#2330 - Friday, December 2, 2005
Nondual Highlights Issue #2330 Friday, December 2, 2005, Editor: Mark
Meditation is bringing the mind back home, and this is first achieved through the practice of Mindfulness.
Once an old Woman came to Buddha and asked him how to meditate. He told her to remain aware of every movement of her hands as she drew the water from the well, knowing that if she did, she would soon find herself in that state of alert and spacious calm that is meditation.
The practice of mindfulness, of bringing the scattered mind home. And so of bringing the different aspects of our being into focus, is called 'Peacefully Remaining' or 'Calm Abiding.' 'Peacefully Remaining' accomplishes three things.
First, all the fragmented aspects of ourselves, which have been at war, settle and dissolve and become friends. In that settling we begin to understand ourselves more, and sometimes even have glimpses of the radiance of our fundamental nature.
Second, the practice of mindfulness defuses our negativity, aggression, and turbulent emotions, which may have been gathering power over many lifetimes. Rather than suppressing emotions or indulging in them, here it is important to view them, and your thoughts, and whatever with an acceptance and generosity that are as open and spacious as possible.
Tibetan masters say that this wise generosity has the flavor of boundless space, so warm and cozy that you feel enveloped and protected by it, as if a blanket of sunlight.
Gradually, as you remain open and mindful, and use one of the techniques to focus your mind more and more, your negativity will slowly be defused; you begin to feel well in your being, or as the French say, 'etre bien dans sa peau' (well in your own skin). From this comes release and a profound ease.
I think of this practice as the most effective form of therapy and self-healing.
Third, this practice unveils and reveals your essential Good Heart, because it dissolves and removes the unkindness or the harm in you. Only when we have removed the harm in ourselves do we become truly useful to others. Through the practice then, by slowly removing the unkindness and harm from ourselves, we allow our true Good Heart, fundamental goodness and kindness that are our real nature, to shine our and become the warm climate in which our true being flowers.
You will see now why I call meditation the true practice of peace, the true practice of nonaggression and non-violence, and the real and greatest disarmament.
- Sogyal Rinpoche, from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying,, published by Shambhala, posted to DailyDharma
Use your mind. Remember. Observe. You are
not different from others. Most of their
experiences are valid for you too. Think clearly,
deeply, go into the entire structure of your desires
and their ramifications. They are a most important
part of your mental and emotional make-up and
powerfully affect your actions. Remember, you
cannot abandon what you do not know. To go
beyond yourself, you must know yourself.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, The Acorn Press, 1973, posted to AlongTheWay
A Dream of Trees
There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare,
With only streams and birds for company.
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death,
A little way away from everywhere.
There is a thing in me still dreams of trees,
But let it go. Homesick for moderation,
Half the worlds artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement,
The blades of every crisis point the way.
I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?
We humans appear to always be in a fix. In a fix, in the sense of being caught in a tight place with no clear way out; and in a fix in the sense of always fixing it, always working on it. Both fixes are associated with a dualistic split. We are divided from ourselves, both intra- and inter-personally, within and without.
Being religious/spiritual folk, we regard one aspect of our being as sacred, a second aspect as profane (outside the temple). We are forever working to get the profane inside the temple while simultaneously resisting the sacred; and we work to live in accord with the sacred while resisting the profane.
In our better moments, we rest within the sacred while engaging the profane with loving compassion. This is the work of the bodhisattva, who has vowed to remain outside the temple, outside the camp, as long as there is one other who has not made it in. All the profane (those standing before the fanum, the temple) are invited in.
Of course, each individual, including budding bodhisattvas, must continue inviting him/herself into the temple. This is known as spiritual practice. We must continue the practice of living within the temple of the sacred, while engaging our own profaneness.
While doing so, we must continue to invite the whole world into the temple. We sacredly engage the profane within and without, all day long, each day, each moment, with each breath.
To be and do such is to join the ranks of the social mystics.
To be and do such requires a monk-warrior.
- George Breed, from the essay Sacredly Engaging the Profane: Social Mystics as Monk-Warriors
If you could only keep quiet, clear of memories and expectations,
you would be able to discern the beautiful pattern of events.
It is your restlessness that causes chaos.
Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to AlphaWorld
Monet Refuses The Operation
Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolves
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.
- Lisa Mueller, from Alive Together, Louisiana State University Press