#2372 - Sunday, January 22, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Nondual Highlights #2372 - Sunday, January 22, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Eliminate physical clutter.
More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter.
-- D.H. Mondfleur
Tricycle's Daily Dharma: January 20, 2006
Beyond the Self
The way we define and delimit the self is arbitrary. We can place it between our ears and have it looking out from our eyes, or we can widen it to include the air we breathe, or at other moments we can cast its boundaries farther to include the oxygen giving trees and plankton, our external lungs, and beyond them the web of life in which they are sustained. --Joanna Macy, World As Lover, World As Selfphoto by Sam Pasiencier http://home.hccnet.nl/sam.pas/heart-of-holland.jpgThis is from: 'The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching'
by Thich Nhat Hanh
There is a story in Zen circles about a man and a horse.
The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the man
on the horse is going somewhere important. Another man,
standing alongside the road, shouts, 'Where are you going?"
and the first man replies, I don't know! Ask the horse!" This
is also our story. We are riding a horse, we don't know where
we are going, and we can't stop. The horse is our habit energy
pulling us along, and we are powerless. We are always running,
and it has become a habit. We struggle all the time, even during
our sleep. We are at war within ourselves, and we can easily
start a war with others.
We have to learn the art of stopping - stopping our thinking, our
habit energies, our forgetfulness, the strong emotions that rule us.
When an emotion rushes through us like a storm, we have no peace.
We turn on the TV and then we turn it off. We pick up a book and
then we put it down. How can we stop this state of agitation? How
can we stop our fear, despair, anger, and craving? We can stop by
practicing mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful smiling, and
deep looking in order to understand. When we are mindful, touching
deeply the present moment, the fruits are always understanding,
acceptance, love, and the desire to relieve suffering and bring joy.
But our habit energies are often stronger than our volition.
We say and do things we don't want to and afterwards
we regret it. We make ourselves and others suffer, and we
bring about a lot of damage. We may vow not to do it again,
but we do it again. Why? Because our habit energies (vashana)
We need the energy of mindfulness to recognize and be
present with our habit energy in order to stop this course of
destruction. With mindfulness, we have the capacity to recog-
nize the habit energy every time it manifests. "Hello, my
habit energy, I know you are there!" If we just smile to it, it
will lose much of its strength. Mindfulness is the energy that
allows us to recognize our habit energy and prevent it from
Forgetfulness is the opposite. We drink a cup of tea, but
do not know we are drinking a cup of tea. We sit with the
person we love, but we don't know that she is there. We walk,
but we are not really walking. We are someplace else, think-
ing about the past or the future. The horse of our habit energy
is carrying us along, and we are its captive. We need to
stop our horse and reclaim our liberty. We need to shine the
light of mindfulness on everything we do, so the darkness of
forgetfulness will disappear. The first function of meditation
- shamatha - is to stop.
The second function of shamatha is calming. When we
have a strong emotion, we know it can be dangerous to act,
but we don't have the strength or clarity to refrain. We have
to learn the art of breathing in and out, stopping our activities,
and calming our emotions. We have to learn to become
solid and stable like an oak tree, and not be blown from side
to side by the storm.
Allspirit is back!! Gill Eardley has re-opened her list.
One Method Will Correct All Wrong.
One goal - truth - and one method. What is that method? I call it meditation, Atisha used to call it awareness, Buddha used to call it mindfulness. These are different words for the same quality - the quality of being attentive, alert, awake.
Atisha is very mathematical; no great mathematician can be so mathematical as he is. He is moving step by step. First he says: Don't seek spurious comforts; that is going astray. Don't escape from your sorrowful state; go into it. Let this become your one goal: the search for the truth of your being. He is not talking about any truth that lives somewhere in the sky, he is not talking about any philosophical truth. He is talking about the truth that you are; he is talking about you. He is utterly psychological, he is not talking about metaphysics.
Then the method... and he goes so quick, not a single word wasted, not a single word superfluous. He is so telegraphic; that is the meaning of the word sutra. Sutra means very telegraphic. There was a great need in those days when Atisha was writing these sutras - there was a great need to be very very short, condensed, telegraphic, because books were not available; people had to remember them. And it is better to make very very condensed sutras so people can remember. Now these are only seven points we are discussing, and can be easily remembered.One method will correct all wrong
The moral person is a little-bit-stupid person, stupid in the sense that he thinks that by cutting the leaves he is going to destroy the tree. He is not going to destroy the tree this way. You cut one leaf and the tree will respond with three leaves instead, the foliage will become thicker. You cut one branch and the tree will pour its sap and juices into another branch, and the other branch will become thicker and bigger. This is what happens in your life.
Somebody is against sex; he represses sex, he cuts that branch. Now the whole energy becomes anger. You will find stories in Indian scriptures, stories like the story of Durvasa - a great so-called mahatma who repressed his sex totally, and then became all anger, just red-hot anger. It is bound to happen. You cannot destroy any energy, never. It is not possible in the very nature of things. Energies can only be transformed, never destroyed. If you close one outlet, the energy will start flowing from another. If you close the front door, then from the back door... and from the back door it is more dangerous, because it makes your life the life of a hypocrite, it makes your life double. You start living in a dual way: you say one thing, you do another; you show one thing, you are another. You become more and more split.
My emphasis is also exactly the same as Atisha's. You come to me with a thousand and one problems, but my answer is always the same. If you come with anger I say be aware of it, if you come with greed I say be aware of it, if you come with lust I say be aware of it - because awareness cuts the very root. What is the root? Unawareness is the root.
One can be angry only if he is unaware. Try to be angry and aware together and you will find it impossible. Either you will be aware, then anger will not be found, or you will be angry and awareness will have disappeared. Up to now, nobody has been able to manage both together, and I don't think you can prove the exception. Try it. It is possible you may think both are happening, but if you minutely watch you will see: when awareness is there anger is not, when anger is there awareness is not. Unawareness is the root of all illnesses; then awareness is the only medicine.
Buddha says, "I am a physician." And once somebody asked, "You again and again say you are a physician, but I don't see any medicines around you. What medicines do you give?" He said, "My medicine is only one: it is awareness. I prescribe awareness." And it has not to be brought from the chemist; you have to change your inner chemistry to bring it. You have to change your inner chemistry. Right now your inner chemistry functions in such a way that it produces unawareness, unconsciousness. It can be changed, it can be deautomatized. How to do it you will find in the sutras that are to follow.
But remember, one method is enough to correct all wrong. That method is awareness. And how will you know that you have attained it? Awareness is something inner, it is so deep that nobody can see it. Still, if you become aware, everybody who has a little intelligence, who has eyes to see, will become aware of it - because as awareness happens at the inner core, compassion starts radiating, love starts radiating.
Buddha says: Light the candle of awareness in your heart, and your whole being will radiate compassion. Compassion is the proof. Unless compassion happens, remember, you must be deceiving yourself; you must be doing something else than being aware.
For example, you can try concentration. Concentration is not awareness, and the person of concentration will never show compassion. Compassion is not a consequence of concentration. Concentration means the focusing of the mind, the narrowing of the mind on only one point. The concentrated mind becomes a very powerful mind - but remember it is mind, and very powerful, hence more dangerous than ever. Concentration is the method of science.
Awareness is totally different; it is not focusing, it is unfocused alertness. For example, right now you are listening to me. You can hear in a concentrated way, you can be focused on me; then you will miss the birds and their songs, then you will miss this noise on the road. Then you are not aware, then your mind has become very narrow. Awareness is not the narrowing of the mind but the disappearance of the mind. The narrowing of the mind makes the mind more of a mind - hence the Hindu mind is more of a mind, the Mohammedan mind is more of a mind, the communist mind is more of a mind, because these are all narrowing. Somebody is focused on Das Kapital or the Communist Manifesto, somebody is focused on the Koran or on the Dhammapada, somebody on the Gita, somebody on The Bible - focused people. They create narrow minds in the world. They create conflict, they don't bring compassion.
For thousands of years religions have existed, but compassion is still a dream. We have not been able to create a world that knows what love is, friendship is, brotherhood is. Yes, we talk, and we talk too much about all these beautiful things. In fact the talk has become nauseating, it is sickening. It should stop. No more talk of brotherhood and love and this and that - we have talked for thousands of years for no purpose.
The reason is that the concentrated mind becomes narrow, becomes more of a mind. And love is not the function of the mind, love is the function of no-mind - or call it heart, which means the same. No-mind and heart are synonymous.
Awareness means to listen to me unfocused - alert of course, not fallen asleep, but alert to these birds, their chirping, alert to the wind that passes through the trees, alert to everything that is happening. Concentration excludes much, includes little. Awareness excludes nothing, includes all.
Awareness is a state of no-mind. You are, yet you are not focused. You are just a mirror reflecting all, echoing all; see the beauty of it and the silence and the stillness. Suddenly you are and you are not, and the miracle starts happening. In this silence you will feel a compassion, compassion for all suffering beings. It has not to be practiced either - it comes on its own.
Atisha says: Awareness inside, compassion on the., outside. Compassion is the outer side of awareness, the exterior of awareness. Awareness is your interiority, subjectivity. Compassion is relating with others, sharing with others.
The HarshaSatsangh community has entered the world of blogging.Our friend Alan Larus from Norway has posted "Unending Love" a poem by the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore along with some very beautiful and scenic pictures on the HS blog.
Last week, Michael Bowes posted about his experience in an article titled, "The Guru came as Ramu". I believe a sequel is to follow.