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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Who Forgives ?

” Who forgives? ”

In the non-dual world, no-one does everything.

Experience here bears out the veracity of non-doing.

Life continues, without a symbolic “self”.

Life itself is a collective, needing no separate actors;
the “symbolic self – aka “me” – is not required.

Nonetheless, humans are not merely rational.
We are primates – mammals with powerful emotional lives.

Emotionality arises from (amongst other causes) perceived separation, self and others.

The perception of time magnifies the separation by telescoping out our reactions
to past and future.

Forgiveness practice is partly rational and partly non-rational –
because human life includes both, and a powerful part of most of human living is non-rational.

We cannot simply wish resentments, hatreds and hurts away,
just because they don’t make any sense.

It sounds like it ought to work that way, but in practice
the tenacity of negative thought forms
impresses with their durability and persistence.

On the rational end of things, forgiveness is another word for letting go:
releasing negativity, ( stressful and bad for your health )
releasing “the past”, ( doesn’t exist anymore )
releasing dualistic appearance. ( an innocent mistake )

Unforgiveness in any form is spiritual pollution ( bondage to the false )
born from dark thoughts in mind married to painful feelings in the body.

Whether the imagined self, other, or event ever existed strikes this one
as deeply irrelevant.

They no longer exist, except as thoughts in mind.

Not much substance there, but still it all must be dealt with.

The stagnant energy of resentment and other stucknesses has at times,
dragged on this life like a thousand pound anchor.

Clean the mind and heart out and be done with it once and for all !

This life continued from then forward with a new attitude,
an attitude resembling a smooth, clean teflon pan.

Teflon

Forgiveness is good mental hygiene, par excelance !

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

Photo from here : https://gastropods.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/helix-pomatia-13.jpg

[There are no thoughts without emotional correlates.
( not even mathematical thoughts – that’s how we can tell 2 + 2 = 4 and not 2 + 2 = 5 … they feel different. )]

More on Forgiveness : https://philosophadam.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/forgive-and-be-free-the-liberating-power-of-forgiveness

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Parking Spot

Where’s your parking spot ?

You know, the place where you are comfortable.

As in this far
and no further.

Well worn.

Tried and “true”.

Familiar.

Lots of us keep these parking spaces;
sometimes for years,
even for lifetimes.

“Go with what you know.”

Am not suggesting
any lack of utility
in reproducible results.

Recipes work this way,
for instance.

Leave out the baking powder
and the dough will not rise.

Spiritual dough is a little different.

Every time baking happens,,
no one knows how it will turn out.

Apparently there is more to humanity
than fits in a measuring cup.

Mind will tell you otherwise.

“Go with what you know.”

If you are reading blogs
books
and videos
like these,
perhaps you have started to doubt
that you want to live
one more day
in that same
suffocatingly cozy
parking spot.

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

9 9 99 999 99999 99999999 9999999999999

(1) Emerson quote from here: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/353571-a-foolish-consistency-is-the-hobgoblin-of-little-minds-adored

Emerson photo from here: http://bballjones.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/emerson.jpg

Cake photo from here : http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/pictures/20000/nahled/seed-cake.jpg

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A Little Less Moss

In 2005 I met one of “Them”- my first encounter with someone who lived in spacious clarity every day.

Thai Buddhist teacher and meditation coach Ajhan Jeerapong Pairote
shone his brilliant simplicity on the selfy skepticism and gloomy Western attitude that accompanied this character on a meditation retreat in Northern Thailand.

Ten days and a good bit of mental simplifying later,
Ajahn Pairote laughed gently at
what he called our “shiny faces” – our happy smiles
expressing light-heartedness and clear-minded simplicity.

What changed ?

A lighter feel for mind’s thoughty productions.

Less mental noise.

More direct relating to immediate experience.

A sense of freedom.

These temporary effects from the retreat practice faded like orange clouds at dusk, but something valuable remained; some small sense of what it might be like to live that way all the time.

Orange Clouds at Dusk

This sense was fragmentary and vague – there was no experience of selflessness – yet it truly pointed  toward freedom in the neighborhood of clarity, simplicity and less mentation.

Consciousness shorn of surplus mental baggage feels brighter, freer, less encumbered. This experience starkly contrasted my early life conditioning.

Education and family background informed this being that knowledge was an absolute good; knowing more, thinking more thoughts, holding more opinions, accumulating more mental data – the cerebral equivalent of those crabs that accumulate moss on their backs.

I approached spiritual practice the same way.
Read more. Think more. Grow more moss.

The 2005 Thai retreat was the first time I seriously questioned the value of gathering thoughts and opinions for their own sake, and began to see that spirituality may not actually center on acquisition after all.

The real benefit seemed to come from pitching non-essentials over the side.

I still didn’t see how deeply true this was.

But I would.

….

Crossing the Gate demands a radical simplicity.

Not much room for non-essentials.

Thoughts top the non-essential list, ninety-nine times out of a hundred.

Suppose you ask yourself, what am I unwilling to part with ?
Which precious beliefs and opinions are too important to even look at closely, much less let go – even for a moment?

What am I afraid to lose ?

That answer may shed light
on where you are in the process
of lightening the load
until the day there is no load
no one carrying,
and no process owned.

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

Cloud photo courtesy of http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=37317&picture=sunset-in-manila-bay-10&large=1

Moss crab photo from : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/80/Sheepcrab_300.jpg/330px-Sheepcrab_300.jpg

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Fear of Loss

What are you afraid of ?

Snakes ? Scorpions ? Airplane travel ?

Small potatoes.

I submit you are deeply afraid of losing your individuality.

You, but no longer special.

No longer really “me”.

If you have the time to burn
( you may not – I did- no kids, no overtime  )
you may see that the awake / nondual types are far from identical.

Each author speaks of the nondual awareness somewhat differently.

For instance, there is the eloquent http://theawakeneddreamer.com/

by Lori Ann Lothian ,

the heart of the matter by the stunning Amrita Skye Blaine http://theheartofthematter-dailyreminders.org/

the stupefying poetry and prose of Emile at http://echoesfromemptiness.com/ and http://theawakenedeye.com/,

the spaciousness of Nirmala http://endless-satsang.com/advaita-spiritual-teacher-nirmala.htm,

the marvelous productions of the LU Blogroll http://liberationunleashed.com/blogroll/

the amazing Kenneth Folk http://kennethfolkdharma.com/,

the depth of A.H. Almass of the the Rindwahn School http://www.ridhwan.org/

the breathtaking photography of Shantideva at http://shantideva.me/;

Examples abound – there are so many more.

We do not morph into clones.

Neither will you,

after realizing the Truth

of your existence.

God is not a clone.

“”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

 

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Close Call

Recall a time when you were in sudden physical danger.

Got it ?

Now look closely into the elements of the experience.

What happened ?

Quick action ? Sudden appearance ? The unexpected ?

Where was that thoughty little “I” when it all came down ?

Waiting in the green room for a stage cue to re-emerge.

*****

The memory of a close call from years ago leaps to mind.

A mild March night in the year 2000.

Driving home from a friend’s house.
No passengers.

Traffic average for after 9:00 pm –
fairly light on the four lane avenue.

Close up ahead, an oncoming car
drifted over the solid line stripe
and kept coming
directly opposite traffic.

Headlights glared dead ahead.

-No time to check the right mirror –
-No time to think –
-No time –

Blindly spun the steering wheel hard to the right.

Watched the oncoming car miss collision by inches,
arc harmlessly into an intersection,
straighten out
and drive off.

Thoughts appeared
after the action was over
and the body shook with fear.

I can’t believe it !
I nearly crashed !
I nearly died !

Hyperventilation accompanied
creeping down the street
at 5 miles per hour
in a 35 mph zone.

Thoughts played the Monday morning quarterback
recapping the real action
with pointless commentary.

If attention had mired
in the quagmire of thought play
for a fraction of a second
that memorable evening
the delayed reaction
may have prevented
this blog’s existence.
(amongst other things)

Clearly seeing the situation,
crossing lanes quickly,
oncoming car rolling by,
a spontaneous sequence of events unfurling.

Recognition, action –
everything essential
to life and safety –
flowed
unhampered
by thought.

********

The photo came from here: http://blog.bendykate.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/headlights-150×150.jpg

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Idle Reflection

Many years ago, my partner died after a protracted illness.

The grief that followed was not linear.

Each wave of deep sadness shook the foundations of the world I lived in..

Every start of the chain of remembrance was a shock.

The day might start ok, only to dive into deep sadness and gloom later on.

No forecast.

No projection.

Not linear.

QQ截图20140220110713

Eventually, grief ran it’s course.

Life resumed.

A new life.

Alone.

Prior to the experience of grief, there was no sense of the depth and power of this experience.

No sense of the ways it changes one’s view.

No sense of how it tears open the heart.

Afterward, there arose a resonance with others who knew someone close to them die.

The heart stayed slightly torn open;
compassion for those in grief remains here after grief dissolved.

Awakening was something like that.

It upended the foundations of “my” world.

Instead of Heart torn open,
Mind tore open.

Afterward, a resonance with others who have been through it remained.

Mind never “scabs” over,
never completely returns to a previous state.
Changed and changing each moment.

Spaciousness remains, fundamentally unchanged.

* ** ***   *****     ********

Graph from here: QQ截图20140220110713

Sky from here: https://vanishingnarrative.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/836c8-blue_sky_clouds_public_domain_picture28329.jpg

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Can’t Unsee

The ” I got it/I lost it ” phenomena appears in many experiences of Gate crossing.

It looked like something was clear – now it is not.

” Once seen, it cannot be unseen.”

Is it true ?

Is that what experience delivers ?

Where did “it” go ?

Look carefully for yourself.

Really look, like that first time.

What’s here ?

Crossing the Gate is the beginning of a new stage of practice.

The same burning honesty and clarity that characterized seeing at the Gate has much application thereafter – every time conditioning arises…

The link below may shine some sideways illumination on how this happens, through a general discussion of how the brain is currently thought to function.

Apparently, the brain creates twice as much perception as it receives.

In other words, the brain busily projects a lot of things out into the world.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/05/10-things-you-cant-unsee-and-what-that-says-about-you

Food for thought.

 

 

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A Life of Emptiness and Clarity Meets the Chaotic Vomitus Unconscious

In therapy, I recall dealing with one issue at a time.

Something would come up.

Therapist and I would talk.
Looking happened.
Moving on happened.
It was almost… orderly.
Therapy ended when the issue I had gone for resolved.

Awake life is not like this, at least not here.
No order.
No agenda.
Anything can and does surface, from any direction.
Nothing stands between “you” and the thought-feeling constellation
of raw, unmitigated experience.

Example:
Attended a party at a friend’s house.
Knew almost no one other than the host.
Attended other parties in the last couple years
and felt completely at ease.
Friends, acquaintances, strangers – what’s the difference ?
Talking to everyone without hesitation.

Nonetheless…

On this evening, shyness started to manifest.

Not the mild kind that people hide
with darting eyes and nervous laughter.
We are talking the deep, gripping kind of pathological shyness
that borders on agoraphobia.
The kind of strangling social anxiety
that makes you wonder why you were born.

What is going on ? There is no one here to be shy !?! This kind of experience hasn’t happened for…. um, actually, there is no conscious memory of such a vivid experience of social anxiety and alienation.

What is real, right now ?

This is here. This is experience.

If resistance to internal states arises, the state eventually recurs.
Without resistance, emotional dust-ups disappear.
Experience has borne out the utility of this approach.

So the shyness/anxiety hung around,
and I remained at the party, watching the shyness/anxiety,
feeling quite amazed, offering no resistance to its presence.

Been in similar social situations since then.
Felt at ease.

This thought-feeling constellation appears to be over.
Another one may emerge at any time.

No way to tell what may come.

No way to “get ready”.

“Embrace experience fully and release.”

This example from ordinary life could happen to almost anyone.

The main difference is,
after awakening,
negativity dispelling itself feels more intense.

The buffering effect of the ego is missing.

Emotional chaos blows up right in the face.

And it dispels much more quickly;
ungrasped, unstorified, unimpeded.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shyness
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agoraphobia

Party jpg came from : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/23/Birthdayparty.jpg/640px-Birthdayparty.jpg

Explosive jpg cam from : http://www.quirkyscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Explosion-Image-by-US-Department-of-Defense.jpg

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Deep Listening

Yesterday attended a memorial.

A friend had died, and friends and family gathered to say goodbye in each other’s company.

His girlfriend had a lot on her mind.

Was happy to sit with her for as long as she needed.

Her troubled thoughts poured out into bright empty space, recognized and embraced in utter silence, received with full attention, undistracted and  unjudged.

After she was done she thanked me for listening.

What’s the practical, real world  application of the no-self thingy ? Here is one practical manifestation: holding another in our heart through deep listening.

Deep listening; giving the complete and unqualified gift of full attention, undiluted by distraction. [especially to someone who really needs it]

No, it does not guarantee that no-selfers are all better listeners – some are certainly not.

Nor does not imply that with training, any interested person cannot learn to listen better, regardless.

Undivided, full, nonjudgmental attention shows itself as a precious and uncommon gift.

In our incessantly distracted world, it’s almost like a super power.

In this one’s life, deep listening brings much joy in the giving.

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

Attentive listening from here: http://coachingandthejourney.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/free-poster-8u2sacriev-attentive-listening1.jpg

Quote comes from here: http://sunnibrown.com/wp-content/themes/sunni/images/hard-to-listen_blog.jpg

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