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Previous Comments By 'rahul.brown'

Half A Pomegranate, by Brian Conroy

FaceBook  On Nov 13, 2020 rahul wrote:
Though royalty preceded her, only the old woman gave like a true queen. The irony is that it often takes the utter humility of poverty to internalize the truth that whatever we have is a gift of the universe. Those of us with more wealth are often drunk on the wine of our egos which bubble tales of our own talent, smarts, and grit. When you're hungry and cold, you soberly taste the divine with gratitude in every bite. May we give like kings and queens, so we never become beggars with riches.
 

The Game Is To Be Where You Are, by Ram Dass

FaceBook  On Oct 26, 2020 rahul wrote:
The metaphor of the body as the space suit we don for this human experience is soothing one, especially if you follow the data around how we are undermining the capacity the planet to support human society as we've known it. Learning to see our fellow humans like trees-- basically all the same with more in common than not-- is the first small step for man even as its a giant leap for humanity. The next small step is to see all of life as having more in common with us than the rest of the vast universe, which appears mostly inert and lifeless from our present definition of life. Until we can see nature as ourselves and ourselves in nature, the natural world is condemned to be both a source of raw material for our egoic machinations and the dumping ground for the waste of our collective shadow. Anyone without the vigor to seriously get right with Nature and bow their head in reverance had best be prepared to make themselves at ease with losing the privilege to don a human space suit for themselves and their descendants. May we learn the lesson of living a human existence with humility and reverence for that which animates our life!
 

We're Voting With Our Attention, by Leah Pearlman

FaceBook  On Oct 11, 2020 rahul wrote:
Loved this articulation of voting with attention in our era where attention is being ever more deeply mined and manipulated by the most powerful corporations in the world. Training attention to stay where we'd like it is 'concentration'. Aiming concentration at the deeper layer of reality is 'meditation'. Becoming accomplished in meditation is the ultimate rebellion, the final revolution that is beyond any change we seek in the ordinary dysfunction of the world. Until the final revolution has awakened in my own being, besides voting with my attention, I'll vote with my ballot as if my life depended on it even as I attempt to hold any electoral outcome equally lightly.
 

It Is Life That Asks The Questions Of Us, by Viktor Frankl

FaceBook  On Jun 26, 2020 rahul wrote:

Not so long ago, I was struggling with a person who lived near me. Her behavior seemed hostile, selfish, destructive, and obstinate all at once. In the face of directly observable facts-- like those that were recorded on video-- she rejected any notion of an agreed upon reality or set of baseline facts. I was simply flummoxed and at the end of my wits to understand how to deal with this person. Then it just so happened that I became aware of her extreme financial vulnerability. The room spun. Suddenly I understood why she couldn't meet me in 'reality'. My view of her transformed from 'destructive and obstinate' to 'scared and desperate'. I could see both of these views, and knew they were both stories -- two among many that existed simultaneously. This multiplicity of views does not mean that all views are equal, but exposes a nearly universal flaw in our thinking where we simultaneously assume there is only one right view (ours) and also identify with and cling to that view as if the core of our being and the meaning of our life depends upon it. Meaning is a story to respond the question of 'why?'. Why me? Why here? Why now? Why this? At first, we're given the stories of our culture, religion, family, and society to answer those questions. Some of those stories cause us pain or make us uncomfortable, especially if we're not the type to be placated with easy answers. Then a few of us learn the art of spinning our own stories. These stories open a new level of power, as we begin to take agency and responsibility in the face of suffering. From this space of choice and activity, yet a smaller number us still sit uncomfortably with the meaning we ourselves spin. If we're courageous enough, we can sit with what is without seeking or clinging to any meaning. Finally one day we may arrive at something beyond meaning on the other side of all our whys. Before that time, each person sits with a unique river of circumstances, qu  See full.

Not so long ago, I was struggling with a person who lived near me. Her behavior seemed hostile, selfish, destructive, and obstinate all at once. In the face of directly observable facts-- like those that were recorded on video-- she rejected any notion of an agreed upon reality or set of baseline facts. I was simply flummoxed and at the end of my wits to understand how to deal with this person. Then it just so happened that I became aware of her extreme financial vulnerability. The room spun. Suddenly I understood why she couldn't meet me in 'reality'. My view of her transformed from 'destructive and obstinate' to 'scared and desperate'. I could see both of these views, and knew they were both stories -- two among many that existed simultaneously. This multiplicity of views does not mean that all views are equal, but exposes a nearly universal flaw in our thinking where we simultaneously assume there is only one right view (ours) and also identify with and cling to that view as if the core of our being and the meaning of our life depends upon it.

Meaning is a story to respond the question of 'why?'. Why me? Why here? Why now? Why this? At first, we're given the stories of our culture, religion, family, and society to answer those questions. Some of those stories cause us pain or make us uncomfortable, especially if we're not the type to be placated with easy answers. Then a few of us learn the art of spinning our own stories. These stories open a new level of power, as we begin to take agency and responsibility in the face of suffering. From this space of choice and activity, yet a smaller number us still sit uncomfortably with the meaning we ourselves spin. If we're courageous enough, we can sit with what is without seeking or clinging to any meaning. Finally one day we may arrive at something beyond meaning on the other side of all our whys. Before that time, each person sits with a unique river of circumstances, questions, and stories which they navigate on an inevitable journey towards the ocean we must all cross.

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Mass Movement, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Jun 20, 2020 rahul wrote:
The alchemy of transformation may lie in the alternating repetition of observing the outside and the inside on the clarified mirror of our consciousness. We see things in the world we find upsetting, disconcerting, not in alignment with our deepest values-- which themselves are often aspirational rather than truly embodied. In witnessing this, we recoil against it, saying "that's not me". If we have the discipline to take a deep hard look on the inside, we find all the garbage, horror, and ugliness that we revile in the world also hiding in the shadows of our mind and heart. Then we must have the courage to say to all that we abhor "yes, that's me". Like an outgoing breath exhaling "not me, not me" coupled with the inhaling breath of "i am that, that is me", the space of stillness at the crossroads of exhalation and inspiration is where the mind settles into a place beyond knowing-- where we have no choice but to bow if our eyes have opened even a little bit. A place from where we return with the humility of simple recognition that we may be a continuing gesture of an aspiration to know and love all the magnificently horrible beauty nested in a totality that is beyond words.
 

Why We Listen Better To Strangers Than Family, by Kate Murphy

FaceBook  On Apr 17, 2020 Rahul Brown wrote:
I find that "How are you?" is a very poor question to ask someone who is close to you because its such a common question. Its rare for it to be a sincere question that merits a full and proper answer.

Instead, here are five better questions.
1. What moved you today?
2. What were the biggest challenges of the day?
3. What did you learn today?
4. Is there anything you would want to undo or do over from today?
5. What were the strongest emotions you felt today?
 

Small Graces, by Kent Neburn

FaceBook  On Dec 1, 2017 rahul wrote:

 Enoughness of small graces is a paradox, akin to the concept of human perfection.  Shunryu Suzuki summed it up perfectly when he said, "Each of you is perfect the way you are ... and you can use a little improvement."  When we consider human evolution, paying attention to all the little things that are not quite right is what allowed our ancestors to survive on the savannah, whereas basking in the gratitude and sufficiency of small graces might lead to inattention toward fundamental survival threats.  In the modern world, we must balance the ever-rising tide of hedonic adapation-- where we get so used to every new comfort and advantage that it ceases to bring us joy-- with gratitude for both the blessings and challenges we encounter.  In my personal experience, this is very difficult to do without both a meditation and a gratitude practice.  Meditation is what trains and restrains the momentum of the powerful subconscious mind that operates wildly like our ancestors from the savannah.  Gratitude is the precious food that puts a higher clarity and perspective in charge.

 

Is the Universe Friendly?, by Albert Einstein

FaceBook  On May 6, 2012 rahul wrote:

A true friend is one who acts for your benefit.  So before you can answer whether the universe is friendly, you must deeply consider both the nature of what benefits you most and the question of who or what "you" are. If your concept of self is individualistic, then achievements, ambitions, dreams, fame, power, possessions, pleasures, successes, etc are the things that seem to benefit you the most.  From this lens, the universe is a decidedly unfriendly place, as all of these things come into your grasp only fleetingly, with circumstance, people, or time ultimately snatching or shattering them all.  Most of us begin our journey's as true believers in an individualistic self, only to be repeatedly crushed or slowly sapped by the universe until we're thoroughly convinced that we've swallowed a flawed or incomplete picture. If you begin with the truth that all you have will be taken from you, then you are forced to re-evaluate your notion of self and self-benefit.  The interconnection and interdependence you witness from acceptance of the inescapable impermanence around you and inside you are a pleasant ways of saying that you will both eat and be eaten in every domain of your existence.  Your first food was your mother's body through nursing, and this eating and being eaten were filled with affection, joy, even pleasure for both.  If you can get past the guilt of eating and the fear of being eaten, you begin to touch the joy of witnessing the flow of life.  And the more you witness that joy, the more it seems to be the only thing that makes sense about who you are and why you're here. The universe manifests you, maintains you for a while, and then mercilessly chews and crushes you until you have no choice but to burst with joy and wonder at every second and every square inch of the humming, buzzing symphony of existence.  And that chewing is probably the most friendly thing that's ever happen  See full.

A true friend is one who acts for your benefit.  So before you can answer whether the universe is friendly, you must deeply consider both the nature of what benefits you most and the question of who or what "you" are.

If your concept of self is individualistic, then achievements, ambitions, dreams, fame, power, possessions, pleasures, successes, etc are the things that seem to benefit you the most.  From this lens, the universe is a decidedly unfriendly place, as all of these things come into your grasp only fleetingly, with circumstance, people, or time ultimately snatching or shattering them all.  Most of us begin our journey's as true believers in an individualistic self, only to be repeatedly crushed or slowly sapped by the universe until we're thoroughly convinced that we've swallowed a flawed or incomplete picture.

If you begin with the truth that all you have will be taken from you, then you are forced to re-evaluate your notion of self and self-benefit.  The interconnection and interdependence you witness from acceptance of the inescapable impermanence around you and inside you are a pleasant ways of saying that you will both eat and be eaten in every domain of your existence.  Your first food was your mother's body through nursing, and this eating and being eaten were filled with affection, joy, even pleasure for both.  If you can get past the guilt of eating and the fear of being eaten, you begin to touch the joy of witnessing the flow of life.  And the more you witness that joy, the more it seems to be the only thing that makes sense about who you are and why you're here.

The universe manifests you, maintains you for a while, and then mercilessly chews and crushes you until you have no choice but to burst with joy and wonder at every second and every square inch of the humming, buzzing symphony of existence.  And that chewing is probably the most friendly thing that's ever happened to you, even if feels like pain in every bite.

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