Posts Tagged ‘meditation

06
Jul
11

Who do you serve?

Heaven and Earth last and last.
Why do they last so long?
Because they are not self-serving!
-Lao Tzu

04
Aug
10

What’s Happening?

01
Aug
10

a little meditation helper

Click on photo to see app

20
Jul
10

kinda like the beginning of meditation – might as well just let it go

25
Jun
10

Where my mind is usually, in relation to the present moment

20
Jun
10

May you . . . be happy (worth re-posting)

This always makes me smile – so many reasons (I need this reminder – and I am thankful for it)

15
Jun
10

today’s state of mind

14
Jun
10

what a long strange trip it’s been . . .

13
May
10

Meditation

05
Dec
09

Spanking the Monkey won’t help – but patting it gently will


Taming the Monkey

The biggest hindrance to (mindfulness) is constant intrusive thoughts.

This is normal for everyone and from the beginning you should expect it. The nature of our mind is to think, and it is childish to imagine that we can simply turn that process off when we wish to.

Our minds have been almost completely out of control for most of our life.

Recognizing this can help us to be practical and patient—it may take us some time and a lot of skillful practice to tame the crazy “monkey mind.”

-Bob Sharples

03
Jun
09

Lion Mind is Unimpressed

Sitting,  Concentrated,  Focused,  Calm,  Dispassionate

sleeping_lion
(based on Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness, by Arnie Kozak, Ph.D.)

27
May
09

Haiku for May 27


i sit my ass down
mind won’t take a seat,  just walks
guess i’ll babysit

09
May
09

It’s just another day

DSC00587_edited-2wtr
a  thought arises
down the rabbit trail again
breathe in,  breathe out – here
~John

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

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

31
Mar
09

Gaining Dignity, Letting Go of Desperation

theater-maskThe face of impermanence is constantly showing itself.  Why do we struggle to hide it?  Why do we feed the circle of suffering by perpetuating the myth of permanence?  Experiences, friends, relationships, possessions, knowledge – we work so hard to convince ourselves that they will last.  When a cup breaks or we forget something, or somebody dies or the seasons change, we’re surprised.  We can’t believe it’s over.

… Permanence would be awkward.  There would be no beginning and no end . . .   Everything would last forever.  There’d be no seasons.  We’d never be born, grow up, fall in love, have children, grow old or die . . .

No matter how we want to cling to our loved ones, by nature every relationship is a meeting and a parting.  This doesn’t mean we have less love.  It means we have less fixation, less pain. . . we can relax into the ebb and flow of life.

We don’t have to keep imitating an idea of permanent happiness.

Understanding the meaning of impermanence  makes us less desperate people.  It gives us dignity. . .

~ SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE, Turning the Mind into an Ally

For me this dignity is essential in cultivating a heart of compassion (and Sakyong points to this also).  If my heart is full of fixation there is no room for anything else to exist.   It’s as if this letting go is a first step in taking the focus off of merely myself and opening up to something larger than myself.

I find that embracing the nature of impermanence in the seasons, in financial areas, and relationships to be easier these days.  The impermanence in knowledge is becoming more evident in this information age as “things” we thought to be true are quickly outdated and replaced by new information – it’s funny,  I still hold certain knowledge to be more permanent – I grasp this tighter; I hold on with a closed fist – especially when I do not see the difference between knowledge and my opinion or I try to make a certain knowledge “fixed” rather than unfolding (which happens when I am caught up in my blue or orange development – see Spiral Dynamics).

I hope to cultivate a bit more dignity in this area.
~John

25
Mar
09

Forming an Alliance

Still re-reading  “Turning The Mind Into An Ally” by Sakyong Mipham.  I am so touched by his words.  There is a strength in the concept of creating an alliance, especially when I am in need of softening.  Frustration and Anxiety often appear as though they are in opposition to my mind (which usually leads to restless nights) and then I become hard and inflexible, which does not leave room to foster compassion or love. If I do not form an alliance with my mind, how can I form an alliance with the world around me?  To most of you reading this – this is nothing new,  I just appreciate his wording:

“. . . through peaceful abiding, we can create an alliance that allows us to actually use our mind, rather than be used by it.  This is a practice anyone can do. Although it has its roots in Buddhism, it is a complement to any spiritual tradition.

If we want to undo our bewilderment and suffering and be of benefit to others and the planet, we’re going to have to be responsible for learning what our mind is and how it works, no matter what beliefs we hold. Once we see how our mind works, we see how our life works too. That changes us.

… the more we understand about ourselves and how the mind works, the more the mind can work “

19
Mar
09

Let your mind become like a fog at sunset

fog-at-sunset2

Divinity has one ultimate secret, which it will also whisper in your ear if your mind becomes quieter than the fog at sunset: the God of this world is found within, and you know it is found within: in those hushed silent times when the mind becomes still, the body relaxes into infinity, the senses expand to become one with the world-

in those glistening times, a subtle luminosity, a serene radiance, a brilliantly transparent clarity shimmers as the true nature of all manifestation, erupting every now and then in a compassionate Radiance before whom all idols retreat,

a love so fierce it adoringly embraces both light and dark, both good and evil, both pleasure and pain equally….

~ Ken Wilber
Source: “Simple Feeling of Being”

(and this is one reason why when I do not sit regularly in meditation, life is not the same.  And when I do sit,  life is not the same – John)

17
Mar
09

You in the front row, sit down and watch the show

stage_curtains

When we take the one seat on our meditation cushion we become our own monastery.

We create the compassionate space that allows for the arising of all things: sorrows, loneliness, shame, desire, regret, frustration, happiness.

Spiritual transformation is a profound process that doesn’t happen by accident. We need a repeated discipline, a genuine training, in order to let go of our old habits of mind and to find and sustain a new way of seeing. To mature on the spiritual path we need to commit ourselves in a systematic way. My teacher Achaan Chah described this commitment as “taking the one seat.” He said,

“Just go into the room and put one chair in the center. Take the seat in the center of the room, open the doors and the windows and see who comes to visit.

You will witness all kinds of scenes and actors, all kinds of temptations and stories, everything imaginable.

Your only job is to stay in your seat.

You will see it all arise and pass, and out of this, wisdom and understanding will come.”

~ Jack Kornfield,  A Path with Heart

21
Jan
09

does the ringing in my head mean i’m calling myself to prayer?

There are certain themes that reoccur (not just recently – but over long periods of my life):

One theme is the unfamiliar perspective of non-judgement – “not already knowing” the answer – when something is presented to me.

One is about being a compassionate and kind container to hold uncomfortable thoughts and emotions as they arise.

One is how I touch the Witness behind the ego – the greater self who watches the “John” as he  plays at life.

Yeah, these replay themselves a lot in my life.
I like how Jack writes about these things – enjoy . . .

“Mindfulness is a directed attention to what is actually here before we have all our judgments and ideas about what is right and wrong and what is good and bad.  Mindfulness means paying attention and seeing things clearly without reaction.

From there we can respond in wise ways rather than be caught in our habitual patterns.”When we take the one seat on our meditation cushion we become our own monastery. We create the compassionate space that allows for the arising of all things: sorrows, loneliness, shame, desire, regret, frustration, happiness.

Spiritual transformation is a profound process that doesn’t happen by accident. We need a repeated discipline, a genuine training, in order to let go of our old habits of mind and to find and sustain a new way of seeing.

To mature on the spiritual path we need to commit ourselves in a systematic way. My teacher Achaan Chah described this commitment as “taking the one seat.” He said,”Just go into the room and put one chair in the center. Take the seat in the center of the room, open the doors and the windows and see who comes to visit. You will witness all kinds of scenes and actors, all kinds of temptations and stories, everything imaginable. Your only job is to stay in your seat. You will see it all arise and pass, and out of this, wisdom and understanding will come.”

–Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart

16
Jan
09

why? why not?

prisoner3

So why the hell do you meditate? Everyone has their reasons. Individuals and teachers vary on this subject.  Usually there’s a common theme – it’s about tapping into something deeper than what’s typically going on, on the surface.
Some side effects of deeper can be peace, insight, centeredness,  health but it can also be terror, frustration, confusion, anxiety.  Few people tell you that second part.  Over identification with these “swinging doors” of positive and negative emotions or thoughts is the stumbling block or the prison.
Freedom for me is being the watcher, the observer who just notices what is arising. To notice what’s going on and very naturally let it go and move beyond it. That’s one reason I meditate. To remember the deeper me behind the ego. Remembering is needed since my ego likes me to forget.
So  do you meditate?  If so,  please share why – I wanna hear what you have to say.  Choose not to meditate? Post why not – I wanna hear that too . . . Below is an explanation on the purpose of meditation by Andrew Cohen that I  find useful.

The Purpose of MeditationQ: Why is it important to meditate?

A: You meditate to remind yourself that you’re not a prisoner. If there is power in your meditation, if your experience of the ground of being is deep and profound, you will discover and rediscover, over and over and over again, that you are not a prisoner. You are not held captive by your own mind; nor are you imprisoned by your own emotions. It sounds simple, but it’s so easy to forget. If all you are aware of is the endless rollercoaster ride of thoughts and feelings, of course you will believe you are trapped.

The ground of being is a deeper, infinitely more subtle dimension of your own consciousness that simply cannot be perceived by the gross faculties of the conditioned mind and ego.

You can’t see it; you can’t taste it; you can’t touch it.
So even if you have directly experienced the unconditioned freedom of that empty ground, when you return to the world of conditioned mind and ego, you’re likely to doubt it. The mind simply cannot cognize this ground, and the ego cannot know it. That is why it’s very important to meditate as much as you can. If you meditate regularly with a strong intention, you will keep rediscovering that you’re not a prisoner. You cannot recognize that enough.Until your conviction in your own freedom is unwavering and you’re able to prove it through unbroken consistency in the way that you live, you need to keep having that experience. Each and every time you realize that you’re not a prisoner, it gives you a deeper confidence in the limitless inherent freedom of that empty ground that is your own deepest Self. It builds a conscious conviction in no-limitation, and, as I teach it, this is the most significant purpose of meditation.

~ Andrew Cohen

http://www.andrewcohen.org/meditation/purpose-of-meditation.asp

15
Jan
09

A beginner at the ole in out, in out

saloon-door

When we practice zazen [Zen Meditation] our mind always follows our breathing. When we inhale, the air comes into the inner world. When we exhale, the air goes to the outer world.

The inner world is limitless, and the outer world is also limitless.

We say “inner world” or “outer world,” but actually there is just one whole world. In this limitless world, our throat is like a swinging door. The air comes in and goes out like someone passing through a swinging door. If you think, “I breathe,” the “I” is extra. There is no you to say “I.” What we call “I” is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. It just moves; that is all.

When your mind is pure and calm enough to follow this movement, there is nothing: no “I,” no world, no mind nor body; just a swinging door.

–Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

14
Dec
08

Dirty Dawg

baddog

From, –Jack Kornfield,  A Path with Heart
(Jack basically says it all, no need for much comment, so throw me a bone – I’m a novice at sitting)

For some, [the] task of coming back a thousand or ten thousand times in meditation may seem boring or even of questionable importance. But how many times have we gone away from the reality of our life?–perhaps a million or ten million times! If we wish to awaken, we have to find our way back here with our full being, our full attention. . .

In this way, meditation is very much like training a puppy. You put the puppy down and say, “Stay.” Does the puppy listen? It gets up and runs away. You sit the puppy back down again. “Stay.” And the puppy runs away over and over again. Sometimes the puppy jumps up, runs over and pees in the corner, or makes some other mess. Our minds are much the same as the puppy, only they create even bigger messes. In training the mind, or the puppy, we have to start over and over again.

12
Dec
08

Rubbermaid or Tupperware?

crying_kid_mom

Have you ever witnessed a toddler fall?
Often you’ll notice that they do not cry until they look around and find their mother.  It is only when they see their mother (or guardian) that they go running into safe arms and let out their cry.  Why?
An evolved parent is a a sturdy and safe container for the child’s unpleasant emotions.

As we evolve in our practice, we too become better containers for the unpleasant things that arise.

To parent oneself can mean facing and confronting the disowned self and embracing it.

I came across this quote by Jack Kornfield from “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book” that made me think about this developmental process:

Even our anger can be held in a heart of kindness

21
Nov
08

Increasing Movement in Order to Sit Still

I consider myself a novice, no make that a pre-novice, when it comes to sitting practice.

I am not very disciplined when it comes to sitting.  Both my mind and body are acclimated towards moving.

I am neither proud nor humiliated by that fact.  That is just the way it is.  It is the current me as I appear in the now.

I like what sitting does for me.  It benefits so many areas of my life: peace, calm, energy, wisdom, letting go, better sleep, increased compassion, kindness, better prioritizing, etc.  I just don’t always make time for it because that initial breaking through mind is uncomfortable.  And most of my life is dedicated to being comfortable.

Recently I rediscovered some practices that make sitting easier.  Certain forms of breathing that engage kinesthetic movement help me.  Like Thich Nhat Hahn’s walking meditation, “I breathe in, I move my right foot.  I breath out, I move my left foot.”  Only taking a step with each breath. (Even doing 10 breaths this way changes everything)

The most effective for me however, is a simple and uncomplicated Qi Gong or Tai Chi movement.  For some reason there is nothing more effective for me than engaging my body:
in a specific stance
through specific (and uncomplicated) hand and arm movements (again, I’m a novice, this isn’t about a big routine)
through simple breathing
and through the movement of unseen energy (Qi)

Nothing quiets my mind quicker.
Increases awareness by letting both thoughts and body tension fall away.
Connects me to the Heavens and Earth
Allows whatever remains to appear less threatening (ah, there’s that comfort level-thing again)
Transitions me into sitting. (the mindfulness and the meditation have already begun with the movements)

Here is a passage that reminded me of why the above is so important:
It is not merely enthusiasm that erodes when practice declines. Your body and mind can go out of tune. You are no longer a vessel of insight. The cardinal can sing; the wind can move the ironwood trees delicately; a child can ask a wise question–and where is your center? How can you respond? It is time to put yourself back in tune, to be ready for experiences that make life fulfilling. Take up the advice for beginners. Put your zazen pad somewhere between your bathroom and your kitchen. Sit down there in the morning after you use the bathroom and before you cook breakfast. You are sitting with everyone in the world. If you sit only briefly, you will have at least settled your day.

-Robert Aitken, Encouraging Words

BTW (I follow a practice similar to this  video “Bone Marrow Cleanse” – so easy to learn, you can quickly get the moves down and no longer have need to follow the video,  and just follow your own rhythm:
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1829933/purifying_qi_bone_marrow_cleansing/ )

18
Nov
08

Another day, same old mantra, Open your damn hand already

A few posts back I wrote about an eloquent saying I had come across:

“Open your hand and let the dead wood drop”

I still love that metaphor. Not chucking the wood, not chopping it up into pieces; just opening my hand and letting it drop to the ground, right where I am standing.
I never have any problem accumulating shit.  Building up my ego. I live sparsely compared to most Americans; I live like a king compared to people in underdeveloped countries – it’s a matter of perspective. Most of my accumulations are in my head and heart.  I need regular clearings.  Spiritual enemas.  A washing out of all that accumulated waste that keeps me from taking in what I need in life. I walk around with a clenched fist.  Just open your fuck’n hand already, John.  Sit down and be still.

I say the above with a smile.  My background was/is about perfectionistic German anger (apparently the only emotion that was “natural” for most family members to convey).  The reason?  Be tough, the world’s a harsh fuck’n place; you need to be tough to survive, to watch your back (although the “hard work” ethic has served me well too). I have to grin; that way of thinking creeps up every now and then, but in another sense it is so foreign. 
My “hard work ethic” rears up at times too, it tells me to “doing something” (like go chop up the dead wood and analyze it *grin*).  Damn, it’s dead wood – let it go, John.

I don’t beat myself up anymore and at the same time I am still able to hold myself to standards of development – in a friendlier way ( a bit more compassion towards myself). Sometimes a metaphorical slap upside the head does me well though, other times a metaphorical friendly conversation over a cup of tea does me well.  I am more reactive to the former and tend to be far more attentive when the latter is used.
It’s just a reaction to how I was raised.  A part of my psychological evolution. Not unfamiliar to many of us.  It’s a common way to be raised.
Another part of being raised in my family is to view life as black and white. Fuck colors, there’s hardly any room for grey, haha.  This has challenged me to let go even more. Letting go means choices, means possibility.

Who doesn’t love a world with possibilities?  To be able to say “I don’t Already know”.  To be open.

I came across another “open hand” writing that again gave me yet another choice.  Not just one way. It was like a slap upside the head that stopped me in my tracks so I could sit down with a comforting cup of jasmine green tea *smirk*. (It also works well regarding a “clinging” that comes with our financial times right now or a “clinging” to the last 8 years of our political climate)

Tricycle’s Daily Dharma

An Experiment
Let’s try an experiment. Pick up a coin. Imagine that it represents the object at which you are grasping. Hold it tightly clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. Now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging onto. That’s why you hold on.
But there’s another possibility: You can let go and yet keep hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it.
So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.
-Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

Sure someone can take the coin, or not. Someone can add to the coin, or not. Willingness. Possibility. Choice. Openness. (and maybe even letting go)
Have a good one and thanks for stopping by.

17
Nov
08

Enlightenment with a twist (make mine with lime and vodka)

Just Fuck’n Brilliant – no matter how many times I watch it – Infinitely Brilliant

14
Nov
08

3 thoughts re: the upheaval in the Financial World (a follow up to yesterday’s music video post)

Advice for the Dark Ages, a message to the American Buddhist Shambhala community. For the full text, go to the Shambhala site. ~ via Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

This is a very difficult time. The upheavals in the financial world are causing widespread distress, as are fears about climate change, intensified political polarization, and rising aggression. It is what the Shambhala Buddhist teachings call a “dark age.” We experience the darkness as confusion, unhappiness, and lack of purpose.

It was for times like these that the Buddha gave the teachings on enlightened society to King Dawa Sango, the first sovereign of Shambhala. At present, the truth of those teachings is clear. For a society to be
truly harmonious, it cannot be based on greed and anger. When we understand this, we see that what is happening around us is literally caused by the absence of Shambhala vision [compassion, meditation practice, aspiring to work toward peaceful, enlightened society].

Uplifting our minds and increasing our life-force energy begins with that vision. So I am asking all of you, as citizens of [enlightened society], to rise to this occasion.

First, take these precious teachings to heart and practice them. That includes meditating for a short period every day to stabilize your mind and generate compassion. Contemplate your unshakeable karmic connection to the lineage [of brave, decent peaceful warriors who practice meditation and study peace] and reflect on your nature as the profound, brilliant [basically good king or queen of your own world].

Second, see fear for what it is: a lack of trust in your genuine being, which naturally radiates compassion and kindness. Take the big view of what is most important in this and future lifetimes: to become stronger and more realized in order to help others. Take care of yourselves, but don’t hide behind the false security of self-protection. From the ground of basic goodness, open your heart and serve others.

Third, be generous. This is not a time to close down or hold on, but to offer from the natural well-spring of generosity. Be generous with those you love, but also with those you are tempted to blame or dislike. Be generous, too, within our mandala, which needs your support more than ever to proclaim the glory of Shambhala.

Practicing, serving, and giving: this is the path of the warrior bodhisattva. It is both transcendent and earthy. When we orient our minds this way, we are creating a sustainable environment. The wealth that it
generates is inexhaustible.

I love you and am with you as we tread this golden path together.

The Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche

06
Nov
08

My illusions

It is very common for me to over identify myself with my thoughts or feelings.  Like my thoughts are, oh so important and my current feelings are,  oh so real.  Ever do that?

The reality is everything changes.  My thoughts about issues change as I get more information, or as I process something, or with hindsight.  My feelings can change even faster depending on what song is playing on the radio, or if someone cuts me off on the highway, or if my niece gives me a hug.  It’s all Impermanence.

Remember, no matter what it is, “this too shall pass”.  (Our electoral process alone is a great example of that)

That’s where meditation is centering for me. It allows me to step back and observe (with a gentleness and kindness) what is going on in my head (without judgement) and also what I’m feeling at the moment (without over identification).
To paraphrase some of Wilber’s thoughts – it’s the big “I” observing the little “i”.  The Greater Self behind the self.

Now my habits often keep me in a “mindless” state rather than a “mindfull” presence.  But even just a few moments a day of reconnecting with the big “I” can not only change thoughts and feelings but can even change heart rate, blood pressure and sleep.  I’m not even talking about hours – just a few minutes of reconnecting. The biggest change over the years has been one of nonjudgement.  I don’t beat myself up for not meditating; I’m a lot kinder to myself.  I just make time to meditate again without spending a lot of energy on the “missed” meditation or mindful times.  (Genpo Roshi’s “Big Mind and Big Heart” helped  me evolve in this)

I also believe in clinical depression and medication (this is not a post about how quickly we tend to take a pill to solve a “feeling”, but  to say there is a “place” for science and meds).  If you take medication for a chemical imbalance, it can enhance the  “observing process” of meditation.  Often times it is too painful to observe without it.  Just don’t overidentify with your diagnosis, remember being say, “bipolar” is just a part of who you are – and all the more reason to not over identify with thoughts or feelings (which is common to that diagnosis).

Here is a quote from ~ Anthony de Mello, 20th century Jesuit priest
from Awareness.
It speaks of this over identification well:

“Don’t say, “I am depressed.” If you want to say, “It is depressed,” that’s all right. If you want to say that depression is there, that’s fine; if you want to say gloominess is there, that’s fine. But not: I am gloomy. You’re defining yourself in terms of the feeling. That’s your illusion; that’s your mistake. There is a depression there right now, but let it be, leave it alone. It will pass. Everything passes, everything. Your depressions and your thrills have nothing to do with happiness. Those are swings of the pendulum. If you seek kicks or thrills, get ready for depression. Do you want your drug? Get ready for the hangover. One end of the pendulum swings over to the other.”

Thanks for stopping by,
John

04
Nov
08

I looked: under the bed, in the pants I wore yesterday, even in the fridge

“If you can’t find the truth right where you are, where else do you think you will find it?”
Jack Kornfield

02
Nov
08

Being

An Awareness
An Awareness

I remember the morning I took this photo. Busy people rushing around. Yelling, running, occupied.  Lotus just “being”.  A transportation into the “now”.  A sharing in the moment.

02
Nov
08

Dead Wood

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

~ H.H. The Dalai Lama

How beautiful and simple is that? The Philosophy of Kindness.
I came across this quote along with some writings on “Letting go”.  Now I get that I need to let go of things – I do way to much fucking accumulating with my head and sometimes with my heart too.  The economy as well as my present economical situation has made material accumulation a let less than it’s been in my past, and I’ve been letting go of complicated accumulations in my head more and more. 
Anyway, in this life-long letting go process there are moments of, “Oh shit – this makes TOTAL sense; I already new that – it’s just no one ever stated it like that”.
The above quote by the Dalai Lama is one of those, another one was an example of letting go and I do not have a citation (I searched for it but to no avail – think I read it in a David Richo book – if you know the Zen master who said this, leave me a comment) so I will paraphrase:

“Open your hand and let the dead wood drop”

I love that.  Again, it’s simple, not complicated – like the Dali Lama’s quote. It’s not about trying to take the shit in my life (or in my head) and throwing it out – forcing it away.  It’s more like taking a deep breath and letting it fall away. Not tossing the the piece of dead wood; not burning it; not breaking it up into little pieces. Just opening my hand and letting it drop.  The wood serves no purpose. Let it go.

I hope you have a day with open hands . . .




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)

July 2020
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Pages