Fantastic passage. And some really good pointers for uncovering our own beliefs and assumptions, that drive our lives. The first paragraph is striking, especially this snippet - "We haven’t been rewarded for being confused. Or for asking more questions rather than giving quick answers. ".
For many years now, I have experiemented with watching the mind. A few things stand out for me.
- It's a scary thing to do and to discover the "denizens of the deep". Which is perhaps why many of us (unconsciously) refuse to take on this adventure.
- You begin to see more and more of human folly in yourself. Allows you to be more emphatetic and understanding of what one sees in oneself and in the world "out there".
- Its a very fruitful and interesting endeavour. Just like a diver in the deep ocean discovers all sorts of beautiful things, a diver of the psyche gets insight into all sorts of psychological and spiritual phenomena. Feels like a very rich experience, though one can barely articulate it to someone not aquatinted with this kind of inquiry.
- I feel very grateful for having this opportunity in this lifetime.
This is such a beautifuil passage. The quote “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” resonated very deeply within me. It has felt very true to me for several years now. In my experience, this is a very formidable challenge that is put forth and has been a hard one to meet. Meeting it means sustained inner work and going into inner territories that might absolutely frighten you. But the polarity of the choice as described in the quote is so stark that you have no choice but to attempt to meet it. Else it will destroy you. It is indeed serious business with serious consequences.
This passage brings out very nicely the appropriate role of the "ordinary self". A coherent sense of identity is necessary to protect the body and allow it to do its thing as well as to function "effectively" in the world. But what it means to operate "effectively" is something for us to meditate on.
I believe a coherent sense of self is the starting point and perhaps the baseline to explore questions of god/truth/beauty. And to find out what it means to dismantle the self, as referred to by the Buddha and other mystics and sages of the past.
I find that allowing the self to operate coherently in the world is a slippery slope. For many of us, includng myself, the body and mind are mostly used for the service of ones own projected goals, couched in the guise of making a livelihood. Takes a lot of self-reflection to watch this movement and put a self-correcting algorithm in place.
This is a beautiful passage. Really resonate with the statement "Meditation is a process of healing the wounds of fragmentation". Indeed, our life's work is to 'stay with' our fragmentation and move beyond it, so that wholeness emerges on it own, unasked.
What a beautiful passage! It takes fierce courage to live this way. I specially resonate with the statement "Think. Think hard. What shape are you holding and in what container are you held? Those are not questions to be asked or answered lightly." Indeed, its a lifelong quest to ask and answer this question.
Its a beautiful passage. Jeff Foster is raw and very vulnerable in his sharing here. I love the staretment "out of the ashes of imagined futures often grew new and present joys". Its such a beautiful thing. To drop out of our imagination and come into that which is more real than all that we can conjure with our minds.
This is a beautiful perspective and the nautilus is a very appropriate metaphor. I resonate with the author's observation that our ability to be open to the present and future depends on how well we resolve and integrate our past. Indeed very true.
This is a beautiful passage. One of the key themes here seems to be the futility of thought and its inability to perceive beyond itself. We don't always see this, but certain circumstances in life seem to open that up for us. For example, the detachment and deep sense of sorrow one feels as one is burying or cremating a loved one in the burial/cremation ground. In that state, somehow thought seems to slow down and see its own futility.
The last statement in the passage captures that nicely - "When I see that my thought is incapable of understanding, that its movement brings nothing, I am open to the sense of the cosmic, beyond the realm of human perception".
I find this passage very nuanced but very revealing at the same time. Ramdass seems to suggest that we need to study the both the content of thought and its mechanics, but we need to be skillful about which to do when. I am still wrestling with this in my own meditation practice and I do find that "extricating awareness from though", as Ramdass puts it, is key to understanding. For the most part, focusing on content keeps you in an endless web of thoughts, without resolution. For example, if one finds that a set of thoughts are creating fear response in oneself, it is because there is awareness that these thoughts are creating fear. For me, this is the mechanics of thought. If one goes about solving the "problem", that is focusing on the content.
It's also interesting that Ramdass suggests that focusing on the breath helps in extricating awareness from thought, but is still a thought.
Very nice articulation of what compassion might mean in our daily lives. From my reading of the article, it seems to me that seeing the boundryless-ness of me and you is the pre-condition for us to be able to practice relative compassion. Since relative compassion goes hand in hand with emptiness. The difficulty for me then is in treading the path. I guess 'Equanimity' or 'inner immobility' is in order. -:)
As Krishnamurti points out, any protection of dogma, country etc. is itself indicates anger. To me, it means that anger begins in very subtle ways and at some point becomes gross enough that it to comes into our awareness. When it comes into awareness depends on our sensitivity. I find that being sensitive helps a great deal in understanding emotions, including anger. More sensitive we are, the earlier we can catch ourselves. And that's brings up the question of what is the soil in which sensitivity springs and whether one can cultivate that soil.
The beautiful metaphors in this passage warm my heart and transport me to the oceans! Among the many I like, this one is most striking - "When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for." The call to go beyond our boundaries of safety is inspiring.
This is a beautiful passage. Humorous and yet pointing out deep truths at the same time. That we "play the piano" and not "work the piano" is such a wonderful point. Indeed, to be a good "player" in daily living is such a hard thing. Ironic but true! Points to the fact that perhaps what is needed is Unlearning of patterns. As we unlearn, play comes naturally.
This passage feels so relevant. As someone who has read a lot of J.Krishnamurti, whose work is considered abstract by many, I know that its easy to go off into abstraction, without the slightest idea of what a particular concept might mean in practice in one's own daily life. In this context, direct experience of what is being communicated is key to learning. Without it, all the theory is just that.
I think a robust theoretical framework is very useful in spiritual endeavors. Given that there are so many teachers and practices out there, without a good understanding of the overall scheme of things, we are either likely to hang on to one practice or view and potentially become pedantic about it. With a robust framework that is malleable, flexible and open, one is free to examine new ideas, teachers and practices that one might come across. In fact, in my experience, the beauty of it is that you being to see the common foundation and threads across a spectrum of teachings.
This is a beautiful passage. I especially resonate with the statement ""Much of beauty, both in art and in life, is a balancing of the lines of forward-flowing desire with those of resistance -- a gnarled tree, the flow of a statue's draped cloth. ". In my experience, this is what one would call "Art of Living", in the context of living our lives. Life seems to be continuously demanding that artistry from us. I notice there is a tendency of the mind to not want resistance. But life persists. And we learn! -:)
This piece resonates with me very much. The first question that came to mind for me is whether I'm operating at the center of the puzzle or in some discrete piece of it. The second question that then came up was how can I find out where I'm operating. In a way, truth/God/reality is at the center of it all. So it's inevitable that the puzzle will work itself out. Perhaps in this lifetime or over multiple lifetimes.
Yes there Is definitely need for constant cleansing. I would even use the phrase "constant vigilance". Without vigilance, the defilements can be mistaken for love and can develop into an unhealthy pattern over time in the relationship. The constant cleansing will keep us and our relationships aligned with the universe.
Dropping what feels unnecessary has been very liberating for me. Over the years, it has felt like more and more time has opened up to just stay with what feels meaningful. There is a sense of leisure in the rhythm of the day, at least some of the time. I also notice that everyday I am being asked to choose: there are many urgent and/or Important tasks that need to get done. I am choosing to go with those that feel the most nourishing for ones inner development.
The one thing that has helped me avoid the temptation of an escape strategy is knowing the futility of it. No matter what one does, one still has to come face to face with one's fears sooner or later. There is no choice in this matter and life will continue to present circumstances that will force one to look at one's fears. Until one has learnt the lesson involved in the fear and comprehend it fully. It seems to me that we are born for this very reason - to understand ourselves fully. So there is no point in escaping from that. We can only not-escape from things that we are aware of. In that respect, our job becomes one of bringing into awareness the fears and attachments that we are carrying in us.
In my case, I noticed that I was leaving behind my daughter's childhood. Sitting in front of a digital device (laptop, PC, iPad, iPhone etc.) is an exclusive experience and it excludes interaction with other human beings, unless they themselves are online.
With young children, the choices are stark and either/or in nature. Either you spend time on your device, which is taking time away from your child or you set aside that digital device and be fully present with your child. Of course we can let the child have their own exclusive digital experience so that we can have yours. IMHO that is the most damaging of all.
This is a fantastic passage and one that very accurately captures that malaise of our civilization at this current time. Idleness is frowned upon as if its a crime while being busy is put on a pedestal. If one were to pause and observe our daily lives, the benefits of leisure will be very apparent. In the presence of leisure, daily life develops a beautiful wholesome flavor. This is totally missing if one is leading a harried, busy life.
This is a beautiful passage. Thanissaro Bhikku has illustrated the fragmented aspect of the mind in way that's clear and easy to understand. I am yet to experience the unconditioned dimension but his reminder that genuine happiness is possible is reassuring. The passage also made me think about how working with one's own desires and those of other family members is indeed like a committee and everyone's voice and opinion needs to be given due understanding and respect.
The passage really resonated with me. I like the skillful way in which the author treads into the space of attention and its lapses. After reading the passage, I can see that its the "disruptions" where we "get caught" and lose our attention, bringing much suffering into ones life. While I have approached meditation with a very open mind where all and every thought is allowed to come in and nothing is a distraction, I certainly find it more difficult to approach things that way in daily life. Cultivating attention and awareness is a journey and perhaps being more serious about paying attention will help.
What a wonderful passage. The last paragraph captures the essence of the passage "the urgent requirement is for mature, whole human beings who are free of ego attachments, emotional imbalances....". Whole-ness seems to be completely disregarded in these times. Instead, we seem to put on a pedestal a fragmented approach where we achieve competency and specialization in a particular field or sphere of life. Many thanks to Service Space for reminding of our whole-ness! Moving towards whole-ness is a journey I participate in with many others and am thankful for encountering the path.
Krishnamurti beautifully explores this question. I think it’s important to understand that there is no such thing as “I will understand and then do good in the world”. But it is also true that one can do great harm in this world if one does not go into the inner dimension. It does seem that social work or doing good at any given moment is entirely dependent on one’s seriousness. There is a certain intensity of enquiry that is continually going deeper and informing ones actions in daily life. One’s life itself is an expression – either doing good (aka social work) or doing harm.
A most interesting topic and something that's been on my mind for a while. Developing a healthy relationship with money seems to be one of the key factors for living a sane and healthy life. As the author rightly mentions, lot of things essential to a secure life seems to depend on money. So it cannot be shooed away and the "art of living" has to involve a contemplation on what is money and its role in right living. Understanding this relationship with money seems to be a process of unfolding and goes hand in hand with understanding psychological security, the notion of permanency (and transience) and fear. So seems that its not an isolated issue but very much a part of understanding our overall conditioning and thought patterns. I am also discovering that insecurity has layers (like other psychological constructs) and while there is apparent freedom from money's grip at the surfacial layers, one is still very much money's servant at these deeper layers of insecurity. in the context of understanding ones relationship with money, Jiddu Krishnamurti's comment that "all learning is in relationship" seems especially appropriate.
A most wonderful passage. One gets a hint of the quality of conversation that Needleman is speaking about. When that quality happens in an intearction with a friend or a stranger, one feels like one's heart has opened up to the whole world and that everything is blessed. I find that such interactions have become rarer in my own life and I long to create such deep connections more often.