Zoom In, Zoom Out

Candle FlameWhile the body feels good, anything goes.

But really, once discomfort shows up in any form,
it’s time to pay attention to what really matters.

The no self business won’t hold up under any real unpleasantness, will it ?

Has any serious unpleasantness transpired in this life in the last 5 years ?

Hmm, let’s see. ( looks up, cradles chin in hand, taps foot )

Something difficult, something that might provide a real test of the enduring power
to see awareness “at work” while the individual experienced physical stress ?

If so, what does it say about the resilience,
the durability of the no self realization ?
( at least here, at least so far )

….. ….. ….. ….. …..

A few months ago, mid-morning at the office.
A pen rolled off the desk.

While bending over to pick it up
a blindingly sharp stab
sucked the breath from the lungs
demanded at once
lying on the floor,
prone and gasping
wondering
how
exactly
to get up ?

With some creativity, experimentation
persistence, and the support of a chair leg,
verticality was regained.

An emergency visit to the nearest chiropractor
needed to happen at once –
small movements of near any kind
triggered sharp stabbing pains
( level 9 on a 0-10 scale )
with each breath a gasp.

The closest chiropractor office sat just 7 blocks away.
It took nearly an hour, shuffling slowly
to reach the nearest chiropractor.

During this time, awareness zoomed in
to co-ordinate the unusual
difficulty of walking,

zoomed out to notice
the spaciousness remaining,
untouched and unaffected by the body’s new limitations.

The chiropractor set this spine on the road to recovery, many thanks for it.

* * ** *** ***** ******** *************

Am not saying that nothing could shake realization.

This view depends on supporting conditions for its existence.
If those supporting things changed, the view could be lost.

It follows that a trauma to the brain, for instance, could cause the view to disappear.

On the day of the back spasms,
the enduring quality of spacious seeing
did not flicker
for an instant
always available
when attention was free.

Debilitating acute pain
did not chase it away.

Even pain finds a place
in the awareness that admits
whatever arises.

maxresdefault

* * ** *** ***** ******** *********** ************************

Photos from here herehere and here.

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Born Free

At least three people alive today were born without the capacity for autobiographical memory.

Their narrative did not vanish; it was never written.

Memories of factual information remain intact.

Gary Weber posted an amazing piece on his blog HAPPINESS BEYOND THOUGHT.

Here, it felt like it took “work” and “time” to break free of the autobiographical self.

These three folks live free through some natural grace, some brain difference.

How deeply fortunate, living unencumbered by a past, unafraid of the future.

The link to Gary Weber’s blog is here.

Photo came from here.

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Trust

15445136001_3045dd8558_z

Almost five years after that very strange day,
when this character disappeared

an echo from that disappearance
finally fell away

not from proof
from trust

the echo was the fear
that this nobody-ness

was some kind of epiphenomena
left over from a peak-experience

somehow taking its own sweet time
disappearing

a worry worse than the death of the physical body
or loss of almost anything else

( that no one ever really owned )

the recurrence of a mental referent
– that cloying place-holder
– the star of every story
– the center of every bit of interest
– the represented protagonist
in the cartoon of a represented life

returning
as if that were the ground of anything

( other than the ground of self-deception )

the worry has left
not from any certitude of what will happen

but rather that

trust arises
from encountering the wide awakeness

trust arises
from enduring the half awake awareness

trust arises
from noticing the flickers of the unconscious

trust arises
from simple seeing

for this one has done nothing
to create the wide awakeness

nor can it control
its own passage

in it-through it-as it
in the least way

rather
the wide-awake awareness

shows up
as what it will

one day as the cloudless sky
the next as driven sleet

another time
heat & bright sun

worrying
– just mere foolishness

the ground of existence
never left

it never stops
showing up

however it happens
until it changes

no one ever controlled it
no one ever starred in any show

(except in the theater of the imagination)

no one
ever had
anything
to lose

gargoyles_on_a_mosaic_in_the_museum_capitolini

____________________________________________________

Echo pic from here.

Theater of the imagination pic from here.

 

 

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Waiting Room

88395239_18c3603d6e_b

sitting in the waiting room
bright florescents overhead
magazines (new) and TV (sports)

one other patient
nervously
flipped through Cosmo
as if she could flip away
the reason she had come

oncology, a popular specialty
this century
patients invoke the doctor’s name
like a talisman
to ward off death

how many people
have sat here
and in places like this
assailed
by compulsive, anxious thoughts

“what will happen to me ?”
“do i have cancer ?”
“how long do i have to live ?”
“how will i pay ?”

minds racing with fear
like startled horses
galloping madly
around the same oval track

this patient sat
with heart overflowing
for all the nervous experiencers
tormented with black worlds of
” what if…?”,
“suppose I…?”, and
” why me ?”

for the sea of anxiety
washing over
the subjects of medical tests
discoverers of lumps and bumps,
bearers of symptoms
waiting, all

shoving fear
into mind’s back alley

from where it springs forward
appalling, gripping, cold

those lives
this life
overlapping
under the bright overheads

met through
simple recognition
of the common experience
of illness
and of mind

when “I” is absent
nothing stops
compassion’s outpour

sitting – not knowing – present

a nurse called my name

with calm heart
and mind at ease
it was into the office
to hear the results

_ _ __ ___ _____ _________ ______________

Photo of chairs from here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/julep67/88395239

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The Imposter

Who am I ?

I am in charge of my life.

I follow my destiny.

I am someone who knows what he wants.

I don’t know what I want.

I want more.

I never meant to get injured.

I never meant for that to happen.

I always knew this would happen.

I never imagined the future like this.

I had no idea that it would feel this way.

I thought I could.

I didn’t wait long enough.

I was right on the mark.

I didn’t see it coming.

I always see it coming.

I mean what I say.

I didn’t mean it.

I know that you liked it.

I don’t know what you want.

I have the best intentions.

I hold you in the highest regard.

I will respect you. ( in the morning )

I wonder about your intentions.

I know your intentions are good.

I will love you forever.

I will love you ’till death do us part.

I love another.

I can’t help who I love.

I can’t help who I am.

I can’t stop what I feel.

I know who I am.

I don’t know myself.

I don’t know you any more.

I have to go.

I have to do what I have to do.

I know what I want.

I am in charge of my life.

Who are you ?

What do you want ?

Image from here: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4097/4882710431_5e03e04250_n.jpg

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Yet Another Room

For years, it felt that something was missing.

Something important, even crucial.

Emptiness.
No-self.
Dissolution.
Stream entry.
Prajnaparamita.
Peace of God.
True nature.
Original nature.
Spaciousness.
Eternal Now.

Certainly, it was not where life was lived from.

And life hurt.

The hurt was certainly related to the absence of the missing element.

Belief: ” When the missing element was found then the hurt would end.”

Story over.

With the story over, there would be no more curiosity.

Right ?

Not really.

Emptiness is one room in the mansion of life.

When viewed from within the room of emptiness, everything looks empty.

Sexual expression is another.

When viewwed from within the room of sexuality, the world feels like a very steamy place.

So with grief.

From the room of grief, the path of life is paved with loss.

Bliss.

Loneliness.

Knowledge of the energy body.

Lucid dreaming.

Terror.

Gratitude.

The joy of being alive.

Many, many others.

Searching for emptiness ends.

Inquisitiveness about living as a human continues.

Each experience another flavor, a different room in the house of consciousness.

What rooms have you explored so far ?

Just conscious awareness ?

A few others ?

How many are there ? How do you know ?

Are they all you ? Parts of you ? Not you ?

What knows the rooms ?

 

 

Floor plan from here.

 

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Unsold

” I just don’t see what awakening is good for. The people I know who have woken up –
I don’t see how this has improved their lives. ” – Zelda

Riffing off Zelda’s comment …

Frankly…

Awakening isn’t good for anything.

Self-interested seekers, please seek elsewhere.

There is nothing for you here.

Numberless are the mercantile cyber-stops for you to visit, enjoy,
and leave with SOMETHING USEFUL.

Lots of businesses work this angle.

This is not such a place.

If you love the life of the mind – definitely seek elsewhere.

You will not find mind-food or mind-toys for your voracious pet here.

Your fluffy little Pomeranian will bark, and whine, and you will give in –
like you always do, while pretending you are still in charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you tell yourself is your business.

Self-deception is fundamentally a private affair.

At least, at first.

We pour huge amounts of time, life, and energy into self-deception.

You’d think we actually ended up with something after all that effort.

Not really, unless you count empty promises.

Someone once coined a phrase – spiritual materialism. (1)

But you can call it what you like.

It still means
at day’s end
there’s nothing left.

If you thought your smarts would save you from this, guess again.

If you thought your street sense would save you from this, not really.

If you thought your education would save you,
it probably won’t pan out.

Want to escape from the tyranny of the self ?

Burning inquiry, searing honesty, relentless self-challenge –
this path is tried and true. ( it’s also free )

What do we get for it when we’re done?

Nada.

Zip.

Zilch.

Nothing at all to show for your effort.

Nothing you can be proud of.

No souvenirs.

No certificates, plaques, not even points
redeemable for frequent-flier miles.

This non-dual stuff – it’s really not about you.

If you want a better you,
plenty of people out there will try to sell you something –
and if that doesn’t work,
there is always something else to buy !

Nothing here will make your you any better.

Really, nothing here at all.

*******************************************************************************

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_materialism

Photo of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche from here: http://www.ievolve.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Chogyam-3.jpg

Photo of dog from here: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/02/fd/36/02fd36ede16e1686ecc13e3bdf79c2a1.jpg

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Gurdjieff STOP Exercise

[ This Guest post comes in its entirety from the blog Truth Can Save You, found here: https://truthcansaveyou.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/the-stop-exercise-from-gurdjieff/ many thanks for it ! ]

George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff January 13, 1866–1877? – October 29, 1949

Gurdjieff would tell his disciples to engage in all kinds of activities: somebody is digging in the garden, somebody is cutting wood, somebody is preparing food, somebody is cleaning the floor. All kinds of activities are going on, with the one condition that when he says “Stop!” then wherever you are, in whatsoever posture you are, you stop dead. You are not to be cunning, because then the whole point of the exercise is lost.

For example, if your mouth is open and you see that Gurdjieff is not there to notice, and you just close your mouth and rest, you have missed the point. One of your legs was up ― you were just moving ― and one leg was down; now suddenly the “Stop!” call comes. You have to stop, knowing perfectly well that soon you will fall down; you cannot stand on one foot for long. But that is the whole point of the exercise: whatever the consequence you simply stop as you are, you just become a statue.

You will be surprised that such a simple exercise gives you so much release of awareness. Neither Buddha, nor Patanjali, nor Mahavira was aware of it, that such a simple exercise… When you become just a statue, you are not even allowed to blink an eye; you stay exactly as you are at the moment you hear the word “Stop!” It simply means stop and nothing else.

You will be surprised that you suddenly become a frozen statue ― and in that state you can see yourself transparently. You are constantly engaged in activity ― and with the activity of the body, the mind’s activity is associated. You cannot separate them, so when the body completely stops, of course, immediately the mind also stops then and there.

You can see the body, frozen, as if it is somebody else’s body; you can see the mind, suddenly unmoving, because it has lost its association with the body in movement. It is a simple psychological law of association that was discovered by another Russian, Pavlov. Gurdjieff knew it long before Pavlov, but he was not interested in psychology so he never worked it out that way.

For a moment there is a complete silence; and even a single moment of complete silence is enough to give you the taste of meditation. Gurdjieff had developed dances, and during those dances suddenly he would say “Stop!” Now, while dancing you never know in what posture you are going to be. People would simply fall on the floor. But even if you fall, the exercise continues.

If your hand is in an uncomfortable position under your body, you are not to make it comfortable because that means you have not given a chance for the mind to stop. You are still listening to the mind. The mind says, “It is uncomfortable, make it comfortable.” No, you are not to do anything.

In New York when he was giving his demonstration of the dance, Gurdjieff chose a very strange situation. All the dancers were standing in a line, and at a certain stage in the dance when they came dancing forwards and were just standing in a queue with the first person just at the edge of the stage, Gurdjieff said “Stop!” The first person fell, the second fell, the third fell ― the whole line fell on each other. But there was dead silence, no movement.

One man in the audience just seeing this got his first experience of meditation. He was not doing it, he was just seeing it. But seeing so many people suddenly stop and then fall, but falling as if frozen, with no effort on their own to change their position… It was as if suddenly they had all become paralyzed. The man was just sitting in the front row, and without knowing he just stopped, frozen in the position he was in; his eyes stopped blinking, his breath had stopped.

* * ** *** ***** *********

Original post from here:

https://truthcansaveyou.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/the-stop-exercise-from-gurdjieff/

Photo from: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c3/e1/36/c3e13650b7382e52dbb3a26e9ca157e2.jpg

Gurdjieff International Review – http://www.gurdjieff.org/

The Gurdjieff Society – http://www.gurdjieff.com/about.php

Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Way

Gurdjieff’s Legacy – http://www.gurdjiefflegacy.org/

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Choice

Of course choice exists!

Of course choice happens!

Of course we “have” a choice!

Don’t we ?

The argument about free will  was delineated 2500 years ago in ancient Greece and hasn’t been settled since due to lack of evidence.

It is convenient for some, due to ideology, convenience,  and other motivations to grab the choicelessness banner and proclaim the argument over .

Is it ?

Hardly.

There is really no evidence, either way.

The “problem” was that an imaginary “chooser” has been debunked/eliminated/seen through.

Yay !

Who is not on the side of the debunkers ?

Who is not on the side of fearless truth ? !

It’s just that the real question is not ” Is the imaginary, mentally fabricated ‘ I ‘ making the choice ” ?

Perhaps it was the ” Wrong Question” .

Because there is a straight answer for that question.

The answer is unequivocally “NO”.

The fake self never choose.

The fake self never did anything.

The fake self never contributed at all to this life.

The unreal does not exist.

The unreal may misdirect, confuse, cloud, mystify, albeit temporarily.

Then it clears away.

Clearing away happens again and again.

As many times as it needs to.

And clarity is restored.

For a while.

So the question is mistaken.

The primordial question is not ” “Does the false self, which was mistaken for the sense of agency in this life,  actually make decisions ? ”

No, nonexistent entities do not act, much less make decisions.

The primordial question is deeper than that.

The primordial question is:

” Does choosing exist at all, separate from it’s apparent appearance ? ”

Today’s response :

” What answer would benefit your growth toward recognizing  the Ultimate Truth more deeply ? ”

Whatever answer you see is currently the path for “you”.

Until, perhaps, it isn’t.

Did anyone promise a path ?

The pavers are dissolving beneath “your” feet.

Much love.

* * ** *** *****   ********  *************

Please see this link for the image credit : http://thenotmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/choice-a-or-b2.png

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Forgive Everyone, Everything, Forever

Awakening feels like a revolution.

It feels like a wild revolt against the previously lived life,
its values, its perspectives, its relationships.

On the other side of awakening,
living still happens.

Here and there still appears,
even though others appear as not-two…

Differences built up over many years still exist after awakening.

” I thought awakening was supposed to ‘ cure ‘ all that stuff ? ! ”

! Not !

Awakening is not about fixing problems;
it’s a radical shift of perspective.

If thought-based mental fabrication were a pastry,
it ‘s as if the doughnut hole is missing,
but the doughnut is still there.

glazed_donut_large

Plenty of mental and emotional B.S. left to practice with.

To fix relationships, real or imagined,
forgiveness is a sine quo non.

Do not imagine that you can get past this
without forgiving everyone unreservedly.

Nothing will really flow, otherwise…

If you are not “ready” to forgive everyone
( including the no-self self ) for everything,
a nasty surprise awaits.

Awake life is a dependent origination.

Like everything else in the universe,
awake life depends on other things for its existence.

One of these dependencies
is the open-hearted willingness
to forgive everyone for everything.

No limits.
No conditions.

Once awake,
if you want to stay awake,
forgive everyone everything,
forever.
(including any and all nobodies)

Or fall back into the hell realm of dualism.

Choice appears, as always, “yours”.

* * ** *** ***** ******** *************

Doughnut pic comes from:

http://foodswol.com/glazed-donut-large-background-images-free.html

Forgivenall comes from:

http://heartsteps.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/forgiveness21.jpg

More posts on forgiveness:

https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/2710126/807519742

https://www.forgivenesschallenge.com/about-the-challenge/

https://philosophadam.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/release-the-past-to-free-the-present-another-meaning-of-forgiveness/

http://wp.me/p1O6AP-cj

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