, 2011 Thierry Laure wrote:

My appreciation of nature's generosity and beauty has grown ever since i started caring after a garden, a very sacred garden, in fact, where we may have raked a few dead leaves together, Satish, many  years ago. But all land is sacred to a gardener. I feel the prevailing species-ism you are refering to is a cultural aberration, a monstruous denial of that  humaneness which St. Francis exemplified.

 

Psychological Materialism, by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

FaceBook  On Oct 15, 2011 Thierry wrote:

To be non materialistic does'nt mean rejecting in a block society pretexting that it is all too materialistic. Is it what the rimpoche means? Taking philosophy as a pretext to be lazy and casual in what one does? I do not see that much intelligence is at play in that sort of posture. And who could be such a fool as to believe the material aspects of existence need not be taken care of. The fact that one is lazy or one is a workaholic needs not and should not be connected to any kind of philosophy.

But the way one relates to what one does and how one approaches one's work seems to me very important. However seemingly important or unimportant the work , one's work has an impact on other people, an impact on nature, it fits into a much bigger whole. 

 

 

Fool Realization, by Steve Bhaerman

FaceBook  On Oct 11, 2011 Thierry wrote:

So I-You have different opinions, interpretations about reality. We may argue, express conviction, but, in the end, we have no certainty. Conviction is not certainty. So, I then come to a stand-still. I see that the only unshakable cerainty is that I am witnessing a me having an opinion, or rather, being an opinion. Now, I feel how it feels like to be that opinion: how limited, restrictive, divisive it feels. That perception dissolves the perceiver as well as the perceived. Opinions, judgements dissolve along with the thinker. In their place, a gap, a space a not-knowing. I have come to that only fact: I don't know! Can I stay with that awareness that thought is limited, that it cannot grasp, least of all figure out, what reality, God, whatever we call it, is?

 

Fool Realization, by Steve Bhaerman

FaceBook  On Oct 9, 2011 Yoghio wrote:

Yes, sanity of mind is related to this question and he must be a very happy person the one  who thinks he is free from all trace of insanity. Those people whose words bring sanity, not just normality,  are a blessing to this world . I have come to the point where I understand that thought cannot grasp, cannot figure out the mystery of it all and I have stopped fooling around with interpretations about reality. This does'nt mean I have shut myself to those insights which come when the mind is somewhat more silent than pro-active. 'Magical' wishful thinking will more surely bring hell than it will paradise if there is the least trace of insanity in you. If you do not believe me, ask Mordred !

 

Fool Realization, by Steve Bhaerman

FaceBook  On Oct 6, 2011 Yoghio wrote:

Hi Somik. I am enjoying this forum. 

Humour : the teachers I feel endebted to , J.Krishnamurti, E.T., the Crazy Teacher (Andrew Cohen), all  have ( or had) a great sense of humour, each in his own, unique style. But this humour sprouts naturally from teachings which focus on the real, actual tragi-comic foolishness of the egoic self . Their acute presence, the intelligence they so naturally convey does the job. 

Some ideas or concepts or 'corecepts' may demand that we contemplate them, such as: belief comes before experience. We are, what we believe; we  experience accordingly. That's difficult to believe if you believe it's difficult to believe! It was good fun walking the path of the avatar for a while. Until the moment I realised thought had created monstruous every day realities and much more rarely, miracles.