Archive for April, 2009

25
Apr
09

Taking the Red Pill


It is easy to be swept away by some overwhelming feeling, so it’s helpful to remember that any stressful feeling is like a compassionate alarm clock that says, “You’re caught in the dream”
~ Byron Katie from Loving What Is

I like the way Byron put that.  For me it’s another way of saying “This is a reason I sit, this is one reason I meditate”.
To wake up.
To wake up in a posture of compassion.
To remain mindful of what’s going on within me and therefore better equipped to be mindful of what’s going on around me.

Waking up means taking the necessary time to examine myself (especially the parts I don’t want to examine) Byron points to this when he calls  them “stressful” and “overwhelming” feelings.
Waking up means taking the time to deepen compassion for yourself and towards the world around you.
Waking up means then letting go of all of that and just “Being”.
(it’s a developmental process – and so I sit – not as regularly as I’d like, but oh when I do  – that compassionate nature which exists in all of us, begins to strengthen and deepen)

It’s important to point out that I am not a Buddhist – although many of my quotes are Zen in nature. 
I am attracted to spiritual concepts – to be more specific – Spiritual Concepts that have a Grounding – Not just arbitrary new age-y, woo woo, positive thinking that throws around a bunch of Love and Fear quotes (although most of those ideas have scratched the surface of Truth – it’s just that there’s no depth there for me, and I’ve seen too many people spin out of control or transcend till they come crashing down to earth or act like zombies who deny anything or any feeling that is “unpleasant” )

Buddhism is more like a philosophy for me that requires a bit of action, a bit of discipline – while also touching on the concepts of psychotherapy and being one path up the mountain of spirit (carved solidly into the mountainside for sure footing) 

It means sitting with something rather than letting the something move me into an unconscious action.
It means, Waking Up and Getting My Ass out of Bed – so to speak.
It is why I am attracted to the Tao, the Writings of Ken Wilber, Sri Aurabindo, Joseph Campbell and even Hollywood films like Star Wars and the Matrix (with many writings  and movies in-between).

Sometimes I wake up slowly and stretch.
Sometimes I wake up,  jump outta bed and have a relieving piss
Sometimes I wake up and really examine my dream
And other times I am half asleep  as I get up and go about my day – in need of becoming fully awake.

~John

17
Apr
09

So a man doesn’t step into a bar and he doesn’t say to the bartender . . .

water-n-rocks

Give yourself a break.
That doesn’t mean to say that you should drive to the closest bar and have lots to drink or go to a movie. Just enjoy the day, your normal existence. Allow yourself to sit in your home or take a drive into the mountains. Park your car somewhere; just sit; just be.

It sounds very simplistic. But you begin to pick up on clouds,
sunshine, and weather;
the mountains,
your past,
your chatter with your grandmother and your grandfather, your own mother, your own father.
You begin to pick up on a lot of things.

Just let them pass like the chatter of a brook as it hits the rocks. We have to give ourselves some time to be.

–Chogyam Trungpa, Ocean of Dharma (Shambhala Publications)

13
Apr
09

Through the Looking Glass

In one his movies, the comedian W.C. Fields walks into a bank and up to the teller’s window. The teller asks, “Can you identify yourself?” Fields says, “Of course. Do you have a mirror?” When presented with one, Fields immediately states, “Yup, that’s me!”It’s meant as a joke, but it carries a ring of truth. Who among us can say they really know themselves, without illusions, beyond the face in the mirror, their name-rank-and-serial-number role in the world, their personas, defense mechanisms, and self-deceptions?

Do we distinguish between when we are being authentic and inauthentic?

Do we know what we really feel about things, what our true values and priorities are, what lies below the surface of consciousness, and what makes us tick?

– Lama Surya Das, from The Big Questions (Rodale)

Here’s to finding out who you really are in the quiet moments.
After a busy and fun holiday weekend, I am in need of some quiet moments – no tv, no internet, no phone, no family and no friends.
I think a walking meditation on the beach is called for tonight, before I even return home from work.
The sound of water & sand, wind, my heartbeat and my breath – Observing my thoughts arise and then watching them fall away, like the water receding and coming to shore again.
Stripped away and back to me.
About 20 minutes should do it – the rest of the night won’t be the same. The rest of my life won’t be the same.
Yeah, it’s time to prioritize.
With Hands Open and Receptive,
~ John

07
Apr
09

T.S. Eliot gets all Zen on my Ass

starry-night-1889-van-gogh

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
but the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.


Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light and the stillness, the dancing.


T.S. Eliot (1888 – 1965)
Source: Four Quartets

05
Apr
09

You can’t hide your Lion Eyes

LION KILLMilarepa: “When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick: every time a stick is thrown, you run after it.  Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.”

It is humbling and satisfying to realize the thoughts that run through my head – often at speed of light (especially when I turn inward) are not that important. 
The only attention they deserve, is to be observed as they pass – not followed.  My ego thinks they’re  priceless and in need of chasing.
There is something very freeing about not chasing . . .
Here’s to Freedom
Keep Exhaling
~John

04
Apr
09

What Color is your Christ?

jesus2Is He more like Scorcese’s Last Temptation or Gibson’s Passion?  Would your Jesus drive an Army Tank or a Prius?  Would He be in support of the war in Iraq or marching in a Peace protest?

Bruce Sanguin, a progressive minister recently featured in EnlightenmentNext magazine, has written a book, The Emerging Church  in which he explores how the changing perceptions of  Christ help to illuminate the evolution of spirituality throughout human history. 

I am excited for the emergence of this book at a time when we seem to be collectively embracing the need for change in our Western American culture.  For many people burned out, or burned by, Christianity, this book may offer a healing and resolution. (And for me this fits in with my integral view and understanding of spiral dynamics and my world)

Here are just 4 perspectives in the development of our spirituality with regards to Christ, taken from the EnlightenmentNext article:

The Traditional Christ: “I am the one and only son of God.  If you give yourself to me and me alone, you shall be saved and granted eternal life.” (where seen: The Left Behind series, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins)

The Modern Christ: “I am an example of extraordinary human potential.  Those who strategically apply my teachings will achieve great success.” (where seen: The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren)

The Postmodern Christ: “My teachings are one among many paths of Truth.  I am an example of universal Love, Compassion and Equality.” (where seen: Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith , by Marcus Borg)

The Cosmic Christ: “I am the Spiritual impulse itself – an evolutionary intuition embedded within the sacred unfolding of the cosmos.” (where seen: The Phenomenon of Man , by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

Here is a link for an audio: http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/unbound/media.asp?id=247
The book is available from Amazon

 

03
Apr
09

You can go your own way

Make Your Own Way

Hikers know that there are no passable roads in a virgin forest. However, a road will open up when you pull away the grass, thorns and wisteria. Swimmers know that there are no paths in the water, but as you swim you will create a pathway.

Cultivation is similar. You only need to get on the path and walk and you will create your own path. The roads walked by the Ch’an patriarchs are theirs, not yours. You must depend on yourself to open up your own road.

-Ch’an Master Sheng-yen, from Dharma Drum




Live'n Aloha on Maui.
Lately just posting pics, artwork, vids, & music with just a headline (less seems to be more).
Into Wilber, Beck, Zen Stuffs, Spiritual Concepts, Philosophy and Humor (kinda geeky humor).
Currently attempting to strengthen my meditation skills (this has been a 20 yr process).
Thanks for stopp'n by and please leave a comment. Poz or Neg, all comments welcome.
"I don't like Spam" (said with a British accent)

April 2009
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