To me, interbeing means what Thich Nhat Hanh says, that we cannot be by ourselves alone and separate from everything else. I agree that every thing is linked and that every thing relies on every thing else. I agree that each person is a continuation of his ancestors, and we are all together. There is no individual without the whole. How one is depends on all the rest. I wouldn't be me without everyone and everything that makes up the whole of which I am part. My awareness has grown that existence is a giant all that participates in action through me and each of us. I occasionally approach being deeply aware of that, and I am awed. One strong and sometimes shocking reminder of the entire lineage that I am continuous with is when I see physical or behavioral or personality features that are like my ancestors.
It's amazing to me that we know how to live, sleep, wake up, and regulate the million things going on in our bodies -- we don't consciously know, don't know how to explain or put it into words, but we know. The turtle has its knowing. Our journey and that of the turtle are rooted in trust of knowing. When much younger, I took chances and made changes that worked out -- maybe I knew beyond conscious or cognitive knowing and was trusting my broader context -- I wasn't aware of what I was knowing. Now that I'm old and more aware, I do a lot of living in trust that a broader context is going on. I change -- I don't do much designing change. I often trust my knowing that is much more than conscious or rational knowing, greatly as a result of the experience of past choices based on not conscious knowing and I'm alive and doing well. I expect I'll be getting on that pond log again for another season.
I assume "our deepest experience" refers to the experience that we are enough as we are. I definitely believe that can be re-known in a moment of surrender and non-seeking. In my experience, moments of letting go and being are moments of awakening and seeing. Problem is it takes many of us a long time or a profound experience to have such moments. The profound experience for me wasn't of belonging but of realizing I'm okay and realizing it is much more important to me to be than to belong, which ironically resulted in me belonging more. What helps me stay rooted in the inner view is having learned that the stuff most important o me, mainly my truth, my happiness, my real self, is there.
Integrity is your most intimacy with yourself because the more integrity you live the more one with yourself you are. I think to live 100% integrity always is an ideal no one lives -- I've lived brief periods of 100% integrity. I often dilute or suppress my truth. When I've lived and refused to dilute integrity, I've been very respected and also been rejected. I think society finds a way to dispose of the person living 100% integrity. To not be disposed of, I think it is important to combine integrity with being smart as to how much, when, and where you live your integrity. I think it is also important to have integrity together with compassion and equanimity. What helps me not compromise my integrity is living some form of what Janice Joplin said, "Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got."
I believe that our original nature is. treasure much greater than we are aware of and is waiting to be discovered. The world cries out "I have what you need, your treasure is out here," but it's not outside us, it's within us. Seeking it outside, believing somebody or something out there has what I need is a mistake. It may take seeking it outside to realize that. There are times I have made that mistake. There are now many times that I let the world go and connect with what is inside me. A simple example for me is when I let go of what I think the world or the other expects, let go of trying to know or control what the outcome will be, and speak or act from my '"original nature" which is my inner experience, my heart or soul, and being that way usually turns out very well. What helps me let go of my addictions to external objects is knowing that happiness, satisfaction, and what I need is within me, knowing that addictions are not good for me, and knowing that my truth and "nature" are my treasure.
In my experience, finding one's voice is a precious find anywhere. It was easier for me in a group in which I was well known for a long time and felt the care and support to speak from my heart which was also me finding my voice. I still have difficulty finding my voice at times. For me, genuine caring doesn't exclude intellectual knowing, or vice versa. I can genuinely care speaking from my intellect or from my heart -- my caring is more evident when I speak from my heart. When I speak from my heart, my heart is primary and my intellectual knowing is secondary, and that is different for me and the listeners than making my intellectual knowing primary and speaking from my intellect. What helps me to fit (meaning to be accepted and enjoyed) is to be me, not try to fit or impress, not give a presentation, be present, and speak from my heart and from what I am experiencing as I am speaking.
For me, nice means doing what's expected and being agreeable, and kind means being caring and helpful. For me, nice has a negative connotation of faking and trying, and kind has a positive connotation of genuineness. However, both nice and kind can be faked, can be done to please, can be goal-directed, and either one can be genuine. I can extend myself being nice or being kind. I was more into being nice when young, and am more kind now. You never know for sure from where someone is coming. I have often endeavored to make an interaction meaningful, sometimes out of being nice, sometimes out of being kind, sometimes trying, sometimes being sincere and genuine. What motivates me even when it's hard and inconvenient is sometimes wanting to be kind, sometimes wanting to be nice, sometimes wanting to impress, sometimes a sense of responsibility, sometimes simply being me, and probably more.
For me, 'the empty well of original bliss' is no thing, is what we call God, is outside of time and space, is formless existence, is Pure Being, some of which took form becoming whatever is material in space and time. Not only does something come from nothing or the empty well, everything comes from nothing. For me, I haven't gone beyond inspiration and illumination -- I've responded to both resulting in my awareness and vision expanding. I was presented with the viewpoint that all is one, that all existence is one action, and I seem to have grabbed hold of it, it took root in me, and I cultivate it. That awareness helps me reorient toward seeing that nothing and everything are one, that whatever looks opposite -- such as separate and together, I and the other, inside and outside -- are 'both and', not 'either or', are one. What helps me is being open to and growing in that understanding.
Reclaiming your chicken means to me less focus on head activities like thinking, planning, worrying, expecting, and judging, and more focus on body including what I am experiencing, feeling, and sensing. I've experienced peace. I'm sure my experiencing of peace involves my nervous system and may be throughout my whole nervous system but I don't experience peace throughout my whole nervous system, at least I'm aware of it as such -- I just experience peace. What helps me feel harmony in any situation is to live in harmony, that is, to live with my behavior, my thinking, and my feeling to be in harmony. In those times I've got my stuff together, I'm in sync.
I subscribe to caring. Interpreting my "internal life" to mean what I am experiencing in a given situation, my physical life harmonizes with that naturally, and sometimes that shows and sometimes I try to not let it show. I interpret my "inner world" to also mean what I am experiencing in a situation, and I sometimes harmonize my outer action to that and sometimes force myself to act in a way that is not in harmony with my inner world. For example, I have felt anxious or scared or irritated in my inner world and forced my outer action to hide that and act otherwise. What helps me welcome strangers is that I genuinely care, which I value, and I am fairly good at being present and not behaving with strings attached. Having strings attached is conniving. Judgments happen, I know I can be judgmental, and it helps me to acknowledge all that and take my judgments into consideration while being open and welcoming with some cautiousness.
I like this piece -- I think it comes from the author's deep self. It reminded me of hearing myself say one day that having friends is overrated, alongside my knowing that friends have been life saving. I have had times when someone's response triggered my barely functioning, and times that a table top triggered thriving. You never know. I take 'rest in actuality' to basically mean be present, "appreciate what's in front of you." What helps me rest in actuality is realizing that the present is really all there is, and knowing of no better way to be than to be present. All the rest is duplicitous adaptation. Lower your expectations, or better yet, get rid of your expectations and be present. Forgive others -- we participated in whatever we're not forgiving those others for -- and forgive yourself. Have more dearest freshness and less dearest shoddiness.
I love your comments -- "bathed in the consciousness of pure love" -- and you felt whole like never before, and can still access that. Beautiful. I can relate -- holding and hugging a baby I felt in (as in within) Love -- nothing like it in this human life, and some of it stays forever. Thanks for sharing.
My understanding is that love is way beyond thinking. It isn't necessary to learn to love or will to love. Love is natural. If you want to be a full human being, it is necessary to allow, accept, open to and live from the love that you already are. As far as I'm aware, my seeking, wanting or pursuing love get in the way of my experiencing love. Even when I have sought, wanted or pursued love, love has happened and surprised me aside from and in spite of my efforts. The most I do is let myself be available to love. Krisnamurti says love requires self-abandonment, which to me means love requires me putting down my defenses, being open, honest and vulnerable. What helps me love is complying with that requirement, that is, self-abandonment. What also helps is knowing how wonderful love is. One love experience results in wanting more.
The river within is also the river without. There is one river, and everything is part of the one river which is the source of all. There are times that I jump into the river within. For example, in relating to someone I have jumped into the river within, jumped into what I am experiencing and related from it, simply being present in it and from it as I am with and relating to the person with me, having no agenda, not knowing where I or the current would go. Jumping into the river within in that way has always been positively magical. My having had a glimpse of the river that we are all of helps me look around in wonder.
Thank you for this wonderful essay. Vigilance seems be what Krisnamurti refers to as pure observance or choiceless awareness, which to me is pure open unadulterated awareness in the present to what is happening, which is what each of us essentially is and we go away from. I like that the author says we are vigilance and says vigilance is sacred and is bliss. There can be vigilance while active and inactive. I am being vigilance when I am aware and present to and with what is happening, free of judgments, prejudices and preconceived notions of any kind. If I am ever that, I am for moments at a time. What helps me be vigilant about what has not moved is knowing that all creation is moving and not moving all the time. For me to be vigilant with creation is for me to be vigilant of what is moving and not moving, what has moved and what has not moved.
No end to this human lifetime would probably be difficult and boring; the end to it will probably also be difficult, though probably not boring. We don't know when this wonderful duration will end, so it makes sense to me to make the best of it. My beliefs: Change is always, death is change, and silence will occur just as it does in the present. "We are nobodies" -- we or the essence of us are not bodies. Love is oneness, we exist within oneness or love, change and death occur within love, and love is infinite, eternal, and much bigger than change and death -- if that is what the author means by love is the only revenge, I agree. By not committing suicide and staying alive, I gamble on humanity, I stay in the game, I commit life unto life. What helps me to life unto life is that I find the trip or experience satisfying, I enjoy life and the learning and growth that occurs in it, and I want to play out this human life until it ends.
Total unplugging seems extreme. A balance of unplugging and plugging seems healthy and satisfying. I don't think unplugging is a prerequisite for profound connection, but I think it can be a help. Genuine and deep communication means to me communication that is genuinely caring, honest, open, respectful, and personal, which communication is also intimate. I engaged in some of such communication just this morning which happened to be after a time of silence and reflection. For me, genuine and deep communication is recharging, just as genuine and deep solitude is. Surface communication is unfulfilling and boring, just as surface silence is. I can disengage from myself and others when in solitude or with others. I avoid the trap of disengagement when I maintain genuine and deep communication with myself when alone and with myself and others when with others. Accomplishing either can be a challenge.
I believe how we wrestle especially in live or die situations is who we really are, and they may bring out the best and the worst in us. A major wrestling with my heart occurred when I was 21. I was on a career path that was known and secure for me but no longer was right for me. To change was to go against what I had thought I wanted for a long time and go against mother's wishes and go against the expectations of some significant others, and it would be a step into a scary unknown. My heart was telling me to make the change, and my head and fear and wanting to please was telling me to stay put. I went through several weeks of agonizing gut wrenching anguish and wrestling within myself, and the life or death of my spirit was at stake. I followed my heart. I took a big leap and once I made the decision I quickly knew I made the right decision for me. I didn't grow a new heart -- I grew a new me, that is, a me that was more self and heart trusting and more clear and strong as to who I am.
There is an essential me that perceives appearance through a human body and world, all of which is given to me, not created or earned by me, so it is a gift. I very much believe that beyond appearance is ultimate existence, that is, one existence or activity that includes me and all that is, all of which comes from the same source and is made of the same stuff. Love is living in and from awareness of that oneness. I sometimes have and live from some of that awareness, and in such times I am to some degree being in love. I believe the essence of me as well as everyone and every form in creation is an expression of Infinite Self or Ultimate Reality or God or whatever name is used.
I think of a signal as a problem that is smaller than the problem and eventual crisis that will evolve if the smaller problem isn't attended to. If any signal or problem is ignored it will likely get worse and more and more unignorable. I see the slow leak as a problem that is also a signal of a problem that is bigger and will get even bigger if not attended to. I think it's also meaningful that the source of the problem is behind a wall (we each have some of those). I had numbness and tingling in my fingers, which was a problem and signal of a bigger problem. I ignored the problem until it became bigger, saw that it was becoming a big pain and problem that could become a big looming crisis, so I had carpal tunnel release several weeks ago which improved my situation. What helps me start the work of tending to what has been unduly burdened is wanting to stop hurting, knowing it's probably going to get worse if not attended to, and wanting to fix the problem and be healthy again.
In the essay, the first stonemason, in response to whether he likes his job, is critical of his job and says "it's a job. It pays the bills." I think his discontentment is a sign that he doesn't like his job and his purpose in doing it doesn't result in his liking it. My conclusion is he doesn't like the way he's engaged in and he could find another way. I see him being used as an example of someone who has a purpose in working that doesn't result in his loving his work. More importantly, from what I know, being a teacher is very stressful these days, and your many 'have to's' make it worse. I hope your discerning results in your doing what is best for you.
My relating to the notion is that there are many breaks or divisions in our natural wholeness which is also our natural holiness, and kindness helps heal the divisions and regain or increase wholeness and holiness. I feel blessed when someone holds open a door for me. My feeling blessed isn't that the door was opened for me, which I could have done for myself, but is the fact that someone did a small kindness for me which triggers in me an awareness in that moment of connection and holiness between us. In one sense such a moment is small and fleeting, but it is important and is a blessing. When I remember kindness, what helps me is knowing that kindness is healing, knowing that kindness is right action, knowing that I and the other benefit from and feel good about kindness, and knowing that I feel regret when I'm not kind.
For the first stonemason, the purpose of paying the bills does not result in his loving his work. For the second stonemason, the purpose of building a cathedral results in his loving his work. That means to me that to love your work it is important to have a purpose that you love. There were aspects of my career that were hard work and were a drag, but overall I had a sense of worthwhile purpose in my work and often loved it. What helps me find and connect with a sense of purpose in my work is getting into work by way of following my heart and not just following practical considerations, getting into work that at best I am passionate about or at least enjoy and have some excitement in doing, and getting into work in which I learn, grow, and feel some fulfillment in doing.
I see that hope and fear go together. You hope for some outcome, your ability to make it happen is limited at best, and you fear it won't happen. I know my control of outcome is limited, so I like when I let go of my hold on hope and its hold on me by focusing on action that I believe is right and letting go of trying to control outcome, leaving outcome to forces bigger than me. When I focus on right action and let go of outcome, I move beyond hope and fear, and my right action is my contribution which I believe is meaningful. Letting go of trying to produce a certain outcome is letting go of hope and fear. What helps me stay rooted in my contribution is my conviction that I can control only my action, not outcome, and right action is a meaningful contribution.
Cultivation of empathy through deep inquiry means to me to foster a deep understanding and sense of the experience of the other through paying close attention and probably asking questions. Over the years, initially slowly, I have realized that my mental model of most everything is only a narrow sliver of a very wide broadband, my mental model has in regards to some things been rigid, and I've been judgmental. I have seen a shift in my perception including more broadness and openness of perception which helps me to see more and be more accepting and compassionate. What helps me see the world as a complex and beautiful spectrum of colors is being open to the possibility that all is one, all comes from one source, all is made of the same stuff, and all is innumerable different expressions that appear to be separate. Openness to that possibility along with study and reflection became realization for me that that possibility is true.
I love your reflection and the personal story you shared. Thank you. I know that how I feel is mine, not created by or caused by anyone else, and I live that most of the time now. I've for a long time known my purpose is to blossom, the same as for a flower or animal -- the biggest problem over the years has been staying out of my way. I've learned too that when I do right action, which is 'my job' as a person, it is its own reward.
A rose that grows in ideal conditions may be healthier and look better than one that grows in the wild, but that's not a definite.
What is definite is that one rose is no better or less than the other. A rose is a rose wherever it grows. My need for recognition is small, but not totally gone. I typically do what I believe is right and don't do what to me is not right, and I like recognition, but I don't need recognition and I seldom do or don't do something in order to get recognition. What helps me stay true to my nature is my belief that it is my right, responsibility, and privilege to blossom and be all that I am, which to me is to be true to my nature, all of which I take very seriously. It helps me to know that even though people often say someone made them feel happy or sad or angry or whatever, I know my feelings are mine and controlled by no one but me.
I find it to be very true that our attention can be easily compromised. Buddhists are accurate in saying a person has a monkey mind that is constantly jumping from one branch of thought, memory, interest, worry, want, etc to another. Every day in every task I bring back a wandering attention only to have it jump or drift again after as few seconds or minutes. I assume that is typical for human beings. Attention to that which is top priority to me keeps my attention focused the best and wandering the least. Being in a situation with minimal external distraction helps keep my attention focused. What helps me bring back my wandering attention is a need to focus, and the stronger the need the easier I bring back wandering attention. What also helps is practicing discipline in maintaining focus and in bringing my wandering attention back as I notice it wandering. For me that discipline is essentially to force myself to focus.
Mental immunity means to be exempt from mental or emotional disturbance. In my opinion, no one has mental immunity any more than physical immunity. We can increase the chance of mental or physical health, but no one is immune and we are all susceptible. Mental immunity is not "just learning to avoid the destructive emotions and to develop the positive ones." Learning that lesson is major. Developing calmness that is deep down below the surface is difficult for most of us. A key issue is whether we deal with emotions healthily or unhealthily. Sometimes the quickest solution to a problem is the best. When I avoid destructive emotions, I live and act from knowing that destructive emotions are harmful to me and to others, which knowing is more than rational. What helps me create a healthy disposition is focus on myself, looking at my part in my grievance or outrage, looking at my responsibility rather than blaming, and improving myself.
To be in a situation that is fearful to most without having a trace of fear or intention to harm takes being 1) brain dead or 2) psychotic or 3) extremely psychologically together or 4) very spiritually advanced. Any of those can result in a person being totally independent of and detached from the situation and having zero trace of fear or intention to harm. When I am aware that I and others with whom I very much disagree are one, are part of the same physical world as I, are part of the same consciousness as I, and are expressions of the same Oneness or God as I, I am in awareness of a deeper reality which results in transformation in me and in the situation. I don't give myself completely over to love in as many moments as I can. Actually I do that seldom. When I do give myself completely over to love, what helps me is living in and from awareness that we are one, and one is love.
Judith Blackstone says we need to "inhabit fully our own separate physical body..." I believe we do inhabit our physical body -- that is a given. Our physical reality is not separate from self, it's an expression of self. What we call our environment is also not separate from self. We are part of it. I believe all is one "single expanse of fundamental consciousness" of which each of us is an expression. Some are aware of that and accept that; some don't. For me accepting that is meaningful and satisfying. It orients me in regards to the big picture. I have had the experience of my filters and projections dissolving and me seeing and relating to the other as the person he or she is. That experience was enhanced by me awareness that we are one. What helps me accept fully the experience of the present moment is my knowing that only in the present is there aliveness, and knowing that it is in my experiencing of that awareness that I experience aliveness.
I hope women will be more and more involved and lead in a way that is caring and working together and helps us all to reconnect with our vulnerable feelings. I hope women will lead in a woman way -- don't become like men.
I believe the solution to our world's problems is love. Love is oneness, and is the oneness of all that is. To live in and act from awareness of oneness is to live in love, which results in caring and working together and peace which would be the solution to our world's problems. As for a personal story, there is a man who cheated me out of money years ago which resulted in my feeling resentment toward him on top of my not agreeing with him about many things and my not liking him. When I remind myself that we are different but we are one, love overrides my resentment and my disliking him, I let go of all that, and love is the solution to my problem. What helps me stay rooted in love is my conviction that all is one and my reminding myself that all is one, and when I do that I am rooted in and living in love.
To be bound to anything, including compulsive thought and action, is to be enslaved. I disagree with Vivekananda that we desire a thought or action because we are forced to desire it and we are helpless. We are conditioned by our world, and we often unknowingly develop habits, compulsions, and addictions which can be extremely difficult to break free of, but we aren't helpless, we have the ability to free ourselves. A person is not powerless, even if he or she says 'I can't'. Our sense-life and our ability to think and act are fine servants and terrible masters, and if we let them be masters we're in trouble. I don't always act without being bound, but I am able to, and when I accept that, I act freely. Learning from life experiences helps me develop an intelligence that goes beyond the sense and thoughts. I often don't free myself, but I know I can free myself. For the most part, 'I can't' is a lie, and 'I don't' or 'I won't' is the truth. What I spend my time thinking about and how I act are my responsibility.
I think of being mindful and still in relation to the notion that wonder increases as speed decreases. There is wonder to behold in the micro and in the macro, in moving slowly and in moving fast. The problem I see is we are so often in a hurry trying to get somewhere or attain something or multitask that we miss so much including the wonder. It helps to slow down and smell the flowers. Slowing down increases the chance of experiencing wonder. When I slow down, there is an increase in my being present, paying attention, and relating to what is happening and who I am with, and I realize an increase in wonder. What helps me build the commitment to watch quietly is the benefits including increase in peace, in satisfaction, and sometimes in wonder and gratitude, and I make a better contribution to the situation.
A few of many that stood out for me are: 1) The right time is now because now I feel enthused, and it quickly passes and becomes another missed opportunity. 2) It's true that everything before 'but' is not fully true. 3) Forgiveness is a gift to ourselves -- a big gift. 4) Most criticism is better not said -- it's unwanted, unhelpful, and it hurts. 5) Speak your truth confidently, plus be open and listen. 6) There's much more value in reinforcing good behavior than punishing bad behavior. 7) Embrace detours -- they're full of surprise and life. 8) Understand self by reflecting on what you find irritating in others -- that is very true. 9) The long haul one step at a time very much exceeds the value of a flash in the pan. 10) Copy others briefly, be yourself longterm. As for uncomfortable conversations, it is in those in which we are open, sincere, honest that we grow. I'm glad that I am naturally often astonished -- it gives me joy and helps me be alive. What helps me dance in the rain is knowing it rains often, it's often fun to dance in the rain, there's much to learn from it, and waiting for a storm to pass may mean wasting a lot of time. Most waiting is a waste. (If this reflection appeared more than once, I apologize -- problem getting my computer to do what I wanted.)
Every situation is new and different to a small or large degree, so life constantly brings us to spots where our proficiency is insufficient to some degree. Life happens other than planned, before we are ready, and our challenge is to deal with life situations with the proficiency we have. If prayer is whatever saves me, including good fortune, then I was saved by prayer. However, I don't think I was saved by prayer as usually defined. I think I've been saved by good fortune and all existence interacting in a way favorable for me plus my limited but good judgment and choices. I believe a witness is a part of all that is and contributes to how a situation works out. What helps me lean into the unknown is knowing we live in the unknown and I will deal with the realities presented to me either well or not well, and chances are I will survive and gain more proficiency for dealing with the next spot.
Relationship and combat are not synonymous. Combat is a specific kind of intense relationship. Combat is fighting. Combat is a battle. I agree that we learn and grow in relationship. In combat, the big picture may sometimes be to become better, but the immediate want of the parties involved is to beat on each other and try to beat each other which may result in learning and growing but likely results in destruction and death. I'm all for relationship and encounter; I'm not for combat and beating. Relating to and encountering the person standing before me typically helps me see myself more clearly -- that's not combat. What helps me stay open to growing through relationship is experience, that is, knowing from experience that I've grown through relationship, and valuing opportunities to grow. Relating to the other and not to expectations or prejudices or some underlying agenda helps me stay open to growing.
The difference for me is that faith is deeper than belief. Belief is cognitive, and faith is more than cognitive, it's bodily or experiential. Belief is in my brain, and faith is in my being. My faith for a long time now is that all creation is God in form, so all creation, living and not living, is sacred. I often don't live and act that faith, so I guess my faith is weak, but when I live it I get a taste of the sacred, and then it is the taste of the sacred that strengthens my faith. What helps me want to study over is my knowing very little for sure, my wanting to know more, my wanting to see more clearly, and the satisfaction I feel in learning.
We wear our hearts not only on our sleeves, face, or voice, but throughout our bodies. Author Kram seems to see us more as machines determined by conditions than as persons with at least limited freedom and control. As I see life, our response and our internal state are shaped by our perception. Our perception is not determined by external circumstances but is from inside us. I became aware of that at some time years ago. In that sense I came home. What I needed to do to come home was to trust me and be me. l'm not a powerless victim being triggered by external circumstances. I, including my perception and response and internal state, are influenced by conditioning and by external circumstances, such as by steam, ice, and liquid, but are not determined by them. My perception, response and internal state can be my own and independent of external circumstances. Paying attention internally helps me become aware of what state I am in.
My view is that there is an I that is ground and independent and eternal. Out of I is a me that developed and got molded by the environment, and this me is a knower of what I see (mostly taught to see) which is false knowledge. Sometimes I sees around or over that molded me and sees what is real, that is, sees not what me is supposed to see and expected to see, but sees what really is. When I see what is real, the knower me and the false knowledge disappear. For a long time I didn't know there was real and didn't know how to distinguish between unreal and real. At some time years ago I began to see real, though I mostly I ignored it and kept what I saw to myself. Eventually I saw real more often. What helps me go from the unreal to the real is my inquiry into I, knowing I is is different than me, being open to I, giving attention to I, valuing and trusting I, knowing there is real.
As I see life, there is the unreal or maya which is appearance, and there is ultimate reality which is real. The knower and false knowledge appear when unreal is figure, and disappear when ultimate reality is figure. Ultimate reality is one and true, so when ultimate reality is figure, both knower and false knowledge disappear. I've come to believe that real is ultimate reality, the ground of reality, the source and essence, and unreal is how ultimate reality appears to our senses. To a great degree we live in the unreality of the senses but are not of that unreality. We are of real ultimate reality. When I abide in awareness of that, the awareness helps me go from the unreal to the real.
I think of the essence of travel as having no destination. The best of travel is embracing the process of traveling, meandering rather than hurrying, paying attention to what I'm interested in. Seeing the Grand Canyon was a perception that seemed bigger than my ability to perceive. I felt bigger than me, one with the magnificence I was beholding. The experience enhanced appreciation of oneness that was already happening in me, which fostered further renewal for me. I can plan and have a goal or destination -- that takes effort. My natural inclination is to wander and be goalless which has helped me to see that all is one, that I and earth are one, that earth is an expression of One and I am an expression of earth. In that way I see earth as source. Each of us is a unique expression of One, each with a unique genius, and when I have that perception it helps me celebrate the genius in others. I prepare for surprise by not preparing, by being present and open, by seeing what is and not what I expect.
I very much like this essay. A menial activity like sweeping the floor can be a way to find where the heart is blocked, such as when the activity triggers pain or stress that blocks the heart. Apparently that happened for Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. I liked her recognizing the connection and continuity between her and her ancestors, which reminded me of the main character in Amistad who knows his ancestors will be with him and help him. Remembering the dust from which I came is an awareness that began years ago and has slowly grown for me. Today I'm sure I never have an original thought -- I reconfigure thoughts others had before me. At this point I am aware that the dust from which I came goes back to the Big Bang, so whatever I do is the culmination of all that has happened in and through all creation up until this moment. When I am profoundly with my heart is when I abide in what I am saying here -- such times are few and are the best of living.
All that is is always changing, including me, so me that makes a decision and me that receives the outcome are not the same. But as I see life, me that makes a decision and receives the outcome is not real me. It was a long time ago that I began becoming aware that my body-mind combine and real me are not one and the same. My body-mind combine is my make-up or appearance, while real me is the core or essence of me that expresses as my body-mind and all the rest of what I call me. My body-mind, like all make-up, is surface and very temporary and constantly changing, and beneath that so to speak is real me. What helps me reconcile all this is my experience and faith that there is a consistent essence or core that is really and consistently there, and it manifests a make-up surface, a body-mind, that goes through a lifetime of changes.
I agree that the object of grasping takes up space in the mind proportional to the level of intensity of the grasping. I learned that the object of grasping is never as important or solid as I think it is, and that perception and realization opens up space, helps me grasp less, and helps dissolve the vicious cycle of false solidity. I find the object is transient and doesn't bring what is sought. I've also learned that grasping contracts mind space and is a source of unnecessary suffering. Not grasping results in more mind space and helps me be freer and more happy and at peace. Those lessons help me incline the mind to notice space.
For me, my truth is my truth. My truth in a situation is what I'm thinking and/or feeling and/or sensing. My truth in and of itself sings, and conflict enters when I have a goal or agenda or underlying motive or expectation or prejudice or fear that enters. When I avoid or let go of those and simply express my truth in a caring, open, and honest way, I'm not looking for survival or any particular outcome and instead look for life. For me, being and relating in that way is intimate, fulfilling, and thriving. It's the essence of life and is the best of living. What helps me engage in such living is awareness of the value of it, which awareness is based on having experienced it. Survival is basic. Life can be about much more than survival.
I agree that the first level of happiness is from pleasant sensual experience, and the second level of happiness is from the mind and/or heart. For me, the third level of happiness is in and from awareness of our oneness with all that is which results in compassion with and service toward all. To the extent I abide in oneness with all I experience a contentedness that is deeper than the first two levels and beyond changing circumstances. Reminding myself that all is one enhances my awareness that all is one interactive and interdependent whole that includes me and every being living and not living.
For me, opening to greater life means to become aware that all life is one life, and human life participates in the one life. I began to be aware long ago that all life is one and all life is sacred, and with that my awareness grew that we humans and the rest of creation is essentially and inseparably inter-related, in a mutually enhancing or mutually destroying relationship. When I practice communion with all things, what helps me is awareness that all creation is one, all creation is in communion, and what I or any one or any thing does to any expression of creation, be it to a to the air, the water, another person, or the galaxy, affects all of creation.
The quiet threshold across which life awaits us is real for me. I don' know what to call Life, so I'll call it Ultimate Being, which is for me the Ground out of which the hustle and bustle, the ups and downs, the pains and joys of this earthly reality emerge. Ultimate Being is hidden in the open. We certainly don't have to die in this life to be aware of it and get glimpses of it. I don't know how my awareness of what Nepo calls the threshold and beyond happened, but I began being aware of it probably 25 years ago, and my awareness has grown over the years. I've come to more and more often be living in this worldly reality and be not of it. I believe there is a tug and pull, a tension, of everything. I don't think that is a problem. What helps me accept it is believing all is one, is of one Source, expressed in a zillion different forms, and tug and pull is how existence is.
Being an agent of illumination means to me to let my inner light shine. My inner light is the Light as it shines through me as what I am experiencing, as my feeling or insight or idea. It's my truth. It's often thinking outside the box. Being an agent of that inner illumination means for me to rise above a situation rather than be stuck in it, and have the courage to express and use the inner illumination to make a positive contribution to the situation rather than do nothing or commit some negative action. For example, I told Joe I felt uncomfortable hearing his lengthy self-berating and feeling sorry for himself. My discomfort was my light, and my sharing it with him with care seemed to be a light for him on what he was doing, and he proceeded to self-berate and feel sorry for himself less. What helps me be the light is to look for it, pay attention to it and value it, and have the courage to offer it and let it shine in a positive way.
Such a lovely and profound story. Self-realization means to me becoming aware of what I really am, that is, I am Being or Ultimate Reality or Consciousness or God materialized in human form. I got little glimpse by little glimpse of the ocean like vastness of my true nature until it has become very clear to me that it is true. My awareness is growing of the salt doll experience happening for me.
Thank you for the Chogyan Trungpa quote or paraphrase which I think we are all living to some extent and with some awareness. I am moved by what you shared. Thank you. I hope what you suffer also brings you great joy.
Groundlessness means lack of ground or foundation, lack of anything to count on. As I see life, the ground we have is constant change. We can count on that. No change is an illusion. Actually, I exchanged certainty for curiosity a long time ago. There is no certainty. We live in the unknown. For me those are simply facts of life. As for exchanging fear for generosity, I'm working on it -- my fears have greatly dwindled, and I practice being more generous. What helps me accept the unrelenting constant of change is not seeing it as unrelenting which for me has a negative and oppressive connotation, and seeing change as 'that's life'. It helps that I've become pretty good at being in the present (we are alive only in the present), trusting what I believe to be right action in the present, and letting go of outcome.
I believe the heart is supple by nature and our nature is to take it all in. I believe we learn to fear and build an inner wall to not take it all in which results over time in a dried up, hard and brittle heart. There are times that I have taken in life's deaths with healthy anesthetics, mainly care both given and received, and with involvements that have been good for me and others, all of which have helped me to accept the life death and have resulted in making my heart more soft. For me, unhealthy anesthetics are those that deny or fight the life death, such as many drugs, legal and illegal, which leave the heart walled off and result in its becoming more hard and brittle. What helps me is knowing that it's all reality that I'm being presented with and my accepting that and dealing with it keeps me and my heart supple, growing and alive.
I agree that no system of thought can contain the fullness of human experience. Thought is one aspect of the human experience. The bandwidth of human experience is much greater than the width of thought or any system of thought. I've believed for a long time that we stand on the shoulders of the couple billion years of life that came before us. Furthermore, all life is one, thoroughly interrelated and interdependent, so one person's gain or loss is everyone's gain or loss and we reap what others sew. I believe human knowledge is contained in the fundamental or cosmic ground of which each human is an expression, and I believe human knowledge can not be contained in one person's human self. I think the capacity of one human is not great enough to contain all human knowledge.
You can't get there from here means to me that you can't get there because there is no there. There exists only in imagination so you can only get to there in your imagination. There is here once you get there. There are times I let go of all expectations and am simply present, attentive to and responsive to what I am experiencing and what is happening now. What helps me be fully in the present is knowing I'm alive only in the present, and I like being alive. It also helps me to know I have some control in the present and don't have control of the future, so it makes more sense to be present. Also, intimacy is in being in the present, and I seem to never have enough intimacy so wanting intimacy helps me be present. It helps to not have expectations because they take me away from the present and into thinking or imagining future. Practice being present of course helps to improve being present.
Chelan Harkin's poem is beautiful and wise. I think it's important and probably essential to allow and rekindle wonder every day to be alive beyond being biological robots programmed and conditioned by society and ourselves. I see my familiar world with new eyes of wonder -- when I see my grand daughter's curiosity, awe, learning, and growth -- she looks with wonder at the moon and stars, and I look at her and them with new eyes of wonder; when I look with wonder at a flower bud beginning to emerge this Spring; when I have a moment of seeing my wife of 45 years with new eyes of wonder at all that she is; when I am filled with wonder that my body with its zillion coordinated activities constantly going on continues to function quite well. Wonder is way beyond rationality. I believe the bandwidth of wonder is as big as life, and the width of rationality is very narrow, and our squeezing wonder into the narrow framework of rationality kills wonder and us.
I think it was Krisnamurti who emphasized the importance of nonjudgmental witnessing of self, of which this essay by Benoit reminds me. Not taking sides means to me to not focus on thoughts that emerge and create an internal battle between different thoughts. When I don't take hold of any thoughts and am actively and neutrally attentive, battling of two sides never gets started. That I value. The author seems to say "permitting my imagination to produce whatever it likes" and simply watching the mental images without grabbing hold of them results in the imagination not producing images. If I have experienced that, it has been for only very brief periods. With more commitment, I'm sure I could build up the mental automatism to help curb the natural automatism of imagination. I'm sure that would be good for me -- I may do it.
My understanding is Schlessman is saying we can come from memnoon which is the gift of asking someone to do something they want to do or we can give self empathy that we can't get to memnoon. We do have those choices. I felt blest by the request to talk about something bothering me that I wasn't talking about and wanted to. I don't only give out of memnoon. What would help me to only give out of memnoon if I were to do that is caring that the other gets what he or she wants and paying enough attention to the other to know what he or she wants and then give the gift of asking the person to do that. I don't operate that way. I value what is good for me or for the other more than what I or the other want. What a person wants and what is good for the person may or may not be the same. I like when I help the other to know what is good for him or her and support the person to do that.
A gift is something given without it being asked for or payed for. A privilege is an advantage that is given to only some. A gift could be a privilege, and a privilege could be a gift. Not every gift is a privilege, and not every privilege is a gift. Medicine by definition, is that which heals, that is, makes more whole and healthy. A gift or privilege or tree or river or human or whatever is medicine for whomever it promotes healing. I am able to unlock my authentic identity any time, for whatever reason often unlock it only to some extent, and when I do unlock it to whatever extent I think it is always medicine for me. Internal gifts are from inside me. I think of privileges as given to me from outside. What helps me focus more on internal gift is my drive for healing or wholeness, and my internal gifts and unlocking them is more medicine for me than focus on external privilege. Also, my internal gifts are mine, they are within me, while privilege belongs to some other authority and my having it is dependent on the authority giving it to me.
Sending love to someone needing help means to me to abide in awareness of our oneness and be compassionate and suffer their distress together with them. I have breathed in the pain of the Ukrainian people by abiding in awareness that I and they are one, their pain is my pain, and by suffering at least to a small extent their pain together with them. I believe what helps the most would be to send all of me to physically be there and suffer together with them what they are suffering. It would of course be impractical and very difficult to be there with them, but it could be done. To say I can't doesn't make it so. My honest answer as to why I don't physically go there and be there with them is I don't care enough, it would be more difficult to do than I want to do, so I send my love by being there with them in awareness. I believe that helps a little.
Further reflection: I don't think considering others is giving up one's freedom -- each of us is free to be a team player or not, and there are consequences to either choice. Your fate isn't in the other's hands -- we influence each other, not determine each other. I think every moment of everything carries within it the grace of redemption. More accurately, I believe the grace of redemption is within me to embrace in any moment. I, not an event, frees me. When I am offended, I have the opportunity to be forgiving which is freeing. I've long been aware of my responsibility toward others, that is, aware that I am able to respond as I choose to the other and to what is happening. Over the years, my understanding that we are one became deeper in me. What helps me to remember to consider the fate of others is my awareness that we are one, what I do affects everyone, and my wanting to have a positive effect.
I'm think what happened is we got into this age of entitlement by way of parents' undisciplined love for their children, wanting to give their children everything, resulting in children learning it's all about them. I think what you call the 'all about me' mentality is the result of misguided distorted love.
I believe we are essentially and inseparably interrelated and interdependent. Everything I do affects you, and everything you do affects me. In offending you I offend me. In forgiving you I forgive me. I am redeemed by living our oneness. As a child I became aware of my responsibility toward others and vice verse as a rule of religion. At a much later age I heard statements that 'we are one' and 'I look across at the other and see me' and 'there is no other' and 'we sink or swim together' as facts of life, not as rules. To fight those facts is to fight life. What helps me remember to consider the fate of others in making decisions is to accept those facts of life, let them sink deeply into me, and allow them to be part of my living and relating.
I agree with Russell Wilson that helpers (and all of us) do way too much cognitive bypassing. We do too much living in and trying to heal from our head. We need less cognition to bypass feelings, and more bypassing of cognition. Get out of your head and into your body was a message of the 60's. I've sat with grief and metabolized it, often not enough. We always metabolize grief -- the issue is whether we metabolize it healthily or not. Do I chew the grief thoroughly before swallowing, gulp it down, or avoid it? Do I ingest and metabolize grief mindfully or do it inattentively while doing other activities? What helps me avoid cognitively manipulating emotion is believing cognition makes a valuable servant and a terrible master, believing much more healing lies in feeling my feelings than in cognitive shuffling (let cognition follow feeling feelings, not precede or substitute for feeling feelings), and years of practicing paying attention to my feelings.
Who is looking out from my eyes is Essence called I. I is the Witness. I apparently have never noticed that the feeling of the Witness that is I and the feeling of the world were the same. I believe Essence of I and of the world is the same but there are countless aspects of Essence expressed in countless ways, so the feeling of I and of the world which is composed of countless expressions of the Essence are different. I believe I is an expression of Essence, Essence is One, One is Love, Love includes compassion. I believe all that is, meaning the countless expressions of Essence including my motivations, is sitting within a resounding heartbeat of compassion though unfortunately I am often not aware of that or living that.
I support not criticizing what we don't understand, which means we would criticize very little. When I pay attention, watch, listen, ask questions, am open, and learn, I gain at least some small amount of understanding, which I think is of more value than criticism for everyone involved. I'm not into understanding the why. I don't believe there is a why as in one cause or explanation. I think 'why' is the whole context which can be very big and complex. As Ed Lorenze pointed out, a factor in why a storm happens in New York City is a butterfly flapping its wings in South America. On the biggest level, why something happens is everything that has happened in all of creation. I want to appreciate some of the important factors in the context out of which an action comes. What helps me remain committed to that is my finding it interesting, finding it to be a way to get to know the other, my satisfaction in learning, and the other's satisfaction in being better known.
Perhaps Francis did know God, and saw God in the form of the almond tree blossoming. He might have seen God in the form of the Big Bang. I believe we can't manipulate God -- I believe God takes what ever form God takes.
I believe the real self lives eternally in what Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate dimension. The real of everything simply is, while the form that 'is' takes comes and goes. I accept the notion that I have been nirvanized since the very nonbeginning. Nirvanized is what is aside from all the forms and definitions that are attached. Nirvanized is what's left once all forms, physical and mental, are gone. What is always was and always will be. 'Is' is outside past and future, outside beginning and end. I've touched many moments with some amount of awareness. At the level of nirvanized, there is only one moment, and I touch it sometimes with some awareness. When I live one moment deeply, what helps me be there is knowing that is all that is real, knowing nirvanized exists, and knowing there is only present.
On Mar 28, 2023 David Doane wrote on Interbeing, by Thich Nhat Hanh: